I want to give you a framework for conversations about gender. We can often get flustered or reactive in conversations about LGBTQ issues so it’s important to have some calm, clear, and biblical thoughts. This equips Christians to engage people who may hold different views with more intentionally, more love, and more truth.
The culture you live in regards truth as relative — not absolute. The problem is, by saying there are no absolutes people are claiming an absolute. When people say, “I don’t feel like it’s my right to tell someone if they’re wrong,” what they aren’t saying is that they would, of course, tell someone who said that gender was “absolute” that they are wrong. Perhaps more than any other topic, the truth about your gender is under assault from the culture.
How Culture Defines Gender & Sex
Culture defines gender as different than your sex. According to culture, sex is the biological difference between males and females. In other words, what you’re born as (or with) is your sex. Gender, on the other hand, is defined by Medical News as being different than your sex:
“In general terms, “sex” refers to the biological differences between males and females, such as the genitalia and genetic differences. “Gender” is more difficult to define, but it can refer to the role of a male or female in society, known as a gender role, or an individual’s concept of themselves, or gender identity.
Sometimes, a person’s genetically assigned sex does not line up with their gender identity. These individuals might refer to themselves as transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming.”
As you can see, while sex is scientifically and biologically verified to be 100% genetic — as in, binary and set — modern culture has now chosen to work around that truth. Yes, there are some cases in which a baby is born with both sets of genitalia and parents have to make a decision what sex the baby will be. In some rare cases, chromosome counts vary, but most commonly, women have 46 chromosomes including two X’s and men have 46 including an X and a Y. The Y chromosome is dominant and carries the signal for the embryo to begin growing testes. Both men and women have testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. However, women have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, and men have higher levels of testosterone.
Biology lesson over.
There are major differences between the male and female sexes, but culture wants to make a gender something more fluid. To the culture, gender is about how you feel. A transgender person will describe that they were born a boy but feel more like a woman. For some, they will say that they were born a girl, but they feel like a boy, so they identify as a boy. Based on the cultural norms of today, we are giving people the freedom to do whatever they want to whomever they want and for that to be okay. When this ends at its logical conclusion, you end up with men who identify as 7-year old girls and use the same bathroom as actual little girls, and that man can molest or harm those girls.
What Does God Say?
Sin is sick. The twisted ploys of the Devil will go to any length possible to assault God’s design for His creation. The goal of the kingdom of darkness is to put out the light of God’s plan and purposes. The Devil wants men acting like women, women acting like men, men cowering and abandoning their role, women succumbing to societal pressure, and dangerously broken people who need the gospel identifying as whatever they want to harm others. Think about this: if you can destroy the family you can destroy the epicenter of the Christian life where primary discipleship and training take place. Ultimately, you can destroy the church because we aren’t a building — we are people!
So, let’s lovingly push back against Satanic subterfuge and not roll over in fear. If we are God’s people, then we do things and say things God’s way! Here are some keys on what the Bible says about gender:
1. People don’t rule gender, God does.
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
In the original Hebrew writings nothing fancy is going on here…it’s male and female. There is no deeper meaning or mystery to the translation. God created gender. God establishes gender. Gender is not a feeling, it’s a fact. Gender is not separate from sex. Gender is not a social construct. Gender is what you were created as and that is beautiful as it is!
2. You are God’s masterpiece just the way you are.
In Genesis 1:26, God determines to make man in His image. Being made in “God’s image” means the way you were created is sacred, purposed, and meaningful. You are hand-crafted by God! (Psalm 139:13-18).
Do you think the Devil is going to let people enjoy that without trying to lie to them? Look at what he did to Eve just over a chapter later:
Genesis 3:1-6 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
G.J. Wenham paints a picture of what happens when you assault the image of God whether through gender abuse, abortion, murder, or spiritual assault saying:
When one considers all of this in light of Genesis 1:26-27, or even takes its plain reading in English at face value, there is clearly something extraordinary about mankind. Man’s life is precious, meaningful, and valuable to God. Man is the chief of all created beings, able to possess attributes no other being created by God can possess.
3. Your gender matters when it comes to dating, courting, engaging, and marrying.
This topic is a huge deal because it impacts generations that stem from us. Our children to our children’s children and beyond will experience life in ways that are impacted by how we live. When a generation waivers on gender, sex, and identity to the peril of God’s design, we are setting up future generations for destruction. Christians date, court, marry, reproduce, and raise up families based on a worldview regarding gender. If your worldview is biblical, you’ll end up doing things God’s way and experiencing the blessing of God’s design. When you don’t, you’ll experience the broken cycle that this world is spinning in as we speak.
You can know your identity. It isn’t fluid, it isn’t uncertain, and it isn’t defined by the culture. God has already provided it. Enjoy what He has perfectly called you to be.