Conversations about sex and gender are front and center this month. Consequently, our children and teens. . . and even ourselves. . . are swimming in a directive cultural soup that maps out what to believe about sex gender, along with how to live our understanding of sex and gender. Is the culture getting it right? Sadly, not usually.
As parents and youth workers, we must use our voices to teach our children and teens what God really did say if we hope to help them find their way through the cultural narrative’s lies on sex and gender. At the very minimum, there are 10 truths on sex and gender God’s Word we must continually teach and talk about with our children and teens. While not exhaustive on the matter of sex and gender, they are foundational to setting our kids on a lifetime journey of glorifying God through knowing and doing His will for sex and gender. Over the course of the coming couple of weeks, I will be stating these truths one-at-a-time as a brief sentence. The descriptions that follow each are included to help you unpack and explain God’s revealed will on sex and gender. Here’s the second truth. . .
All people are made by God in His image.
The Bible teaches us that every human being is a divine image-bearer, full of God-given value, dignity, and worth (Genesis 1:26-31). Because of this, every human being must be shown compassion, love, kindness, and respect. Hear that again: every human being! We don’t get to pick and choose who has value and worth and who doesn’t. To do so is absolutely immoral, sinful, and wrong.
Why is this so important for us to grapple with, understand, and embrace? Because our tendency is this: When we choose to follow God’s will and way on matters of sex and gender, we may look down upon and lack compassion for those who choose to live according to the culture’s narrative on sex and gender, rather than according to God’s plan for sex and gender as put forth in Scripture. Those who are not professing believers who choose to live sinfully under their own “you do you” and “follow your heart” authority, feelings, and intuition should be treated with the same compassion, patience, and grace that Jesus Christ has shown to us, as we too are sinners. Hateful, harassing, and shaming attitudes and behavior directed toward any individual or group is to be rejected as sin against God. And, we must remember that using our faculties of judgement to exercise discernment between right and wrong is appropriate and wise (Philippians 1:9-10), while judgement that leads to condemnation is not our business, but God’s alone. The most loving thing we can do for another is to show grace while also telling the truth. . . even when that truth is a hard truth.
Here’s something to think about. . . what about Jesus and his interaction with the woman caught in adultery (John 8)? He shows grace and speaks truth out of his deep love and compassion for her. As One who was present and active in creation, Jesus understood the imago dei. . . and he saw it in her. It was was out of his love for her, his value of her, and his desire to see her flourish in complete freedom, he loved her so much that he told her the truth.
To download a helpful handout, “God’s Plan For Sex and Gender: 10 Teaching Points For Home and Church” , click here.