Scripture: Numbers 32-33, Mark 10
Mark 10:6–9 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
When Jesus was asked for grounds for divorce, He gave this answer. He took the issue back to creation, to God’s intention. We were made male and female in God’s image. A man was leave his family of origin and be united to his wife and the two became one flesh. God joins them together as one, so man shouldn’t attempt to separate them.
Jesus exalts God’s original intention, and calls us to live into it, rather than succumb to our brokenness.
Perhaps this stood out to me because of the series we’re doing at church, RESIST! Resist the creep of culture—don’t be conformed to the world, squeezed into its mold, but be transformed by God. One of the areas where our culture is adrift is its understanding of gender, sexuality and marriage.
Scripture is clear that God created us male and female: two distinct genders—no more. And marriage is a lifelong union between a man and woman—nothing else.
Are there people who suffer from gender confusion or dysfunction? Of course. And we should offer them great compassion, for this is a difficult and painful thing. Our failure to show that compassion has resulted in a backlash. In order to protect a tiny minority who has been misunderstood and persecuted, the traditional understanding of gender (male/female) has been abandoned, and the traditional view of marriage along with it. It’s a major over-reaction and has resulted in widespread confusion, particularly among young people, about gender, sexuality and marriage.
How do we explain gender dysfunction? Did God create people this way? Jesus taught that God created us male and female. However, like many other parts of our humanity, our sexuality or gender has been damaged by the fall (human sin and rebellion against God). Much of our human experience is less than God intended: sickness, disease, death, divorce, mental and emotional illness, etc. All of this is brought on human sin, and the brokenness it produces—it is the fallen human condition. Our sin has negatively impacted the entire creation. Paul said that all of creation is groaning, awaiting Christ’s return and its liberation from its “bondage to decay.” We are part of that creation, and every human being carries expressions of that brokenness and bondage.
The wrong thing to do is to normalize our brokenness and attribute it to God’s creation or intention. Yet this is what we consistently do, motivated occasionally by compassion for those who are suffering or more often by the desire to justify ourselves.
The right thing to do is to acknowledge our brokenness and seek God to either make us whole or give us the grace to live with it until the day Jesus returns and makes all things right again.
Prayer: Lord, help us to cut through the confusion, understand Your creative intentions, and live into those with Your great help. Give us compassion for those who suffer and grace to help them…and ourselves.