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“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” ~ Genesis 1:27
The first thing that God wants you to understand about sex and sexuality is that it is good. Good-exclamation-point! Nothing but net!
Perhaps that seems counter-intuitive to you. Here is something that is roaming the landscape of your soul like Godzilla, destroying everything in its path. Surely the first step to fighting this thing is to come to see it as the pure evil that it is. Here I am, enticed by something that is corrupt and wicked. I’ve been duped by a wolf wearing Grandma’s clothing (a Grandma in sexy lingerie, no less. Now there’s an image.) To be free, I must come to see the wolf as it is – ugly, awful and abhorrent. Gross – get this thing out of here!
But trust me on this – such thinking will not bring you to freedom. Because such thinking is a lie.
There’s a reason why you want to fire up your computer or phone and start trolling. Because in a few seconds and a few clicks, something will magically appear on your screen that is absolutely one of the most intoxicatingly beautiful things that this earth has to offer. And you want to look, to gaze, to devour, to dive in and surrender yourself to that thing. Even now for some of you, simply reading this paragraph is firing up the machinery. And there’s a reason for this.
Because God created it. (The machinery, that is. Not all that we’ve done with it. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) That humans are sexual creatures is part of God’s good order.
Male and female he created them. And that means everything that goes with being male and female. The body shape. The body parts. The body feel. The body responses. The hormonal pathways. The chemicals that surge through them. The attractions. The emotions. The anticipation. The longing. The plunging. The release. The reward. All of this was conceived, designed, and manufactured by God. All of this was God firing on all cylinders. And when God was finished with his creative work, he stepped back from his artistry and said to himself, “This is very good.”
Keep in mind that all of this is before the Fall. The human race does not ring the dinner bell for sin until Genesis chapter 3. Everything up till then is part of God’s perfect will for creation. The male and female bit, the mother and father bit, the husband and wife bit, the naked and unashamed bit – all of this is God-given and good. If the human race had never rebelled against God, then sex and sexuality would still be part of the tapestry of human life in paradise.
Just step back and think about it – male and female – it’s so brilliant, so incredible, so wild, so weird, it just makes my head spin. The Big Bang did not produce this. Natural selection didn’t make this up. The mysterious oneness of sexual love is God at his best.
The writer of Proverbs 30:18 is also left breathless when he thinks of it. “Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.”
Just think of the way God made our bodies so similar, yet so distinct with their masculine and feminine qualities. The chiseled straightness of male, the soft curve of female. And the way the male and female body fit together on the dance floor, on the ice, embraced in a hug, or embraced in the marriage bed – it’s amazing!
Think of the way male and female voices sound to our ears – so similar, yet so distinct. And when they sing – bass, tenor, alto, soprano – individually so beautiful to hear, but woven together so miraculous. Think of the way male and female emotions play off of each other – so similar, yet so distinct. Just Google “differences between men and women” then get ready to laugh your head off (perhaps as a safety measure you might want to empty your bladder first.) Of course, not every stereotype applies to every person (I love to cook, while my wife comes kicking and screaming into the kitchen) but the point is, they’re true enough.
Humanity made in his image – male and female – is the crown of God’s creation. Never be ashamed of who you are as a man or a woman. Men – masculinity is God’s gift to you, so let it shine. Ladies – femininity is God’s gift to you, so let it flower.
What then should we be ashamed of? Plenty, but let’s not ruin a good moment. Let’s just hang out right here for now and savor something incredible that God has cooked up.
What ideas in this reading did you find helpful or challenging?
What do you find mysterious or mindblowing about “male” and “female”?
Why do you think God divided humanity up this way?
Prayer and Worship
Prayer: At the end of each reading, we encourage you to end in prayer and worship. Even if you are not a practicing Christian right now, these exercises can be profoundly impactful if you attempt them. You may want to vary the order certain days. Some days, pray first, then listen to the song. Other days, listen first, pray last.
For prayer, we suggest this simple format.
Begin by saying, “Father, I thank you for…” and take a moment to give him thanks for lessons or truths you’ve been reminded of in the reading, or for blessings you’re mindful of this day.
Then say, “Father, please help me with…” and take a moment to ask him for his strength and wisdom in facing specific trials and temptations.
Finally, say, “Father, please be with…” and pray for one other person in your life whom you’d like God to touch today.
End your prayer by saying, “In the name of Jesus, who died for my sins, who rose from the dead and who is with me now through the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Additionally, at the end of each reading we will suggest a song for you to listen to or worship with. There are usually multiple versions of a given song available on the web. Find one in a style or from an artist you enjoy. Do not treat this time as optional. Music is one of the most powerful gifts God has given to shape our attitude and emotions.
Today’s Worship Suggestion: “Indescribable” (Jesse Reeves, Laura Story)
This Week’s Memory Verses
(We encourage you to memorize both the verse and the reference, in any version you are comfortable with.)
“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” ~ Proverbs 24:16
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” ~ Job 31:1
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
Hi BLClifton, is this devotional directed toward any specific audience? Christians? Couples? Or anyone?
Good questions. I tried to present the material in such a way that an individual could do it on his or her own, or it could be easily adapted for couples or group discussion. We’ll find out if that’s true or not with this “trial run”. While I hope some non-Christians will read through this, the assumption throughout is that this is a Bible-based, Christ-anchored approach to healing.
Question I am still pondering – why did God make us “separate”? Male AND female? And what would life have been like if he had not made us this way? So many things to consider.
And how do male and female reflect the “image” of God? Talk about mindblowing! I suspect that men and women bear God’s image in ways unique from each other, again making it necessary that we come together, worship together, share together to experience the fullness of God. Yes indeed, so many things to consider! With Paul, I cry out, “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom.11:33)