We live in a day and age where the goal appears to be to deny actual differences between the sexes. Does our culture and society want to see women for who and what they are and then value women because of those things? The same questions applies to culture’s and society’s view toward men? From my perspective, implementing legislation, rhetoric, or paradigms that deny gender differences sounds like sanctioning misogyny and misandry. Misogyny pertains to the hatred of women while misandry is the hatred of men. I wander sometimes if our culture and society really understand the logical and practical implications of what passes off today as gender equality or neutrality.
One of the biggest problems throughout human history has been man’s inability to embrace the other, to see the other as possessing the same value and worth. War, segregation, tyranny, and the like have grown from the soil of imposing sameness to the exclusion of diversity. Before the fall, God blessed the entire created order as very good (Gen. 1:31, ESV). This included blessing Adam and Eve in their distinct gender identities, who had been created by God after his own image (Gen. 1:26-28, ESV). Both the man and the woman were equal in displaying God’s image, but different in character. Another way to say this is that God created men and women the same in essence, but different in economy: equality of essence, but diversity of economy.
After the fall, everything changed for Adam and Eve and all of creation. Because of their rebellion against God and his truth, separation came between them and God and each other with the latter symbolized in their partnership in crafting loin cloths made out fig leaves (Gen. 3:7-8). The wonderful diversity that God created and blessed had crumbled in an instant of gratification. No longer would the earth yield its fruit in season nor the man and woman enjoy harmony as one flesh (Gen. 3:16-19, ESV). Did the fall alter creation’s inherent diversity? No it did not. Did the fall alter the inherent diversity between the sexes? No it did not. Adam remained a man and Eve was still a woman. Both still bore God’s image in their respective gender identities.
What still amazes me about the Genesis account is that creation’s diversity and harmony before the fall reflected the diversity and harmony within the Trinity, the Godhead. Here’s what I mean. God is one God, but he exists as three, co-eternal persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three are equal in essence, but different in economy. The same is true of men and women: both are equal in essence, but different in economy. When I read articles like the one in USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/02/marines-female-fitness-pullups/4294313/, I marvel at our nation’s inability to see and value the male and female genders. The precedent being set is a dangerous one.
What is so wrong about seeing, acknowledging, and embracing the differences between the genders? Our differences automatically imply limitations, strengths and weaknesses, and gifts and talents. It seems to me that the mindset in our nation is denial…pretending we do not see or understand what we are seeing and understanding. In Ephesians chapter five, the Holy Spirit revealed through Paul that Christ serves as a model for husbands and by extension men. Just as our Lord gave himself for the bride, the church, husbands are to give of themselves in the same way to their wives (Eph. 5:25; Mark 10:45, ESV). 1 John 3:8 states that Christ came to destroy the enemies of his bride, the church.
Are we as a nation seeking to overturn these biblical injunctions to men to protect the women of our nation? Women have been gifted and blessed by God, the Maker of heaven and earth, with the ability to nurture and contain life for nine months. By allowing women to fight in the military, are we saying that we do not value women and their ability to nurture and contain life by allowing them to fight on the battlefield? I guess that should not surprise me. After all, our nation has had a tough time demonstrating that it supports the sanctity of life. We kill innocent, unborn lives on a daily basis. Maybe it is not that much of a leap from killing the unborn to sacrificing the lives of a gender who contain and nurture them for nine months. Somehow it does make perverted sense.
Because scripture uses Christ as an example for husbands and men, I believe in living my life as a man according to his ways. This does not mean that I will be perfect or fantastic every step along the way. The only way that I can live this new life in Christ is by the Spirit (Zechariah 4:6, ESV). Based on the article in USA Today, our culture and society seem to be heading in a dangerous direction. This requires me to embrace the Lord and his Word over and against culture and society. In this blogger’s humble opinion, I believe in fighting, defending, and protecting the women in my life; consequently, I will repeat something that I said earlier in this post. Women nurture and contain life for nine months. God gave them this ability. Something tells me they need to be protected and defended on that basis alone.