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Male and Female

By Richard Gunther


This little essay proposes to take a brief glance at the following questions :

1. Why did God create "male and female"?

2. What is the function of the "male"?

3. What is the function of the "female"?

4. What are the differences between "male" and "female" in the Kingdoms of Nature?

5. What are the human differences between "male" and "female"?

6. What does the Bible say about sexual differences?

7. Biblical types and anti-types.

8. Notes

1. Why did God create "male and female"?

It may be something of a puzzle to evolutionists as to why there should be both male and female of almost all life forms, and the problem is compounded when they try to theorise as to how the sexes were differentiated through trial and error and mutations - especially in the light of the fact that there are thousands of different species, all of which have specialised organs which seem to be designed specifically for reproduction. Also, mutations have been shown to have no beneficial effect. In evolutionary terms, in most cases, the mechanics of reproduction would have had to work perfectly within a single generation, otherwise there would be no offspring. Another huge problem evolutionists have is the fact that changes are not inherited because all physical inheritance is carried by the genes, and genes never increase in complexity.

The Bible states clearly in Genesis that God created life "male and female", without any direct explanation as to why He did this. Alternative forms of reproduction could have been employed, because God is infinitely wise and therefore capable of a vast number of alternatives, but He has allowed for basically only two natural ways : 1. Sexual and 2. Asexual, although there are some variations in a few minor cases. (We have no idea about how all the animals and plants on earth reproduced before the Flood. Because about 80% of the world’s animal and plant-life was destroyed at that time, we have no way of finding out what other mechanisms God created.)

1. Sexual reproduction requires the union of gametes (such as eggs and sperm). A variation on this is self-fertilization, which occurs in a few hermaphrodites, such as the tapeworm.

2. Asexual reproduction which does not require the manufacture of sex cells, or the necessity for two parents. All asexual reproduction produces is clones, or identical copies of the parent, so there is no potential for the life form to adapt to a changing environment (i.e. Climate, predators, disease)

There are two types of asexual reproduction : binary fission and budding.

Binary fission involves the parent splitting into two or more ‘daughters’, such as in bacteria and the amoeba and sea anemones.

Budding involves ‘daughters’ growing from outgrowths. Such as ice plants, cacti, strawberries, willow trees, and a wide range of other plants. Ferns and mosses reproduce by spores (see note below), and many plants use runners, rhizomes, bulbs and corms to make copies of themselves. Also see sucker shoots, produced from roots, as in the creeping thistle, or tubers, as in the yam and potato.

Spores are small reproductive bodies, usually consisting of one cell. A spore does not have to fuse with another cell in order to develope into a copy of its parent.

Horticulturalists depend on asexual reproduction in plants to produce huge numbers of new stock for planting. Prunings can be placed in a suitable medium and soon roots will grow - for example the photinia and rose. Harvesting of tubers (potatoes), lateral growths (as in strawberries, bamboo and clover), and bulbs (as in daisies, daffodils and so on) can produce an infinite number of exact copies of the original plant.

It is interesting to notice in passing that the evolutionary theory relies heavily on sexual selection for an increase in ‘fitness’, whereas the truth is, there is no noticeable increase in an animal’s ‘fitness’ beyond a certain point. In other words, the biggest, and most handsome male will never be any bigger or more handsome than a certain limit, which is determined by its genes. Unless new information is added to the genes, which never happens, all sexual selection does is help an organism find its best, or maximum level.

Sexual selection is one of the supporting pillars for ‘natural selection’ but both areas of the theory depend totally on an increase in genetic information, which never happens. This means that the plants and organisms which we have today are basically the same as the original plants created by God.

But as to the question, why God created "male and female", the most obvious answer is "to produce offspring", but perhaps this is too easy? Nothing God does is ever so simple as to have only one answer. God’s wisdom is multi-layered, so we should therefore expect to find several good reasons for sexual differences.

The rule of First Mention - that is, beginning at the first mention of a subject in the Bible - shows that the expression "male and female" is inextricably tied to the exression "the image of God". This shows that God portrays Himself as both male and female, although what the full implications of this are is beyond the scope of this essay. It is clear however that God is both male and female, since the two aspects must be presented together to give a full picture of something true about God. The original male and female which God created were perfect in every way - not fallen, so the original presentation of humans - both male and female - must have been a profound revelation by God of Himself. Unfortunately because of sin, this "image" was subsequently marred, but not destroyed completely. Men and women today, no matter how degraded physically, still represent in some way the original creation by God.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". Genesis 1:27

"Image" means "likeness" or "shadow" or "similitude". Because it was Elohim (the 2nd Person in the Godhead, the pre-incarnate Son) who created Man, therefore Man had some similarity to Elohim’s physical form. (Col. 1:15, Heb.1:3, Rev.3:14, 1Cor.11:7). Logically, if God the father, Jehovah, had created Man in His image it waould have been a nonsense, because God is spirit, and therefore has no physical form - John 4:24, Romans 1:20, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:" - Col. 1:15, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever."

1 Tim. 1:17

There is no reason given for the fact that animals and plants are largely male and female, but it may be that God created a descending order of authority when He first began the world, with Himself at the head, then the man at the head of the woman, and so on down the scale from the more complex to the least complex life forms, with each level of life reflecting in some way the original pattern. This may be mere conjecture, but what is true is the fact that we can learn a lot about God by studying Nature. Nature is interdependent, symbiotic and even in its fallen state, a total harmonious system. In fact, there is a theory going about which says that the entire earth is one huge living, and self-regulating organism. This would not be surprising, if God created the planet, as we would expect Him to design into everything He made some sort of interelatedness.

When Jesus was challenged on the matter of marriage, he said : "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female . . . For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh?" Matthew 19:4,5 and Mark 10:6. The point being that in some way the male and female aspect of humans can fufil some divine harmony when they are brought together in a monogamous heterosexual relationship. The "one flesh" principle is not just a moral one, it also reflects in some way the organisation within the Godhead, though it is hardly likely that this would ever be presented to homosexuals or lesbians as a valid argument against their behaviour!

So it seems that "male and female" in animals and plants has a lot to do with truth about the Living God. In the case of humans it comes even closer to telling us something about Him.

2. What is the function of the "male"?

Biologically, to be "male" simply means being able to produce spermatazoa for fertilizing an ova. In the Plant kingdom it means having a stamen, which is an organ which produces pollen. If this was all being "male" meant, there would be very little to add, and sadly, in a dehumanised society, there are people who reduce the function of men to about the same level as machines with only one purpose. As with all of satan’s lies, the great things and the glorious things of God have been degraded and ruined, but God’s Word continues to teach the truth regardless.

Males without blemish.

All through the Old testament, God repeatedly commands that people bring to Him sacrifices of animals - males, and all without blemish. All these sin-offerings prefigure the coming of the One Final Offering for sin, who was the Perfect Male. References include :

Leviticus 1:3 "If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD."

Leviticus 1:10 "And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish."

Leviticus 3:1 "And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD."

Leviticus 3:6 "And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish."

Leviticus 4:23 "Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:"

Leviticus 22:19 "You shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, (cattle) of the sheep, or of the goats."

And when Jesus was born, the Bible takes us back to the Old testament Law again, and applies it to the Son of God. "And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) Luke 2:22,23. The Law says : "All that opens the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. Exodus 34:19)

On Passover night, God said : "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:" Exodus 12:5

As a picture of Christ, the "lamb of God" who came to die for Israel, this male had to be without blemish - that is morally pure. Jesus fulfilled this - morally, but he did not fulfil it physically, since he inherited a fallen body through his mother. He was tired, he hungered, he thirsted all things which God cannot do.

There must be something significant about the way God consistently presents Himself as male. Jesus gave us full and complete name of God : "Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:19

Jesus also called his followers (later known as Christians) "the children of your Father" Matthew 5:45

Christians are told : "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 and they are told to pray : "Our Father . . ." Matthew 6:9

Matthew 10:19 And when times of persecution come, Jesus said : "take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Matthew 10:20. This implies that the whole Godhead is male.

It is the male which takes predominance in the Bible genealogies. People are usually called "the son of" and the name of the father follows.

Christians are said to be the Father’s children because it is the father, or male, which takes the initiative to produce the offspring. Pollen or sperm, or spiritual power, all go out to the female to bring about fertilization. The female becomes the vessel in which the offspring are formed, and usually from which the offspring come. This means that people are like female spiritual entities, with the potential to be fertilized spiritually by God. This is why the Church is called the Bride of Christ. This is why Jesus picked male disciples to start the Church with. This is why the Bible forbids women to be priests. This is why God should never be addressed as "Mother".

When it comes to the Church, the same principle operates. God creates a new child spiritually when a person receives Jesus. The "new birth" occurs (John 3:3) and people who were once spiritually cut off from God, are adopted into His family as true sons and daughters:

"For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father". Romans 8:15

Another way of expressing this is through the word "begotten" which can mean either "resurrected" or "birthed".

"For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel". 1 Corinthians 4:15

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him". 1 John 5:1 (i.e. Every person who loves the father, loves the Son).

So the function of the male works on several levels. First biologically as a type of Jesus, Secondly as a principle of creation, since it is the male which is the progenitor of new life, and thirdly as a picture of the spiritual new birth, where the Father produces His own family the Church. As with all types and illustrations, they must not be stretched too far, because they all fail at some point to tell the whole story.

3. What is the function of the "female"?

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27

We need both male and female to understand something rue and balanced about God. Just as we need two sides to a coin to actually have a coin, so we need to see the female as well as the male to have a true picture of God.

Biologically, it is the female which, according to the dictionary, is the "offspring-bearing sex". In plants she is the fruiting body. In animals she carries the young and gives birth to them. In humans the woman has a huge and complex task, because she not only bears, nurtures and raises the offspring, but she is also expected to relate in the correct way to her offspring, and to her husband who shares in this work. In all these areas she is a picture of how the Church ought to relate to God - the Husband, or Bridegroom.

When we looked at the sacrifices of the Old testament, in regard to the male, we saw that the male had to be without blemish. The female also had to be without blemish, because God created male and female - both aspects of Himself, and therefore aspects of the Messiah.

"And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD". Leviticus 3:1

"And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. Leviticus 3:6

"Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned." Leviticus 4:28

"And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish". Leviticus 4:32

Because male and female both reflect God’s image, God forbade images of either :

"Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female" Deuteronomy 4:16

Jesus confirmed original creation when discussing marriage :

"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female". Mark 10:6

When Adam and Eve sinned, it was the woman’s "seed" which God said would be at enmity with Satan’s "seed". "And I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed (your followers) and her seed (the Messiah); it (her seed, Jesus) shall bruise your head (i.e. kill you), and you shalt bruise his heel (i.e. badly injure him)". Genesis 3:15

This was a prophecy of the coming of Jesus, who was, after many generations, the seed or offspring of the woman. When Jesus returned to heaven, He gave the Holy Spirit to believers, and they also became the offspring, or seed of the woman. God’s family is also God’s fruit. The Church is the result of a great preparation, planting, fertilizing and harvesting process, which is why agricultural terms are used so often to describe spiritual things so often.

The Old Testament law about adultery is relevant here. As Jesus said "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery". Mark 10:12. In the physical, moral realm God considers it adultery, a sin punishable by death under the Law, but then this same principle is lifted into the spiritual level, because when a Christian mixes false teaching, or immoral living with the pure Christian teaching, or lifestyle, they are said to be adulterers too.

God’s Word carries the same teaching in many different ways. The threads of each separate truth wind around each other (like a plant), overlapping and linking, repeating and emphasising, like music), as the sounds of a great symphony, with all the instruments playing in harmony produce a single sound made of many.

"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man".1 Corinthians 11:8. This makes more sense when we realise that God made Eve from the rib (or side) of Adam, and in a similar way God did not come from the Church (the Bride), but the Church came from God. The Church was also made for God, and not God for the Church.

This is explained further in Galations "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father". Galatians 4:4-6. "Abba" means "Daddy". It is usually one of the first words spoken by a baby to its parents. This verse illustrates how God gave birth (in the sense that the male produces offspring) to His own children - who call Him "Daddy" as very young children.

4. What are the differences between "male" and "female" in the Kingdoms of Nature?

Apart from the obvious physical differences, there are also behvioural differences. In most of the ‘higher’ animals, it is the male which does the courting. Naturalists have recorded the fact that the strongest, loudest and most decorated males win the females, thus ensuring that the best genetic pool is selected for breeding. (Artificial breeding of livestock uses the same principle - i.e the largest animals are set aside for breeding, while the weakest ones go to the works.) This rule, (called survival of the fittest, or natural selection) which dominates the instincts of animals, seems largely to be lacking in humans, who select their ‘mates’ for often quite arbitrary reasons. Opposites as well as similarities attract.

God seems to have a general rule for animals, but He has also created plenty of exceptions. The general rule seems to be that the male is different in appearance and behaviour from the the female. For example, as far as appearance goes, the peacock male is blessed with a glorious tail, while the peahen is quite drab by comparison. There is an obvious difference between seals and sea-lions. Male elephants are usually larger than female elephants. Roosters and hens, lions and lionesses, lyrebirds, and so on. Behaviour also varies, especially at courting time, but then again, wherever the ‘rule’ is seen, there is often an exception. Sometimes it is the male which sits on the eggs, at other times it is the female which does most of the hunting. It is very difficult to find an overall, consistent statement to cover all male and female animals because there is so much variety - and we have no idea what the huge number of species were like which were destroyed by the Flood. We also have to take into account the fact that Nature is now ‘fallen’ so much os what we call Nature today is not how it used to be before Adam brought sin into the world.

The role of the male as husband :

By reasoning from the Scriptures - and this is not an exhaustive list - we can see a pattern into which the husband should fit.

Ruler :

To the woman God said : "and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee". Genesis 3:16

Lover :

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband". Ephesians 5:23

Decision-maker :

"And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.

And if she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath;

And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void." Numbers 30:6 - 14.

Maintainer of the family line :

"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother". Deuteronomy 25:5 - 7

Confidant :

"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil". Proverbs 31:11

Advisor :

"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land". Proverbs 31:23

Approver :

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her". Proverbs 31:28

Sexual partner :

"But as a wife that commits adultery, which takes strangers instead of her husband!" Ezekiel 16:32

Guardian :

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily". Matthew 1:19

Sexually clean :

"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." 1 Corinthians 7:2

Considerate (kind, caring, sympathetic, empathetic, etc) :

"Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband". 1 Corinthians 7:3

Submissive :

"The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife". 1 Corinthians 7:4

Faithful :

"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10,11.

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;" 1 Timothy 3:2

"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." Titus 1:6

The role of the female as wife :

By reasoning from the Scriptures - and this is not an exhaustive list - we can see a pattern into which the wife should fit.

Faithful :

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24

"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth". Proverbs 5:18

"Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD". Jeremiah 3:20

Fruitful :

"Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table". Psalm 128:3

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, [and to be] a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD". Psalm 113:9

Godly : (implied)

"Whoever finds a (godly) wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour of the LORD." Proverbs 18:22

Prudent (sensible, careful) :

"House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD". Proverbs 19:14

Monogamous, Submissive, Loyal :

"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

1 Corinthians 7:2 - 4.

"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:" 1 Corinthians 7:10

Submissive :

"Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 1 Corinthians 9:5.


Virtuous :

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that makes ashamed is as rottenness in his bones". Proverbs 12:4

Wise :

"Every wise woman builds her house (works for the betterment of her home and family): but the foolish plucks it down with her hands". Proverbs 14:1

The virtuous woman - Proverbs 31.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, (confidant) so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (considerate)

She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands. (industrious)

She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (hard-working)

She considers a field, (able to manage a business) and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms. (looks ahead)

She perceives that her merchandise is good: (has a high-quality standard) her candle goes not out by night.

She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.(skilfull)

She stretches out her hand to the poor; (compassionate) yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.(well-dressed)

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.(respected)

She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles unto the merchant. (business-like)

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.(wise and caring)

She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.(not lazy)

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excell them all.(a good mother)

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised." (not vain about her appearance)

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates".

Although it would seem literally impossible for any woman to do everything in the above list, the pattern is there for woman to aim at.

Spiritually discerning :

"But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered . . ." 1 Corinthians 11:5. (Logically, if a woman’s head is covered, she may contribute freely and on an equal footing with men in a Christian fellowship.)

Modest appearance :

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modest behaviour (from "shamefacedness") and sobriety ( the Greek means ‘soundness of mind’, or control of the mind and emotions); not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;" 1 Timothy 2:9

It is interesting how different these above standards are from those depicted in most music videos, and by rock musicians both male and female, and in the high fashion world, and by many of the men and women in television movies. James Bond, for example, has all the attributes of an unsaved man - he is sexually immoral, he kills and destroys at will, and his ‘gods’ are looks, power, money and independence. The women who fall for him are usually similar. The world admires the popular Bond image, while the Church, being diametrically opposed to his values, is meant to be quite the opposite.

It seems that the "good old-fashioned" values, practised by Christians and non-Christians alike, are the best ones for creating a happy, stable world : love, faithfulness, modesty,

fidelity, diligence, compassion, submission, godlinesshard work, chastity, and loyalty.

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