This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the titles below are chapters in the book.
Today we are gathering children around to discuss the first three chapters of God’s Design. Here we will learn that we have a creator and we are his creatures.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
“Knowing the Creator”
This chapter sets up the entire book by focusing on two points: God as creator and how he created us to work a certain way, and we can only understand ourselves when we understand the designer.
The flow of this chapter happens like this:
->Genesis 1:1 says we have a designer and we are “designed to work a certain way”…
-> The Bible gives us instructions on what we were made to do…
-> We are created “in His image,” so we are designed to be like Him…
-> Some people don’t follow the Bible so they are confused about themselves….
-> Do you trust God and His design for your life?
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
I would agree that we are all created in the image of God. In fact, I am amazed at how diverse God is when I view people from all around the world. Different skin tones, different heights, different body shapes, different mental and physical capabilities…the list can go on. But, when I read that we are “designed to work a certain way,” I’m sure that the author is not referencing the fact that God blessed engineering minds with different capabilities than artistic minds or simply that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. We know what this book is about so I think we can safely guess at what is meant by “work a certain way.”
My question then is this: If men and women are created in the image of God, and men and women are designed for different roles, does that mean that God also has a leadership/headship role and a submissive role? If God is creator and in complete power of everything (as we learn in the next chapter) how can he also be submissive to authority?
When the author says, “Those who do not honor, thank, and worship God end up confused about who they are and how they are to live,”I think, really? I know plenty of people who do not believe in God and they are not confused at all about themselves. I am left to assume that the lesson learned is: If you don’t follow the prescribed way we tell you to live (because it’s in the Bible), you will live in confusion. What a great way to start.
“We are not the Creator”
That’s right. Get it out of your head. You are not God. You are a mere creature.
Remember being created in the image of God? Forget about it…you’re a creature.
And, as a mere creature, forget about complaining about how God created you. It won’t do any good anyway because apparently God is in complete control of us. Trust and embrace how you, creature, were created.
If we are created in God’s image, are we created with a mind, body and soul that reflects that image? And, if God is in complete control of us why do we need reminders to love one another? If God controls us, I would think that he would precisely do that – control us. That doesn’t explain why it is that Christian people are capable of doing horrible things. Perhaps thinking of yourself as a mere creature without any control over yourself is a bit depressing.
Stop thinking too hard about it, creature. Just accept it.
“Created Male and Female”
Our last chapter if full of stereotypes that I’m sure you are all expecting. God created man and woman so that they could have lots and lots and lots of
children creatures to fill the earth.
Boys like boy things such as guns and trucks and grow up to be masculine men. Girls like girl things like dolls and tea sets and grow up to be feminine women. Boys should dress like boys and girls should dress like girls. I really think that most of what we define as “boy things” and “girl things” is purely cultural. There was a time when boys wore dresses just like girls. Our commonly used pink for girls and blue for boys didn’t really catch on until after World War II.
So where does this leave a boy who likes to play with dolls? My son is younger than his sister and he loved to play whatever she was playing. There were times he would have painted finger nails and dress up in her swim suits (we have pictures to prove it!). Does a parent who teaches this book squelch that kind of play? And what about girls who love to wear pants, play with toy guns and end up joining the military? Are they not as feminine because they are not doing “girl things?” Then you enter the realm of people who are intersex. How confusing this teaching must be. They were created in the image of God, but they don’t quite fit a category.
The kicker of this chapter is the ending activity:
Discuss with your parents the ways that men and women behave differently. With their help, make a list of differences between men and women. Then go with your parents to a mall and notice how men and women are showing or not showing God’s good design.
And there’s your assignment for the day. Go to the mall, watch people and judge them based solely upon what you observe. What a way to raise children – to judge others instead of being compassionate.