Raising children is no easy feat! It has always been a daunting task; however in this day and age with a progressive agenda of transgender, LGBTQ communities, and the idea of “gender neutral” parenting, it has become harder to shield our children from the ways of this world. Therefore let’s begin with the precious words Mordecai shared with Esther in her time of distress, “You have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). As intimidating as it may be raising a child in a gender-confused world God brought your children into this world for such a time as this and for a purpose, as the Lord declares, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). With that said, God chose you to be your son and/or daughter’s parent and to teach and train up that child in the way he/she should go, trusting that when he/she is old they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). The enemy wants you to believe that your child growing up in this time period is doomed. The truth is there are ways to parent gender-healthy children without resorting to certain stereotypes society claims a boy or girl should be or look like. Here are some ways to lead your children well in a gender-confused world that will result in them understanding that their sexual identity is an undeniable part of who God created them to be.
God’s Image Bearer
God handpicked your child and molded them into the person they are supposed to be whether male or female. Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” He was intentional in how your child was made, in fact, Psalms pull back the layers and shine a light on how purposeful our God is in His creation, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb you saw me before I was born” (vs. 139:13,15-16a). God took such care in creating your children, in fact, He thought of your children even before you did, as God’s word tells us His thoughts cannot be numbered (Psalm 139:17). Therefore as your children’s parents affirm the goodness of God’s creation by thanking Him for making them so wonderfully complex. Marvel at God’s workmanship by praying over your son saying, “Thank you God for making my son male.” Do the same for your daughter, “Thank you God for making my daughter a female.” Admire and affirm God’s design in your children.
Showing unconditional love and acceptance through affection is perhaps the greatest and sweetest gift a parent can give to their children. A child needs affection to truly thrive and become who they’ve been created to be. By simply spending time with your child and showing them love will naturally provide the necessary social cues, as well as healthy attachment patterns as they observe how a man and woman operate. God uniquely designed us to express love towards Him and others through masculine and feminine ways and it’s best shown to children rather than attempting to explain. So it is important for a father to connect with his son at an early age through words and actions. A father should take interest in his son and affirm the man that he is. He should also show his son how to love honor and protect his mother. Be present with your son. A daughter also needs to see how a man should treat a woman through the way her father loves and treats her mother. A daughter needs to feel protected, secure, and safe with her father. It is also vital for her to receive compliments and affirmation from Him.
A mother should show her son how a wife should honor, respect, and love her husband. She should also encourage the bond between father and son rather than attempting to bind him to her. Love, nurture, and comfort your son like only a mother can but also allow his father to nurture in his way, which may include some “tough love.” It’s alright for your son to develop tougher skin from his dad. As for the mother and daughter relationship, a daughter needs to see how her mother loves and respects her husband, how she can be nurturing and yet strong, how to be confident in who she is, and how to demonstrate femininity in a way that honors God. A daughter needs to feel loved by her mother, not competed with. Anytime a parent gives their child a hug, allow them to be the first to pull away.
Since gender is binary your child will remain either male or female for their entire lifetime. While this is true and the way God intended it, society has led people to believe that a girl or boy should conform to certain stereotypes. However, the truth is your son is still a boy whether he prefers to sing and dance or wrestle and play football. The same goes for your daughter whether she enjoys wearing pink dresses and lip-gloss or playing with cars and getting dirty in the mud. We have unintentionally embraced the idea that each gender should act and express themselves a certain way. Instead, we need to understand the full range of biblical masculinity and femininity. For example, King David was a strong warrior who fought off a lion and a bear and yet was a tenderhearted poet and harpist. Then there are women like Deborah who expresses the feminine side of a fearless warrior, and Esther who is courageous despite opposition or the compassion and faithfulness of Ruth. There is such a wide variety of ways for a man to show masculinity and for a woman to show femininity, instead of stereotyping, let’s celebrate our differences.
Keep Truth at the Forefront
With the direction the world is going, it is inevitable your child will come across gays, lesbians, cross-dressers, transgender, and everything in between. Therefore it is important to keep the line of communication open. Answer any questions they might have and be willing to discuss what they are noticing by pointing them to the truth. Consider talking about what God says about the situation; that He created each person either male or female and designed marriage to be between a man and a woman. Discuss how there are people who chose to rebel against God and when a person chooses to live separate from God they can get confused and have a hurting heart. However, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Regardless of a person’s choices they can always turn to God and be forgiven and given salvation. So the proper response should be to love them, pray for them, and ask God to help them see the truth and turn to Him. Rather than being afraid or trying to shield your children from seeing anything, speak God’s truth, teach right from wrong, and don’t allow the world to redefine the way your child should live.
Remember your child was born for such a time as this! God loves your children even more than you do. Stand firm on God’s truth and empower your children to be the difference!