Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV)
So God made a man. Now that word “man” is the Hebrew word ‘adam’ which simply means human, earthling, one who comes from the ground. It does not denote sexuality. It is gender neutral.
In verse 27 it repeats that God created ‘adam’ (human, earthling) in His own image and then the verse adds “in the image of God He created them male and female.” Now these two words are the hebrew words that denote sexuality – male and female, man and woman.
What’s important here is to see the connection between our sexuality and God’s image – they are tied together. Animals have sexuality – they are both male and female – but we don’t get our sexual ethics from them (thank goodness). Rather there is something else happening with humanity – a sexual ethic that comes from God’s image.
As a result, we humans, male and female, can efface the image of God based on our sexual preference. That’s why Paul speaks so strongly against sexual immorality. It’s not because he’s disgusted by it, but rather he understands the deep connection God built into our sexuality as image bearers of Himself.
Also verse 27 points to a normativeness that God instituted at the very beginning. One could say that the fullness of God’s image is seen in the uniting of male and female together. Later I will answer the question, “then why are some born with homosexual tendencies?” But first let’s look at more of the creation story.
Genesis 2:18-24 (see below for full scripture).
It’s saying that it was not good for ‘adam’ (the earthling) to be alone, so God made a helper which is translated “counterpart or complement.” What’s important here is that God did not make another of the same kind but one that was sexually distinct. Matter of fact when God creates the woman, the earthling (Adam) starts referring to himself as “male”. Up to that point he is referred simply as the earthling.
Now this “joining” is extremely important as well. It means “to be attached to, to be stuck to (not “stuck with”), to be united.” This same word is used in other places in the Bible to refer to “being glued together” and literally “becoming one single flesh.”
There is this powerful “completeness” that comes when a male and a female are united together in one flesh. As mentioned earlier, it is the fullness of the image of God seen through our sexuality. Jerry Macguire was more right than he knew: we do “complete each other.”
To add emphasis to this, Jesus quoted these passages when he said: “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9 NKJV)
So all this describes a normativeness that God initiated from the very beginning, before sin entered the world. God’s best for humanity is that male and female would come together, literally and physically, and bear the image of God together in unity.
What about those who are now born with homosexual tendencies? Many Christians are holding to the fact that people aren’t born this way, but through circumstances, upbringing, abuse, etc young people are “forced” to become homosexuals. But we don’t have to stand on that shaky ground. The Bible clearly shows us that ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God that “sin entered the world.” We are now all born into sin. We all have an orientation, a “tendency” away from God’s best. For some that shows itself in same-sex attraction. It’s not some special “sin” that deserves more recognition nor a stronger oppositional stance.
We all need love and grace. We all need forgiveness. We all need to rediscover our God-created best. We all need a community where we can talk openly about our struggles, our confusion, and our uncertainties. Let’s be that kind of community because Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, to heal the brokenhearted, to bind up wounds. Let’s be Jesus right we where are.
Action: How can you show love this week to those who don’t share or live your values?
And the Lord God said, “ It is not good that man (‘adam’) should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam (‘earthling’) to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam (‘earthling’) called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam (‘earthling’) gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam (‘earthling’) there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam (‘earthling’), and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man (‘adam-earthling’) He made into a woman (‘female’), and He brought her to the man (‘adam’). And Adam (‘earthling’) said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman (‘female’), Because she was taken out of Man (‘male’).” Therefore a man (‘male’) shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife (‘female’), and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18-24 NKJV)