Sunday 30th of May 2021
Masculinity, Femininity, Marriage, and Family - an overview
Grab your Bible and turn to Genesis chapter 1 and we’ll begin reading in verse 1.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Today we being our look at the Christian household. The Christian household is the place where high theology and intense practicality meet. Throughout this teaching series expect to soar, perhaps to new doctrinal heights, seeing humanity and society at 30,000 feet. Then expect a speedy return to the ground of your living room where all of that high doctrine is meant to translate into a particular way of living. If we can’t see from up here then we won’t be able to orient ourself properly down here. That’s why our gracious God who dwells in the heights of heaven, who sees all things as they are, and created all things as they should be, has provided us with revelation that we may see as He sees, understand His design, and therefore live in accordance with the world as He made it. So this morning is a bit of a theological overview of masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family, and then following this week we’ll do a more in-depth treatment of each of those elements.
Now, many of the problems in our age and civilization boil down to one primary problem. Whether it’s so-called gay marriage, transgenderism and the bodily mutilation and chemical castration that attend it, the insanely high divorce rate, the normalization of the single parent household, or something else, the basic error of modern western man is that he asserts himself as God, and in asserting ourselves as God, we reject God’s revelation, closing our eyes to His 30,000 foot revelatory view and orienting our ourselves in accordance with what we feel rather than submitting to what God has said.
That man assets himself as God is seen with great clarity in the social ills just listed, all of which revolve around the family. We’ll notice over the course of this series that there is little that does not revolve around the household, which, as an aside to be considered later, is why the state wants more and more influence over and involvement in our families. You may wonder, “how has man asserted himself as God?” Man has declared himself God in that he believes that he can alter reality by mere pronouncement and assertion. Modern man thinks that because a council of degreed and affluent men convene and exit their chamber several hours later with the pronouncement that a man and a man or a woman and a woman can constitute a marriage, that this has altered the reality of what marriage is. But man cannot speak things into existence. Man has no definitional authority over the cosmos. God alone wields that power.
If God has defined and ordained something for His creatures, as He has with masculinity, femininity, marriage and family, those creatures cannot seize definitional authority from their Creator because they feel as if they surpassed Him in wisdom upon the completion of their liberal arts degree program. Power hungry politicians seeking to re-weave the fabric of our nation, have no more authority to redefine masculinity, femininity, marriage and family than they do to redefine the number 5 as being the sum of 2 and 2. They may state their folly vigorously, they may enshrine their folly legally, they may even manipulate unthinking, indifferent, or deceived masses into approving their folly, but they cannot alter reality to function in accordance with their folly because what God has decreed for His creatures cannot be alter by them.
If a council of erudite, scholarly, societal elites convenes and they decide to call animals tails legs, how many legs would your dog have after their decision was handed down? The answer is 4. But modern man fancies himself God and attributes to himself the power to reshape reality with his words alone. Man is not God. Now, because man cannot actually reshape reality with his words alone, he must use the force of the government in order to compel people to play along with the false reality that he is seeking to shape. This is taking place all over the Western world. The cultural elites, under the influence of the prince of the power of the air, have made their pronouncements: A man is woman! A woman is man! Sodomy is marital sex! The freest society in the history of human civilization is actually deeply racist and offers no opportunity for black people! And if you won't bend to or otherwise agree with the false reality they’re seeking to shape by their words, you’re engaged in hate speech, have committed a hate crime, don’t love your neighbor, or perhaps if the offense was small enough, you’ll have just committed a micro-aggression, which, under the passage of the equality act will likely just be a misdemeanor.
The increasing overreach and use of force in Western governments as they foist Marxism and various and sundry critical theories upon their nations is proof positive that man is not God. There is no power in his words, so he must seek to make his word of effect with the use of force, as applied by the civil government. God speaks into nothingness and the nothing obeys Him and becomes something. By way of contrast, modern politicians and civil magistrates must be reminded that they are not God, so when they attempt to speak their falsities into the Christian Church they should be met with disobedience as we heartily and unashamedly proclaim the truth. You’re not God and you’ll not dictate the nature of reality, marriage, and family to us. Marriage and family were defined and established by God in the beginning without the assistance or affirmation of any human court, council, or consensus of the so-called scientific community.
But before going further I want to answer a question that has hopefully leapt to mind. Why is so much of the current cultural madness oriented around the family? Why is the Supreme Court proclaiming that two men can be in a legitimate marriage, instead of proclaiming that dogs tails are actually legs? Why is this idiocy and inanity all oriented around and aimed at the nature of male, female, marriage, and family? The reason is because masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family are of cosmic significance. They are the sacraments of creation which point us to the highest realities that can be known of God. Satan is blinding the minds of unbelievers in our day by concealing the nature of God by obfuscating masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family. Masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family, done as God decreed, reveals the God who decreed them, therefore, if you want to conceal God from His creatures, you obscure, redefine, or otherwise destroy those things which God placed in creation to reveal Himself.
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. You see? The very image of God is displayed in the coming together of masculinity and femininity. Obscure biblical masculinity and biblical femininity and you’ve obscured God’s image so that His creatures can’t see Him properly. Masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family are of cosmic, even revealtory significance.
This is of course why Satan is attacking masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family by the third chapter of the Bible. Genesis 2:15 tells us that the man is to work and keep, that is cultivate and guard. Genesis 2:18 tells us that the woman is to be the man’s helper. He tends the garden, she tends him. So when Satan slithers into the garden, does he honor the chain of command? Does he address the cultivator and guard of the garden who exercised dominion by given even the serpent its name? No. He subverts God’s order and addresses not the protector, but the one who needed protection. Satan’s first attack was on femininity as he seeks to make the woman operate outside of her design. The result, as you know, was disastrous, and it continues to be. From the beginning Satan has attempted to make the man a woman and the woman a man. The physical manifestation of transgenderism then, is nothing more than Satan’s original intention seen in its most identifiable and objectionable form. We’ve been pushing men to act more like women and women to act more like men in our society for a century...what we’re seeing now is simply the ripening of the fruit of our societal efforts. So why is family at the center of the culture war? Because our culture war is but a microcosm the cosmic war between light and darkness, and what’s the tip of the spear? Attack masculinity and femininity, because the very image of God is bound up in them.
Think further than this though...destroy the biblical, or in the modern American conservative vernacular, the “traditional” understanding of masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family, and you’ve destroyed modern mans capacity for understanding the Gospel. What is our message? What’s at the very center of the meta narrative of Scripture? The Father, sent His son, that by His work of redemption, we might be adopted as children who are grown up to become a fit bride for the Son. You see it? Masculinity, femininity, marriage, family. Church, if you loose the family as defined in Scripture, you loose the Gospel! That’s why the attack is relentless, because the whole thing is at stake! The image of God in male and female, the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of it...Masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family, are of cosmic significance.
So when we fight to recover and submit to God’s definition of and design for the family, we are fighting for the image of God and the Gospel of Christ. So when you hear Luke and I return over and over and over again to headship and masculinity, to submission and femininity, to training our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord it is not because we have an axe to grind, it is not because we’re myopic and can’t see anything else in the biblical text, it is not because we revel in being cultural contrarians, it is because the serpent is having a field day assaulting the image of God and the Gospel of Christ by attacking us at exactly this point. And the modern day pastor, for fear of having a smaller church will not stand up and say, “not in this body.” Our men will be men. Our women will be women. We will not be confused about these fundamentals. By God’s grace, this will be a local body in which hollow and deceptive philosophies come to die, because we see the world as God made it, not as Satan and his agents have sought to reshape it.
Now if you would, turn to Malachi chapter 2 and we’ll see another aspect of God’s purpose for masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family. We’ve seen in Genesis 1:27 that masculinity and femininity exist to reflect and reveal God’s image throughout His creation. Your mind likely also went to texts like Ephesians chapter 5 wherein it becomes clear that marriage, or the coming together of masculinity and femininity in marriage to establish a household, is also intended to reflect and reveal something, namely the Gospel, but Malachi chapter 2 is an oft overlooked text in this discourse.
Malachi 2:13-16  And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.  But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.  “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
In these verses the Lord is indicting His people through the prophet Malachi. In the section we read, the indictment is in regard to their unfaithfulness to their marital covenants. Notice the covenantal nature of marriage in verse 14, “Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” The Lord stood as a formal, legal, binding witness to our marital covenants. Meaning that when we break our martial covenant through divorce, we aren’t simply breaking covenant with our spouse, we’re lying to God and have broken a promise made to Him, as He was there as a witness on our wedding day.
Verse 15, “Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?” Wow! Perhaps now we know what our Lord meant in Matthew 19:6 when He says, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” God unities a man and a woman in marriage with a portion of His own Spirit which ties them together in covenant. Then the last part of verse 15 poses the question, ”And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.” Why is God concerned at the very foundation of His creational work to make man and to make woman and to make marriage, tying them together in a covenant by His Spirit to establish a household? Why? Godly offspring. The Lord intends marriage to produce godly children- that is a primary purpose for the establishment of the institution in the first place, “...be fruitful and multiply...” God is saying through Malachi that divorce frustrates the purpose of God in marriage to produce godly offspring, and not to imply that God’s Word needs to be corroborated, but the sociological data testifies overwhelmingly to the truth that divorce frustrates God’s intention for marriage to produce godly offspring.
Now, here are some implications, even instructions that emerge from what we’ve covered thus far: If you’re single, you should get married. If your married you should have children. Does 1 Corinthians 7 carve out an exception to this creational norm? Yes, it does, but the exception proves the rule. Christians ought not trifle with extended seasons of singleness because God has called mankind to marriage. Christians couples out not to trifle with extended season of intentional childlessness because God has called married couples to produce godly offspring for Him. So, if you’re in a season of delay, knock it off. Well, you could at least wait until we make it through this teaching series so its clear to you what men, women, marriage, and children are, but certainly by the end of this series, knock it off.
And let me add this just to put a point on it, if you don’t have the gift of singleness that Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 7, then you’re called by God to marry. Now, dad and mom hear me on this, you were given your children to shepherd them into obedience to God, that means marriage for the majority. But you know how many parents actively shepherd their children into God-honoring courtships and marriages? Very few. Modern Christian parents are far more involved in helping their child select a college than they are in helping them select a spouse. That’s a dereliction of duty.
This purpose, the production of godly offspring, is the other reason that Satan and his Democratic Party henchmen are attacking the family. They know that if Christians simply obeyed God, as they once did, the socio-cultural impact would be overwhelming, as it once was. So all of their propaganda is antithetical to God’s patten. They’ve depicted youthful freedom as more desirable than marital commitment, and they’ve depicted ease of travel and frequent date nights as more fulfilling than rearing children. All that God calls blessing, our culture calls inconvenient. Increasingly we’re seeing them call what God calls blessing irresponsible. Due to environmental concerns and the earths capacity to sustain life, we ought not bring so many people into existence...let me translate that for you. “God was wrong in Genesis. Don’t be fruitful, don’t multiply. Obeying God is unwise.”
But what’s really behind this “don’t get married, don’t have children, or if you do, don’t have more than 2,” mentality? Satan knows Psalm 127:3-5 ”Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” How shamed are modern Christians as we speak with our enemies at the gate? Satan knows how devastating God’s people are to his plans when they do family the way that God commands. That’s why we have a death culture that is bent on murdering children rather than letting Christians adopt them. That is why we have an educational system that is bent on indoctrinating children in the anti-Christian religion of secularism. Satan knows that our children are our ammunition in the battle of light versus darkness, so he either wants us to run out of ammo or to be shooting blanks because we didn’t raise them as God commanded and instead handed them over to the state to have everything that we taught them at home, if we taught them at home, uprooted.
Masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family are of cosmic significance. The image of God, the Gospel of Christ, and the perpetuation of the Christian faith are bound up in them. That is why Satan seeks their destruction. And his destructive campaign has been quite successful hasn’t it? Why has Satan been so successful? Because we have been so disobedient. God told us what to do! Men, be men. Women, be women. Marry. Make babies. Train them to be men and women who’ll live the same way and you’ll be shooting sharp arrows out into the world generation after generation after generation taking more and more ground. God told us what to do and we’ve disobeyed.
But not only did God tell us what to do, the architects of our current debacle told us what they were going to do, and we let them. Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto wrote this, “...after the earthly family is discovered to be the secrect of the holy family, the former must then itself be destroyed in theory and in practice.” One of the ten planks of communism outlined by Marx was a public school system that was state controlled in order to give the state more opportunity to shape children apart from their parents. The United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has published this, “As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only rather precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family which infects the child...the school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes.” William Gairdner, a Canadian academic published this, “All revolutionaries quickly see that to change the social order you first have to change the sexual order. The traditional family after all, is a sexual, procreative entity that dictates much of our social reality (sexual roles, economic roles, socialization of gender, etc.). So by redefining the sexual nature of the family, we can redefine society itself. The long and short of this strategy is that those who wish to engineer society in any direction must first break all the traditional moral and religious sexual allegiances. Sexuality must be progressively divested of all its spiritual, procreative, and family meanings, divested even of it connections with romantic love...and in its place must be put an increasing emphasis on raw sexuality as a pure and joyous expression of the autonomous self.” Michelangelo Signorile, a journalist and gay activist has written this, “Fight for same sex marriage and its benefits, and then once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely...the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake is t transform the notion of family entirely.”
They haven’t even been hiding the ball! They told us that they were trying to destroy us and we sent our children to their institutions and sat them in front of their propaganda ridden television shows and movies and consumed them ourselves all the while watching each generation become less and less robustly Christian and more and more marred by secularism. We even complained about it while it was happening! “What’s happening to todays youth?” Really?! They sit in government indoctrination camps for 8 hours a day, influenced almost exclusively by other kids who are as immature and misguided as they are, and then go to age serrated, doctrine-less churches in which they’ll color pictures of the disciples on Sunday in the hope that that hour will undo the fact that on Monday they’ll be told that they are descended from monkeys. Repentance is in order as we have not obeyed our God’s instructions the household.
And how have we responded in moments when the reality that the cultural revolutionaries are winning, slaps us in the face? We challenge them legislatively. “Well thats unconstitutional!” “What about religious protections!” The problem is that Christian families do not hold to, or practice, their religion seriously enough for it to warrant protection. We’ve already demonstrated to the world that we don’t really care all that much about our religion. That fact is demonstrated all the more clearly when we object to their nonsensical immorality on the basis of the law of the land rather than on the basis of the law of God.
Church, we are under the judgement of Almighty God for our absolute disregard of His Word. I don’t want to simply assert that, I want to show it to you. Turn with me to Romans chapter 1 and find verse 18
Romans 1:18-31  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
What happens when a people ignores, disregards, or spurns the God that they know? And let’s say it’s a people who has far more than general revelation, but has a leather bound copy of special revelation sitting on the shelf that they routinely ignore. What happens to that people?
 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,  because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
God gives them over to their sin and defilement. He allows the sexual order and creational standard to be assaulted. In other words, sexual revolutions and the casting off of what we would call traditional mores and values, is the judgement of God. When that doesn’t wake an immoral people from their spiritual slumber and call them to repentance what happens next?
 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
God gives them over to yet more egregious sexual defilement. In other words, the introduction of homosexual couples in Hallmark Christmas movies, marking the normalization of sodomy in our society, is the judgement of God. And if that is not enough rouse the people of God in such a generation?
 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
When the first two forms of judgement are of no effect, the flood gates open entirely as the people are given over to a debased mind. You no longer know the difference between a boy and a girl. You don’t know who belongs in which bathroom. You stop your children from going through puberty with harmone blockers until they’re old enough to mutilate their bodies. You dismember and murder children by the millions. You have black lives matter build a movement upon pure covetousness and envy. You have known liars and frauds leading you and inhabiting the heights of national power. And you have pastors who won’t say a word about any of it. That’s how you know that you’re under the judgement of God.
But please here this well: God’s people have been here before, and His arm is not too short to save. We need only repent. Joel 2:12-14  “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.  Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him...
Church, I am contending that it is our rejection of God’s Word with regard to masculinity, femininity, marriage, and family that has put us under the judgement of God. So over the course of this series we will unfold the teaching of God’s Word on precisely those points so that we can repent and walk in obedience to God, and who knows, He may yet heal our land.