A good place to start the discussion about men and women in the church is Genesis 1. Let’s look at a few verses:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” (Genesis 1:26–30)
Don’t let the designation “man” confuse the question here; in these verses, the term refers to humankind. Verse 27 makes that clear: “God created man… male and female he created them.” I have heard people claim that the male alone was made in God’s image. This verse does not support that; Genesis 5 specifically says that the term “man” refers to male and female:
“When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.’”” (Genesis 5:1–2)
What I do see here is that God’s intention was that there be two genders. This post isn’t designed to be about LGBTQ issues; if you feel you need to bring them up, that’s fine, but I won’t engage in that discussion at this time. Our being male or female is not an accident of evolution nor a coincidence of birth. It’s an essential part of God’s design.
When I was born, God put certain traits in me. I was born with abilities for some things and weaknesses in other areas. (Which explains why some girls were chosen before I was during elementary P.E. class)
I was also born male. I’m one of three children. Two girls and a boy. I don’t think it’s accident, nor chance that they are who they are and I am who I am.
I was talented academically. I wanted to be good at sports, but instead I was good at learning. I’m a natural ham. I can be shy in one-on-one conversations (and despise using the phone!), but I’m more than comfortable being the one in the spotlight. Hand me a telephone to call a stranger, and I freeze up. Hand me a microphone in front of ten thousand people, and I’m more than ready to speak.
These things are part of me. I see those talents as being something I was born with. They help in some ways and hinder in others. My gender is equally a part of me. God made me a certain way, and he looks at that as he presents ministry opportunities to me.
For me, that’s where the conversation begins. Not ends. But begins.