Text That Shapes My View of Gender, Identity and Roles

God’s Design According to Genesis

Genesis 1:26 – Man is made in the image of God.  Man is given permission to rule the rest of creation.

Genesis 1:27 – God created male and female.  A distinction is made between 2 kinds.

Genesis 1:28 – God gave them the task of multiplying (that is having children) and to subdue or to rule the rest of creation.

Genesis 1:29 – God gave plants as food.

Genesis 1:31 – God said that all of this creation was good.

Genesis 2:15 – God gave man work – working a garden and caring for it.

Genesis 2:16-17 – God gave a command to the man, to obey it.

Genesis 2:18 – God determined that it is not good for a man to be alone, and he set out to make a helper for him.

Genesis 2:21-24 – God made a woman and made her to be the helper to the man.  The woman was created from a part of the man (his rib), and when they join back together they become like one flesh.

A Broken World – The Consequences of Sin

Genesis 3:16 – Childbirth hurts a lot.  A woman will desire to control her husband, yet he is to rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 – Labor and work as a source for provision will be hard and frustrating. 

Within A Marriage

Ephesians 5:22-24 – A wife is to submit to her husband in the same way that Christians submit to Jesus as Lord. 

Ephesians 5:25-33 – A husband is to love his wife by sacrificing his own life for her.  He should love her like she is himself (reference to the concept of single flesh – woman made from man, then united together again as a single person/flesh in marriage). 

Regarding Value:

Galatians 3:26-28 – No race, gender, or ethnicity is greater or more valuable than another.

Ephesians 2:14 –  The good news of Jesus Christ has the power to break down social barriers.

Proverbs 31:8 – With God’s help, we will listen to our neighbors’ stories and speak out for those who are currently experiencing injustice.

Conclusions I draw from this:

  1. The identity of man and woman was created by and determined by God, not by people.
  2. God gave man work to do – namely caring for the source of food/sustenance (the plants in the garden).
  3. A woman was given to man because it is not good for him to be alone. 
  4. The purpose of the woman was to be a helper to the man.  God is the one who created this role.
  5. A man and a woman come together and are united like a single flesh, or a single person.  This is the image of marriage and unity between 2 people.   
  6. This was God’s design and he is the one who determined that it was good.
  7. The world is broken and there is hurt and pain in it.  Painful consequences became part of the identities of man and woman due to disobedience to God.
  8. Paul writing to an early church located in Ephesus writes that the image of Jesus with his church should be used to draw conclusions about marriage and roles in the marriage.  A man should lay his life down for his wife, as Jesus died for his church.  A wife should submit to and respect her husband as the church does to Jesus.
  9. Nobody is more valuable or greater than another for any reason.
  10. Jesus love for us is bigger than any person’s story.
  11. We should listen to our neighbors, love them and care for them.