Gender Consent

Gender Consent

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

August 8, 2023

Gender Consent

Matt Laney

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…” So God created humankind in the divine image; male and female God created them. – Genesis 1:26-27 (CEB, modified)

Gender happens, usually without consent.

When you were born, or in utero, someone assigned a gender to you based on your anatomy. Today, more and more courageous people, young and not-so-young, are saying, “I do not consent.”

Likewise, gender happened to God without consent. Drenched as it is in patriarchy, the Bible mostly refers to God in masculine terms and with male pronouns. However, at no point in scripture does God say, “I am male.”

Is God’s given gender based on anatomy, as with humans? Does God have a male body? Clearly, the logic of assigning maleness to God is not well-considered, but the social impact is. As many have said: “If God is male then male is god.”

That’s why an increasing number of people reject Mr. God altogether. Why not be an atheist when it comes to the idol of God as an older, bearded, white male in the clouds?

Isn’t it more accurate, and biblical, to say God is non-binary, genderqueer, omni-gender and beyond gender? Perhaps the best way to refer to the Three-in-One God is with the non-gendered pronoun “They.”

Consider the text above from Genesis 1 with singular and plural reference points for God, spoken by God. There, we find more than one gender in the being of God. A more accurate translation might be: “So They created humankind in the divine image; male and female, They created them.”

You are free to agree or disagree, but please think twice before assigning gender without consent to God or to Their children.


Thee/Thou/They, may we live and love as Thine own.

Note: Although gender has traditionally been assigned according to sex characteristics, sex and gender are not the same. To explore more on this topic, please see this excellent and accessible resource from WebMD.



Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first two books, The Spinner Prince and The Four Guardians are available now.


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