"War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine creatures who inhabit the earth." (Ernie Pyle, WWII journalist)
Everywhere you look in today's culture, it seems that people are struggling with issues of gender. As I have pondered these male/female identity struggles, I have come to believe that our tendency to glorify the often questionable activities of our forefathers has caused us to expect something of ourselves that is impossible. In our thinking -- and only in our thinking -- we buy into the superhuman ideas about gender that drama and fiction have placed into our minds. We then, in some measure, allow that version of our humanity to become our life goals and an example of desirable behavior.
There's perhaps and even more damaging idea lurking in the darkest corners of our thought processes; the idea that these images are what we must be to be acceptable to those around us. There's an underlying knowledge of truth that tugs us toward reality, but we live in a struggle of expectation. We expect something over ourselves that we will never be. In truth, we expect what we cannot be.
That superhuman athlete, fighter, pastor, teacher, mom – whatever -- can only exist in the twisted recesses of a mind programmed by world culture.
Twisted recesses of the mind. A complete study of words translated as "wicked" in the Bible indicates this behavior – this struggle of expectation -- is the product of twisted, mixed-up thinking. Men and women begin with a desire to be accepted – celebrated! – among our peers. While adapting ourselves into behavior that is perceived as acceptable, we often compromise our own deep knowledge of what is good. There's an all-knowing facet of how we're made that is placed by Father – our conscience. That conscience constantly applies pressure toward the wonder of godliness, but fallen humanity pushes it aside over and over again. And then, that fallen humanity continues to behave in ways perceived as acceptable or expected in world culture.
Reaching for that thing we can't reach, we find ourselves existing in rejection, frustration, disappointment, depression, and anger. All of these feelings torment us because we perpetuate that desire demonstrated by Eve, then Adam, in the beginning. Instead of accepting that we are to "live out from" the breath of Father, we try to identify and become another form of life.
While demanding to be recognized as independent thinkers, we wrestle to pull a form of life from the opinion of other human beings. No wonder Jesus said, "If you refuse to be born again you cannot even see that your world is ruled by the unseen hand of Almighty God! It's His rule and reign that will produce true power and satisfaction in humanity!" (heavily paraphrased by the writer)