Male and Female
Male and Female
When Jesus was asked the pointed question concerning whether a man could divorce his wife for any reason at all, Jesus took His audience back to the book of Genesis and said:
“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
I find it significant that Paul equally takes us back to Genesis when discussing male and female roles in both 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 and 1 Timothy 2:12-14. What the Holy Spirit is teaching us in all these passages is that:
- Things fall apart when we ignore God’s original instruction and order for men, women, marriage and the family.
- The principles laid down in Genesis still apply to all successive generations.
- There are many good reasons why God created two genders, male and female. If we ignore these verses, we are ignoring them to our own peril, the peril of our children, descendants and nation.
The Importance of Dad
- “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord” (Genesis 18:19).
- “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
- “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
“Children in father-absent homes are four times as likely to be poor. That means their mothers are poor too. Fatherless children are at much greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse. Children living with married biological parents are less anxious, depressed and delinquent than children living with one or more non-biological parents. Children in single parent families are also twice as likely to commit suicide” (12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson, pp. 301-302).
The Real Danger to Women
In many colleges across the nation young people are being taught that the real threat to women is any culture in which men are viewed as the leaders. That this is what has hurt and oppressed women over the years. I believe that this is a very naïve and inaccurate view of reality.
- What has really hurt women over the years, just like what has hurt men, is sin.
- In the Garden, Eve was not being oppressed under Adam’s care, rather everything began to fall apart once she ignored God’s instruction and when Adam did not speak up and protect her (Genesis 3:6). Male leadership did not introduce sin into the world, rather it was the lack of it, or absence of it that contributed to the fall.
- There have obviously been men over the years who have been dangerous to women, just as there have been women who are dangerous to women and men. Yet at the same time, history is filled with examples of where men acting like leaders have brought tremendous blessings to both men and women. “In 1847, James Young Simpson used ether to help a woman who had a deformed pelvis give birth. Afterwards, he switched to the better performing chloroform” (12 Rules, pp. 304-305).
- In fact, Jordan Peterson argues, “There isn’t a shred of hard evidence to support any of their central claims: that Western society is pathologically patriarchal; that the prime lesson of history is that men, rather than nature, were the primary source of oppression of women (rather than, as in most cases, their partners and supporters)” (p. 313).
As always, God’s people have lived in challenging times, “The days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16); “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Currently there are a number of false theories circulating that will in the end hurt both men and women.
- The idea that gender and gender roles are created by the culture will not help anyone in the end. Jesus was clear. God created two genders and they have existed from the beginning. Jesus did not say, “God created them male and female, but since then other genders have arisen”. Jesus’ citing of Genesis assumes that the reality Genesis presents about men, women, gender, roles and marriage is still the truth thousands of years later.
- Peterson makes an excellent point when he notes that various voices in the culture are currently telling us two contradictory things about gender, (1) That gender is constructed by society. (2) That a man is trapped in a woman’s body (or vice versa). Both of these claims cannot be true at the same time. If gender is simply something that the culture creates, then no one is innately male or female, a man or a woman.
- The mere fact that there may been countless examples of both men and women who have sexual relationships with the opposite gender, entered into marriage, fathered or had children, were married for some time, and then claimed that they were actually born the other gender just does not add up. Rather, the fact that they were able to do all those things proves that their claim to be the other gender is a choice they are currently making. In such cases, what the Bible says, and real life line up (as they always do) (Romans 1:27 “the men abandoned the natural function of the woman”).
The Culture Made Me Do It?
Men who attempt to make the claim that they are actually female on the inside but were forced all these years by the culture to assume a male role or vice versa: simply does not add up. Because the very same people have resisted all sorts of parental and cultural influences, teachings and pressures. I have a hard time believing someone who says, “I was only that way because mom and dad forced me to be like that”, when the reality is that this person rarely did anything their parents requested. The world is equally filled with people who were raised by good parents, in a good congregation and who heard good teaching, who then resisted all those wise and good things (2 Timothy 4:3). This proves that we all end up doing what we choose to do, and that we cannot pin the blame on “the culture made me do it” (Revelation 2:20).
If They are Healthy…
“If they’re healthy, women don’t want boys. They want men. They want someone to contend with; someone to grapple with. If they’re tough, they want someone tougher. If they’re smart, they want someone smarter. They desire someone who brings to the table something they can’t already provide” (12 Rules, p. 332). “Women have a strong proclivity to marry across or up the economic dominance hierarchy. They prefer a partner of equal or greater status. This holds true cross-culturally” (p. 301).
Genesis Does Kick In
“When they hit their thirties, most of the top-rated female lawyers bail out of their high pressure careers… This figure hasn’t changed much in the last fifteen years. It also isn’t because the law firms don’t want the women to stay around and succeed. There is a chronic shortage of excellent people, regardless of sex, and law firms are desperate to retain them. The women who leave want a job and a life that allows them some time” (12 Rules, p. 300). Thus, even the perks and prestige of a high earning career often must bow to who we really are. The desire for marriage, a husband, children and time with those children is still there, and it is an intense desire (Genesis 3:16).
An Excellent Person
Many view marriage as a right, but it is really a privilege, we don’t deserve it, it is a gift from God. In order to find a person or excellence (Proverbs 31:10), I need to be one of those people myself.
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017