How & Why To Talk To Your Kids About Gender Identity

gender identity children talk parents

Whether we like it or not, as parents we’ve been thrust into a situation by recent events that requires us to have a much-needed conversation with our kids about gender identity.

But while America is struggling to know their identity, your family doesn’t have to.

And while the events of the past week or so seem to demand it, some might still question why a parent would want to address this issue with their children.  Here are a few practical reasons:

  • If they don’t hear it first from us, they will hear it sooner or later from someone else (and probably not from our same perspective).
  • We set ourselves up for an awkward and possibly unexpected situation when our kids go into a public restroom, only to come out with many more questions than when they went in.
  • It gives us an opportunity as parents to teach our kids God’s perspective of human/gender identity.

Here are a couple of important points to bring out in talking to your kids…

GOD is absolutely CLEAR on the issue.

While the world around us struggles to determine the truth of who and what they are, God has already made it perfectly clear and easily understandable, even for a child:

  • God created us in His image.  (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • God created us male and female.  (Genesis 1:27)
  • God created us with a specific gender for our unique purpose in mind. (Genesis 1:28, 2:15,18)
  • God alone decides a person’s gender, and has made obvious and undeniable ways of identifying that gender from birth. (Psalm 139:14-16)

By teaching your kids these basic biblical truths, they’ll be able on their own to identify truth from error when they hear it.  Teach your kids that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that His Word never changes, but is timeless, regardless of what the world does.

The WORLD is utterly CONFUSED on the issue

Sadly, we live in a very confused society that has allowed itself and its culture to be shaped by its pet sins rather than any form of truth whatsoever.

Consider this quote from the American College of Pediatricians…

“A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V)” 

Saying that anyone can be anything or any gender they choose and has rights to go into any bathroom they choose is simply naive and twisted.  Just ask any child, and they’ll be able to tell you “the way things are supposed to be.”  So why does our society believe they must push such confusion upon our children and future generations, not to mention intentionally subjecting the ones we are responsible to protect to a whole new world of unnecessary dangers?

The answer is very simply this – the world we live in is a very sinful, deceived, and confused place.

When the world around us decides to make laws that not only contradict the Bible, but so clearly go against common sense, we have not only confused the culture, we have chosen to confuse the future generations and worldview of our children and grandchildren.

We do well to teach our children that the world is confused, and God is not the author of confusion. (I Corinthians 14:33)

But most importantly, we must not miss teaching our children this last point…

CHRISTIANS must be CONFIDENT yet COMPASSIONATE on the issue

While we as Christians need to stand unapologetically upon the truth of God’s Word, may we always do it in a way that reflects well of Christ in a world so desperately in need of Him.  In the way we talk to our kids about the issue, may we transfer to them a love for a lost world that needs God’s truth to set them free.  And may we help prepare them to be grounded in the truth for the future challenges that they are sure to face in their own lives.

As the world gets further and further away from truth, they will hate more and more those who speak it.  But may that never change our love for the people behind the sin. Remember that the way that we present the truth will affect the way that our children believe it.

Our children need to hear about this issue from a grace-filled, biblical standpoint, and the best ones to talk to them about it is not the church, or the schools, but the parents.

Our kids are watching to see how we respond to this issue, and the way we do has the potential to greatly impact them and their future mindset, either positively or negatively. We can inadvertently instill within them an animosity towards those who reject the truth, or just as easily instill within them a compassion towards those same people.

It is still possible to teach our children to love the sinner and hate the sin, by helping them understand that the real enemy is Satan, not any person (Eph. 6:12).  But we must intentionally demonstrate the love of Christ in our approach.

God has given us a great privilege to raise up the next generation of grace-driven, Holy Spirit filled, confident, yet compassionate world changers to take God’s truth into the future.  And issues like this one give us as parents a great opportunity to maximize upon that calling.

Let me strongly encourage you to talk to your kids about these important truths, and even use the points and scriptures referenced above to help you do it.

“We can stand for Christ without compromising truth; we can love the lost without losing our testimony; and we can raise up a generation who understands how to do both.”

The truth of John 8:32 applies now more than ever before for ourselves, our children, and the world around us… “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

If you agree, please share.  Whether you agree or not, I’d love for you to share your feedback.  

This article originally appeared here.

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Andrew Linder
Andrew is a husband, the father of four awesome kids, and a children's pastor at a thriving church. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation. He blogs about kids and family at AndrewScottLinder.com, and provides proven resources for VBS and children's ministry at KidzBlast.com.

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