Gender – A Human Condition

Genesis 1:26-27; Hebrews 2:5-8; Galatians 3:26-28

 God is complete, God is whole. God is neither male nor female, yet at the same time God is fully male and fully female. God is complete.

Genesis 1:27 tells us, “God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.” Allow me to compress those sentences – God created man in his own image; male and female he created them.

Male FemaleLet me say it one more time – God is complete. He is both male and female at all times. A quick scan of the Old Testament reveals numerous examples of God acting in what we deem overtly male behavior, and at others he is the nurturer. God is the full completion of the human character, and so much more.

So, while we are created in God’s image, we are not fully God, or said another way we are less than God. Moving over to the Book of Hebrews, we read:

What is man, that you think of him?

    Or the son of man, that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the angels.

    You crowned him with glory and honor.

We are less than God and less than the angels. “Less than” is a relational term, a term which raises the question less than who or less than what? We are most certainly less than ideal. We are created less than God and the angels, but “more than” the other creatures of the earth.

Physiologically, we are created distinctly male and distinctly female. But what about emotionally and intellectually? The distinctions here are much less clear. Today’s society questions what it means to be male or female. I have no interest here in entertaining that debate, but merely utilize the stereotyping generalizations of prior generations – males are aggressive, conquering types and females are nurturing, compassionate types.

The fallacy of those generalizations well sets the stage for today’s observation – no one is fully male or fully female. Try as a person might to be 100% macho and dominating, there lies within traces of caring and compassion. Try as a person might to be 100% caring and compassionate, there lies within traces of domination and aggression. Each of us falls somewhere on the continuum of traditional male/female characteristics, and we move up and down the axis as our circumstance shifts.

I know people who are extreme examples of their gender-type. Conversely, I know people who are extreme examples of the opposite gender-type. And of course, I know people all along the continuum. When I boil it all down, it comes to this – God created us (nature) and God placed us in an environment in which we developed (nurture). In short, God created us for a purpose. And our purpose is to fulfill his will in this world, in this life.

In the New Creation, God will perfect us. He will complete us.

In Galatians 3, Paul writes there will be neither male nor female in the New Creation. I interpret that not to say we will be stripped of our gender in the New Creation, but rather that our very being will be completed and we will become fully male and fully female.

Worshiping the God who is never “less than,”

Robert