A couple of weeks ago or so, I told you that I wanted to defend some of the teachings of God’s Word currently under attack in our culture. One of the attacks today is against the division of mankind into two genders (and only two). When God created mankind, we don’t read, “and God created man in his own image, LGBTQQIP2SAA created he them.” No, “male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).
Now, these two genders are distinct. God divided between them, as one of several good divisions God made during the six days of creation. A male is not a female, and a female is not a male. They are different. Obviously, they are different physically; when a baby is born, you can tell if it is a boy or a girl. But the differences go much deeper than physicality to emotional and psychological differences. Your sexual identity as male or female is not merely external; it goes down to your bones and is unchangeable and permanent.
And these differences between male and female are good! Masculinity is good, and femininity is good! Any attempt to combine them or to confuse them is, therefore, bad and harmful (see Deut. 22:5). Homosexuality is not God’s good plan but is destructive; egalitarianism that seeks to blur the distinctions between men and women is not God’s wonderful will but is deadly.
This pattern as male and female expresses the person of God more fully than if mankind were only male. God is a Father, but God also is tender and loving. Mankind as male and female is the image of God, not just male.
Here are some generalities: Men are built to be stronger physically; men are built to be initiators and leaders physically. Women are usually more in touch with their emotions – more caring and tender.
But here’s the danger: Some of you just heard me describe a couple of differences, and you immediately went on the defensive. Some of you may have interpreted me as saying, “Men are stronger and therefore better than weak, fragile women.” Some of you may have interpreted me as saying, “Women are more in touch with their emotions and therefore better than dumb, unresponsive men.” I didn’t say that!! You only thought that because of your sinful nature that makes differences seem bad – that pridefully puts down the other gender and exalts your own, or that envies and seeks to emulate the other gender in jealousy and discontent.
Really, as pastor and blogger Doug Wilson put it, a “first rate man” would only be “a third rate woman,” and a “first rate woman” would merely be a “third rate man.” That is because the standards for both are different! A pitcher is not a backcatcher, a coffee cup is not a fork, and a pair of pliers is not a pair of scissors. They are used for different things, and therefore are made differently; a china vase is not worse than a backhoe; it is just different!
So ladies, don’t mock men for being men; men, don’t mock ladies for being ladies. I know we can make jokes in good fun, but if we’re not careful we will be despising the image of God. Rather, we should treasure the differences between the sexes.
Young men, learn how to work hard, how to lead, and how to protect and be masculine. Young ladies, learn how to work hard, how to be submissive to the leadership in your home, and how to be feminine. I’m not saying men shouldn’t learn how to cook, or that women shouldn’t learn how to put up a bookshelf. I’m saying that men ought to love and be skilled at being men, and women ought to love and be skilled at being women. Your culture will not help you do that; you need God’s Word for this.
And if you follow God’s pattern for you as a male or a female, you will find great joy and liberation.