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The Rich Gift of Love
In the third part of this series, we continue our discussion of the Stages through which we grow in our way of loving. After looking at Stage I—where we learn how to love and be loved by our parents—we can see how our parents have truly been a blessing to us and also how they have failed us. In order to overcome these failures in love, the child must find its love in God, the perfect Father and parent, the one who loves us unconditionally, completely, and selflessly. Unless all wounds are healed, a pure development in love cannot take place. As we proceed through the next two stages, the reasons for this healing will become more evident. In Stage II, a friendship with a person of the same sex, boys learn the masculine soul’s way of loving and girls learn the feminine soul’s way of loving. It is important to note that the differences between male and female are both physical and spiritual. Masculinity or femininity is written within the very depths of the person’s soul. The friendships we build and sustain with a person of the same sex affirms and strengthens our masculine or feminine identity as well as our masculine or feminine way of loving. The following are the other significant developments that occur during Stage II.