What Parents Need to Know If Their Child Is Confused About Gender Identity

As a Christian parent living in a modern age, I will admit that one thing that realllly scares me is the possibility of one of my children coming to me one day and saying they think they were the opposite gender of what they were born to be.

The other day, my six-year-old, who loves imagining silly scenarios (“Hey Mom, what if my apple juice turned BLUE?”) said to me, with a nod at his sister, “Hey Mom, what if I turned Sophie into a BOY like ME?”

My 10-year-old daughter answered matter-of-factly, without missing a beat, “Sorry, Jonah. Can’t do it. Once you have a gender, you have a gender.”

“Out of the mouths of babes,” I said to myself. She and I have never discussed this issue. She just knows.

This is what I believe: God created us male or female. No takebacks, no switching. I truly believe that God is good, that He knows better than we do, and that any feelings I have that differ from what He has already decided or laid out for us in His word are wrong, however genuine they might be, however RIGHT they might feel to me.

I believe the same applies to my children.

When I came across this video from The Gospel Coalition and Jackie Hill Perry, it affirmed everything I’ve been feeling in my heart about this issue. Perry says:

“Gender, or sex, is not fluid, it’s not open to interpretation, it’s not available for us as human beings to change. God is God, and I think as parents, WE have to be convinced of this truth, because if we’re not convinced of this truth, we’ll easily be led astray by trying to please and affirm our children, and we see that all the time, four-yea-olds believing that they are another sex and the parent feeling like, ‘to be a loving parent I have to go along with this.’ BUT if we are anchored by the Word of God, then we better know how to handle these types of situations.”

Moms and dads, I believe God asks us to do HARD things. And in the case of gender identity, it is going to be much harder to point your child to the Truth of God’s creation and goodness than it is to give in to their feelings and just help them to be “happy.” This is a battle I pray that I will not have to fight, but if it does come to me, I will put on the full armor of God, and do my best to clothe my child in it as well. Because in my heart I know the BEST thing I can do for my child is to lovingly point him or her to Christ, time and time again, in any situation, and to the fact that He does tell us to lay down our very lives and desires for Him.

No matter what, I will stand by my child with love. But I’ll never tell them that something I know isn’t true, is.

What would you do if your child came to you confused about his or her gender identity?

Thanks to The Gospel Coalition and Jackie Hill Perry for this fantastic word.

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.