Have you considered your own gender versus the opposite in a defensive way? If we are honest, we all have. We are only as strong as our understanding of our differences—and they are many and varied. But we were not created alone, or separately. We were in fact created of and from and in the image of the same God. In Better Together, we face the core challenge that drives all division—FEAR—and change the story of our culture. We will transform and become examples of equality and equity as in the Garden of Eden where we were made better, together.
An honest assessment of the lenses we wear is the starting place of shifting our perspective. We need to safely identify our flawed perspective in a way that is helpful and not shameful. Recognizing and setting aside the lenses we wear is no small task, yet it is a necessary one if we are ever to see the shared thriving of humanity that Jesus desires.
It's time for women and men to start thriving together. The Scriptures are clear that true mutuality is the original sacred design of humanity. Men and women are meant to work together for the flourishing of the world.
The first step to unraveling oppression is to identify the loose end in your own life (the area or belief that is working with our culture of oppression rather than against it). We join Jesus in his restoration work to unravel oppression (particularly around gender inequality) through loving others and pointing them to Christ.
Jesus calls his church to be marked by love, equality, and the celebration of diversity, noting the strengthening impact of welcoming such differences. The culture where our differences denigrate, elevate, or separate us is to be pushed aside, in favor of allowing the Holy Spirit to unify us in continuing the work of Christ.
Action and decision-making grow out of deep-seated beliefs in the inner self. Though they are not always easily identified, the impact of painful memories, the repeated embrace of lies, and falsely held beliefs all shape how we interact with the world around us, others, and even God. Coming to Jesus is the first step in changing root beliefs.
Jesus is inviting us to forget the former things in favor of embracing the new thing God is doing. This new reality is one where all humanity is seen through God’s eyes and we uplift those who have been stamped down. As we continue to cross this transition bridge, there will surely be discomfort and chaos. The good news is we do not have to trust in our own strength to get across.