One of the most challenging and controversial topics facing the church and our children today is the matter of transgenderism. This issue may be defined as follows, “A person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.” Now, with that understanding, let me say this: fifty years ago, no one would have imagined that the reality of humanity’s division into two sexes - male and female - would be questioned or better yet attacked; however, this is exactly what is happening in our culture today. Many are attempting to label their gender as something different than that of the one at their birth. Furthermore, many are even praising those who take this opportunity to make the gender “switch”. Ultimately, I believe this issue raised by many today is an attack on God’s Word and God’s people. With that being said, there are many who are attempting to fight for the biblical (and correct) understanding of gender identity. Nonetheless, it looks as if this issue is no going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, it is important that we as parents and grandparents know how to respond and educate our children in the area of transgenderism.
With that being said, I would like to offer five guidelines and suggestions for addressing transgender issues with your children and grandchildren. These five things will help with answering questions from your children as well as guide you when “teaching moments” come available. The first thing I would say when addressing transgenderism with your children is this: Keep the discussion simple. In other words, stay calm, and keep in mind that you do not need to have every answer for your children (especially on issues like this). Here are a few things to affirm with your children: Number one, let them know God made male and female and people are born either male or female. Number two, some people become angry or confused, and do not like the way God created them. Third, because of that, some wish to “switch” genders. Fourth, no one can really change his or her gender from one to another.
The second guideline to remember is this: Keep the discussion a dialogue. When your children and grandchildren ask questions, use this time to connect with them. To say it a different way, ask questions of them like what they are learning, where they are learning it, and what do they think about the whole issue. This is a time to get to know your children, so keep the conversation friendly and casual.
The third suggestion to keep in mind when addressing transgenderism is this: Keep the discussion truthful. While you may not always know the answer to every issue involved in transgenderism, you do know what the Word of God says. As Christian parents and grandparents, it is our responsibility to teach the truth of the Bible to our children. Thus, in a loving yet accurate manner, let your children know what God says about gender identity, and that the truth of the gospel can change anyone who comes to Him.
The fourth and fifth suggestion will be combined here. It is as follows: Keep the discussion Kind and Affirming. As conversations and teaching moments arise, always discuss this issue with a spirit of kindness and love. God still loves those who consider themselves transgender, and he does desires for them to be saved. Consequently, as we discuss these issues with our children and grandchildren, we must model the love and compassion of our Savior. Furthermore, with this issue in the spotlight, many children may become curious, startled
or afraid. Thus, it is important that we take the time to affirm the gender of our children, which in turn will produce comfort in the hearts of our kids and grandkids.
Overall, prayer for wisdom is the most important thing that you as a parent or grandparent can do in striving to answer and educate your children in the area of transgenderism. While we cannot completely remove transgenderism as of right now, we can learn how to properly and biblically address the issue with our children. For more resources on this subject, please visit the website of Focus on the Family. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this article, and I pray God blesses you and your family in the month of June.
For His Glory Alone,