Raising children in a world that is increasingly rebellious against God-given gender is quite a challenge. I believe that every generation has their own unique challenges to face, and LGBTQ is ours. It is the movement that steals our terminology (love, kindness, community) and our symbol of promise (the rainbow) to mock our Creator. Many churches are looking for ways to justify the movement, which heightens the responsibility of parents to teach the truth. The reaction of many parents is to point to the fool and call him a fool, faithfully following after the example of Proverbs. What is disgusting to God should also be disgusting to followers of God (Leviticus 18:22). But we still have to function in a world where transgender and homosexuals are celebrated audaciously, and we have to teach our children how to interact with them.
You would think that living in a small town in North Idaho would give me scant opportunities to teach my children how to interact with the LGBTQ community, but for a few years our local hospital was the only one in the area that offered reassignment surgery. Since many of the surgeries require that the patient lives close to the hospital for a year after the procedure, we have quite a few residents who are in the process of changing their sex. In our small town, we have our fair share of interactions with gays, lesbians, cross-dressers, transgender, and whatever else is in between. And my children notice. And they ask questions.
Why were those men holding hands? Did that woman have a beard? Why was that guy wearing lipstick?
For children, it is always helpful to simplify and bring things back to the truth. So, when we run into a man with glittery eye shadow in the store, I ask my children four questions (after we get to the car of course!):
1. What does God say about it?
Answer: God says no. He made each of us male or female (Gen 5:2), and we should be thankful for how we are made. He made men to marry women, not men to marry men.
2. What does the Bible say about people who rebel against him?
Answer: God gives them over to be controlled by their sin (Romans 1:24-27). They are confused and their hearts are probably hurting all the time.
3. What did God do for sinners?
Answer: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Even those who have lived in sin for a long time can be forgiven by God and offered salvation.
4. How should we treat them?
Answer: Love them, pray for them, ask God to open their eyes to the chains that they are in, pray that they would be brought to the truth, and pray that we would see them in heaven (Romans 10).
We are not afraid of them. We don’t hide from them. We do not pretend they don’t exist. We do not ignore them and hope our children didn’t notice. We do not let them tell us what is right or wrong. We do not let them redefine the world.
We do treat them with kindness. We do treat them as people made in the image of God. We do pray for them on our drive home. We do hope that their hearts will be healed.
Lindsey Tollefson is a wife and homemaker in Moscow, ID.
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