Gender is the most mysterious feature revealing God’s image in us. So it makes for a certain amount of mystery inside those who possess this great gift. Mystery begets mystery. And ambiguity. Mystery leaves the door open for distressed people to make things up about it, in our day feeling like they can identify manhood and womanhood by how they feel. Big mistake.
That is, people feel comfortable saying, “I have a woman’s body but I am a man inside.” Yet how do we indeed come to know ourselves inside? One of the big lynchpins of transgenderism is the assumption that we can know who we are without any help from the outside, such as from our bodies or our friends or our Creator. A moment’s thought should undo this falsehood.
How do we know what our talents and skills are? They are determined only in the presence of others, by comparison with or effective service to, others. We need the many to understand the one. People can hold wrong opinions about us. But we still need others to define our identities.
One time, earlier in my life, I decided to change my name. I was trying to re-make myself apart from the definition of my family. It did not work. Oh, I got the people around me to cooperate by the way I introduced myself. But I remember reaching one point of great alienation where I was looking in a mirror. I actually spoke the words, out loud: “Who am I?” My wife helped me to see that I couldn’t be who I was without my family. I needed to stay with them, as distant as they were from me spiritually. They pulsed in my veins.
Moreover, long ago John Calvin pointed out the simple fact that you cannot know who you are without knowing God. God must be the starting point of self-understanding. The mystery of who we are depends upon our Creator. Our necessary quest for our creator got capitalized upon by the more recent Alien movies, for example. Characters in this millenium’s films in that series (Prometheus (2012), Alien Covenant (2017)) are driven by the simple fact: we need to know where we came from to know who we are. These movies asked good questions at least, before devolving into a horror gut-fest. They got at how self-knowledge depends upon knowledge of Our Creator.
If we try to know ourselves without knowing Him, we are almost guaranteed to err. Think about how many misconceptions about yourself you held earlier in your life. Similarly, the best thing you can do for anybody, especially those distressed about their gender, is to help them know God. He is our Bountiful Creator (Colossians 3:10), our truest Family (Acts 4:27-29), our most truthful Friend (John 15:13-14).
Do you think we need God and His gifts to know our gender?