Sexual orientation and sexual identity are prominent issues in today’s culture. We certainly need to be committed to God’s unchanging truth about identity, sexuality and gender design. But we also need to grow in compassion and understanding. We need to speak clearly but we need to speak graciously. Matt & Laurie Krieg are with Hole in My Heart Ministries. They will be with us October 1 to help us as a church think through our responses carefully. One of the more controversial issues, even among secular professionals, is how to respond to a child who has some measure of gender dysphoria or confusion. Some are willing to prescribe hormone therapies and/or surgery to children under ten years of age. There is a concern here that goes beyond the moral issue of gender dysphoria. Why are parents following the whims of their children?
It shouldn’t surprise us that kids are confused about a great many things during their growing up years. They have many desires – and not all of them are healthy. They might want to hit other kids in the nursery. They might want to eat junk food for every meal. They might want to play video games all day long. But not every desire is a good one. And a good parent does not simply cave to their kids. A good parent puts boundaries in place and helps their children chart a godly course.
I am often surprised by the amount of choices that parents give to their kids. Kids are allowed to decide where they will go to school, when they will get a cell phone, what they will eat for dinner (I was never given this choice), and whether they will go to church. We need to be reminded that the family is not a democracy. Parents are called to, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This word for “training” was used to describe the work of a bit in the horse’s mouth. As our kids grow, we naturally give them more opportunities to make decisions. But minor children should be parented – not coddled.
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/kid-child-parent-small-7835/