But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” – Gen. 3:9
Pride Month presents us with many things that don’t make sense, particularly for those of us who believe we are created in the image of God. But it’s easier to admit I have questions because God has questions too.
Our initial reaction to those who support Pride activities might be anger and disgust. We might be surprised or upset that someone we know supports something we think is wrong.
But God calls us to treat these people with compassion and respect. To do that, we need to see them as those created in his image and show an interest in them as individuals, not just as part of a political or social agenda.
This is difficult to do, and trying to ask these questions during Pride Month may not be the best time. But there is something else we experience that can become the basis for future conversations. Confusion.
Admitting we are genuinely confused by the language or objectives of Pride Month is not a weakness. Instead, it can lead to an open, constructive conversation down the road.
Being confused by the language or objectives of Pride Month can lead to an open, constructive conversation down the road.
In my previous post, I described how shame entered the world with sin, and the effect of shame was hiding from God. Pride Month is part of an effort to change the laws and social norms that remind us of our shame. But our shame can only be removed by Jesus’ death on the cross for us.
But God also shows us how to engage others living with this painful awareness of shame. He asked questions when he entered the garden after the man and woman had sinned. In his example, we see a way to interact with those desperate to hide their shame.
The first question God asks is, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). God knows everything, so it’s not that he can’t find the man and woman, nor is he angry they are hiding. Instead, he’s saying, “I miss you.” God expected to spend time with those created in his image, but now they are hiding from him.
During Pride Month, we may notice uncharacteristic behavior by people we know. They may feel caught between the pressure to conform and their discomfort with what is being portrayed. The man responds to God’s question by explaining his fear of exposure resulting from shame (Gen. 3:10).
Be prepared for it to take much longer to draw out these responses from those we try to engage. They may not know why they feel ashamed and afraid. We must take time to earn their trust by showing them we genuinely want to know what they are feeling.
These questions are open-ended, meaning they make the other person the expert, not you. I’ve written about open-ended questions in another post. God continues to ask questions until the man and woman’s sin is plain to them (Gen. 3:11-13). Only then does God explain the consequences of their sin and give them hope for future salvation.
God does not remove their shame at that moment, but he does make them better clothes to cover themselves (Gen. 3:21). This is a symbol of the sacrifice that will be necessary for us to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Gal. 3:27 NIV).
Jesus also asked many questions, but perhaps none more profound than when he hung naked on the cross. In that moment, he asked his Father, “why have you forsaken me?” (Mat. 27:36).
Three days later, God proved Jesus was not forsaken when he raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus died for our sin and shame so we would never be forsaken by God.
What aspects of the Pride movement do you find the most confusing?
How could you ask someone from the movement about them at a later time?
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