“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”Genesis 1:27
On most days, my dear wife makes it a point to share a “verse of the day” with our children. Whichever of our five kids happen to be with her in the car for the morning commute, they will get a quick dosing of truth before she sends them off with hugs and a prayer. The same usually holds true for those riding with me.
But every now and then our family will adopt a verse or passage for a longer period of time, say for a vacation or for a particular season of the year. Nothing helps with our thoughts and attitudes like the Bible, so we try to use it wisely. Like the time we took a cross-country roadtrip with all seven (7) of us in one (1) vehicle, we needed a verse to help us avoid killing each other. We chose this one:
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
In light of swiftly changing ideas about gender and sexuality in our culture these days, it occurs to me that we may need to adopt a particular verse for the entire year.
I want to be both nice and biblical here, but I’m convinced that some pushback is way overdue. A generation of young people needs to hear from some trusted adults who kindly, thoughtfully, and courageously refuse to embrace the hasty experiment that is taking place in our society with identity and sexuality.
We are tragically letting young people down if we fail to uphold the unexpired, biblical perspective on sexuality during these perplexing days. Without judging the motives or intentions of anyone, since when is it loving to acquiesce to something that isn’t true, especially when it has to do with someone’s very identity?
There isn’t a one of us that doesn’t have some personal vulnerability when it comes to the intertwined issues of sexuality and our sense of identity. We’re all broken. The fall leaves all of us exposed and susceptible to the exploitation of the deceiver, especially when it comes to sexuality.
And as he does, the enemy has roundly succeeded in our day in bringing confusion into what would otherwise be clear. But the best and only way to resist the deceiver is to wield the truth. When Jesus was under siege by the devil in the wilderness, He hit back with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). We can and must do the same.
Though it cuts against the grain of pop culture, sexual identity and orientation are treated with objectivity in Scripture, meaning that it’s pretty straightforward. God never intended for us to have the responsibility of determining our own sexuality. He kindly took care of that for us (Psalm 139:13-16). Just like we had nothing to do with our skin, hair, or eye color, so we also were not given a choice over our sexual identity. That was (and still is) the Almighty’s call.
Of course, we all have a unique journey as we explore and discover our God-given identity. For some of us, there have been painful or even abusive experiences to process along the way, leaving us confused about who we are and whether anyone actually loves and accepts us without condition. If we lacked an emotional bond with caregivers in our formative years, research indicates that this will most certainly open the door to disorientation later in life.
So rather than helping prop up false identities, maybe the most loving thing we can do for the disoriented among us is to help orient them to the God who created them, knows them, and loves them beyond comprehension.
But the best and only way to resist the deceiver is to wield the truth. When Jesus was under siege by the devil in the wilderness, He hit back with Scripture. We can and must do the same.
As the intense conversation around these issues continues in our culture, perhaps it would be helpful to adopt a short but enlightening verse as a fixed point of reference. Genesis 1:27 would serve very well in this regard. It says,
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
The brilliance of this verse is that it takes us back to the beginning and clarifies what the deceiver is working overtime these days to confuse. Even Jesus referenced Genesis 1:27 when discussing the controversial hot topics of His day. The reason we’re adopting it as our “Verse of the Year” is because it illuminates three unchanging realities that need to be underscored for our children:
- God is our creator.
- He created us in His own image.
- He created us either male or female.
As simple and obvious as these may appear to be, it is arguable that simple and obvious is just what a generation needs right now.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.