Your article "What is a Biblical View of Transgendered People and Hermaphrodites?" makes this statement: "The biblical view is that God's intent for every male is to grow into masculinity, and for every female to grow into femininity." What Bible passages support that contention?
I would define masculinity as the characteristics of being male, and femininity as the characteristics of being female, per God's intention. I would also suggest that as a culture, we have a too-narrow idea of what it means to be male and to be female. I think that masculinity is a spectrum from the rough-and-tumble, athletic-loving male to the sensitive, artistic, musical, aesthetic-loving male, and everything in between. I think that femininity is a spectrum from the girly-girl to the tomboy/jockette, and everything in between, and it pleased God to make both male and female, masculine and feminine, in His image. That's a VERY wide range!
But there is a difference between male and female, between masculinity and femininity. When people of one gender long to be the other other, and indulge the fantasy of being or becoming the other, there is a hatred and contempt for the gender that they are—and that means something is wrong. God chose their gender, which means it is good; to hate what God has made means someone's thinking is skewed and needs to be adjusted, to come into alignment with God's.
I say this to lay a foundation for the scriptures that answer your question: I believe that "male and female" and "masculine and feminine" mean the same thing. When they don't, I believe, it's because we have adopted a too-narrow understanding of masculinity and femininity.
From the beginning, the binary nature of “male and female” has been God’s design and God’s intent:
Gen 1:27: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Gen 5:2 “He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.”
Gen 6:19 “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.”
Then, in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus reiterated this truth:
Matt 19:4 “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female. . .”
Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.”
Then there's this:
Deut 22:5 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”
The point of this law, like that of many other OT laws, is to underscore the importance of not blurring distinctions, of maintaining boundaries between separate things. One of the reasons for this importance is so that God’s people would think clearly about reality (see also: the law of non-contradiction). The differences between male and female are God-designed and good, because He reveals His glory differently through men and through women. (Note throughout the Psalms the way God reveals Himself to be a God of strength and protection, masculine glories, as well as a God of nurture and caring, feminine glories. Our masculinity and femininity both come from the heart of God.)
Scripture also teaches that God's plan and design is for things and people to grow to the mature forms of what they are (references to animal husbandry; parables of crops growing; God's intention for us to grow to maturity [Eph. 4:13]). Apples do not grow up to be corn, and lambs do not grow up to be bulls. Boys grow up to be men, girls grow up to be women.
My husband the scientist points out from Ps. 139 that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made," as God knits us together in our mother's womb. Part of that is genetics, which is that God determines if we are male or female. These days, some people are unhappy with their gender as if it were a mistake or a joke, but God has made that determination for His glory and our good.
Thanks for asking.
© 2011 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
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