Gender identity is a hard topic. It’s always been a subject of tension, and never more so than in today’s relativistic culture. The world around us has twisted the meaning what it is to be male and female that it’s hard to even give a definition of gender anymore.
These past few weeks in our Sunday training time, Life Training, we’ve been exploring what the Bible has to say about what God intended manhood and womanhood to be. Reid Jilek gave an introduction to biblical manhood and womanhood, then Ann Nelson and Devin Smith spoke further in depth on what womanhood and manhood (respectively) look like in light of the Bible.
Where can we even start?
Reid laid the foundation for the gender discussion by unpacking some verses in Genesis 1 and 2. To really understand gender, we have to start at the very, very beginning: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); we have to start the conversation on gender with God, not with us.
We didn’t create anything. He’s the designer, and He decides what is best, including the creation of male and female. But we see just a few verses later that God, in His overflowing love, created us in His image, to rule over the rest of creation and reflect His character in unique ways.
There's room to wrestle
The problems with gender arise from the point when sin entered the picture. Because of sin, our roles were twisted and perverted. Instead of men being strong on the outside and tender on the inside, they became weak and afraid on the outside and bitter on the inside. The opposite happened to women; they became bitter on the outside and weak and afraid on the inside. Our core fears became inadequacy and insecurity.
But the Gospel answers those fears with the adequacy of Christ and the fact that while we were still sinners - in our lowest possible state - Christ died for us to bring us back to Himself.
Living in that truth allows us to wrestle through the issues that gender brings to the table with the assurance that, as Christians, our gender is our identity, but not our main one. Our standing in Christ is what ultimately defines us.