Links Daily Devotional

We’re Both Here

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27, NIV)

I love my wife. I love my wife because she’s a woman.

Are you OK if we leave it at that? Obviously, I love her for many other, quite specific reasons. She is, after all, my wife.

But way back when, more than 30 years ago, the first thing that caused me to consider Laura might be the right one for me was that she was a woman. A female. And no one faulted me for this.

So how did we get to where we are today? That is, how is it OK for a man to look at every woman with interest before he is married and then run from every other woman as if she is a harlot after he is married?

We—men to men, women to women, women to men, and men to women—are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”Part of the problem is sex, of course. It’s a very real possibility that a married man, if he spends improper time with other women, will be attracted to one of them and commit adultery. But it is also a possibility that a man before whom too many dollars are waved will, in greed, act illegally or unmercifully to get more. Yet we do not say to such men, “Once you have made a decent living, you cannot consider making a penny more.”

Oh, Satan has us right where he wants us! If by fear he has taken us away from God’s intended plan, we are missing some of God’s richest blessings.

That plan shows up early in Scripture, at creation. God made one race (“mankind”) and two sexes (male and female). That is, we are to be together though different.

This is important to us at Links Players, because it isn’t only the church that has gotten this wrong; the world has too. Part of that world is the environment of golf clubs, which long separated men and women as if there were no way they could help, benefit, or enjoy one another. Isn’t it awkward that in a sport where we’ve come up with a grand device—the handicap system—for leveling the playing field, we don’t think this can happen across the sexes?

In God’s economy, which is where we invest our assets as his men and women, we must attend to both parts of his design. With differences between us, there are appropriate times for men to talk and think and pray with only men, while women do the same with women. But as those made to be together, we cannot fear the other sex and we cannot dismiss the possibility that it is one unlike me (in my case, a woman) who will minister to me where I am today. She may say things that open my spiritual ears or do things that set examples for my spiritual work. We—men to men, women to women, women to men, and men to women—are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

Even in enduring church traditions where only men may teach from the pulpit, we have much to learn from one another. When we do this with honor for each other, we honor the Lord himself.

Jeff Hopper
August 29, 2017
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