God Made Them Male and Female
THE SECOND PILLAR IN THE HOUSE THAT WISDOM BUILT
“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” -Matthew 19:4-5
What an interesting way to introduce the subject of marriage and divorce. The Pharisees had come to Jesus tempting Him, trying to trip Him up using the controversial subject of divorce: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matthew 19:3). Jesus responded by asking these religious scholars if they had ever read the story of Creation. Jesus then explained the main reason for marriage: “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female.”
This teaching of Jesus is current. In addressing the issue of marriage and divorce He also addressed one of the main issues of our day-that of same-sex marriages. Jesus saw marriage only as the union of a male
with a female. Men and women are so different that all couples have to work and adapt to each other in order to make marriage work. The differences make the union of a man and a woman interesting and exciting. The fact that we are not the same is a source of joy. It is also the source of many problems and misunderstandings. To have a successful marriage a couple must recognize, accept, and celebrate the differences. Becoming one physically, emotionally, and spiritually comes only with time and as a couple lovingly live together through good times and bad times.
I remember being in the airplane with Bennie DeMerchant flying over the junction of the Amazon
and Niger rivers. The Amazon is light brown and the Niger is almost black. Their waters flow together for
many miles, one side brown and the other black. After swirling and mixing for many miles they become one color, Thus it is in marriage.
Male and female distinctives have been under attack for the last seventy years, beginning in World War II with the men on the front lines and the women in the armament factories. Women began to do the work reserved for men and dressed in men’s apparel. After the war the economy was good and women were encouraged to continue working outside the home. Both husband and wife were now working, with the children alone much of the time. The role of women as homemakers was devalued. The idea of “liberated” women was born. In the late 1960s Betty Friedan wrote a book titled, The Feminine Mystique that launched the feminist movement. Her goal was to liberate women from what she termed “a comfortable concentration camp.” The movement did not stop with the promotion of the role of women in all aspects of our society, or even equal pay for equal work; feminists went on the attack with the goal of destroying the family and marriage.
In order to elevate the role of women, the feminist movement attacked the historical role of men and the
importance of fatherhood. They also attacked the foundation of the family-the Bible. Vie Bilson, in an article titled, “The Impact of Feminism on the Family” quoted Jill Johnson in Lesbian Nation: “The fiction of father-hood is the giant religion called Christianity.” Some in the movement claim that men are not needed by women any more and referred to men as merely “sperm donors.”
The feminist movement has affected all of our lives. Unisex clothing and hairstyles began to appear. The practice of girls wearing jeans and t-shirts is almost universally accepted. With short hair on girls and long hair on boys, it is hard to now tell them apart. Men now wear earrings, jewelry formerly reserved for women. Now both sexes have them attached all over their bodies.
Seemingly, all barriers between the sexes have been removed. Transvestitism (cross-dressing) is now
accepted by our liberal society. Homosexually has always been with us but now it is rampant, celebrated and flaunted by the media idols. Same-sex marriage is being pushed and is now accepted in a number of states. Children are growing up without a father, many with gender-identity confusion. Women are “free” but less happy. At the very time that feminists and liberals were claiming there are no real differences between men and women.
We are different in every cell of our bodies. Humans have twenty-three pairs of chromosomes within each cell. The last pair determines sex differences. On this pair females have two similar chromosomes called X chromosomes. Males have only one X chromosome and one small one referred to as a Y chromosome. Even before birth sex hormones, testosterone, and estrogen are poured out determining our differences for life. From birth there are innate differences in the way we learn, our tendency toward agression, our play habits, and our values. These differences continue into adulthood and affect our marriages and our families. Feminists attribute these to socialization by a male-dominated society.
John Gray wrote the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. This humorous book has
helped millions to understand their partner. Another book-highly recommended and more focused on
Christians is His Needs, Her Needs-was written by Willard F. Hardley Jr.
During my seminars I will walk into the audience and approach a man, extend my hand and say, “My
name is David Reynolds, what is yours?” He will tell me, then I turn the group and ask, “What is the next
question I will ask him?” Invariably they say, “What do you do for a living?” This is because men get their feeling of worth from what they do. This does not happen with women. The next question after an introduction for women is. .. How is your family?” Women are are concerned with relationship .
A book that has been most helpful in my marriage seminars is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson
Eggerichs. The book was written to Christian couples and recognizes the many needs and desires unique to both sexes, but focuses on what the author sees as the greatest difference affecting marriage.
Paul said, “Let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). A woman needs a loving and intimate relationship with her husband, while the husband desperately needs respect from his wife and family. If he does not feel
respect from his wife it is hard for him to show love to her. If she, on the other hand, does not feel loved and cherished by her husband it is hard for her to respect him and give herself unconditionally to him.
Peter said, ”Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may
without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (I Peter 3: 1-2). Peter then said, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (I Peter 3:7).
Successful marriages are miracles. Both partners come to marriage from different families with different genetic structures and ethnic backgrounds. They each have their own personality that is affected by the position in the family, personal experiences, and educational opportunities. Add to the mix family customs, food, clothes, and financial stability. No wonder the Word of God warns us not to add to this mix differences in spiritual values. Dr. James Dobson asked Christian men and women what they desired most in their marriages. The men desired first of all a “reasonably” good housekeeper fol-
lowed by a “reasonably” good cook. Then they wanted “an exciting sexual partner.” Christian women wanted a husband who showed kindness and understanding. He should be emotionally romantic and affectionate. Then he had be a good father to her children. A man needs respect for the work he does but more important, he needs respect from his family. God made a man to desire sexual fulfillment and then God gave him a loving companion to fulfill this need within the bounds of marriage. Further, a man desires his home to be a sanctuary from the stress of work and the world, so God gave him a homemaker and a nest builder.
A woman desires an intimate relationship with her husband. She desires companionship and meaningful
conversation with him. A woman desires to be tenderly touched and to experience times of courtship and
romance that results in sexual fulfillment. A wife desires the security of a strong man’s love. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”
(Genesis 1:27). Society uses these differences between male and female as grounds for divorce; Jesus sees them as rea- sons for an exciting marriage. From the beginning it was so .
David Reynolds serves on the Church School Literature Curriculum Committee. He is also the Oregon Sunday School director.