Image Is Everything

Well, the world is changing, and mighty fast:

  • I watched a video today of girls no older than my daughters dropping “F-bombs” to highlight women’s inequality. Watch at your own risk. It’s incredibly ugly, to be honest.
  • A man raised by two lesbians has been repeatedly harassed by a radical gay right’s group for simply sharing his opinion that a child should have both a mother and a father, something legalized same-sex marriage prevents. Even as his wife is giving birth to their child, he is receiving death threats.
  • Not that Sweden is any great shaper of world opinion, but in an effort to not offend anyone, they are popularizing a gender-neutral word in their language so as to blur the lines distinguishing boys and girls. End of the world? No. But it’s part of the goal to eliminate the distinction, so it doesn’t matter; so we can’t tell who’s who or what’s what.

How is this any different than any other day? Two ways: First, they all have to do with children, which is pretty disturbing. Second, they are all gross attacks on the image of God, even if they aren’t intended to be.

What do you mean, you ask?

Well, when I see these things I can’t help but think how important it is to see the beauty, wisdom, and purpose of God for us as human beings that is described in Genesis 1:27:

                  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

The most fundamental truth of who you are is summed up in that one verse. Two foundational thoughts are found in it:

  • You are created in the image of God, which means you have value simply because you are. All of our basic rights as Americans come from this concept.
  • You are either male or female, which means you possess, at your core, a unique expression of the image of God. You carry the image of God either as a man or as a woman.

The essence of who we are is fundamentally male or female. As human beings we find our fulfillment in living out either one of those expressions of God. It is part of our roadmap, our destiny. So much of life is a quest for capturing the essence of our manhood or womanhood.

Both “sides” of the image of God, then, are created equal and have equal value for God’s purposes. As a man, the more like God you become, the more masculine you are. As a woman, the more like God you become, the more feminine you are. Both are wonderful and amazing to behold when we truly find them.

Masculinity and femininity are not ultimately determined by culture, but are achieved when each sex lives out their roles as assigned by God. In the strength of a man we see grace, and in the grace of a woman we see strength.

Do those roles sometimes get confused in either a man or a woman? Yes, sometimes they do. But confusion should not be the reason to create another category, and it should not be the justification for blurring the lines between either men and women or boys and girls.

In light of where things are headed, the truth of Genesis 1:27 will increasingly stand at odds with our culture. But it’s not hard to see how we got here.

When a culture denies God’s existence, it also denies the essence of his expression. What that means is that we know there are men and women but we don’t know why they’re important. We don’t know the fundamental reason why they are the way they are.

That’s why it’s so easy to throw out what humanity has taken for granted for thousands of years: that we are either men or women. Our society has lost its ability to root the idea of male and female in anything transcendent. The distinction is seen only as a relic of the past. So we mock it, insult it, ridicule it, and try to change it. We tell people they can use whatever restroom they choose, and we change language to reflect this new enlightenment.

If we’re ever going to have any clarity in a world with ever-shifting values, we’ve got to let the truth of Genesis 1:27 seep into our souls. I’m challenging each of us to memorize that verse, internalize it, and use it as a compass with which to interpret the times.

Know that the more society drifts from this fundamental concept the more pain, confusion, narcissism, and ugliness it brings upon itself. This is why we see grown women parading their daughters around, celebrating them singing profanity. This is why it makes sense to so many people to rob a child of a mother and a father by affirming same-sex marriage. This is why we wonder why we can’t just erase “he” and “she” and come up with words that make us indistinguishable from one another.

I’m so grateful for the power and clarity of God’s Word. Right out of the gate there is enough to build a culture that can prosper and be a blessing everyone around!

These are my thoughts. I welcome yours.

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