Pastor Keith Williams,
High Prairie Bethel Baptist Church
I came across an article titled The Gospel and The Gender Wars. This article is six years old now and I can’t help think how things have gotten worse since its publication.
Lewis Grizzard, the famous Atlanta newspaper columnist, wrote frequently of his ill-fated marriages, divorces, and remarriages. Eventually, he said he was going to give up on marriage altogether, that there wouldn’t be another Mrs. Grizzard.
“I’m just going to find a woman who hates me and buy her a house.”
Grizzard’s lament elicited laughter, despite the obvious tragedy of his relational life, because it rang true to a North American culture increasingly rife with gender wars.
The divorce culture around us is the most obvious sign of men and women in conflict with one another. Marriages are ripped apart and the custody of children fought over in law courts in virtually every major city on the planet.
Even beyond that, many reverberations of the sexual revolution are built on self-protecting mechanisms for men and women who, at best, don’t trust one another and, at worst, want to exploit one another. Divorce courts and abortion clinics, porn sites and chick-flicks – these all reveal men and women who, far from merging into some sort of unisex utopia, find it impossible to give themselves fully to the other.
The Biblical notion of certain creational distinctions of what it means to be a man or a woman isn’t really about “who’s in charge” and it certainly isn’t about “who’s the best”.
King Jesus dismisses such categories, though common in our commercial, corporate and athletic spheres, in favour of a newer sense of servant-dominion in His kingdom.
The chief analogy used for the male/female relationship, specifically in terms of the marital one – flesh union – is that of head and body. This is because, the Bible maintains, we are not genderless persons who happen to have been placed in arbitrary male and female bodies. Sexual differentiation isn’t simply a matter of genital architecture. From the very beginning, Scripture teaches people are created male and female”. [Genesis 1:27 and Mark 10:6]
The mystery of the Gospel explains to us why it is that Adam wasn’t designed to subdivide like an amoeba, why he needed someone like him and yet different from him, why he was to join himself to her in an organic union. It’s because the head/body union of a man and a woman is itself an illustration, one that points to something older and more beautiful: the union of Christ and His Church in the Gospel.
A man, then is to lead his family. But this is not some sort of tyranny. A man’s leadership is modeled after Christ’s leadership of His church. He leads by discerning the best interests of his family and pouring himself out for them. This leadership is self-sacrificial.
The church continually works to reclaim a Biblical concept of the family. We call men to prepare themselves to be other-directed husbands. We call on women to find their beauty not in cultural stereotypes of a woman’s value but in God’s delight.
Such will look increasingly and, oddly, peaceful to a culture conditioned to gender wars. In the end, it’s not about being better men and women. It’s about a clear proclamation of the mystery of Christ and His church. They’re not in tension with one another, in competition with one another, mistrusting one another. They’re head and body – one flesh.
We live in a me, my and mine culture where I am the most important person. It’s all about me. It’s no wonder our marriages struggle and fail, if Christ is first in our lives everything else starts to make sense.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Next week: Victory Life Church Pastor Luc Portelance.