Forming Faith Blog

Created in God’s Image (Pride Month)

This Pride Month and every month, let’s emphasize that ALL people, regardless of differences, are created in God’s image. It is our moral obligation to treat all people–including ourselves–with full dignity and love.

A person holding a rainbow heart. All people are made in God's image.
Photo by Marta Branco on
Created in God’s Image

Each summer, I take time in this blog to reflect on topics in faith formation of general interest, often grouped into series. My first series is inspired by our newest Learning Together unit Created to Care on environmental stewardship. However, this blog series is not on environmental stewardship. Instead, I’m reflecting on other significant insights arising from humanity as God’s creation. The last post covered some of the foundational truths that undergird our faith, including God as Creator (and what that does and doesn’t mean), the goodness of creation, the goodness of work, and our call for environmental stewardship.

This post continues my tradition of focusing one of my June posts on Pride Month, though the topic will also be covered brilliantly by Pace Warfield, a student of queer theology and an experienced Christian educator. Today I will look at the dignity shared by all people—including those in the LGBTQIA+ community—as image-bearers of God.

Created for Dignity

Dignity describes the state or quality (in thought, word, AND action) of someone being treated with respect and honor. Inherent dignity—the basis for the concept of human rights—is the assertion that all people deserve to be treated with dignity by nature of being human. Christians (and I believe Jews, but I haven’t done the research to assert this as fact) see the foundation of this inherent dignity as the universal gift of God’s image (Genesis 1:27). All people carry the image of God, and thus, all people should be treated equally with honor and respect.

Created to Be Loved

God calls us to go one step further than dignity. Beyond being treated with honor and respect, we deserve to be loved, again, just for being human. God’s love is unconditional and universal. Period. And God commands us to strive to do likewise. Later in this blog series, I will focus on our responsibility to love others, but God’s commandment implies that all people deserve to be loved just as they are.

Created to Be Yourself

Because of God’s image in all people, you deserve to be treated with dignity and loved unconditionally. You are a unique individual, with strengths and flaws, commonalities and idiosyncrasies, and all other characteristics. And you deserve to be treated with dignity and love as you are, your whole person. This means that you should also treat yourself with dignity and love, just as you are. Sure, it is good to want to improve, to become healthier and more loving versions of ourselves. But you deserve to be loved, and to love yourself, as you are right now. I would say that it is your moral responsibility as an image-bearer of God to be yourself.

Created for Pride

Part of treating yourself with dignity and love is having pride in yourself. This is not the negative pride as in conceit or hubris, but a joy in being yourself. This is the pride that is celebrated in Pride Month. People who have been dishonored, dehumanized, and marginalized must claim for themselves what the systems and individuals of society have denied them. In the case of Pride Month, the focus is on people with gender identities and sexual orientations that others have deemed abnormal. But the same is true for all groups and individuals who have been dishonored, dehumanized, and marginalized by systems and individuals.

Faith Formation Connections

The first thing we need to do as faith formation leaders is to put these ideas into action to the best of our abilities. They aren’t new or revolutionary as they boil down to loving others and loving yourself. But if you are discussing service and helping others in your context, and especially working for justice, laying out a framework of the image of God and the inherent dignity of all people is especially useful. This is the first principle of justice. And it is what some (many) conversations about serving others are missing. It is not enough to only fulfill someone’s physical needs. To truly help others, we need to work to honor and respect the dignity of everyone involved and to make sure that our acts of service are not undermining that dignity.

This June and at all times, make a point to honor the dignity of our siblings of different gender identities and sexualities as the fellow image-bearers that they are.

In God’s limitless love,

Gregory Rawn (Publisher)

Order Faith Formation Resources

Are you looking for resources for the summer: VBS, family/intergenerational events, or Sunday school? Check out our Learning Together series, a set of five-lesson units on a variety of topics. You can read outside reviews on both our newest Created to Care and Do Justice units! Our faith formation resources are easy-to-use, theologically sound, and inclusive.

Introducing our newest Learning Together unit: Created to Care! Wonder at God’s creation and learn about what we can do to protect and heal it in these five lessons, intended for children and intergenerational groups, family or churchwide events, or Vacation Bible School. This curriculum is published in collaboration with BibleWorm, a weekly Narrative Lectionary podcast, to accompany their summer series on Creation Care.

Our 2024-2025 resources have launched and are available to order! Narrative Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary, Classic Sunday School, and more.

At Spirit & Truth Publishing, we might just have exactly what you are looking for:

Stay updated by liking our Facebook page, subscribing to our e-newsletter, or following this blog!

Leave a Reply