Sons Like Plants, Daughters Like Pillars

Does anybody actually know what biblical manhood or womanhood is?

For those of us who love the Triune God and his image bearers, this question persists. Our culture is raising new and unexpected questions about manhood and womanhood all the time. How can we love those around us as we grapple with this conversation? How can we understand our own selves, right here, right now?

Christians can affirm that sex and gender are good gifts from God, and yet struggle to agree on much after that. We sense that Disney-scrubbed expressive individualism, which would define sex and gender based solely on the slogan “you do you,” falls short, even if it at times appeals to us. But the eager confidence of others who claim to know exactly what biblical manhood and womanhood are also can make us uneasy. Especially when suspect exegesis is fired like bullets at siblings in Christ.

I have nothing against confidence. There are so many things the Lord has told us of which we can be life-sacrificingly sure. For example, we see that the very creation of dimorphous sex was God’s good idea in the first place. But the how of sex in the world, how to not just be male but a man – this is where certainty becomes suspect.

Our evangelical instinct to turn to the scriptures may occasionally turn up surprises for us, however, when it comes to gender. This is exactly what happened to me in Psalm 144.

To read the rest, click over to the Center for Faith, Gender, and Sexuality!