Compassion is necessary if we want to be fully human. But compassion, alone, will not make us wise. We can be so compassionate that we don’t allow people to take chances and risks for themselves, and we don’t allow them to learn from their mistakes. We can be so compassionate that we spare children and grownups from the hardships of rules, and duties, and responsibilities; and the rigors of honor, and sacrifice, and struggle. We can be so compassionate that we rob people of their freedom and their dignity by giving them too much, or interfering too much.
I believe that we are tempted to allow our science, and our compassion, to make us unwise in our understanding of ourselves, and others, as male and female.
For instance the commandment about honoring your parents (Deut. 5:13) is not for earning either God’s love, or your parent’s love. You honor your parents because of grace; because of the grace of having parents. It is about making relationships holy.
The story is about a God who desires relationships and makes them possible. The relationship between the Lord and us is holy: it is purposeful and great. The relationships we have with others are holy, because they have a purpose, and there is a greatness in them.
Even though sex is a holy gift, even though it is a central part of our identity, its holiness is wrapped up in its boundaries, its controls, and its limitations, and its disciplines. These boundaries are part of the story.
This sounds very simple, and basic, and it is. In Christ we have a clean break with our difficult, old identity. It comes from the grace of God, and the power of God. And yet there is an obvious struggle with our identity that continues to be difficult.
This relates to live out our identity as males and females. Read on through the end of chapter seven, in Romans, and you will see how an identity that is given to you by God’s grace may be a life-long challenge.
We are all Adams and Eves. We might be Adam or Eve before God brought them together. We might be Adam and Eve in their full strength. We might be an old, old, decrepit Adam and Eve, long past their prime.
There is freedom and peace in this: blessed freedom and blessed peace. Boys and girls also need to grow up with the same freedom and peace that comes from this identity. This is part of the story into which God writes our part.