In the beginning...
God created them male and female. And the two He would then make one flesh. There were no fancy invitations, no expensive reception or annoying relatives. At the first wedding, He gave them to each other for companionship, love, physical pleasure and the heritage of children.
God didn’t do this thing to anger the feminists, but it did. He didn’t do this to antagonize the pansexual activists, but it did. He didn’t do these things to foment a seething hatred toward Him and His Anointed in the hearts and minds of those determined to justify their sin, but that’s what has happened. Such ingratitude must grieve our Father, because all along, the design was meant for our benefit in a multitude of ways.
God made an obvious division of the human race into two halves. Then, he made them want to unite. God made the male to intensely desire the female, one who was not like him, so that there was no way the man could live without her.
Likewise, God designed woman to yearn for this different creature called male, to desire union with him. Yet he would find that he needed to approach her tenderly, which would ground him and civilize his barbarian core. Her smiles and sighs would elicit kindness and dissolve his force. The steel of his nature, softened by love, would in turn mold and shape her desires, bringing a gentleness to her demands. Through the eyes of love, she would admire and depend on his courage, but also perceive the fear buried in his soul, and long to be his safe harbor; he would see her fire and passion, but also the small, vulnerable girl in her, and happily become her shelter from the storm.
God said to the aging man, “You shall desire the breasts of the wife of your youth; in her you shall find pleasure, and not in another,” so that in her old age, and in his old age, long past the time of child-bearing, they would continue to be a fire and light to each other, and to those around them. To their children, grand-children and great grand-children, they would model godly love and order, and form the cornerstone of the human family.
God made those who were so different from one another, who longed for each other so intensely against all vain human inclination toward worship of the self, to complement each other in anatomy, emotions, and skills. He did this as a disincentive to narcissism, to compel those who were opposite to need to get along, to go beyond narrow self-interest in order to form a life together. The man and woman would have to find a way, apart from their passion, to manage their division before they killed one other. They would have to find the food and prepare the food; to make a shelter and tend it; to bear and raise all the children God blessed them with; to curse and make up, to cry and laugh together; to reach out to neighbors and allow neighbors to care for them; to save for and manage a 401K, and decide if, when and how to move to Florida for retirement.
He designed them to be inclined for these greater purposes to bend and give, sometimes willingly, sometimes thanklessly. He designed life to present them challenges and joys, sorrows and thrills, tedium and pleasure, in an ongoing symphony centered often more on their union than the personhood of each, even as the individuality of each was enhanced and extended. Their affiliation would challenge them to make it together without imploding, without expecting and demanding too much or too little.
He designed the male and female, in their search for how to get along, to fervently want and need Him and His Spirit to take every breath with each of them, separately as well as together, every day. He put a God-shaped space in the hearts of each that no substitute would be able to fill.
He made them to love life and want to create it with Him, to craft a future and a heritage through new humans, their children. He made sexual pleasure so stupendous because it sometimes contains and also symbolizes new life, and they were to be reminded of that every time they joined together. He gave them the desire to teach and train, to nurture and love these new little wild creatures, created in ecstasy, in a different way than they would love each other. They would find inexpressible joy in the first giggles and small steps, in the discovery in tiny eyes. God designed a genetic connection to be a reflection back into the faces of these parents, smiles that were their own, yet different. God put into the hearts of the parents a fierce instinct to cherish and protect their babes from the rain, the wind, the terrors of night, the blistering sun, and the neighborhood bully. God would allow parents to see in their children the eternal hope, not only to preserve the human race, but of being better than they themselves could ever be.
God wove an innocence and wonder into these smaller humans that would prick the heart of the mother in a feminine way, and the heart of the father in a masculine way, and that this God-designed duality would become the sun and rain to nourish the child’s soul and mind. Through this, each child would be disciplined against cruelty and instead trained toward kindness, trust and affection for people of the same and the opposite gender. Each would learn to love, trust and sacrifice for others, both male and female, whether siblings, friends, relatives, or, in due time, a spouse.
God crafted the nature of child-bearing so that both male and female are needed for conception and for the opening of the child’s heart. He thought about creating just one androgynous human, the ideal of women’s studies’ professors and queer theorists, the type of human that could in some fashion replicate itself at will without any of the inconveniences of messy marital compromise.
As an infinitely creative and omnipotent Being, God considered this plan, and would have been fully able to carry it out. Yet He rejected it. He rejected it because it would pander to the worst instincts of humans, not the best. It would exaggerate selfishness and swell vanity. It would feed isolation and competition instead of charity and community. Delayed gratification and virtue would waste time better spent pushing to the front of the line. Quick thrills would be the goal of such a human more readily than lasting contentment. Children would be an exhausting annoyance, a distraction from the real business of self-interest.
The androgyne, God knew, would become a law unto itself. In its conceit, it would certainly opt to worship the creature rather than the Creator. In its fantasies, it would either glory in its own worth, or become hopelessly, sometimes murderously covetous of the gifts of others. It would believe the lie of over-valuing its own accomplishments, instead of the truth of putting one’s ultimate value in the Creator. And it would never need a Saviour, because without a spouse, that one who was intimate yet different, one would never be forced to confront one’s shortcomings.
The male/female difference, by contrast, is ideally designed for humans to overcome the worst in themselves, which God saw in their future. He knew what Adam and Eve would do, so designed a way for them to be overcomers. They would have to move beyond narrow interests to find their highest and best qualities. They would not be able to walk away because of the magnetism of their sexual attraction. They would not be able to desert their children because they would keep challenging each other to give and give some more for the sake of these new little ones, created jointly out of their own loins. The design of the natural family would mature them, civilize them, unify them, and point always to their Creator.
And it would extend beyond their family, as their children would form their own unions, male with female, forging a bond between families. Soon many families would be connected by blood or marriage. The relationships would extend to others until a community was formed; from a community would arise a city, then a nation.
Because each person would have learned from infancy to love, trust and appreciate both males and females, each person would securely understand her or his own worth. There would be less chance for loneliness or abuse; if spouses would remain faithful, there would be less sexual sin with all its attendant heartbreak and disease. Every child would be loved by both a mom and dad. Every adult would have that in his/her background. Every community and national leader would, also. Each person and each family would thereby be equipped to be creative, kind, charitable and productive without bitterness, distrust and envy. Each person would have understood from childhood that all of life’s blessings flow from God, the ultimate Father of all, the genesis of all love, human and divine.
With the male and female starts the process of getting away from selfishness, and beginning maturity. It’s a natural point to start the idea of community, with bonds that are difficult to break: those of attraction, blood and mutual creation of new life. While it is not without hazards, and yes, it is sometimes twisted by sinful human desires, the original structure is ideal. It’s a Rolls-Royce of design; even when the windshield is cracked or the fender dented, the basic frame is still magnificent.
It’s a formula for peace in one’s soul, peace at home, peace in our communities and peace on earth.
Any other form-- the sole androgyne, two males, two females, or any random group--completely lacks this dynamic, creative duality. Any form other than male and female misses being the starting point for community, because it can never create new life, nor symbolize and model that creation. Such forms can never be bound to another family because of mutual grandchildren. They can never have the cousins, genuine in-laws, aunts and uncles that create extended families and communities and cities and nations of connected people. They can never as brother or sister talk about how it was growing up with their real mom and real dad.
Of course, there are always unintentional makeshift forms of family, and God directs communities to welcome these. The widowed, the abandoned wife, husband or children, the childless couple. These naturally diverse, unintended variances are God’s reminder of our fragility, our responsibilities and our blessings.
Yet artificial forms, crafted from human impulse, lust and selfishness, are rebellion, and God treats them as such. God calls homosexuality “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) because it purposely distorts God’s brilliant design of the two sexes. Christ affirmed only male/ female marriage (Matthew 19: 4-6 and Mark 10:5-9) to reinforce the timelessness of His purpose for human creation. For those who sin in these ways, God’s mercy is always ready for those who repent and commit to His plan, the one that should have shaped our dreams and goals all along. When we get our ideas right, and God’s truth frames our beliefs, our human feelings and desires, male and female, have way of following.
The form points to the function, and the more we miss that, the more the foundation begins to crumble. Lawlessness replaces peace at home, in the town square, on the battlefield. When people cry out for us to return to God’s plan, it is hardly oppression but the opposite. It’s the freedom to be who we really are, to function as we were really designed, to have a big enough vision to see the beauty and purpose of God’s image, as together, male and female, we reflect His glory.