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What to Teach Your Kids About Gender

I got thinking the other day that I probably needed to start paying attention to some of what I was writing for others to read.  Here’s what I mean: I wrote a couple times recently about former tennis great Martina Navratilova, a woman who came out of the closet as a gay athlete long before it was culturally cool to do so, who was plowed over by the tidal wave of transgenderism in our culture.

Martina voiced her opposition to having to compete against a biological male in a woman’s sport just because he says he thinks he’s a female.  And while I wrote about that to draw attention to the hostility transgender ideology has for the entire construct of biological sex (something that provides the foundation for homosexual ideology), I realized that I needed to take heed myself.  If it’s a tidal wave in the culture, I’m not going to be spared as it washes ashore.

So, what am I doing to prepare not just myself but my kids?  Beyond that, how can I prepare when this revolutionary movement is happening quicker and with more extreme manifestations than anyone predicted?  There’s only one answer: Christianity.

Actual Christianity.  Biblical Christianity.  Christianity that teaches submission to God’s will, not our own.  That’s why I was so excited to see this piece by Dan Doriani that outlined the three basic principles that we Christians need to be ingraining in our children’s heads every day, without hesitation, without fail.

First, God created all things.  And in so doing, He chose to create humanity male and female.  Doriani does an admirable job pointing out that much of what we think about gender is socially constructed. 

Wearing ties and tuxes as men versus wearing dresses and rompers as women is totally arbitrary.  It is socially constructed by our culture.  Differences like an affinity for cooking or sports are also socially constructed and many times boys will cross over into “girl” activities and vice versa.  We should point this all out to our children as we encourage them to express themselves freely in their interests and hobbies.

But when it comes to sexual identity, the Word and the world it informs is clear:

Activities like giving birth and nursing are creational, not social. Reproduction is basic to how God designed us. People are male or female in every cell of the body, in both nerves and hormones—not in the reproductive organs alone.

Secondly, Doriani stresses the importance of teaching our children that their bodies are gifts, not a problem.  While sin is a problem and it has impacted our bodies in negative ways, our bodies have been given to us by God for our use.  Doriani writes,

Parents, help your children appreciate that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). Tell and show them that God enables their bodies to do marvelous things. We can run and shout. We can be still. We can dance, sway, and sing. Parents, let your children see you performing acts of dexterity and skill—making music, juggling and drawing, throwing and catching, making and fixing.

This is particularly important in the age of video games and iPads.

Finally, the author encouraged us to help our children see the gifts God has given each of us to use for His glory.  Doing all these things help kids develop a healthy and well-adjusted understanding of the relationship between our physical bodies and our metaphysical minds:

Our culture constantly tells us to “Follow your heart” to find our identity by looking within. The Bible never says, “Follow your heart.” In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 makes it plain: “The heart is deceitful.”

True, we may question roles that family and society have thrust upon us. Yet it is good, not evil, to find our place in the world through the body God gives us. If we believe in the sovereignty and goodness of God, we tell our children this truth applies to them.

Amen.  Standing athwart the rising tide of sexual insanity in the culture, our children need to cling to something reliable, fixed, and unmoving.  Here’s a good place to start.

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