You cannot watch the news, go on the Internet, or stand in the grocery store checkout aisle right now without seeing a story on Bruce Jenner. Our society is plastering his story all over, celebrating his decision to become Caitlyn as brave and heroic.
As Christians, it should not surprise us when this world tries to make sin normal and right. They have no belief in God. They have been taught that they are mere products of evolution and their lives have no purpose other than to find happiness for this moment. With this mindset, why wouldn't they try to find their own solutions to the brokenness of this world?
While transgender discussions may not be our favorite topic of conversation, we have no choice. As Christians, we cannot shy away from uncomfortable, controversial topics. We need to intentionally talk to our teens about them, letting them ask questions and finding the source of truth in God’s Word. If we don’t, they will get their thoughts from this fallen world.
So what does the Bible say?
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
In the beginning, God created us distinctly male and female, and what he created was good. Male and female genders are not limitations and restrictions that need to be eliminated. They are specific, unique, complementary, and important differences given to us by God.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:13-16
We have all been knit together by our loving Creator; we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by him. God’s works are wonderful; you and I are no exception. This is not based on our physical characteristics, but on our identity as a handmade creation of our loving Creator. God knows everything about us; he cares about every little detail of our lives, knowing the entire story, path, and purpose before any of them came to be.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." – Isaiah 55:8-9
You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
"You did not make me"?
Can the pot say to the potter,
"You know nothing"? - Isaiah 29:16
God’s thoughts, wisdom and comprehension are so far beyond anything we can even fathom. In our sinfulness, it is easy to think that we know how things should be. Yet, that isn’t the truth. We are the clay. God is the potter. We are his creation; we do not have the right to question him. God is so far beyond our understanding and we need to trust his ways. He is good, and there is comfort in knowing he is in control.
As Christians, we need to remember these truths of God’s Word. They are beautiful and give such value to each and every one of us. We are no mistake; our lives have meaning and purpose. Our sins are washed away and now we have a new identity as children of God, sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We have died to our sinful desires and ourselves, and have been raised in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
God offers us the one thing this world cannot: a brand new life in him filled with joy, hope, and purpose.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17
And because of this new life we’ve been given, our thoughts should no longer be on earthly things. The new life we’ve been given wraps our identity up in Christ.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
As redeemed Christians, God has called us all to go. We know the truth of God’s Word, how can we not share it with the rest of this sin-stained world?
The world is in need of the hope we have because the best it can offer Bruce Jenner is a "new" gender. It cannot offer him hope, purpose, and new life. Sin can deeply twist our lives and even our very thoughts, and no earthly solution has the power to fix the real problem: sin. We don’t point out the futileness of Bruce Jenner's search to find happiness in a different gender in order to put him down or hurt him. We talk about it in hopes of him and others hearing the Good News. They have a loving God who knit them wonderfully together and offers them forgiveness, hope, purpose, identity and freedom and it isn’t found in a new body, name or life. It’s found in the saving power of Jesus and the new life we’ve been given in him.
God loves ALL people. We don't need to be cleaned up and tidy before we can come to him. The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. All of us have been welcomed into God's family as broken sinners needing his grace and forgiveness. We must remember to keep that in mind as we not only talk about transgender issues, but engage with people in our lives who may be struggling with them. We need to approach this issue with the love of Jesus filling our words and actions, and the truth of God's Word giving us wisdom and confidence.
So let’s make sure we discuss the transgender topic with our teens, but let us also make sure we include the call to go in love and share the good news of true healing to this desperate, fallen world.