Last month, I started my blog by describing a Facebook (FB) post about a woman who wanted Bible verses to give to her daughter who no longer wanted to dress feminine. The panic and urgency in her words are heart-wrenching and inspired my research on the topic.
But God’s timing also caught me by surprise. As I hunted down articles and read snippets of books, I found that several young women in my family also identified as LGBTQ, and one young woman is now dressing like a man. Let me tell you that the pain of this discovery is real. I can understand the shock and turmoil of the woman who posted on that FB group.
For Christian parents and their families, this should be alarming. What once was a “Taboo” topic in polite company is now a direct realization. According to a recent Gallup poll, 16 percent of Generation Z adults identify as LGBT. In comparison, only one to two percent of Baby Boomers and Great Generation (Traditionalist) claim any homosexual tendencies.
Why? According to the same poll, “The pronounced generational differences raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT.” What does that mean? It means that Gen Z adults think it’s cool to be gay and open about it.
But the Bible tells us something different. In her book, Let Me Be a Woman, Elisabeth Elliot tells her daughter, “We believe the creation story in the first two chapters of the Bible . . . He made each thing according to the Word of His power, and when He looked at it, He saw that it was good. God might have given Adam another man to be his friend, to walk and talk and argue with if that was his pleasure. But Adam needed more than a companionship of animals or the friendship of another man. He needed a helper, specially designed and prepared to fill that role. It was a woman God gave him. That was what woman was for. The New Testament refers clearly to this purpose: ‘For man was not made from a woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”
Thus, the first point parents need to teach their children is that homosexuality is an insult to God’s creation. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created.” A man without woman and woman without man alters the essential workings of couples.
Furthermore, Psalm 139:13-16 shows that God plays an integral part in our formation. It says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” That is why transgenderism is sinful. It’s a denial of God’s role in our construction before birth.
Secondly, parents need to teach their children that not only were they born in the correct gender –that God chose for them, but they were also born with a sinful nature. In his article, “Talking to Your Children About Transgendersim,” Pastor Heath Lambert says, “When our kids encounter transgenderism on the news, with their friends, or in their own personal struggle, then Christian parents need to help them make sense of it by talking about sin. We need to be clear that transgenderism is a manifestation of human sinfulness but that it is not the only manifestation. We can say things like, ‘That little boy on the news is fighting against God’s Word just the way you do when you behave cruelly toward your sister.’ Transgenderism is explained by sin and is far from the only manifestation of it.”
While attending a Biblical Counseling course, a couple in my class shared a story about disciplining their child. They said, “When we asked our seven-year-old daughter why she did something wrong, she responded, ‘Because I’m a sinner.’” Wow! Those parents taught their young children that sin is a result of a sinful nature.
Even so, with all talk about sin, parents need to accompany that talk with grace. Lambert continues in the same article, “Grace does not mean that we do not speak about sin, but it does change the way we speak about sin. God’s grace has invaded humanity, and that means that for the rest of eternity, we must never speak about sin without speaking about the grace of God.”
I can’t agree more. We are so apt to cancel people and their sin because it may not be our own, but in doing so, we are casting judgment on others and not showing them grace. The gospel and grace must go hand in hand. To tell someone their dying and not offer them the antidote for life is a heinous act against the cross of Christ.
Finally, parents (and their families, i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) need to be on guard at all times. Gone are the days that parents leave their children sitting in front of the TV unattended. The same applies to the internet, Instagram, FB, etc. Parents need to know who their children are interacting with and what they are learning in school, clubs, and other areas.
Every child undergoes a period of awkwardness when transitioning from childhood to puberty. They need to know that it is normal and not a red flag that something is wrong or that there needs to be a drastic change to their bodies. But they also need to know that they can come to us for answers. Our society has created a need for peer acceptance. We place our children in groups, i.e., schools, church programs, sports, etc., where they interact with other kids their age, and there are few parents/authority figures to glean wisdom. Thus, another child’s influence can and will affect how your child thinks because they long to be accepted.
In his book entitled Life in Four Stages, Dr. Al Mohler says about childhood, “Modern psychologists and modern education theorists celebrate adolescence as the period when the individual can have the greatest impact. They are right about this. We need to understand that whoever reaches the hearts and the minds of adolescents owns the future.”
Be on guard, parents. Be faithful to share God’s Word with your children. Share the gospel with them and tell them of God’s grace to sinners. Pray for them. Love them, and be ready with answers.