Kids have always asked hard, surprising, and embarrassing questions, often when we are standing in the middle of a crowded store or restaurant. The people nearby smile and wait to enjoy whatever response the parents come up with. Most of the questions are fun to remember and joke about after the kids are asleep, but others can be troubling. Are you ready to answer your children’s questions about gender identity issues?
One of our readers requested this article because a mom whom she mentors experienced this very situation. The woman’s young daughter had just seen a man dressed as a woman and was naturally curious. The mom didn’t know what to tell her child and asked her mentor for help.
These questions are a certainty and the answers used to be. The issue is too widespread to avoid or protect your child from encountering. Your answers will be believed and repeated by your young children. Those same answers will likely be challenged when they get older. At some point, your children will have to decide what to believe for themselves. No matter what position your children take on this issue, there will be consequences.
What are you going to teach your children about sexuality issues? I wanted to write something like, “The Five Easy Answers,” but that wouldn’t have been the truth. There aren’t five easy answers or someone else would have written that list. Instead, I want to ask you three questions to consider.
If you answer these questions, you will know how to answer most of your children’s.
- What will you teach your kids about the Bible? Is the Bible truth, or is the Bible one opinion to consider? The issues surrounding the biblical truth about sexuality have only been up for debate in recent years. Has our generation discovered a correct theology that every other generation in biblical history was mistaken about? Is the biblical position on sexuality still truth? 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 say, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolater, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” If homosexuality is something to be accepted, then the rest of that list should be acceptable as well. The only decision is to believe the passage is truth or consider the verses to contain a list of options.
- How will your family define “success?” Parents need to be more impressed by their children’s faith and godliness than by their other achievements. A teacher may not grade objectively and a friend might not want to be unpopular. Will your family stand for biblical principles even if those principles mean your child is mistreated, taunted, or ignored by others? “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Parents will be the first people to define success to their kids. Will your definition sound like God’s?
- What does “kindness” look like? Much of the rhetoric surrounding the issues of sexuality have to do with words like acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. Truthfully, the biblical position on sexuality issues sounds unkind compared to the world’s message—but only if life on earth is all that matters. God’s priority is our eternity in heaven and blessings on earth. God’s people need to live with that same perspective. God wants everyone to be with him in heaven—but not everyone will choose heaven. Revelation 21:8 says, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” A physician sounds kind if he tells his patients they look great and he thinks they will live forever—unless that patient has cancer and needs treatment.
I wish I could have answered this request with something light and funny, but the issue is neither. The good news is that God has called us to be light, even when our message is not. There is a heaven and we can help people live there—eternally—if we will live and teach biblical truth.
- As you parent your children and struggle with the desire to help them be popular, remember that popularity with God matters most.
- As you raise your kids to succeed, remember that the world defines success differently than God.
- There are easier, more popular answers to difficult questions, but God’s answers are never partial truth.
- The greatest advantage you give your child is the ability to receive God’s blessings.
Why is he wearing a dress? We know the answer. He doesn’t know God. The more significant question is the next one—how can we help?