Saturday, April 30, 2016

Labels and Gender Identity: a Bible-based Guideline for Talking to Your Child

Under 18? Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, please ask a parent before reading.


Recently, my nine year old asked me a difficult question.

“Mom, am I a tomboy?”

I wanted to give her a short and easy answer like “Yes, and there is nothing wrong with that,” but with everything that is going on in the world today (including the buzz about gender identity), I felt I owed her a better explanation.

I would like to share my response with you and invite you to use it for yourself, if and when you decide to broach the subject with your own children.

Firstly, the word “tomboy” is just a label, nothing more. It can be a label given to you by someone else, or one that you use for yourself, but it is still a label.

Labels are our way of trying to fit people into categories, but people don’t fit into nice neat categories. No two people are exactly the same. One girl who identifies as a “tomboy” might still enjoy playing with dolls or playing dress up, while another “tomboy” might not like any “girl things.”

God made each and every one of us special and different.    Tweet: God made each and every one of us special. #faith #family #homeschool @CharityPaschal2

People have created these labels of “girl toys” or “girl colors” and they try to get people to fit into their mold by telling little boys “don’t play with that doll, that’s a girl toy,” or “pink is a girl color, you should like blue instead.” (I, too have fallen into the trap of saying these things to my children at times.)

This can be confusing to children, and the more they hear it, the more they start to believe that maybe God messed up when they were born. Maybe they really should have been born a girl instead of a boy, or vice versa.

Some people feel this so strongly that they have surgery to make them look more like a girl or more like a boy.

As Christians, we know that God doesn’t make mistakes. He made us each different on purpose because he has a different plan for each of us.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 139:13 “For You (God) created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Here is another article which explains this verse in more detail.

I want you to be who you are and to be always seeking to be who God wants you to be. If you like being called a “tomboy,” then you can call yourself one. If not, you can just be a special kind of girl who likes hunting and Tae Kwon Do.

I also want you to remember that God does not want us to judge those people who choose this surgery or to make fun of them. He loves them even though they sin, just like he loves us even though we sin.

Thank you so much for reading to the end of this post. If you use this to help explain this sensitive subject, I would love if you would come back and share with all of us in the comments.

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