Why should we care about gender at all? Is what we believe about gender really that important? Is this an issue which should matter to everyone?
Without understanding the “why,” we will be tempted to slip into silence on the topic, or even worse, slip away from what God’s Word says. If we do not take building foundations seriously, we can slip into two massive dangers.
The Danger Of Misplaced Identity
Have you noticed that society discusses hot button issues differently than it did 10 years ago? It seems like people are much faster to label disagreement as “hatred” or “bigotry.” Failing to affirm what someone believes or does can often be taken as failing to love them at all.
While there are many reasons for this, the main reason is that society has bought into the lie that people are what they believe and what they do. Think about it. If this is true and someone critiques your beliefs, you’re much more likely to consider a mere rejection of ideas as a rejection of you personally.
For example, someone who is gay can easily interpret the condemnation of homosexual activity as a rejection of themself. This happens when our identity is based on anything—our desires, attractions, skin color, or actions—rather than what God’s Word says.
It’s not just children who want to fit in with their peers; we all do. We all have a longing to be loved and accepted. Often, our fallenness leads us to want to be accepted for our brokenness, not in spite of it. Our identity can become based on things which are directly opposed to God’s design. The antidote to both of these problems is the gospel, where we find acceptance by God in the midst of our brokenness, not because of it; we find fulfillment that was elusive when we tried to locate our identity and self-worth internally.
When our identity is based on anything other than being an adopted and ransomed child of God, we stand awaiting an inevitable fall. We need to understand what it means to have been intentionally designed and saved by God, or we may let our striving to find our self-worth elsewhere push us away from our creator.
The Danger Of Unrecognized Authority
God’s Word should be the lens through which we view the world around us and the ultimate authority of our lives. Our beliefs, thoughts, and actions should be in response to what the Bible teaches. Every day we are tempted to allow the world to shape the way we see God’s word, rather than allow God’s word to shape the way we see the world. It is crucial that the ever changing views of the world not be allowed to affect the way we view the everlasting truth of God’s word. There is too much at stake.
The danger is not just that we might “get gender wrong,” or that someone we love might become gender-confused, but rather that a wedge might be placed between our lives and God’s Word. If we choose not to believe what God’s Word says about gender, we should not be too surprised when we choose not to believe God’s Word at all.
When it comes to the authority of God’s Word, we are standing on a slippery slope; if part is rejected, we will struggle to hold on to any of it. How we converse about gender is connected to our view of God’s Word as a whole.
We all live in a world which is vying not only for our attention but also allegiance. This sets Christians—especially children—up for an inevitable collision. When two objects collide, the stronger one prevails over the weaker one.
In a very real way, our children need to be trained to handle the strongest afront the world will bring, and yet remain committed to God’s Word. You and your children need this book because, while statistically your children won’t become transgender, it is assured that they will have to decide who they stand with on the questions of gender and authority. There are only two options: Stand with God, or stand against him.
This excerpt is from Brian Seagraves and Hunter Leavine’s new book, Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors (The Good Book Company, 2018).