Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 3 of “Fan or Follower – Practice Purity” (LISTEN HERE).
What is normal?
Perhaps this is the wrong question to ask.
Normal can change. What was “normal” to wear in the 1980’s would probably be looked at as “abnormal” today – unless it was “80s” theme during Homecoming Week.
Something becomes normal when enough people embrace the activity so that those who do the activity are more than those who don’t, or enough do the activity so that it becomes “normalized,” i.e. accepted as “normal” behavior.
Perhaps a better question is, “What was the original?”
The quick follow-up question is, “Who made the original?”
The term “perversion” has an interesting meaning. Perversion is “the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.”
This term is helpful for our reflection on gender, sex and marriage this week. It leads us back to seek the answer to the question, “What was the original?” and “What was first intended?”
For those with a secular humanistic worldview, this question is difficult to answer since there is no origin or originator on these matters. Our culture today is easier to understand when you allow for evolutionary thought to be the “answer” to these questions, it allows for any and every manifestation of gender, sex and marriage. (We must be aware that “evolution” is not just a “theory of origins,” it is indicative of a worldview without a divine creator. The ramifications are legion.)
For those with a biblical worldview, the answer to these questions becomes very concrete.
The originator? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). God is the originator.
What was the original?
In regard to gender…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.” Two genders, male and female, were the originals.
In regard to the question of which gender can have children, Genesis 3:16 answers that question, “To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” (Child bearing took on greater difficulty as a result of sin.)
In regard to marriage…Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, ….” One man and one woman committed to the Lord and to each other constituted marriage.
In regard to sex…Again Genesis 2:24 “…and they (a married couple of one man and one woman) will become one flesh.”
This is pretty straight forward and clearly laid out by the Lord.
Gender is not fluid. Marriage is not any combination of genders cohabitating. Sex is not to done for self-gratification with multiple partners.
Does our culture agree? No. Does our culture allow for “perversion” from the original? Yes. While many perversions of the original are legal in our country, as a follower of Jesus, our desire is to experience the blessing of the original.
So where does perversion come from?
1 John 2:16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
Like every aspect of life, these issues are at the core a spiritual issue. Will I seek to honor the Lord in regard to gender, sex and marriage, or will I seek to please myself? I pray in all things we will seek to honor the Lord, even when doing so is challenging AND not normal.
Apply: What clarity do you receive when you go back to God’s original on these issues?
Prayer: Lord God, what you created and designed was perfect. Sin has perverted your design in many ways. Forgive us for our role in that perversion. Purify us by your grace and enable us to follow you in purity in regard to gender, sex and marriage. AMEN.