"So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them;
male and female created He them."
Male and female, we both are created equally and uniquely in God’s image. As a woman there are unique ways in which I represent God that a male does not. As men, there are unique ways that they represent God that women cannot. Men are amazing at portraying God as strong, a protector, a provider, and a father. Women uniquely portray Him as nurturer, gentle, tender, and relational. Not that either gender cannot represent God in ways that are typical of the other sex, but it is wonderful to see God’s unique design for the genders. I likely will address this more in the future, but want to talk about another aspect of our unique design that can and has gotten many of us into trouble.
Men, as creatures made in God’s image, love and are drawn to beauty. God loves beauty, and so do men. Women, as creatures made in God’s image, are beautiful. God is described as beautiful throughout the Word, and women reflect that beauty.
What an incredible design our God has made. Men appreciate beauty, and women are beautiful and love to be beautiful. This aspect of creation has been the basis of some of the most awe inspiring romances that make all of our hearts flip flop. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Man in his strength, goes after the beauty that is woman. Seriously, what a glorious and brilliant design this Mastermind of a God came up with.
As most of us know, where God has a plan, the enemy has another plan set up. He has had a plan in the area of our sexuality for as long as man has been alive. Every aspect of our sexuality that is positive he in some way uses against us. In our generation, one of the biggest ways in which he does this is through pornography. He has taken women’s legitimate God given characteristic of beauty and has used it to lure in man with his God given love for beauty.
Women who willingly are placing themselves in pornography are not doing so because they are perverts. The enemy has lied to them about the way to display their beauty. Men who look at pornography are not doing so because they are pigs as many people proclaim. They are doing so because they have an appreciation for beauty, but the enemy has lied to them about where to find that beauty. When we settle for pornography, we settle for a lie.
Obviously, we are sexual beings so there are many aspects that go into our porn use. However, one way we can begin to defeat this is by renewing our minds and understanding who we were created to be. For a man, to view pornography goes against the very image of God as protector. Men are to protect a woman’s beauty, not exploit it. As women, the fullness of our beauty is to be veiled for the man who is willing to fight for and protect it. Let’s ask God to help us see ourselves as we truly are, made in His image. Let’s not settle for the enemy’s counterfeits of that image. We must settle for nothing less than the design by which we were made. Anything less will leave us empty.
I’ve seen and heard them, and I’m sure you have too. I’m referring to all of the Bruce Jenner jokes. It’s sad to me that the same world that promotes gay and transgender rights laughs at those who struggle with such issues. What’s far more grievous to me though is that I’ve seen some of my brothers and sisters in Christ laugh at and tell these jokes. I will not attempt to paint myself as totally innocent here, for I too have been tempted to snicker at some of the things I’ve seen on Facebook. The real question though is does God think this matter is funny? I somehow can’t see the Lord standing in heaven looking down at Bruce Jenner and rolling in laughter as He calls Gabriel over saying, “Hey, Gabe, would you look at this. What a freak!” What is happening here is the enemy is duping our society. We are made in the image of God, male and female. So if the enemy can get us confused about the genders, he can get us confused about Who God is. That’s his plan of attack in this hour: Distort the created image of God to mankind, and God Himself will be distorted to mankind. I’d say he has been pretty successful in his efforts, wouldn’t you? Just as the creation’s identity has become a blur, so has the Creator’s.
Although all of this deeply troubles me, there is something that weighs on my heart much heavier. As a whole, the church finds it easier to judge the identity crisis going on outside of its walls than the one going on inside of its walls. “What identity crisis?” you may be asking. Well, just the fact that we are mocking others who are deeply broken in itself points to us not understanding who we are. Our gossip, low self-esteem, addictions, anxieties, depression, people pleasing, self-righteousness, self-reliance, denial, sexual sins, prayerlessness, and a host of other things all point to our own identity crisis. And, if you’re saying “Well, I’m glad I don’t suffer from not knowing exactly who I am in Christ” I’d like to congratulate you ~ you get first prize for being confused. In claiming that we know exactly who we are in Him, we are proclaiming our ignorance. Learning who we are in Him is a process we will be going through until the day the Lord takes us home. Who are we exactly? We are His beloved sons and daughters. What does that mean exactly? I’m not fully sure, but I’ve found out somewhat as I’ve pondered His Word and spent time in His presence. By God’s grace I plan to spend the rest of my journey on earth finding out exactly who I am to Him and in Him. The real way the Church can be the Church is by fighting the identity crisis within, not mocking the one without. Let’s make every attempt to ask God to help us understand who we are in Him. The more we walk in our true identity, the more we will be able to help others walk in theirs.
Kimberly ~ Counselor, speaker, teacher, author and most importantly broken but beloved daughter of Jesus.