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Preparing Children for a Post-Gender World

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 @ 08:48 AM Preparing Children for a Post-Gender World ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Jordan Chamblee Stand Writer MORE

(Digital Editor's Note: This article appeared first in the May 2023 edition of the print version of The Stand.)

Children today are most likely going to grow up in a world where the concept of gender, male and female, is no longer widely accepted. Decades of sexual revolution and rebellion against the Creator have resulted in mass confusion and chaos. This may last a generation, or it may be indefinite. Either way, the damage that comes with denying God’s design for gender and sexuality will wreak havoc on our nation. In many ways, it already has.

In his book Paper Genders: Pulling the Mask Off the Transgender Phenomenon, author and speaker Walt Heyer provides a cultural backdrop for the issues faced today. Heyer wrote:

"Parents with young school-aged children today face difficult challenges because of the many outside influences and agendas aimed squarely at indoctrinating youth.

"One such example in California is Senate Bill 777, passed in 2007. Thanks to SB 777, written by and advanced by a lesbian who has no kids in school, the public schools are now ground zero for advocating homosexuality and gender change. The [LGBTQ] extremists quietly won a major assault on children’s minds."

Throughout history, there have been those who identified, lived, and presented as the opposite gender from their birth gender. That reality has been recorded in ancient writings and observed by historians. Sexual deviancy is nothing new. Sinful humanity will act sinfully and suffer from the results of sin. But why does it seem that transgenderism in particular has become so prevalent in the world? Is this a passing trend, or is it here to stay?

Understand a shifting landscape

A Gallup survey published in February 2022 showed that the number of young adults identifying as transgender has increased significantly. Roughly 21% of Generation Z Americans who have reached adulthood – those born between 1997 and 2003 – identify as LGBTQ. The rise in non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities among younger Americans is indicative of a wider cultural shift, with younger generations being more accepting of alternative lifestyles and identities.

The rise in transgenderism is also echoed across the West, with U.K. census data showing that young people in England and Wales are more than twice as likely to identify as LGBT than other age groups. As time continues, attitudes toward gender and sexuality will likely continue to shift, creating new challenges for Christians and others who hold to a biblical understanding of gender and sexuality.

The Stand asked AFA’s M.D. Perkins, co-producer of the documentary In His Image and author of Dangerous Affirmation: The Threat of “Gay Christianity,” for his insights. Perkins said:

"The ability to identify as a minority group without proving it grants privileged victimhood status. While skin color cannot be disproved, claiming to be part of a certain sexual or gender identity does not require any behavioral changes, yet still brings one into the victimhood group. Yes, transgenderism isn’t a new phenomenon, but the recent social push and normalization of it, particularly the rapid onset of gender dysphoria in high school, seems to be a fad that will likely even out once it’s no longer popular. Now I don’t know what would have to happen to make that stop."

The movement toward identifying as transgender may be uncertain in the long term. The questions it raises about personal identity are products of a privileged and comfortable lifestyle, and such concerns may not be sustainable when faced with the realities of life's challenges. Nevertheless, the damage it has inflicted on the culture will remain.

Equip children with truth

Christian parents understand that one day, their children will have to come face-to-face with the confusion that is blazing through the culture. Their children may face incredible pressure to bow to the transgender philosophy, risking their livelihoods and social standing if they refuse. Christian parents must begin preparing their children for this future. The starting point is reinforcing their children’s understanding of gender with the truth.

Heyer quoted Washington, D.C., pediatrician Ivor Horn who counsels parents of her patients: “It’s important to let children know they are OK the way they are, that you love them that way, that the changes in their body are normal, and they can come to you with any questions. Help the children to understand that these changes occur naturally during this time [of childhood].”

Christian parents must be very clear about this when discussing gender with their children. While a multitude of factors influence one’s identity, such as family, nationality, and when they are born, gender is not a choice. The Bible teaches that God's providence determines our identities, and accepting one’s biological sex is a non-negotiable part of submitting to God’s plan.

Teach children kindness

While Christians understand that the ideology behind transgenderism is dangerous to society, many people are genuinely confused or unwell and need help. Often, the face of transgenderism that children will interact with won’t be an agenda, but the victims of the agenda. Christian parents must teach children to be able to have meaningful, caring conversations with transgender people, and that requires kindness.

The Bible says in John 1:14 that Jesus Christ came full of  “grace and truth.” As His people, the witness of Christians to the world and instruction to their children should be characterized by both. So what is the place of grace and kindness when it comes to standing for truth? Perkins added:

"I love Michael Brown’s statement that you embrace an individual with compassion, and you confront the agenda with courage. I think we often confuse confronting a belief with confronting the individual who holds that belief. We may hold back from confronting a belief because we are concerned about offending the individual. However, God’s law and truth are good for everyone, and confronting a belief that goes against them isn’t unloving. So how can we teach kindness to our children? By teaching them to take others seriously, to listen, to consider others more important than themselves, and by modeling that behavior ourselves."

The future is uncertain. Christians could wake up one day and find that the world has moved on to another way to rebel against God. Or they could wake up in a post-gender world that has chosen to embrace madness rather than obedience to the Creator. No matter which world awaits their children, Christians must be doing everything they can to ground them firmly in the Word of God. 

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