by Ricky Chelette, Executive Director
Since the creation of humankind, it has been abundantly evident that there are two forms of people: Male and Female. Men and women are created equal in the sight of God (Gal. 3:28). But, men and women are observably not the same. Somehow, this simple statement brands me as a radical right-winger with homophobic, transphobic, and (because I am a white male) sexists beliefs.
However, to deny this self-evident, observable, biological reality diminishes the revelation of our Creator and eliminates the beauty of our created intent as humans.
It is a beautiful and powerful thing to be a woman. However, in recent confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, Katanji Brown Jackson, when asked to define a “woman,” stated she was not a biologist and could not say. But there must be some fundamental, inherent understanding of what a woman is because her very nomination was predicated on her being a woman and being black. While running for office, President Joe Biden promised that he would nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court.1
Webster’s online dictionary and disctionary.com define a woman “as an adult female person.” Dictionary.com then defines a female as,
“a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman.”
So, even though some cannot define what a woman is, the dictionary offers definitive markers for the person we call a woman.
We might infer that if asked the same question about defining “man,” Judge Jackson might be equally hesitant to answer, although she is married to a man. Webster’s online dictionary defines a man as “an adult male human.” And dictionary.com defines the word “male” as,
“a person bearing an X and Y chromosome pair in the cell nuclei and normally having a penis, scrotum, and testicles, and developing hair on the face at adolescence; a boy or man.”
These definitions are not based on conservative or liberal religious beliefs but on the observable reality that can be scientifically proven. Is either definition complete in describing all that a man or a woman is? Of course not, but it does give us both distinctions of form and function readily observable by everyone.
When we refuse to state one of the most fundamental truths of humanity – we are created as male and female; man and woman – we fail to fully celebrate the beauty, identity, and intentionality inherent in God’s creation of us as humans.
As a created man, I am designed to enter and know the woman (both in the biblical and interpersonal sense) . In doing so, I become known and one with a female who is different than me yet like me. I deposit the seeds of life into the woman that join with her egg(s), and together, we have the potential to bring forth new life into our world.
As a created woman, she is designed to receive the man and know him (both in the biblical and interpersonal sense). In doing so, she becomes known and one with the man who is different than her yet like her. She receives the seeds of life within her body that have the potential to fertilize her egg(s) and bring forth new life into our world.
One sex initiates, the opposite sex receives. Both sexes become one and, in doing so, partner with God in the mysterious potential of creating and nurturing new life.
When we try to change, alter, or even eliminate these created realities, we dishonor the Creator, defame the creation, release chaos in our culture, and assign ourselves as creator rather than creation. Most simply stated, we become god. When each person becomes a god, there is no longer absolute truth. Every individual is accountable only to themselves, and the result is chaos.
We live in a day when such chaos is closer than we realize. We insist on defining ourselves, our identities, and even our pronouns. Though I can create alternative social constructs in which I choose to live, I will not find contentment until I align my life with my Creator’s design and intent. Ps. 16:11 states clearly, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” As a creation of God, I must submit to His design.
I am praying for God to open our eyes so we may see our bodies not as problems to be altered or curses to be cured but as evidence of our Creator’s magnificence. He alone gives form, function, identity, and beauty to each of us to be celebrated and embraced as His beloved image-bearers. The debate to define man and woman will undoubtedly continue, but we are fighting the Creator of all that is. His Truth will prevail eventually, but until then, we must stand firm and celebrate the glory of God revealed in man and woman, male and female. We must embrace the truth that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.”2
2 Psalm 139:14