Biblical Gender Identity


One of the most earth-shaking events in modern culture has been the shift in the understanding of gender. The topic is unavoidable. Therefore, the crucial question becomes: What and who will shape the understanding of our children and our students? More than 10 years ago, Albert Mohler sent out this call to the church:

The fault lines of controversy in contemporary Christianity range across a vast terrain of issues, but none seems quite so volatile as the question of gender. As Christians have been thinking and rethinking these issues in recent years, a clear pattern of divergence has appeared. At stake in this debate is something more important than the question of gender, for this controversy reaches the deepest questions of Christian identity and biblical authority.

For too long, those who hold to traditional understandings of manhood and womanhood, deeply rooted in both Scripture and tradition, have allowed themselves to be pushed into a defensive posture. Given the prevailing spirit of the age and the enormous cultural pressure toward conformity, traditionalists are now accused of being woefully out of step and hopelessly out of date. Now is a good time to reconsider the issues basic to this debate and to reassert the arguments for biblical manhood and womanhood.

…For biblical traditionalists the choice is clear. We understand the Bible to present a beautiful portrait of complementarity between the sexes, with both men and women charged to reflect God’s glory in a distinct way. Thus, there are very real distinctions that mark the difference between masculinity and femininity, male and female. Standing on biblical authority, we must critique both the present and the past when the biblical pattern has been compromised or denied. Likewise, we must point ourselves, our churches, and our children to the future, affirming that God’s glory is at stake in our response of obedience or disobedience to His design.

(“A Call for Courage on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” at

At Children Desiring God, we take this call to be proactive very seriously, and, to that end we have developed a curriculum for youth specifically designed to “to present a beautiful portrait of complementarity between the sexes, with both men and women charged to reflect God’s glory in a distinct way.” As you plan for the fall, prayerfully consider incorporating Rejoicing in God’s Good Design: A Study for Youth on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood into your Sunday school or midweek class, or home.


Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

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