Sunday, March 23, 2008

In His Image

We are created in the image of God, male and female. Being that that is the case, is it not strange to look at another human, made in God’s image, as basically one thing, a sex object? As brothers and sisters sharing the mage of the Holy One, we are equal, there is no Jew, Greek, slave or free, just people, mankind, imago dei. Yet the reality is that we live in a world that bombards men, more so than women, with sexualized images daily, although women have their images as well, just not in the abundance. Everything from cars to sports bars are sold with a sexual twist. Movies, television, video games, dolls and toys, images of people, objectified. The God of Love, Agape, reflected and distorted as Eros...a totally different and very limited manifestation at that.

It is difficult for many to move beyond lust-driven intimacy to close friendships in male female relationships given the sexually charged nature of our society. Our young people are suffering. One in four of them will contract a sexually transmitted disease, some of which have no known cure. They tend to have an objectified and gratuitous view of relationship lacking long term committment and integrity.

Our young people see that in the church and in society in general many men continue to frustrate women- denying them the roles they have a deep calling to. They see many women, at the same time, frustrating men- parading their sexuality. So they follow suit. Young people can't stand hypocrites and are pretty pragmatic about doing what seems right and practical in their own eyes.

As Male and Female created in the image of God, in what way has God called us to service in our very being? He has not called us to impede one another, laying stumbling blocks before each other. How can we leverage our unique gifts and identity in building up and serving one another? What would this look like in a church? What would this look like in a confused world where men and women are either stereotypes or suffering from bland androgny? What would it look like to be fully male and fully female in Christ? Christ was fully man and fully God. We are called to be one in him, in His image. What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do our young people see when they look at us? Have we put on Christ?