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Accept It; Esther

A biological male is born with XY chromosomes and has male sex and reproductive organs. A biological female is also born with XX chromosomesand has female sex and reproductive organs. The Bible in Genesis 5:2 says, “He created them male and female…”. Centuries later in the New Testament, Jesus affirmed this when He said, “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Humans, therefore, have no control or input at the onset of conception regarding which sex God offers. Adam, the first created man, had no input or choice of his sex until he became a living being. When Eve, the first female, was being made, God in His wisdom put Adam into a deep sleep until He finished and handed her over to him as his wife.

Therefore, both Adam and Eve had no input in the determination of their sexes when they were made. After Adam gained back his consciousness, he expressed his excitement and said, “…This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:23). According to Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…”. So God equally expressed His excitement on the sixth and last day after creating humankind and the entire universe and rested on the seventh day. The first five days saw the creation of the lights, skies, seas, dry grounds, seed and fruits bearing plants and trees, night and day, living creatures and all kinds of birds in the sea and on the earth, wild animals and the livestock according to their kinds.

Unfortunately, human beings have tempered with every creation of God irresponsibly as against the charge given when handing them over to us. This has resulted in the threatening climatic and environmental conditions we all find ourselves in today with its associated hardships and misery. Due to socio-economic factors, wildlife and the general ecosystem are equally trampled upon with impunity. At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP 26, held in Glasgow, leaders from around the world gathered to chart a path forward on climate action to curb emissions and address the impacts of a warming planet. Simon Kofe, the Foreign Minister of Tuvalu, said, “We cannot wait for speeches when the sea is rising around us all the time.” Former President of United States Barack Obama also said, “Saving the planet isn’t a partisan issue.” The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, intimated, “Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It’s one minute to midnight on that Doomsday clock, and we need to act now.” These troubles began after humans started tempering with everything God created without recourse to the attached manual, His word. As a result, Humanity have not known rest after God rested on the seventh day.

Until the latter days of the 20th century, what was possibly left unscratched was the male and female gender as programmed by God for each individual. Today, some seem to have gathered the nerves to temper with this one too and propagating for others to do the same if they so wish. They refer to themselves as transgender people. A transgender person is a person who feels trapped inside the body of the opposite gender. A transgender woman lives as a woman today but was thought to be male when she was born. A transgendermanlives as a man today but was considered female when he was born.

Whereas some renowned world leaders have embraced the trans-community with laws that seek to protect their interests, others have condemned the practice outrightly. The number of children referred to the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust’s gender identity development service (Gids)—the NHS service through which all UK candidates for a sex change under 18 is up from 77 in 2009 to 2,590 in 2018. In November 2017, the Guardian reported that 70 per cent of referrals were female. There has been an extraordinary increase in teenagers seeking to transition from female to male in the last ten years.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, stressed that his country should adhere to its own “spiritual values and historical traditions,” he said the notion that children are “taught that a boy can become a girl and vice versa” is monstrous and “on the verge of a crime against humanity.” This article seeks to appreciate the wisdom and purposes behind the male and female gender as strategically chosen and designed by God for every single individual.

The book of Esther introduces a young lady named Hadassah, who happened to be one of the Jewish exiles and captives carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Also known as Esther, she had a lovely figure and was very beautiful. As an orphan, she was under the care of her cousin Mordecai, who worked at the palace in the citadel of Susa as one of the security operatives (Esther 2:5-7). At birth, her parents, relatives, and the Elders in Israel had no idea why God made her a female with those features. It was only a matter of time for all to appreciate that the creator makes no mistakes in choosing our gender for us. Besides her ordeal as a captive living in a foreign land exposed to an early hustling life with her gatekeeper male cousin, Esther had other challenges that confronted her. Both of her parents died when she was a little child. The obvious and preferable person to take care of Esther should have been one of her female relatives with a better appreciation of nurturing the girl child. Her tribe, Benjamin, also happened to be the smallest of all the tribes in Israel.

One of the questions and thoughts that could have occurred to her was whether she was a male in a female body. Indeed, a cursory examination of her early social, emotional and psychological challenges and the only available relative to her aid being a male could have led to her questioning why she came out from birth as a female. Besides other factors such as self-confidence, esteem and worth and innate feelings, some adolescent girls seeking sex reassignment argue that the trappings of femininity can be oppressive. However, one bitter truth is that challenges are gender insensitive at all ages and stages in this life. No matter how inexpressible it may be, the mere innate feeling one gets at a particular time due to a challenge should not warrant consideration for gender change. One of the most significant flaws of contemplating a gender reassignment surgery is the assumption of fulfilment, satisfaction and improvement of one’s self-worth afterwards.

Sex reassignment surgery refers to procedures that help people transition to their self-identified gender. People may have surgery so that their physical body matches their gender identity. What happens during surgery varies depending on the procedure, and it can be facial, top, bottom surgeries or a combination of these operations. 

A trans activist woman who de-transitioned in 2018 claimed that many people with gender reassignment regret the decision and want to return to their original sex. Charlie Evans, aged 28 years, from Newcastle, UK, also said hundreds of people who wish to return to their original gender have contacted her since she announced her de-transition and stopped taking her hormone therapy. Evans was born female but decided to live as a male for almost ten years before de-transitioning.

In a cohort study in the PLos One journal edited by James Scott, it was discovered that Persons with sex reassignment have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.

The above conclusion from the study even proves that it does not lie within the purview of humankind to make a man out of a person born a woman at birth or vice-versa. Even God did not do that. When He needed the female gender, he did not change Adam’s gender but made a new human being in the person of Eve. It is, therefore, not surprising the health and psychological complications associated with the gender reassignment procedures.

God is not unaware of the struggles all humans go through in this life, no matter how personal or indescribable they may appear. He is always available and ready to offer the helping and restoring hand. I would, at this point, urge all guardians, relatives, friends and loved ones of all who seem to be going through one challenge or the other to offer every available support to them. We necessarily do not have to be wealthy before providing emotional, psychological, financial, social and spiritual help to others. Per his societal standing and socio-economic status at the time, Mordecai could not have been able to support Esther. Yet, as a gatekeeper, he became a shoulder upon which Esther could cry and depend in those difficult moments of her life.

Around 5th century BC, Queen Vashti, wife of King Xerxes, the Mede-Persian King, was deposed for misconducting herself (Esther 1:10-22). To fill the vacuum, a search was to be made throughout the 127 provinces from Ethiopia to India for a suitable young virgin. “ Then the King’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be done for beautiful young virgins for the King.Let the King appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the King’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women, and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the young woman who pleases the King be Queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the King, and he followed it (Esther 2:1-4). The pre-qualification criterion was a biological female, at least to begin with.

Although they were captives in that foreign Land, Mordecai seized that golden opportunity to register Esther to participate in that pageantry. Mordecai did not have what it took to make Esther a beautiful biological female. No matter how concerned her cousin was, there was no way she could have been listed if she was not a biological female at the time. That is the preserve of God. Similarly, we cannot push our male children into opportunities solely reserved for the girl child and vice-versa. According to Esther 2:7-9, of all the contestants who had assembled at the Citadel of Susa, Esther was the one who won the favour of Hegai, the King’s eunuch and their caretaker at the time. Even though something quite unusual, which I prefer to call Grace and which others call favour, seemed to be working to her advantage, her female gender offered by God at birth, became the bedrock for that mindboggling success story of hers.

In like manner, God uses the very sex He offers us at birth to our advantage at all times. The argument that God could have still used a male to connect the Israelites to the seat of the government at the time isn’t tenable because Mordecai was a male working as a gatekeeper. God needed a female who could also be the First Lady in Susa. Therefore, our gender is not an afterthought as the transgender community is portraying gender choices to look like. You are of a particular gender at birth for reasons far beyond what you can ever imagine during your lifetime.

After Esther won that beauty contest and became the suitable replacement for Queen Vashti, the real reason for her feminine make-up began to unfold. Little did she know that the redemption, deliverance and salvation of a whole nation had been incorporated in her female gender at birth.

Even though the King’s wife, Esther, was a Jew, one official at the seat of government in the person of Haman suddenly assumed the title, “The enemy of the Jews.” As a well-connected person in officialdom, he succeeded in getting the King to sign an irreversible edict to kill all the Jews within the 127 provinces on 7th March 473 BC (Esther 3:12). Almost 10 years before this period, Mordecai, the gatekeeper, had uncovered a credible plot to assassinate the King by two guards of his private quarters. The intel was investigated, and the culprits were impaled on a sharpened pole (Esther 2:21-23). If Mordecai were to be a female, she would not have had the opportunity to work as a gatekeeper, let alone get his name imprinted in the annals of King Xerxes’ reign history. The reason for his male make-up by God also began to unfold. Mordecai sent a message to Esther about the wicked plot of Haman about the Jews, and together, they organized three-day fasting and prayers to avert that pending calamity. Quite reminiscent of males, Mordecai lacked the fine details of how best the Jews would come out of that pending disaster even though he knew something urgent needed to be done. He said, “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace, you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made Queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14).

The original feminine race, which God has endowed with discernment and the carving out the fine details for relief and such distressful situations, then added their touch to the whole deliverance plan. She sent this reply to Mordecai, “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the King. If I must die, I must die.” So, Mordecai went away and did everything Esther had ordered him (Esther 4:15-17).

In the end, Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai, and a new edict was issued by the King, who provided the Jews with the right of self-defense. Males and females, therefore, have their inherent limitations. God intended that they complement and not compete with each other. The roles Mordecai and Esther played complemented each other so well to meet the set objective of averting the pending massacre of the Jews. When the devil’s plan begins to work against us, God’s original design for our lives begins to work to perfection and unto His glory.

Esther and Mordecai, who wholeheartedly embraced their God-given sexes, rose to occupy the positions as the First Lady and the Prime Minister of the Persian Empire, respectively (Esther 10:3). It must also be pointed out that Esther was not catapulted to the position of the Queen only because of her female gender. The Bible says she obeyed all the good counsel her cousin Mordecai offered her as a child, during the days of the beauty contest and even as the First Lady (Esther 2:20). We, therefore, must not ignore godly counsels and still expect to solely depend on our God-given genders to make the needed impact during our lifetime. There is a good reason God made you a male or female at birth.

Accept, therefore, your God-given biological gender, and amid challenges, you can still be a blessing to yourself, immediate family members, society and the world at large.

Written by Pastor James Orhin Agyin

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