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How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex
of our infant children falling into a lake. It was only by God’s grace that
Stan’s desperate lunge to grab the ankle of the baby succeeded just as it
was going underwater, preventing our child from drowning. Only a few
years later, we attended the funeral of a baby who died because one of the
parents made the same mistake, but with the worst outcome. That parent
felt crushing guilt. Thanks to God’s grace and the family’s love, they did
eventually live a beautiful life of love and joy. But such instances of clear,
solitary, and focused responsibility are rare, particularly when it comes to
sexual orientation and gender identity.
Not only is our influence limited, but because we are sinful beings,
everything we do is flawed. Therefore, in a sense, we’re always guilty. We
could have and should have done better. We must pray for God’s grace and
forgiveness and move forward as best we can.
Urging you as parents to do your best to have an influence does not
mean it is your fault when your children make unfortunate or even terrible
choices, or when they experience what you hoped they would not. This
applies also to the entire scope of our lives: We do our best, pray for forgiveness for our faults and limitations, and faithfully follow God, regardless of the outcomes. We urge you to do your best without believing you
are in ultimate control and that everything is totally your responsibility.
FOSTERING PROPER GENDER IDENTITY
Though we understand that the outcome of our parenting efforts is ultimately out of our hands, as parents, we should nonetheless feel empowered
and equipped to help our children form proper gender identity from a
young age. There are several ways we can invest in our child’s life to foster
a healthy understanding of his or her gender identity.
Affirm Your Child’s Gender
First, parents must take frequent opportunity to affirm their child’s gender.
From their first days, children should grow up regularly hearing “I’m so glad
that God made you a girl!” or “I can hardly believe what a great job God
did in making you a boy!” We should use opportunities to make connections between the child’s gender and his or her development. This may be
in response to behavior that fits common gender stereotypes, but we should
have flexibility to go beyond the stereotypes. A dad might remark with
pride about his son’s musical gifts and remind him of great male Christian
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