“My daughter is 15 years old and told her counselor that she is having gender identity issues. She says she is a boy in a girl’s body. She knows her father and I believe what the Bible says and that we are not going to allow her to identify as a male. She recently told her teen counselor that she is depressed and had thought about suicide but does not intend to act on those thoughts. What do I do?”
I received this cry for help from a heart broken Christian mother. The issue of transgenderism as well as homosexuality has become front and center in American culture since the Supreme Court recently granted homosexuals the right to marry. This has now opened the door for court battles regarding transgenderism.
What is the difference between homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism?
Homosexuality and Bisexuality refer to a person’s sexual orientation.
If a person has homosexual tendencies this means they are only attracted to people of the same sex. Some people have bisexual tendencies meaning they are attracted to both male and females and could carry on relationships with either sex.
Transgenderism has to do with what gender a person identifies themselves with as opposed to what gender they are attracted to. Not all transgender people are homosexual or bisexual but many are. Conversely, just because a person has homosexual tendencies does not mean they want to be a different gender.
What does the Bible say about transgenderism?
The Bible clearly condemns transgenderism as a sin against God. Men must live and appear as men and women must live and appear as women.
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5(KJV)
In many ways transgenderism is even more difficult to deal with as a parent or loved one than homosexuality. Homosexuality can be hidden. Transgenderism cannot be. If someone is transgender and they practice it at all it is like holding up a sign to the world “something is wrong with me”.
In the vast majority of cases even if a person with a sexual identity disorder has sex change surgery(or what they now are calling “gender confirmation surgery”) you can still sense their true sex. Just because you put breasts on a man does not make him look like a woman. If you remove a woman’s breasts it will not take away the curves of her hips or the feminine features of her face.
What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
The Bible clearly condemns the gay and lesbian lifestyles as a sin against God. Men are not to engage in sexual relations with men nor are women to engage in sexual relations with women:
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)
“22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” – Romans 1:22-32 (KJV)
This issue of transgenderism and homosexuality is not a gray area in the Christian faith.
God calls it an abomination for a person to either dress like the opposite sex (transgenderism) or engage in sex with the one’s same gender (homosexuality).
We are living in an age when our culture thinks they are don’t need God anymore. Our modern culture is now wiser than the God of some “old dusty book” as I often hear them tell me in emails. But God says they have become fools.
Transgenderism – the next assault on God’s Word and religious liberty
The Supreme Court’s decision to grant the right of gay marriage in June of 2015 has opened the flood gates to assaults on religious liberty. Transgenderism is the next major battle in that assault.
For example, Michigan is one of many states considering granting new transgender rights to students in schools.
“Michigan’s State Board of Education has drafted a guidance that would push the state’s schools to allow all students, regardless of parental or doctoral input, to choose their gender, name, pronouns, and bathrooms…
“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student. Outside confirmation from medical or mental health professionals, or documentation of legal changes, is not needed,” the guidance states…
The guidance informs schools that “Students should be allowed to use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity.”…
Locker rooms also should become inclusive of students’ many gender identities. “A student should not be required to use a locker room that is incongruent with their gender identity,” the guidance states… “Locker room usage should be determined on a case-by-case basis, using the guiding principles of safety and honoring the student’s gender identity and expression.”
This is the insanity and wickedness that we now face as a nation.
Now that we have identified transgenderism and homosexuality as abominations before God and we have also shown the reality of this threat to our culture we will now bring this back to Christian parents facing this issue.
This issue hits close to home for me
My brother is a practicing homosexual. He has a partner that he has been with for many years. In many ways my brother is one of the most decent men you would ever meet. He is kind and generous to those around him. He has a very empathetic nature.
About 20 years ago when my brother first revealed he was a homosexual I faced a range of emotions from anger to hurt. My parents did as well. We were raised together in conservative Baptist churches and we knew the Word of God. My brother left the church and Christianity completely when he realized the faith he was raised in was incompatible with his homosexual lifestyle. Later God revealed to me that I needed to stop shunning my brother and instead show him the love of Christ.
In my defense though – it was not all me. My brother was pretty belligerent there for a while throwing his lifestyle in our face and mocking and ridiculing our Christian faith. So there was a time when I felt separation from him was justified. But over many years he came to act more respectful toward mine and my parent’s faith and we have learned to be able to have peaceful times with each other at various family gatherings.
I love my brother very much. There is no contradiction between the fact that I love my brother yet I hate the sin of homosexuality that he lives in. This is something that is very hard for many Christians to accept as well as homosexuals.
Homosexuals might ask “How can you love me but not accept my homosexuality?” and transgender’s might ask “How can you love me but not accept my gender change?” These kinds of questions are asked by many homosexual and transgender people to their Christian loved ones all the time.
The fact is we can love our homosexual and transgender relatives, coworkers and neighbors because this is how God loves us. We love the sinner and hate the sin.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)
God loved us “while we were yet sinners” and that means we can love people who are homosexuals or transgender while they are yet sinners.
But I have never allowed my brother to cause me to compromise my faith. He knows I would never attend a gay wedding if he and his partner had one and invited us. I will never tell him that I accept and approve of his homosexual lifestyle. I have taught my children since they were young that what their uncle is doing is a grave sin before God. My brother also knows I will not back away from endorsing political movements that will protect religious liberty for Christians in opposing homosexuality and transgenderism.
Now we will discuss ways that parents can confront transgenderism and homosexuality with their teenagers.
7 Steps for Christian parents to confront transgenderism and homosexuality in their teenagers
So you have just found out from your teenager that they are struggling with transgender tendencies or homosexual tendencies. Here are steps as a Christian parent that you should take.
Step 1 – Acknowledge your hurt and disappointment
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:17 (KJV)
You cannot deny or suppress your hurt in this moment. You need to let it out. Cry out to God. You need to cry. You need to seek out the support of your Pastor and other close Christian friends.
Step 2 – Speak the truth in love
“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:15 (KJV)
Speak the truth of the Word of God to your teen in a loving way. Explain to them from the Scriptures that God condemns this type of behavior – whether it be transgender behavior or homosexual behavior.
Step 3 – Tell them that God did NOT make them this way
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psalm 51:5 (KJV)
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:” – I Corinthians 15:42 (KJV)
The Bible is clear that “male and female created he them”(Genesis 1:27) and throughout the Scriptures we find that any deviation we see in our world from this is a result of the corruption of sin in the world and in our bodies. No gay, lesbian or transgender person can Biblically say “God made me this way”.
God did not make gays, lesbians or transgenders the way they are – sin made them that way.
The struggle your teen faces with gender identity disorders or homosexual temptations is not a struggle against cultural prejudices but rather it is a struggle against the corruption of sin that is in their body.
God did not make us with sinful habits and desires – we inherited that from our father Adam:
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” – Romans 5:12 (KJV)
Step 4 – Tell them that God wants them to be renewed their minds
“22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22:-24 (KJV)
In the same way that people with other defects must overcome their defects so too God calls on those who struggle with transgender and homosexual desires to see these desires as a sinful corruption of their mind and they must resist these urges and thoughts.
Step 5 – Tell them they cannot do this alone and they will need to depend on God and others for strength
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” – Psalm 18:2 (KJV)
Try and get them to a professional Christian counselor or Pastor that specializes in helping teens who struggle with transgender and homosexual desires.
Step 6 – Tell them that God can and will help them beat this temptation if they will let him
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – I Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
Many people act as if it is impossible for a person to overcome the temptations of transgenderism and homosexuality. But there are many Christians who have done this and gone on to live normal lives that are pleasing to God. It might be helpful to lookup some Christian ministries and stories of gay and transgender teens that have gone on to live normal lives.
Pray with them daily and tell them to pray by themselves as well daily. They need to bring their struggle to God on a daily basis.
Step 7 – Tell them that your love for them and God’s love for them has not changed because they struggle with this temptation
“38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
We all face different temptations due to the corruption of our bodies by the presence of sin in the world and our inherited sin nature from Adam. We must show our children the love of God – he truly wants to help us and renew our minds if we will let him and depend on him.
My teen struggles with suicidal thoughts how should I deal with this?
This is extremely common for teens who struggle with transgender and homosexual desire to also struggle with suicidal thoughts. This is yet another reason to get your teen into a good Christian counselor who can not only help them with their transgender or homosexual temptations but also the accompanying suicidal thoughts that come with it.
Even teens who struggle with transgender desires and homosexual desires who do not come from Christian homes struggle with suicidal thoughts. The reason for this is that even our corrupt world knows deep down that transgender behavior and homosexual behavior goes against the laws of nature. We can try and pretend that it does not – but we know it does.
Be ready for your faith to be tested
There are few things in this world that will test your faith more than when your own child tells you that you they are struggling with transgender or homosexual desires. It becomes even worse when they reject their faith and choose their transgender or homosexual desires over their faith. They may even make you choose between your faith and accepting their new lifestyle. They may threaten to commit suicide if you do not deny your faith and embrace their sin.
But remember the words of Christ:
“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:37 (KJV)
You cannot deny your faith in order to appease your teen’s sin. Tell them you love them but you cannot deny God or his Word. If they choose to depart from you because you will not deny your faith then you must let them depart and give them over to God.
Dealing with transgenderism and homosexuality in one’s family or one’s church is not an easy thing to do. In fact is heartbreaking. I have personally experienced this with my brother and I also experienced this with people in the church I attend. But even in the midst of the darkness – God can receive glory in these things. While it is so sad when some teens choose their corrupted sexuality over their faith, it is a glorious thing when other teens choose God over their flesh and he transforms their life.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – II Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
Check out this link from Focus on the Family that has many helpful resources for helping people overcome transgender and homosexual temptations: