The Beauty of Gender

The first poem in the Bible goes like this:

So God created man in His own image.
In the image of God He created him.
Male and female He created them.

In Hebrew, Genesis 1:27 is composed of three lines of four words each.

vay-yivra Elohim et-hadam betsalmov
betsalem Elohim bara otov
zakar uneqevah bara otom

The great drama of creation, moving from scene to scene, day to day, propelled by the powerful word of God suddenly pauses.

God deliberates within Himself, within His trinitarian nature, and then creates His masterpiece, His poem, His work of art.


We are meant to pause as well and to consider the beauty of His creation…of us.

Three truths ring out in God's poem.

So God created man in His own image.

The first line puts the emphasis on God's creative work. God created us. We are not cosmic accidents. We are designed by an Artist. We are designed for a purpose. Our complexity, our symmetry, our beauty…all point to the handiwork of our Creator. The wonder of the human body should be enough to show us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Isaac Newton even said, "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence."

In the image of God He created him.

The second line puts the emphasis on our uniqueness and value. We are created in His image. We are supposed to stop and say, "Whoa."  We are…in…His…image. We reflect Him in our nature, having intellect, emotions, and will. We represent Him in our position, ruling and stewarding His creation. And we can have relationship with Him, knowing Him and loving Him…and being intimately known and eternally loved. We have value not because of what we do but simply because of who we are. Image-bearers of the Creator God.

Male and female He created them.

The third line puts the emphasis on our complementary design. We are male and female. We are created equal in essence but different in design. As Dr. Paula Johnson noted in her TED Talk, speaking of the unique medical needs of men and women:

Every cell has a sex. That means men and women are different down to the cellular and molecular level; we're different across all of our organs.

Gender is at the core of who we are. We are created differently in order to complement one another, to complete one another, to need one another. We are made for relationship…not only with God but also with each other. Two different beings experiencing oneness through relationship. Biologically fitting together…one man and one woman…and miraculously creating new life.

This is God's poetry.

And it is beautiful.

So why doesn't it feel that way?

We struggle with our identity. We doubt our value. We feel our insecurity.

We don't feel comfortable in our own skin…and possibly in our own gender.

The rhythm and the rhyme of God's poem were interrupted by sin. The beauty of Genesis 1-2 is marred by the tragedy of Genesis 3. The artistry of God's handiwork has been defaced. We still bear His image but sin has left its ugly stain.

Like a word document opened in the wrong program, the divine poem has been scrambled, jumbled, mangled.

We feel the effects of the Fall. We live it. We experience it. We lament it.

But the solution to our insecurity, confusion, and pain is not the redefinition of gender, the rejection of the Poet, or the resignation to a life of ambiguity.

The solution is redemption.

What was lost in Adam is re-found in Jesus Christ.

The One who wrote the original poem entered into humanity in order to reveal the words, delete the dark lines of sin, and re-write the rhythm and rhyme in our hearts.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship [Greek, poema], created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Male and female. Equal in essence. Different in design.

Broken, confused, conflicted, separated by sin.

Remade, renewed, restored, redeemed by Christ.

This is God's poetry.

And it is still beautiful.

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2 Responses to The Beauty of Gender

  1. Sally ONiell says:

     Very good message Steve.

    We all need to appreciate and thank God for one another,

    Thank you for being our Pastor.


  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Sally!

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