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Parent Convo Starters

Kids + Gender

Amber Carroll developed Equip’s Parent Course, an on-demand intensive designed to give parents a thorough understanding of God’s wisdom for sexual stewardship and how they can teach that wisdom to their young kids. One of the questions she gets most is, “How do I talk to my young kids about gender?”

Gender is one of the biggest topics at the intersection of faith, culture, and kids right now. So how are Christian parents supposed to talk to their kids about biological sex and gender? How do we help our kids wade through the mire of culture, the media, and extremists on all sides and make sense of their sexedness?

Parents, we must reject all extremes. Men and women are the same in many ways and there are differences between males and females and our sex and gender matter. When raising girls and boys, the goal isn’t to embrace or reject the stereotypes or roles, but to recognize that no matter our child’s temperament, likes, or mannerisms, we can raise her or him to embrace Jesus and His commands and reject the lies of culture and the Enemy.

How do we do that?

  1. Teach your boys and girls the gospel. Everything else is secondary to the gospel. It is the gospel that informs how we are to live.

  2. Teach your boys and girls to follow the teachings set out in the Bible for all believers. Scripture describes holiness, godliness, and Christian living in universal terms. There aren’t separate lists of commands/virtues for males and females. Teach your boys and girls to

    • display the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)

    • recognize and respect the value of all image bearers (Rom 12:10, Gen 1:27)

    • be family for others in the Body of Christ (Rom 12:10, 1 Cor 11:33)

    • relinquish the idol of control, to serve, to pursue humility (Phil 2:3, Gal 5:13, Rom 12:3, 10, 16)

    • sacrifice their own desires for God’s and be transformed (Rom 12:1-2)

    • focus on unity with other believers (Gal 3:28, Eph 4:3, Col 3:14, Eph 2:14)

    • commit to the flourishing of everyone (Rom 14:19, 1 Thes 5:11, 1 Cor 14:12)

    • be known by their love for other believers (Jn 13:35)

  3. Help your boys and girls recognize their giftings and callings. (Side note: none of the gifts mentioned in Romans 12:3-8 or 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 are gendered.) Help them find what they’re passionate about, what relational vocation God may be calling them into, where they best fit into ministry, where they can use their gifts and talents for the kingdom. Teach them to lead and to accept leadership with grace and humility, and teach them that leadership is not guaranteed just because they’re one gender or the other. Teach them that their highest calling is seeking to fulfill the Great Commission.

  4. Affirm your boys and girls. Affirm that your boy is a boy regardless of his mannerisms, expression, personality, interests, voice pitch, clothing choices, or anything else, because the body God gave him is that of a boy. Affirm that your girl is a girl regardless of her mannerisms, expression, personality, interests, hair length, clothing choices, or anything else, because the body God gave her is that of a girl. Speak positively about being a girl or being a boy. Remind your children often that their bodies are good because God created them, that God was intentional about creating boys and girls.

When should parents begin these conversations?

Start now! Research shows that the concept of sex differences and gender develops during the pre-school years, which gives parents a wonderful opportunity to guide their kids’ understanding of how and why God created them as sexed beings.

It may also be beneficial to think Who? rather than When? Who do you want to teach your kids about gender? If you choose not to teach your kids, culture will step in for you, and your kids probably won’t pick up God’s good wisdom from culture.

Many parents feel ill-equipped to have these conversations with their young kids, so Equip has developed Kids + Gender, a 90-minute webinar focused on teaching a basic theology of sex and gender and providing some practical guidance around these conversations. Parents will leave the webinar knowing how to give a reason for sex difference, teach their kids that their sex isn’t based on what they feel, avoid over-prescribing gender roles, note that boys and girls are the same and yet different, protect their kids from the lies of culture, and how to help their kids have compassion for those who experience gender dysphoria or who are transgender. We’ve also included reflection questions and over a dozen age-appropriate scripts parents can use in conversation with their kids.

If you want your kids to live into God’s good wisdom regarding sex and gender, you must teach them how to do that. Equip can help.

Want to host Kids + Gender for the parents or pastors in your community? Contact me today!

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