I have the awesome opportunity to (finally) speak at the youth group I’ve volunteered with for the past 4 1/2 years (wow…crazy to think that it’s been that long already). I love these kids; I really do. The whole reason I volunteer in the first place is because of that alone. They are funny, crazy, uniquely gifted, and collectively amazing.
When I envisioned my first speaking opportunity, I always imagined it being something that I was desperately passionate about. Perhaps about living a life with purpose rather than apathy. Maybe about allowing God to work in their lives without restraint (a life untethered…oooh, that would make a good book title! No one steal it, I call dibs for my next book!!!). What I did not envision was talking to them about being a man of God. But, I actually chose this one.
Every year, our youth group does a study on guys and girls. Each year there is a different focus, a different perspective on our uniquely created selves, if you will. This year focuses on what it means to be a woman of God and man of God DESPITE cultural norms. It’s not about being manly (or ultra feminine). It’s about living with the passions that God has given each of us.
It’s okay for girls to drive truck, use tools, and like sports. It’s okay for guys to like art, and cooking and
Taylor Swift (nope scratch that…not okay…I’m just joking 🙂 ). Culture will tell girls that they either have to be Susie Homemaker or Ms. Independent who is fully against anything male. Culture will tell guys if they like a certain amount of art and music and hipster style they must not be a real man or they must be gay.
None of this is truth. This is not what the Bible tells us, no matter what any societal OR church culture might try to tell you.
God has designed each of us to be his perfect creation. We are all needed, with different likes, with different gifts. Not all women are supposed to stay home. It’s perfectly okay for them to have a very successful career. Not all men are born knowing how to use a hammer and swing a bat. It’s perfectly okay for them to be a poet or even the homemaker.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-22,27)