Interpreting Shapes


Before all time, God hovered over the abyss, brooding.

We don’t know for how long. In a world of time, it may have been eons. Like an artist before a blank canvas, with eyes closed, breathing deeply, imagining every detail before even dipping his brush.

And then he begins.

For five and a half days, God’s creation takes shape.  Then, day six, the creation of man and woman.

There are two ways to interpret day six:

The first is that God made man and woman with great intentionality—every part meaningful, every part wondrous, every part a full story in itself. Every part revealing something of God and his love. In this interpretation, joy fills him as he turns to their center and with all the care of the master, gives them something of himself—the capacity to create. As he steps back, he smiles, knowing it is a gift for them together—face to face, chest to chest, body to body, body in body, joy will fill them. And then . . . new life! As they are to him, so the new life will be to them—bearing their image, extending their love.

The second interpretation also maintains that God made them with intentionality, but this time the emphasis is on functionality. Every part working, like cogs or equipment or systems. In this interpretation, man and woman’s capacity to produce children is a necessity to perpetuate the species. And sexual pleasure, if it has a function, is the motivation to do so.

Both interpretations have consequences.

The one you choose will shape how you view men, women, and their bodies. It will shape how you feel about your own. It will shape how you view sex, sexual pleasure, pregnancy, and children. It will shape how you view the one who created you.

And collectively, the interpretation we choose will shape . . . well, everything.

You choose.

Question: What consequences do you see arising from each interpretation? And what about this idea: Can both be true?


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  • The first resonates the most with me. Although the truth of the scenario depends on God being the center of Man and Woman. We must also remember that we are but stewards and God is the true author of life (Job 10:12 among others). We share in the creative process in many ways (especially by babies), but God gives, sustains, and takes life.

    The second, while also true in a sense has one problem: necessity. Something I love so deeply about the creation is what did God create that He needed? Nothing. It’s our joy and gift to obey in functionality, namely being fruitful and multiplying (Gensis 9:7), but doing so to His glory out of his abounding love.

  • Hi Josh, I think that both parts of your commentary are true. God created us to bear His image and to worship Him, to choose to be His people when we are won to Him through His Spirit. We are also called to pro-create, for those couples who are physically able. These children are also a blessing to us and the Lord.
    Yes, sexual pleasure is often the impetus for pro-creation, but, what about the expression of sexual pleasure after, or when conception is no longer possible? There are also situations where people are unable or chose not to conceive because of physical, financial or age-related reasons. Are these people, and those who are celibate, etc., supposed to surrender their desire for physical intimacy because they are unable, or chose not to pro-create? Your question opens the door to many others I am curious about? Did God only intend sexual pleasure for the purpose of a man and a woman to pro-create? Are there other reasons, etc.?

  • I think God gave man and woman the gift of sexual pleasure to enable the two to become one — as He intended when two people marry. I think sexual pleasure draws the two together. And this is part of the mystery, the two do become one in more ways than physically. This, to me, is why casual sex is not only unfulfilling but dangerous. We do become one spiritually, emotionally, physically; and in doing so our relationship becomes so important that love grows.In casual sex, however, or sex with multiple partners, we become demeaned and the love that was meant to grow is snuffed out. A painful process indeed.

By Josh Glaser

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