Take a good, long, hard look at the “modern man”. What do you see? Do you see his skinny jeans? His fancy laptop? His scarf? His expensive coffee? What is missing? Where are his work clothes? Where are the callouses on his hands? Where is his wife for whom he cares? The modern man greatly resembles the modern woman. You may say something to the effect of, “Well that’s great news! Gender barriers are coming down and equality is surely on the horizon!” Oh, dear friend, if that is you, please read on. I seek to show you why those sex barriers exist and why they are not your enemies. I wish to make known the biblical response to “gender fluidity”, egalitarianism, LGBT issues, manhood and womanhood.
Why these things? Because societally, these things are absolutely foundational. We must know where we stand on these issues and why if we are to have laws that govern us with any amount of accuracy to our positions and respect to our persons. So what does the bible actually say? The bible says in Genesis
Genesis 1:26–28 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
We will discuss now what men and women have in common. Men and women are made in the imago Dei. Both are made in the image of God. This means that they have equal footing before God. Neither is “better” than the other here. They are perfectly equal in value and worth. Both are given the command to “be fruitful and multiply” as well. Multiplication cannot happen with one or the other but only with the cooperation of both. This is yet another affirmation of equality of worth. Not only these things, but the worth of mankind, being created in the image of God, is above that of every other beast on the earth. No animal can usurp the authority given by God to man. Mankind is given dominion over every animal. Again affirming the equality of worth between men and women.
Now let us discuss what makes us different. Again, we will appeal to the bible as our ultimate and final authority.
Genesis 2:15–18 (ESV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Genesis 2:21–25 (ESV)
21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
What does the bible say is different about men and women? In a word, roles. God saw that the man was alone. He was, in a sense, incomplete. So God says that he will “make him a helper fit for him.” The words “fit for” can also be translated “corresponding to”. This is significant for understanding the roles of men and women. God literally made for Adam a compliment, one who fits him like a puzzle piece that would be a helper corresponding to him. This is not to say that she is of less value than him or of less importance. It is only to say that she is to follow him because that is what she was designed to do.
Now we will discuss the “one flesh” statement. This is a covenantal bond between man and woman. Why is it a covenantal bond? Because blood is shed. If you are reading this, I assume you are old enough to understand that when a woman loses her virginity, there is bleeding involved, thus sealing the covenant of marriage before God. (That is why we should wait, by the way) and that is not a covenant to be sealed by anything other than a man who is to become your husband. The “one flesh” statement is a literal one. The two parties enter into one another through this divinely ordered, beautiful act, blood is spilt, and the two are bound together in a bond that is stronger than any other. Both are equally important in the action and the covenant but the man does not bleed. Is that to say that God cares more for the man? Absolutely not! God simply put before us different roles that we would each be more equipped to fulfill. Do you now understand why there is no actual covenant relationship in the form of marriage between man and man or woman and woman? Do you see why there must be a man and a woman?
Why must men lead though? Why are women disqualified from teaching in church and from preaching? Surely those are simply sexist remarks of antiquity that have no bearing on believers today, right? Wrong. When the Apostle Paul speaks on these issues, he speaks as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are his words:
1 Timothy 2:12–14 (ESV)
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Do you see his reasoning? He appeals to the Creation account. So Why must men lead? Cover your eyes, this might be offensive. Men are stronger spiritually than women. Men are to lead because even the serpent in the Garden knew that the woman was easier to sway and to fell than was the man. Not only that, but when Eve ate of the fruit her punishment was such that she would have to obey her now corrupt husband.
Genesis 3:16 (ESV)
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
Now, even though the husband is no longer worth following, she must.
But what if someone says they do not want to be their respective sex anymore? What if they want to become transexual? Such is not permitted by God. God formed you in the womb so that you would be whom you are. (Jeremiah 1:5) To say that you no longer want to be that person is an affront to God himself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God so be that person. (Psalm 139:14)
So how are we to behave?
Women, heed the words of Paul here.
Ephesians 5:22–24 (ESV)
Wives and Husbands
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Ephesians 5:25–32 (ESV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Men are very physical creatures. Men also do not express emotion as much as do women. Women are not nearly as physical but are most always more mature emotionally. Together they see the world in a complete way and act together as one flesh. I leave you finally with this.
Ephesians 6:10–18 (ESV)
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Soli Deo Gloria.