Why does gender matter? And particularly, why is there so much hurt, brokenness and confusion when it comes to gender in the world today? I am heartbroken to see and experience all of this hurt and brokenness in our world. This is an issue we want to explore with compassion and gentleness because of the profound hurt that has happened. When we seek answers to these questions, it is not to point a finger or condemn. Rather, it is to bind up wounds, to embrace, and to bring healing and life. Let’s go back to the beginning to explore these questions.
As followers of Christ, we believe the Bible is the written account of God’s revelation to us- it is a central and foundational part of His Word to us. (One of the reasons we believe this is because Jesus Himself affirmed the Old Testament Scriptures.) As such, we believe that the Genesis chapters 1-3 account of creation is foundational for our understanding of who God is and how He designed us.
In the beginning, after God formed the stars, planets, and the particulars of earth (plants, animals, etc.), He formed man in His image. So, what does that mean? Among many things, it means God made man with a will, with reason, with imagination, and He made him relational. God Himself is relational. He exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. They are each of the same essence, and yet each of them has a different function. Also, in God Himself, there is the fullness of masculinity and femininity. However, God made man a finite creature, not only in terms of power, but also in physical, emotional, and relational qualities. Because of this, when God looked at man, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So, God made a female. God made male and female with different physical, emotional, and relational qualities so they could be just the right complement to each other. Male and female are complementary for physical, emotional, and relational companionship. Male and female are complementary for the work God gave to take care of the earth. Male and female are complementary for the conception, bearing, and raising of children. Even the physical differences of male and female point to our God-designed emotional and relational complementarity. Gender matters because when we humbly, faithfully, and lovingly live out of our God-design of male and female, human life flourishes at its best.
So back to the big question: why is there so much hurt, brokenness, and confusion when it comes to gender in our world today? Once again, we find the answer in Genesis 1-3. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, that began the long story of physical, emotional, and relational abuse between the sexes. That has led to profound brokenness, confusion, and rebellion when it comes to gender identity. This has such far-reaching effects as to impact even children who become gender confused at a young age.
But the answer to this brokenness that we are living in does not consist of shedding our God-designed gender. That is actually impossible to do—when we try, we simply hurt ourselves further. But when we humble ourselves, trust in His love, and obey what He has revealed to us in the Scriptures, we can find healing and peace. This, by the way, begins with heterosexual couples. The biggest reason we are in this place of such relational brokenness today is because of the many years of brokenness and rebellion among heterosexual couples, which has led to relational, emotional, and physical damage.
There is grace to be found in Jesus, and particularly in His Church! He can heal our woundedness if we will come to Him in trust and humility. There have been many people in the church through the centuries who have not done well in loving and leading through this issue. Nevertheless, with the Spirit-led people of God who actually walk in faith with Jesus, there is hope and healing to be found in Him. We would love to walk with you in that journey here at PCC!