The truth about gender

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Years ago when our youngest son was a toddler, I sent him out to the back yard with his brothers. Thinking that he was safely ensconced in his Exersaucer at the garden’s edge while his siblings pulled the weeds, I was working at my desk. And then the phone rang.

It was a friend who had just passed by our house. He told me that as he was approaching, he saw what looked like a traffic cone in the middle of the road. “Then,” he said, “I saw that the ‘traffic cone’ was waving!”

It was the toddler. Darling caboose of our family train, he already had a checkered past with a history of numerous escapes. The little Houdini had done it again. There he stood in his Pampers and tiny jeans, waving at oncoming cars. Thank God and all the angels, for two neighbors saw him and rushed out to snatch him to safety that day.

After the terror had subsided, what infuriated and confounded me was a shocking statement from the lips of the friend who had seen the whole thing. “None of the other cars even slowed down. They just went rushing by.”

This story comes back to me today as I consider the state of our beloved America. Increasingly, relative truth wars with the absolute, and strife and divisions war with love. It is becoming harder and harder to keep a clear mind, to see things as they are and not as we are told. To find the delicate balance between truth and love with the courage that it takes to live there.

It was truth and love that rescued my toddler that day on the road. Truth saw the danger he was in, and love refused to leave him. The interruption of his blithe and happy waving campaign may have hurt his feelings, but it saved his life.

Today, I am one, small mother, looking up the road. I see countless sons and daughters of other mothers standing in harm’s way; at risk, not from rushing cars, but from an insidious lie that is gripping our land. As such, it is love that compels me to tell the truth, and the truth, very simply, is this:  We were created, each one, by a loving God.

In love, He knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs. He determined the color of our eyes, the shade of our skin, the shape and contour of every face. He assigned us all a gender.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, tells us why. “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them (Gen. 1:27-28a). ” Male and female, boys and girls, both of them made in God’s image.

Men reveal something of the nature and character of God. They show the father heart of the eternal One. In noble men, there lies much strength, strength that is needed for the protection, provision, and care of all those that such men love.

Women reveal something of God’s nature and character, too. As a woman, I partner with God in bringing forth life. I offer comfort, sustenance, and a fierce, maternal love that will face down adversaries much bigger than myself on behalf of those that I love. In these ways, I, too, provide for and protect my family, and I do it uniquely as a woman.

It is a high honor and a privilege to be an image bearer of Almighty God. We tamper with this grand design at grave risk to ourselves and to all who will come after us. It is the height of self-delusion to believe that we have such power. The worst lies, after all, are the ones we tell ourselves.

We were made to be men and women. We reflect the image of God in our very bodies. Hurt feelings and painful experiences can never change unchanging truth.

The truth is that we were created in love. We were created for love, both to give it and to receive it. Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every man.” He was right.

It is a vacuum that can never be filled or corrected by any surgical alterations, denials of who we are, or attempts to reverse our own biology. It will be filled only when we know and believe the undying love of the One Who made us all.

To my fellow Americans who are hurting, feeling the ache of that vacuum, please know that this small, caffeinated mother is praying for you. Know this, too—I hold nothing but love for you in my fierce, maternal heart. There is room at my table for you.

Always and ever, may God bless America.

This essay was originally read on Bo Snerdley’s radio show, February 4, 2023.

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