By Janet Thompson, Crosswalk.com
When I married my husband 30 years ago, I had recently rededicated my life to the Lord at a Harvest Crusade. I committed to God to live the rest of my life as a biblical Christian, wife, and mother. My daughter was not a Christian at the time and was appalled that her once independent successful businesswoman mom was now in her words, “Going to be a doormat.” She was skeptical of Dave, who actually is a gentle, kind, godly man, but she feared he was going to dominate me.
It wasn’t until she became a Christian several years later when she and her fiancé accepted Christ in a biblical marriage class that she had an awakening regarding the truth behind biblical gender roles.
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What Do We Get Wrong about Biblical Gender Roles?
Like my daughter, many people have misconceptions about biblical gender roles, and unfortunately, some churches even have them wrong. The attempt by the culture to redefine genders has invaded almost every area of our life. Biblical and biological truths are discarded and dismantled by wokeness.
Gender isn’t defined by what someone thinks or how they choose to act. God’s beautiful design for humanity is two genders, which he calls male and female, or man and woman. He has much to say about how we should live as men and women populating the world. You will not find in the Bible the words “transgender,” “cisgenders,” “binaries,” “gender identity,” “drag queens,” “queer” or any of the other manmade gender categories. Let’s look at what God says about the two biblical gender roles that should guide the thinking and actions of every Christian.
Truth #1 about Biblical Gender Roles: There Are Only Two Genders
As substantiated by biology and the Bible, gender is determined at birth to be male or female by observable genitalia. Yet, today we live in a world where gender identity has become a fluid concept, and at last count, some believe there are 81 genders and growing. Woke culture is on a mission to not only spread that lie, but enforce it in laws attempting to erase the reality of God’s two genders: male and female.
One revealing article touted that yes, we’re born male or female, but you can then learn to be whatever gender you want. Mind and emotional control are at the center of this lie, causing confusion and even bodily mutilation in young children and people of all ages. We know that God is not the God of confusion or ambiguity.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 1 Cor. 14:33
In humans at birth, God designed each cell to contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. Twenty-two pairs look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differs between males and females. Females have two copies of the X chromosome while males have one X and one Y chromosome, thus determining their sex.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Gen. 1:27 ESV
When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”when they were created. Gen. 5:1-2
Truth #2 about Biblical Gender Roles: The Balance of Marriage
God designed men and women to unite as one in marriage with the capability of creating new life. They become helpmates, each spouse using the gifts God has given to them.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.” Gen. 2:18
“Haven’t you read,” he [Jesus] replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male 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’? Matt. 19:4-5
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Gen. 1:28 ESV
God specifically gave women the blessing of carrying and giving birth to babies when that’s possible.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 1 Cor. 11:11-12
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? Job 31:15
The role of the husband is the spiritual leader of the home, protecting and loving his wife while the wife acknowledges his leadership and both husband and wife submit to following Christ.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word. Eph. 5:21-26
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Pet. 3:7
Truth #3 about Biblical Gender Roles: God's Design for Sex
God uniquely and deliberately created man and woman to perfectly fit together sexually. He clearly states that sex is between a heterosexual couple. We must not be afraid to proclaim and live by this truth!
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Rom. 1:26-27 ESV
“‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Lev. 18:22
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this. Deut. 22:5
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality. 1 Cor. 6:9 ESV
The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. 1 Tim. 1:10-11 NLT
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Truth #4 about Biblical Gender Roles: Women Can Serve in the Church
Women shouldn’t be relegated to only serving in the church nursery or kitchen. The Bible has numerous examples of women participating in biblical history, even as partners with Jesus in ministry. In Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith, I discuss women in the Bible who used their God-given gifts, some in leadership roles. I created and led the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry in my church, and it’s still in churches twenty-seven years later because male pastors trusted and commissioned me.
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. Judges 4:4
And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17 ESV
The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng. Ps. 68:11
So Hilkiah and the other men went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. 2 Chr. 34:22 NLT
There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Matt. 27:55 ESV
He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. Acts 21:9 ESV
Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Phil. 4:3 ESV
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Rom 16:1
Truth #5 about Biblical Gender Roles: Parent as a Team
Parents consist of a father and mother, although there often are single parents for a variety of reasons. When there are two parents, Dad is the head of the family, but both parents work together as a team raising the family.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—so it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth. Eph. 6:1
Fathers] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:2
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Pr. 31:27-29 NLT
Sexual and Gender Distortion in the World
Often we’ll hear that the Bible doesn’t speak to gender or sexual issues, but that’s misinformation. Christians must address the gender crisis today, speaking the truth with clarity and authority from God’s perspective as stated in the Word of God, the Bible. Silence in the face of Satan’s lies conveys condoning and apathy to the many who will face eternity separated from God. We could make a difference in a life by sharing God’s truth.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6:9-10 ESV
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is. 5:20
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. Rom 2:4-10 NLT
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