March 4

Relating to the Opposite Sex, Part 1

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

II Corinthians 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh.

Relating to the opposite sex may be the greatest source of joy, frustration and humor that mankind has known. It’s practically a given in the non-

Christian world that confusion and tension will never be removed from the male-female equation. But in Christ, we can break through the barriers and restore opposite-sex relationships to their original and fruitful intention.

Let’s revisit scripture—Gen. 1:27—Male and female He created them. Can we hear what’s in there? Since we together are made in His image, male-female relationships, rightly ordered, show something of the character and nature of God more completely than just a single gender. And deep down, rightly relating to the opposite sex is a desire in all our hearts—in singleness, in marriage, in the church, and in the workplace.

There is no need to delve into the various ways that men and women fail to relate rightly. We’ve all observed and participated in wrong relating. What’s less obvious is God’s kingdom intention for relating to our brothers and sisters.

  • No competition.
  • No flirting.
  • Relating lovingly as brothers and sisters.

Add to this I Timothy 5:1-2:  Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. Here we see a vision from the heart of God as to how He wants His children to relate to one another.

You may have experienced all kinds of relational cluelessness, worldliness, or even abuse. You may have experienced the worst examples of ungodly relating. For some of us, there may not be a place yet in our hearts and minds for a vision of godly opposite-sex relationships. In the next few days, we’ll look at ways of moving in that direction in our understanding and actions. But for now, let’s recognize that God has a holy, peaceful vision of His children relating in kindness, respect, and His love.

Prayer: Lord, I see that you have created us male and female for a reason. Forgive me for questioning Your wisdom here. I receive that the two genders have been created to present Your image to the world as we rightly relate to each other. Open my heart to learn and receive in this area.