Ready, Set, Pick Your Gender!

transgender blog 2Ready, set, pick your gender! Yes, that’s right. British school children as young as 4 have begun switching genders. According to the Telegraph as many as eighty 3-5 year-olds in England will want to dress and act like the opposite sex. Admittedly, 80 British primary students do not constitute a statistically significant number. (There are more than 900,000 primary students in Great Britain). But the number and the increasing number of non-profits supporting kids with transgender feelings signifies that the transgender debate is gaining steam. Are we ready to parent our kids through these choppy waters of the sexual revolution? Here are three things to consider.

Three Biblical Responses

  1. We don’t need to panic or start throwing our transgender neighbors overboard. We need to extend love and compassion to them, realizing that their struggles are very real. And then, we need to offer them the hope of the gospel.
  2. We need to start charting a biblical worldview for our kids. We need to teach our kids the full counsel of God. When it’s time to read Genesis 1-2, I Corinthians 5:1-5, and Ephesians 5, we need to talk to our kids about gender, sex, and marriage. Instead running for the topsails when our kids bring up sex, we need to thoughtfully engage them and encourage them to keep the questions coming. We need to foster of spirit of openness with our children. And then, we need to teach our kids how to sail through life by modeling male leadership and demonstrating biblical femininity within the home. We need to show our kids about God’s view of gender. Jesus doesn’t think gender is a choice. Let’s make sure our kids know God’s plan.
  3. Let’s be patient. Studies have shown that around 80% of kids with transgender feelings will re-identify with their biological gender. Practically, we don’t need to panic when our son puts on a play dress. Nor should we worry that all of our little girl’s friends are boys.  At 4, most kids have no clue what they are doing and have no clue what being transgender means.  And we shouldn’t expect them to. There is a reason why preschoolers have parents and can’t apply for credit cards and mortgages. What adult in his or her right mind thinks preschoolers can understand the ramifications of hormone replacement therapy or a sex change operation? Instead of asking our kids to make decisions they cannot hope to fathom, we should patiently teach them biblical view of gender. We guide our little boys to be masculine, selfless leaders and our girls to be feminine, thoughtful helpers. And in time, most kids will embrace their God given gender.

What About The Other 20%?

But what about the other 20%? How do we help children who honestly feel that they are trapped in the wrong body? How do we help our kids and their friends overcome their angst, their fears, and their suicidal thoughts? Shouldn’t we want all kids to feel happy and fulfilled?

And the answer is a resounding yes! But according to Jesus, happiness and fulfillment are not found within. As Christians, we should never encourage people to recreate God’s will so that he matches their feelings. Instead, we should call people to recreate their feelings to match God’s will. Notice what Jesus says in Mathew 16:24 ““If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Bending the world to match our mental perceptions does not bring us closer to God. Self-realization actually only brings separation and harm. Just ask Jewel Shuping who had her psychologist pour drain cleaner into her eyes, enabling her to fulfill her lifelong dream of being blind. Steering our lives by the stars of human ingenuity always leads us away from the peace of God and often into physical harm. To find the joy of eternal life, we have to abandon our earthly desires and set our minds on the things above. Nothing else will make us right with God. Nothing else will must us happy.

Recently, the former psychiatrist-in-chief of John Hopkins Hospital, Dr. McHugh, noted that those who undergo a sex change do not gain peace. They continue to struggle with depression after surgery.  After all, a sex change cannot truly change one’s biological nature. Hands, hips, chromosomes, and a whole host of other things cannot be remade this side of heave. Salvation cannot be achieved with the scalpel…only destruction. True hope is found in Christ alone!

In 2016, we will continue to see more and more stories about transgender kids. And some of us will directly encounter a child wrestling with transgender leanings in 2016. But, we don’t have to be scared. The Bible clearly and compassionately speaks to gender. We have access to real hope: Jesus!  Are you and your kids ready for the transgender debate?

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