06 Aug THE PURPOSE OF GOD CREATING MAN & WOMEN – SEXUALITY
Why did God create man and woman? Why didn’t God keep two men or two women in the Garden of Eden?
God by His sovereign wisdom and glorious plan created everything beautiful. God created man in the image and likeness of God. Creating human beings as male and female also is glorious thing. The Psalmist wrote, “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). With this honor, God blessed him and gave him the responsibility of ruling and having dominion on every living creature on earth (Gen.1:26-28). With this command, God expected man to be fruitful and increase in number. To maintain this high calling & responsibility, God provided him a suitable help – mate and a lifelong companion – wife. In providing help – mate & lifelong companion, God added a very important & powerful dimension of sexuality to build intimate relationship between husband & wife. At the same time they are expected to maintain their individuality as a true man & true woman and live in healthy relationships with others in society. Let us understand what the meaning of ‘sexuality’ is and how God intended it to be used in relationships.
What is sexuality?
“Sexuality is our ability to love and to be loved” (Roy & Jan Stafford’s, ANCC, UK). Unlike other living creatures, human beings are moral, social, and intellectual beings. God’s intention for human beings is that they may live in healthily relationships with a healthy sexuality “To love others and be loved by others”. It is the reflection of the love relationships from the family of the Triune God – a divine and agape love – sacrificial love to be shared in human relationships.
“Sexuality” has two aspects (Roy & Jan Stafford, ANCC, UK)
This is the biological and physical aspect of our sexuality expressed through touch and sexual union. This is ordained by God in a married relationship and not allowed outside the marriage. God`s purpose of marriage is that “… a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen2:24). This is a lifelong and permanent relationship. This is a “holy and sacred relationship” (Heb. 13: 4). In this relationship, there is safety, security, sharing, bearing, enjoying, providing, and protection between the couple in a family life. This is a lifelong binding relationship with commitment to each other. This relationship leads to receiving God’s blessings through children which is the chain of link to the coming generations to fulfill God’s plan for the glory of God.
This relationship is never intended between man to man nor woman to woman which is against God’s will and plan (Rom 1:26-27). Same sex relationship is unnatural, unacceptable, wicked and leads to punishment (1 Cor 6:9). The purity of sex, sexual relationships, and the sanctity of sex is clearly given in Leviticus 18. Sadly, some counties have legalized same sex marriage which is against God’s plan and will.
Affective and Social
This is ‘our ability to love and care for people and develop quality relationships in the society’. This relationship starts within the family, with the extended family members (Eph. 5:21–6:4) with the Church members (Eph. 4:1–6, Phil 2:1–4, Col 3:12–17) and extended to every level of life in our society- neighborhood, work place, market place, etc., (Rom 12: 9–13:7). Here too God intends agape love or sacrificial love. This is in line with the commandment of the Lord “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12: 31).
Value of Sexuality
Richard Foster wrote “Our human sexuality, our maleness and femaleness, is not just an accidental arrangement of the human species … a convenient way to keep the human race going. No, it is at the center of our true humanity. We exist as male and female in relationships. Our sexuality, our capacity to love and to be loved, is intimately related to our image of God. What a high view of human sexuality.”! (Money, Sex, Power)
“Our Sexuality is our ability to show love, warmth, tenderness and affection in a genuine Christ – like manner. It is a gift from God therefore to be seen as a valuable treasure.” (Yoder)
“The goal of sexual development is not orgasm but the capacity to love” (Donald Goergan, The Sexual Celibate)
The above statements by experienced godly leaders help us understand that our sexuality is the reflection of the image of God. As a true man and a true woman, we are expected to love and to be loved in human relations in a healthy way – in the family, in the Church, and in the society. As Christ lived, loved, and served people with divine love, we too are also expected to maintain the same love, tenderness, warmth, and affection in our relationships.
Sexuality Fully Alive
Irenaeus wrote in the 2nd century, he said that, “The Glory of God is a human being who is fully alive.”
Relatedness: Our sexuality created by God as a space ‘for other’ in us, drawing us into relationships with God and others – men and women. Because of this, every one longs for relationships. The ‘space’ that God created in every one longs to be filled with God and with fellow human beings. If we do not have relationship with God and with others we will be restless until this need is met. The order of relationships is God first and next fellow human beings.
Complimentary: As men and women we are:
Equal before God: Gal 3: 28 – “ . . . Male or female, for you are all one in Christ.” Both male and female are equal before God. Therefore, we are interdependent.
Interdependent – Eph. 5: 21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Both men and women are expected to submit to one another and depend upon each other for an orderly and healthy relationship.
Different: Men and women are different with their own strengths and needs.
Therefore, we are Complimentary – Gen. 2: 21b – 24. The man said “This is now the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” In this context a husband complements, appreciates, affirms, and accepts his wife and they become as one flesh.
Physical: Valuing our physical bodies as a husband and wife and caring for one another (Song of Songs: 4:1–7 “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful ….” In this healthy relationship a wife will be like a fruitful vine by being safe and secure in the house of her beloved husband. Psalms 128: 3 “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house . . . ”
God centered life and sexuality:
The first two chapters of Genesis open the glorious picture of God the creator. God
s unlimited knowledge and mighty power, is seen in the wonderful creation, its purpose and its orderly function. In that wonderful creation, God did not treat man as one of the living creatures in the world. God gave him a special place as the ‘crown of His creation (Psa. 8:5).’ With such a great plan and purpose, God created man in His own image and likeness. Unlike other living creatures, man is created with a personality which reflects Gods image & likeness. In this personality God gave the following important abilities:
Rational ability to reason and understand God
Spiritual ability to love, trust, and relate with God
Will power to exercise individuality and the freedom to choose
With these abilities, man and woman are capable of knowing, obeying, and relating with God and fulfill God
s purpose in their life and responsibilities. John Stott wrote in The Contemporary Christian, “…that our humanness lies, in our God given capacities to think, to choose, to create, to love and to worship.” Therefore, God gave man such a high place with authority to rule and subdue the given world for his blessing and prosperity (Gen 1: 26 – 28). At the same time God gave him a command to obey and enjoy God’s glorious relationship (Gen 2: 16 – 17). Another important facility, God established for man was the family through which they can maintain a holy life and family relationships as a “one flesh and one unit” (Gen.2:24) which is the basis for social relationships. As a family - husband and wife, they were to enjoy the love, trust and harmonious relationship with God (Gen.3:8-9) and intimacy. Joyful and a love filled relationship between themselves (Gen.2:23-24). It was a life living in the glorious presence and relationship with God. In this life, God and His word were the center and man was only obeying and enjoying the blessings of God. Satans Misguidance – Fallen sexuality:
In the glorious fellowship and relationship with God, the couple was living in the safety and security under God. With all goodness and capabilities, man has certain inherent evil within humanness – John Stott quotes in his book, the following taught by the Lord Jesus:
The universal nature of human evil
The self centered nature of human evil
The inward origin of human evil.
The defiling effect of human evil
If we do not live within God given boundaries and standard of God’s word, our humanness may be used by Satan to fall into temptation. The same thing happened in this first family. In their happy life and relationship, an uninvited, unexpected, and unwanted guest- Satan entered. Satan misguided Eve by telling lies against God and His command. The woman was tempted, deceived, and was made to eat the forbidden fruit. She also gave it to her husband, Adam who took the fruit without questioning and ate it.
By eating this forbidden fruit, they doubted God and were rebellious against God. They were disobedient to God and have transgressed God
s command. They broke their love, trust, and harmonious relationship with God. As a result:- Their spiritual eyes were closed and carnal eyes opened They realized that they were naked and ashamed of themselves They tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves They lost the glorious presence and fellowship of God Satan blinded their minds and hearts This caused an imaginable damage to them and to the coming generations. Above all God’s expectations for man’s blessing were ruined. The humanness of man was captured by Satan and sin to ruin the generations of the world. Man centered life and fallen sexuality:- Because of their fall and sin, Adam & Eve lost the safety, security, and the glorious fellowship of God. Their family oneness and relationships were affected. It also affected the whole world and all people. “…from one man, sin entered to all (Rom.5:12).” “All have sinned and came short of the glory of God (Rom3:23).” We can also find the description of sinful life of people in the world in Rom.3:10-18. Because of this sin problem, People in the world becoming more and more wicked, ungodly and corrupted. Wesly Dewel wrote in his book, ‘Touch the world with prayer’ “Sin is increasing in the world and people are losing God consciousness.” Men are misbehaving with women like animals - trying to fulfill their sexual and fleshly desires. We get news of sexual abuse through the media about gang rapes of innocent women, school teachers sexually abusing minor girl students, a father abusing his young daughter, a brother abusing his sister, a wife killing her husband with the help of her lover, a man killing his wife etc. Married men and women misbehave with their spouses due to their erotic love & selfishness. Secularism, Humanism, Materialism and Hedonism are the culmination of the New Age which is ruling the people of the 21st century. Money has become god to people and man is in the center of life. The influence of Media, Internet, Facebook, latest gadgets have made it easy for becoming more sinful and corrupted sexually. Against the plan of God’s nature, men with men and women with women are having sexual union. People are not ashamed of their sexual misbehavior. Homosexuals and lesbians are increasing and they are given the right to live as they like. Their marriages are approved by some countries. There is so much sexual perversion which has brought Gods curse upon people with HIV/AIDS, an incurable disease. This sad situation reveals the fallen sexuality.
Redeemed sexuality: –
God clothing Adam and Eve:
Even though God punished Adam and Eve because of their sin, at the same time God made a provision to cover their nakedness. “The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife and He clothed them” (Gen.2:21) God did not want them to live with shame and guilt in their family life. God covered their shame and enabled them to be guilt free and confident of their sexuality. In this action of God, we can understand God
s covenant love for the dignity and redemption for mankind. Dietriech Banhoeff said “That means He accepts men as those who are fallen. He does not compromise them in their nakedness before each other, but He Himself covers them. Gods activity keeps peace with man.” This is a shadow of the redeeming activity which will be happening through the work of Christ in the cross later.
s covenant love & sexuality: Gods unconditional and convent love can be seen in the context of prophecy through prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and others, Especially in the book of Hosea, we find God saying “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is love by another and is by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loved the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred rising cakes.” (Hosea.3:1) In this we can see the Covenant and unconditional love and sacrifice that is expressed by God. In the same way, God is expecting His people to maintain the same unconditional love in our sexuality and family life. This clear and deep meaning of this unconditional love can be seen in the New Testament in the light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
Jesus and sexuality:
Jesus Christ is the model for true sexuality and wholesomeness. Josh McDowell wrote in his book
His Image My Image’ that “The truly healthy personality is Jesus Christ. His personality was untouched by sin, so in Him there is the perfect picture of a truly healthy person. The New Testament presents Jesus Christ as a model of our Christian growth.” Therefore, Jesus Christ became a hope and redemption for a healthy personality and healthy sexuality. Just like Adam and Eve Jesus were tempted by Satan. He did not yield to Satan’s temptation but He got victory by using God’s word. (Mathew 4: 1 – 4) Unlike other teachers of the Law Jesus never suffered from His unhealthy personality. In fact, He helped many who suffered. When He was in His mission He met people like the Samaritan woman (John 4) who were tempted and suffered with their unhealthy sexuality and helped them to transform into a healthy personality & sexuality. When some Pharisees asked Jesus about the issue of divorce, Jesus replied “That at the beginning the creator made themmale and female,’ and said, ` for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh,’ So they are no longer two but one . Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mathew 19: 4 – 6) This is related with Genesis 2: 24 and Jesus added two things:
About their creation as male and female.
About permanence of marriage and man separate the couple from marriage bond.
Apostle Paul & sexuality
Later the Apostle Paul quotes the same in Eph 5: 31 when he was giving the teaching on family relationships.
Through His death and resurrection Jesus provided total salvation and redemption. So all those who accept the Lord are a new creation and old has gone and the new has come. (2Cor 5: 17) The Spirit of God helps new perspective of seeing oneself and others.
May God enable each of is students, single graduates, and married graduates to realize and understand the purpose of God creating men and women and stand up for the truth regarding sexuality in our colleges, workplaces, homes, and churches.
Mr. M. Krishnaiah, former State Secretary of UESI – AP and now UESI Field Partner is the founder of Partnership India, living in Hyderabad with his wife Lois.