Home Youth Leaders Love and Truth: Helping Teens Navigate LGBTQ Issues

Love and Truth: Helping Teens Navigate LGBTQ Issues

As we teach students to view gender and sexuality issues (or any issues, really) through a biblical lens, it’s important to help them understand that God’s house rules don’t apply only to Christians. That’s because God made the universe, so everything in it belongs to Him. As Psalm 24:1-2 explains:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

The Bible is His primary way of explaining to His creation—to all humanity—who He is, who we are, and how the world works. Since the whole universe can be considered God’s “house,” His rules—as outlined in the Bible—apply to everyone.

In other words, the Bible is humanity’s instruction manual. And it’s clear on issues of identity and sexuality.

The Bible and Human Identity

When engaging with our students on these topics, it’s helpful to start with God’s design for humanity as a whole.

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

God placed humans above all other creatures in both position and value, by making us “in the image of God.” That means we’re designed to function best when we imitate His character and follow His ways.

This is important for students to remember in a culture that increasingly argues that humans have no more worth than animals—or that we get our value from what we say or do or from what others say about us. These verses establish humans as having intrinsic value because they’re uniquely and distinctly made in God’s image. This means every human is worthy of dignity and respect.

The Bible and Gender Identity

We also see in these verses that God established two human sexes from the very beginning, when He made Adam and Eve:

…male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

The determination of whether each of us is male or female is a miraculous, hands-on process that God personally oversees in our mother’s womb:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

Whether we’re male or female is not our choice, but God’s. And that choice took place not just in our mother’s womb but before the world began. As God told the prophet Jeremiah:

 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)

We can share this truth with teens: God blueprinted each one of us, sex and all, in our mother’s womb, as our very DNA shows. In every cell of our bodies, females have two X chromosomes (XX) and males have an X and a Y (XY).* There’s no intervention—surgical or chemical—that can change that reality.

Traditionally, this biological reality has gone by the interchangeable terms of sex and gender. In today’s culture, however, sex is often used to refer to biological reality, while gender refers to the feelings or cultural experience of being male or female. In this view, gender identity is one’s internal sense of being male or female (or both or neither); it’s tied to the soul and is psychological, while sex is tied to the body and is physical.