Last night Norma Jean and I attended the Florida College Lectures. What a wonderful pleasure to join with brethren from all over the United States in singing, praying and reflecting on God’s word. There was joy in seeing old friends. Of sharing hugs and handshakes. Smiles and tears. And some good memories of by gone days.
The theme this year is “From the Beginning: Recovering the Divine Design for Marriage and Family.” Doy Moyer, a gospel preacher from the Birmingham area, delivered the key note address on the topic “In The Beginning: God’s Created Order for Male and Female.”
In the lecture book Doy wrote, “Biblical understanding of God and the human relationship to Him starts in Genesis.” He pointed us to Genesis 1:26-27 where God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Then the text says, “male and female He created them.”
While men and women are made vastly different, as Doy pointed out, “they share equally in the nature God gives.” We are spiritual beings. Furthermore, “emotions, feelings, along with the ability to love, reason and make moral decisions are all reflective of God.”
Since it was “not good” that man “be alone,” God created a special helper for him. A partner suitable to meet man’s needs. A companion, not a competitor. A woman. And God joined them together to be “one flesh.”
“Grounded in the creation of male and female,” Doy affirmed, “is marriage, and this is also meant to reflect God.” That’s why Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt 19:4-6).
Like the pagan world of old the true nature of God, His creation and His purpose for men and women has been, as Doy put it, “forgotten, avoided, (and) dismissed.” He’s right “The world does not know what it means to be male or female in the truest sense. The lines are blurred, genders are conflated, and, in the process, culture has lost the semblance of true humanity as people act like unreasoning beasts.”
The problem, of course, is apparent. At least to Bible Believers. Thankfully, Doy Moyer provided for us some Biblical answers to address these current issues. (You will have to purchase the lecture book to get the complete explanation. These 17 pages are worth the price of the book.)
Of course, the short answer is, the problem is sin and a disrespect for the revealed Truth of God. In a selfish, pleasure-driven culture, people have refined relationships, love and even God. As Doy observed, “once God and love have been redefined by our own standards, everything else follows.”
The solution to our current mess is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It requires a Biblical understanding of the purpose of creation, the God-given function of men and women and the equality of male and female in Christ. However, as Doy masterfully illustrated “equal does not identical.” Gifts, talents and abilities differ not only between the sexes, but even within them.
To appreciate the value in the function of our respective roles as men and women demands submission to the will of God (Eph. 5:17). And it requires mutual submission (Eph 5:21). It is a loving attitude that seeks to “benefit others, intentionally putting the interests of others over our own.”
As we live in an age where our faith is constantly challenged by culture’s redefinition of marriage and “gender confusion,” let us remain faithful. And may we lovingly respect our mates, role model right relationships and be true to the respective functions God gave both men and women.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman