As you do the work of pursuing sexual integrity, cultural messages keep watering down God’s heart for you as His creation.
So, let’s pause for a deeper sense of what it means to be a man or to be a woman.
Both the mystery and the glory of being man or being woman have been lost in our society. Christ is inviting you to stop and consider the creation story, the very beginning. You and I were created to be image bearers of God.
Have you considered how your body’s sexuality images God?
Let’s start now.
Sexual integrity means trusting that your body is made for God and not for sexual immorality.
If we’re to become people of sexual integrity then we need to become more emotionally whole.
Your body is designed for God. Whatever it feels in the moment of sexual pleasure, you still can always acknowledge that your body is designed first and foremost for God and for His will, not for sexual immorality.
Questions for Reflection:
- How at home do you feel in your biological sex?
- How at home do you feel with others of the same sex – are you self-conscious, comfortable, etc?
- How at home do you feel with people of the opposite sex?
- Are you experiencing joy as a man, as a woman?
If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, Sexual Integrity Is Sexed Integrity
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
Even though Christmas is over, I want to go back to some Christmas lyrics to start us off today. You guys know that the beautiful song Oh, holy night. The lyrics go, oh holy night the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth, Long lay the world in sin and error pining till he appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth. That is such a powerful line. And each time I’ve heard it this last Christmas season, what kept coming to mind for me, was not just that the soul felt its worth. But the body felt its worth, which I think is biblically so sound. Because God, who is spirit became flesh, he became a human person, he became a human being, body, soul, and spirit. And so in his appearing in his physical bodily appearing, our bodies felt their worth. So we’re in a mini series right now, addressing sexual integrity. And if you’re after sexual integrity in 2022, if you are if you love somebody, or walking with somebody who’s who’s pursuing sexual integrity, just starting off by by looking at the idea of sexual integrity through some lenses that are not typically thought of when we’re talking about sexual integrity. Two weeks ago, I talked about sexual integrity means trusting that your body is made for God and not for sexual morality, even though you may feel pleasure in your body. Scriptures clear that that pleasure is not a sign that your body is just lustful, and loves to have sex in ways that God forbids. But rather that your body is designed for God, whatever it feels, in the moment of sexual pleasure, you still can always acknowledge that your body is designed first and foremost for God and for his will, not for sexual immorality. And then last week, I talked about the role of our emotions, and specifically, our desires when it comes to sexual integrity that if we are going to become people of sexual integrity, we actually need to become more emotionally whole. And I read a quote from Jay stringers book unwanted where he astutely talks about integrity, a lack of integrity doesn’t begin when we act out sexually a lack of integrity begins when we cease to care for ourselves as whole people, and then includes when we cease to tend to or neglect to tend to our emotional needs, our relational needs. When we cease to do that, then we are we’re acting in a way that is disintegrated, as opposed to being people of integrity. This week, I want to return to talking about our bodies, but I want to I want to approach it from a different angle. And I want to specifically talk about our bodies as sexed bodies as gendered bodies. Because we’re not just bodies in some kind of generic, a sexual sense. We are bodies, either male or female. This is how God created us. And we see this beginning in Genesis one right at the very beginning. When God creates human beings in His likeness, in His image, the Scripture say that when he did so what’s the identifying the first identifying characteristic of this creature made in God’s image and in God’s likeness, male and female, He created them, male and female, He created them. This is a defining characteristic about how we are image bearers of God, not the God is male or female, not the God is both male and female, that would be a miss that would be reversing the scriptures. God is not made in our image, we are made in His image. So our maleness and femaleness in some way, image God, who is neither male nor female. But the reason this is important for us is because it lends itself to the reality that we are created designed with a sex biological sex either male or female. So today, I just want to make this this claim that to be a person of sexual integrity means in part living at peace with our biological sex, living at peace with our gender. And I mean that in the the older sense of gender, not the newer sense. There’s there are people today who use the word gender and this is will probably be picked up more and more and more to mean Your subjective internal sense of, of your, your sexual self, regardless of your biological sex, but it used to be that biological sex and gender were synonymous and that’s kind of the way I’m using it today. Now you may be listening and thinking, well I’m I am at peace with my maleness or I am at peace with my femaleness, I am at peace with being a man, I am in peace with being a woman. And you may even be thinking, you know, well, because I don’t have gender dysphoria. I’m not dealing with transgenderism. And I suggest to you that that gender dysphoria or transgenderism, if those are issues for you, or for a family member, those are on maybe one one side of a spectrum of living disintegrated from a biological sense, or biological sex. But there are other forms of of disintegration in that regard. So let me just have some questions just kind of get the your wheels turning a little bit. How at home? Do you feel with your biological sex? How at home? Do you feel in your sexed body? Your male or female body? Next question, how at home do you feel with others of the same sex? So if you’re a man, how at home do you feel with other men? If you’re a woman? How at home? Do you feel with other women? When you’re with them? Do you feel self conscious of how you look? Do you feel self conscious about what you know? And how you how you come across? How you present as a man or woman in those settings? How at home do you feel in your in your sex? When you’re with the other gender? So if you’re a man, how at home do you feel? How? How natural Do you feel as a man when you’re with women? If you’re a woman, how, how comfortable and how at home? Are you in your in your sex? When you’re with men? Do you feel comfortable, safe, secure in yourself as you’re relating with people the other sex? How confident do you feel? In your biological sex? How confident do you feel in your manhood? How confident do you feel in your womanhood? And here you might even think of ways and not because I think this is good. But you might even think you know, like, how much of a man are you? How much of a woman are you? If you if you kind of think about that and think well, I’m not, you know, I’m comfortable being a man. But I’m not that much of a man that I’d suggest to get hold on. There’s an issue there. There’s something going on that you’re not at peace with your manhood because I didn’t just say manhood in general said your manhood. How confident are you in your womanhood? You say, Well, I’m a woman, but I’m not as much of a woman as other women. Or you might say I’m not as much of a girly girl as other other women. And I’d say okay, well hold on, then then is it possible that you’re not as at peace with your womanhood, as God would want you to be? Or as God would invite you to be or help you to be? Another question? How much joy Do you experience about the fact that you are a man? How much joy Do you experience about the fact that you are a woman? Is there a sense of of dignity? That kind of you breathe in when you think of yourself as a man, guys? Is there a sense of of dignity like how it is good to be a man? And do you feel you stand up up taller? And what about for you women? When you think of yourself as a woman? Is there something in you kind of stand up taller and feel like it is good to be a woman? I am proud to be a woman in relationship to other women in relationship to men in relationship to children in relationship to the world around you in relationship to God. How comfortable how much joy you experience being either a man or a woman or a woman? There is such a thing. You may be familiar with these terms as misogyny, and misandry. Misogyny is the hatred or devaluing of woman and misandry is the hatred or devaluing of man? So, let me come back to Mrs. Misogyny in just a minute but I want to start with misandry. So the hatred or devaluing of man, and notice I didn’t say hatred or devaluing of men, as in specific, the specific male species on the planet but of man, but both are true. But I want to start by just talking about the hatred or devaluing of man. Because what I mean by that, and the distinction I’m making there is that I’m talking about man as a species man as a creature man as a being man is an entity. In other words, the creature man that God created. There is a an enemy, who prowls about the Earth since day one who has hated not just specific men, but man in general manhood in general, because manhood in its unique way and all of creation, bears the image and likeness of God. If Genesis one is true, then man bears the image of God. And so there can be men who walk the earth, who are detached, disintegrated from their manhood in such a way that the image of God is distorted in them, it’s blurry in them, it’s faint in them. And I’d suggest to you this is what the enemy of, of humanity God’s enemy has been after since day one, he wants to mar to scribble out to blur to diminish the image of God in man and woman. And so the best way to do that is to get men to be dis integrated from their manhood because that’s how they bear God’s image in a unique way, if Genesis one is true, and the same is true for for women. So, for example, in the area of manhood, there are so many men who walk the earth, who have this idea that men are just lustful, that men last is just what they do. That given quote, unquote, the opportunity to lust or given the opportunity to have sex, they will, if they can get away with it, they will. That is a blurred a diminished a scribble out version of what it means to be a man. Because man is actually designed for sexual integrity. A man’s body is just one body, he just has one penis, he just has one mind, he just has one set of eyes. He just has one body. And so if he is going to be sexual, his body testifies that he is designed for just one bride, just one bride. And taking that further, man, have you considered how your body’s sexuality, images God, in that your body produces sperm. And when that sperm connects with a female’s egg, it has the capacity to produce new life. This is miraculous. And I think so many men walk around just thinking of of that as that’s what happens at sexual climax. That’s just the culmination of the sexual pleasure but it’s so much more than that. Your your semen is not just any kind of fluid it has within it. That which produces life when it combines with a woman’s egg. Now, if you’re a single man, it doesn’t matter you still carry with in your body, this same miraculous life giving seed. And that audit really kind of grew us up. It’s so whether married or single, it, it really should give a steam to all of us because of what God has placed within our bodies and how that images are life giving God and this also brings into greater clarity. God’s designed for male and female in marriage. Because whatever a man feels, whatever his felt sexual orientation, his sex to biology, his bodily orientation is for a woman. His body is designed for sexual union with a woman with another man. And so coming back here, you see that there are these many different forms of misandry in our culture that’s blurring the image or that’s blurring God’s image in man. And so men are walking around thinking they’re just designed for last they’re created to you know, have sex with whomever and it can’t wait till marriage or if they are married, they you know, they’re not gonna be faithful to one wife. And if they’re good faithful to one wife, then you know it’s not going to be with their eyes or their minds. And I’d suggest you know that that is actually a form of misandry that is misunderstanding what a man is designed for, and it is a hatred of man of God’s vision, God’s creation for man. Is any of this mean that someone has lost God’s image in them entirely? Or that they are beyond redemption? Absolutely not. Jesus came in the flesh to rescue men in the image of God in man. Are you at peace brothers, with your manhood, not the cultural version of what men are like, but with what it means to be a man likewise, let’s let’s talk about misogyny for a minute. The hatred of woman which originated again with our enemy in the very beginning, because the enemy looks upon woman and does not like what he sees there because woman in a unique way and all the creation bears the image of God in her body. And so the enemy wants to attack Mar, scribble out blurred diminish make faint the image of woman even in with women’s bodies. And so on one end of the spectrum would be women wrestling with transgenderism, who take testosterone or have their to have top surgery where their breasts are removed. And so in that way, medically working against the imprint of God that is in their sexed bodies in their female bodies. Does that mean there’s nothing left of the image of God in them? No, not at all. Doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean they’re beyond redemption. Absolutely not. Jesus is bigger than all of this. But that’s just one end of the spectrum of ways that women have devalued woman, even in their own bodies. Another example would be women who, who look down upon the image of woman in the fact that women are designed woman is designed to be a wife and a mother. That doesn’t mean that every woman is going to be a wife and a mother, every individual woman. But whether you as an individual woman are a wife and a mother or not, you are still created with the capacity for to be a wife to be a bride, and to be a woman. And so your body carries around that beautiful uniqueness in all of creation. You have that that potentiality in you. And I don’t say that to diminish in any way, single women, but rather to esteem all women, because your bodies have within them. The capacity by God designed by God, to carry another human life, in your in your body in your womb, and then to nurture to nourish that little baby, with your very with your breasts, to give that baby nourishment to feed that baby, I am in awe of a woman’s body. This is amazing to me. And I think I mean, I’ve said this before in this podcast. But I think when we behold God’s image, as it exists in woman, I think we will be tempted to worship. Now. There’s there’s a twisting of that where where men fall and kind of, you know, babble and drool and you know, that the image of woman as a sex object. And really, they’re not looking at woman as God’s designed, but just as as women as sex objects, to be used and discarded not as the with the beauty of the whole woman. And so we get a glimpse here of the way that sexual lust is just a twisting, it’s a perversion of the glory that is meant for man and meant for a woman as we behold one another, as image bearers of God. Okay, so let’s come back to where we began, this love of man and this love of woman, and our ability to be at peace with our own manhood, or our own womanhood, and not just at peace with it, as we are content to be a man or a woman. But even delighting rejoicing, feeling a sense of dignity, in our manhood, or womanhood, and I just scratched the surface I, I’m just kind of standing at the door and kind of peering in. But there’s a huge mystery and glory to being a man or to being a woman to being man or to being a woman that I think we have so lost in our culture. And I wonder how much Christ would invite us to, to reengage and to learn and to grow in that regard. Because if we desire to be men of sexual integrity, or women of sexual integrity, to be whole, and not dis integrated from ourselves as men and women, then it means becoming integrated again, with what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman, as an image bearer of God. So again, I know I’ve just scratched the surface, but I want to just plant that seed and I want to invite you to let it sit there to ponder on it to think about it in your life. Women. Are you at peace? Are you joyous about are you happy about are you dignified about the fact that you are a woman and men? Are you joyous at peace, dignified in the fact that you are man? This is a part of what it means to be the very good of God’s creation. Again, harkening back to Genesis one Lord, would you open our eyes, and in our bodies, even as we walk about even as we sit, as we are our bodies, male and female? Would you give us a supernatural revelation? A deeper sense of what it means that we are very good, man, very good woman made in your image, to bear your likeness in a unique way, in all of creation. Make it so Lord, for our good and for your glory. And for the good of the earth. We pray it and That
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