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In His Image – The Importance of Gender Equality
In Genesis, there is a pattern of God creating and then announcing, “it was good.”
First, He created light and dark, day and night, and it was good (Genesis 1:3-5). Next, He created the land and the sea, and it was good (1:9&10). Then, He created plants, trees, and fruit, and it was good (1:11&12). Then, the sun and the moon, and it was good (1:14-18). Then, the fish and the birds, and it was good (1:20&21). Then, the animals, and it was good (1:24&25). Finally, God created Man, in His own image, and announced, “It Is NOT good for the man to be alone.” (2:18 NIV, emphasis added)
Instead, we are told, “So God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; MALE AND FEMALE He created THEM.”(1:27 NIV, emphasis added) After this, God observed all He had created and saw that “it was VERY good.”(1:31 NIV emphasis added)
Mankind was created to be in the image of God.
An aspect of this truth, which deserves further thought, is that God is triune in nature. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, serve as the ultimate example of perfect, unified relationship; one in nature, yet three in persons. God is, in and of Himself, a never-ending relationship of love, respect, honor, and glory; He is a picture of mutual submission, elevation, and exaltation. He, Himself, is an endless source of relationship for Himself. The implication of this is that man was not, is not, the image of God without woman. Because God is single in nature, yet multiple in persons, to adhere to the image of God, mankind must be the same.
Male and female are to be equally viewed as essential pieces of the image of their Creator. To elevate one above the other is to distort the image of relationship, as modeled by the three persons of God.
We were created to be one in essence.
Man cannot exist without woman, and woman cannot exist without man. Each is but one half of the same being. Male and female are to serve as a reflection of different persons with a single nature, who work together through mutual respect, honor, submission, elevation, and self-giving love. Each is to complement the image of God in the other. Any act that belittles the honor of the other, is a rejection of God’s image, and will only serve to dehumanize both sexes. To reject the equality of man and woman is to reject the fundamental essence of mankind.
The relationship between male and female is central to mankind’s very nature and is, therefore, one of the most important aspects of reality needing to be reconciled. As we take part in the new creation, the Church must be at the forefront of a movement that seeks the equality and empowerment of all, and it must start with the communion of male and female. How can we strive to mend our abusive relationship with the planet, or reconcile our twisted vision of hierarchy and power which oppresses those we deem as less because of class or race, if we first do not seek to reconcile with the other half of our being?
[box_help]Sound Off: Do you struggle to be one in essence with the other sex? Let us know in the comments below.[/box_help]
About Matt WellsMatt Wells is a born-and-raised Floridian, from Lake Worth. He currently lives in Florida with his wife, Heather, their baby daughter, Bella, and their dog, Marley. He is the author of "Fix Me, Love Them: Christianity as it Should Be", and can be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FixMeLoveThem), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FixMeLoveThem). He can also be reached at FixMeLoveThem@gmail.com
Christian Shoddy is Still Shoddy
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- Posted 56 days ago
We Are Not Hoodlums.
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- Posted 58 days ago
Of Hobbits and Angels
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- Posted 67 days ago
Rags to Riches and Back to Rags Again
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- Posted 78 days ago
Are We There Yet?
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- Posted 86 days ago
Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)