by Kelly Pelton (written 19 Feb 2021)

The terms "biblical man- and womanhood"
aren't found in any Bible verse; gender
expectations are man-made, burdening
our souls with pressure to conform. Tender

hearts weren't made to fit the stereotypes
but to express God's image more fully
by being fully human, becoming
the individuals God made us to be.

The women and men of God's sacred word
included prostitutes, warmongers, all
on a journey of faith, diversity
the rule and not the exception; let's fall

in line with their example. No cultural
sameness is mandated by the scriptures
for women or for men, no middle-class
standards, just an urge to all be pictures

of Jesus wherever we are serving.
Each woman and man must discern the way
to live from one's story as the Lord leads
and not from misguided rules of our day.