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February 22, 2023

Anchoring Our Kids to God’s Truth When It Comes to Sex (A Christian Parent’s Calling)

As a Christian dad, it's my calling to raise my children in a manner that is consistent with God's divine truth. Anything less, and I'm compromising one of my greatest objectives in life — to raise my sons and daughters to be godly men and women. And I must never forget this: If I don't engage my children's hearts and minds, the world will gladly do it for me, especially on the topic of human sexuality. Tragically, as our culture further perverts God's truth regarding masculinity and femininity, the mental health statistics for our teens only get worse.

Just last week, we heard of another hospital, this time in the in St. Louis area, that pushed life-altering drugs and surgeries onto hurting and confused children and called it "gender-affirming medical care." Per the whistleblower that exposed the atrocities, countless boys and girls were permanently harmed. How can we allow this to happen?

In a culture that is determined to erase biological reality — God's design for men and women — our kids need to hear from us on this topic. Here are three certainties I want my sons and daughters to know.

1. There are absolutes in life — and God is the ultimate truth regarding one's sex. To think there aren't absolutes is to deny the evidence that is clearly presented before us through generations of scientific data. Both God's Word and the preponderance of natural evidence speak to the fact that we, as humans, are purposed to be created male and female. (Genesis 1:27 tells us, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.")

It has been this way since the beginning of time and is an undeniable reality of life. Basic biology, human genetics, and God's Word clearly delineate the veracity of this absolute. Our children must know that the Lord's plan for the institution of the family includes a one-flesh relationship, that will likely involve the offspring of children — boys and/or girls. It doesn't mean we don't administer grace for those who struggle with their God-given sex. However, compromising biological reality and the divine imprint of God upon humankind is not a loving answer to a child who is confused and suffering.

Love that is void of God's truth is not love. Absolutes that have transcended generations have provided the foundation that every boy and girl needs as they develop into adults. Are we surprised that our youth are struggling in a world that is systematically removing the presence of both God and truth? It is truly an evil path that culture is forging for our children. Think about it. The absence of God's redeeming truth and grace provides the breeding ground for every imaginable evil, and this is exactly what is currently happening throughout America.

2. Boys and girls are different — both in form and function. While there is total equality inherent within the sexes, each sex was designed with unique qualities and capacities. This doesn't negate the intrinsic value within each sex. Rather, it uplifts the strengths and natural bent of each gender. Sports provide a glaring example that points to these physical differences. How sad is it that some of the elite female athletes of our day are now being beaten by biological men who call themselves women? The point is that the top male athletes will predominantly beat the top females. Even the younger male athletes will often compete well against the top women. This is a fact. Yet, very intelligent men and women in key leadership roles are embracing a woke ideology over basic biology and pure factual data. Our daughters deserve better than this.

As Christian dads and moms, we shouldn't treat our boys and girls as "gender-less" beings. God made them male and female in His image. Our job is to cultivate the individual uniqueness within one's God-given sex and do our best to celebrate both the sex of the child and his or her special giftedness. (Dr. Dobson's books, Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls are two exceptional resources on this topic.)

Ideally, fathers should mentor their sons. Foremost, this means living a godly life before them and teaching them what biblical manhood looks like. At the same time, we need to set the standard for our daughters. If we don't, social media will (and that should compel any father into action who is blessed with a little girl at home). Also, our moms need to mentor our daughters as they develop into young ladies.

In the case of single moms, it is crucial for the moms to find assistance from trusted men that can help build into the lives of their sons. The same would hold true for single dads with daughters. Simply put, children need the loving influence of both dads and moms.

3. It's okay to wrestle with the tough issues in life. Most, if not all of us, have had questions regarding who we are and our greater life purpose. It's during these times that we must point our children to God and encourage them to find their greatest value and life mission in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ. My sons and daughters need to know they are loved and have immense value because they are image-bearers of the God who created them. Regardless of the shifting morals of our culture, we must teach our children to hold fast to God's truth and love them through the trials that they will face in life.

Given the pervasiveness of the cultural messaging around this topic, our children will, at times, naturally question themselves and others. Yet, as a father, this is my personal "for-such-a-time-as-this" moment. To be "in" this world and not "of" this world will be a struggle. Our kids need to know that it's okay to wrestle with things — we all do. The best thing I can do is to be there for them when they need me. Unfortunately, when we have teenagers, this typically occurs at the bedtime hour when we're more than ready to go to sleep. I can't tell you how many times my sons and daughters have joined my wife and me on our bed for a late-night conversation. This is when a queen-sized mattress doesn't cut it!

This is why it's vital for parents to be relationally engaged with their children throughout every stage of their developing years. We want them to come to us when there is a problem or when they have a question. Our children are on a battlefield, and the enemy wants nothing more than to pull them away from the truth of their divine calling. They were fearfully and wonderfully made by God — male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). As parents, we must relentlessly embrace this reality and do all we can to uplift our children and reinforce their God-given sex.

One last thought that is critical during the heaviness of our days is to not forget to find joy and laughter as we pursue the missional calling as a parent. I can find myself overwhelmed at times with the busyness of life and the moral decline of our nation. I'm guessing that many of us feel the same way. Yet, it is essential that we make time to enjoy the blessing of our sons and daughters, and let them know, without question, the blessing they are to us.

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