American culture has become obsessed with sexual identity confusion. This obsession has affected almost every aspect of public life, from sports (in a multitude of ways) to retail companies to beer. It has become such an obsession that a massive swath of corporate America will soon transform their branding into the symbol of this obsession for an entire month.
Most importantly, this obsession has diminished our souls and the very essence of what it means to be human. We are currently about a decade into this culture-wide phenomenon. Lest we settle into seeing this situation as the new normal, it’s important to keep front and center how tragic this sexual identity obsession truly is — it presents a grave misunderstanding of the body and a diminishment of life’s highest goods. We desperately need a way forward out of obsession and into true freedom.
A single verse in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible reveals the essence of human life: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
From this verse comes a limitless well of truth from which to draw. A groundbreaking understanding of this truth began to develop in 1979, when Pope John Paul II began delivering a series of 129 individual addresses that would later collectively become known as the “Theology of the Body.” The central idea of this theology can be summed up here: “The body, in fact, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine.” In other words, the body reveals not only the physical person but also the image of the invisible God, as stated in Genesis.
John Paul further declared that “[the body] was created to transfer in the visible reality of the world the invisible mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it.” In other words, the maleness and femaleness of the human person are indissoluble aspects of God that He chose to reveal through the created body.
Indeed, our maleness and femaleness go to the very core of who we are — every cell of our bodies possess either a male or female pair of chromosomes. But the goodness of our bodies goes far beyond merely the physical aspect, as beautiful as that is. We have been created out of an outpouring of generous love of the Trinity and have been adopted through Christ (Romans 8:14-17) as sons and daughters. Our bodies ultimately reveal that we are male sons and female daughters of a loving Father.
All that God has created is infused — filled to the brim — with meaning. This is why we can marvel at the intricacy of a flower, or the truth held in a beautiful painting, or the incomparable goodness of a delicious meal. So too are our bodies filled with immeasurable meaning.
Therefore, when we “identify” as a sex other than what we are, or as “non-binary,” or as some other sexual identity, we are selling ourselves far short of our maleness or femaleness. Our chosen “identity” becomes vacant and stripped of meaning, and we render ourselves androgynous. Rather, it is in and through our male and female bodies that we experience the world around us, and most importantly, our relationship with God our Father.
It is in this way that our bodies and all of visible creation point to the invisible reality of God. When we fully realize the boundless potential of our embodied male and female souls, we will be set free of confusion about our sexual identity, knowing that we have been loved into existence just as we are — in the image of God.
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.
EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.
The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.