Section 3: Humanity
Week 3: God Created Us in His Image
Day 3: We Were Created Male and Female
Most of us would agree men and women are different. Unfortunately, we tend to allow those differences to create friction among us. In part, that’s because we tend to elevate certain characteristics that are typically associated with our own gender. We see this, for example, sometimes played out in discussions of what makes a good leader. Many men see emotions as weakness. A good leader, therefore, is strong enough to disregard emotions and make the tough decisions. Many women, on the other hand, emphasize the importance of empathizing with others. As a result, a good leader is able to motivate people because she understands what they are going through.
We may fight and put each other down over our differences, but according to the biblical account those differences are actually an essential part of our reflecting God’s image. That is why Genesis says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). The idea is that, if God had created us only male or only female, we wouldn’t have reflected his image as fully as we do.
In yesterday’s reading, we noted God intentionally gave us the desire and ability to relate to other human beings in such a way that we reflect the unity that arises out of diversity within God himself. Nowhere is that better represented than in the fact that God created us male and female. God could have made men and women exactly the same. But the beauty of our creation is enhanced by the fact that he made us different because together we better represent the unity that exists within God himself.
The potential for unity in the midst of diversity that we see in individual human relationships actually plays itself out in the very nature of the human race. Men cannot fully reflect God on their own. Neither can women. That means, if we want to fulfill our purpose, we need each other. And that is by design.
Are you ever tempted to see either male or female characteristics as superior? If so, why? How does the biblical account of creation challenge that view?
Identify one member of the opposite sex who frustrates you. List at least one character trait they possess that reflects (even faintly) God’s image. Remind yourself that none us can fully reflect God’s image on our own.