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cultural pressure toward conformity, traditionalists are now accused of being woefully out of step and hopelessly out of date.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. The most basic question in this controversy comes down to this: Has God created human beings as male and female with a revealed intention for how we are to relate to each other? Has the church heeded his call? Do the children and youth in our care understand what it means to be created as male or female? Do they have strong, biblical arguments for biblical manhood and womanhood? Or, by default are we letting the "prevailing spirit of the age" guide them?As a starting point for presenting a biblical understanding of gender, here is a free lesson: "The Design of the Creator: Man Created Male and Female" from the curriculum Rejoicing in God's Good Design. Although this lesson was written for youth (12 years and up) the main themes can be adapted for younger students, too. Also, check out The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for a wide variety of helpful articles and resources.
Nine years ago, Dr. Albert Mohler wrote an article, "A Call for Courage on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood." His words were prophetic.