Book Review: resource to help parents (and others) lead children to clarity about gender identity
Culture is defined as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (Miriam Webster). Remember how in school you determined a noun by whether it was a person, place, thing, or idea? I think for many American Christians, culture has moved from the idea category to personhood. It is an enemy out to devour our children. Perhaps nowhere is this felt more than in the current gender identity crisis. Trying to navigate these particular waters can be intimidating for Christians, especially for parents talking about it with our children.
Brian Seagraves and Hunter Leavine have co-authored a very helpful (and brief-only 75 pages) resource, Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors. “Whether you are a parent, mentor, pastor, youth minister, children’s ministry volunteer, or simply a friend, …this book [is written] to help you bring clarity to young minds in a world that is spinning in confusion.”
The focal material, which helps lay a Biblical foundation on which families can stand, is divided into three age-appropriate sections from preschool through high school and beyond, each of which includes conversation starters and soundbites. Concepts and suggestions are all rooted in the inerrant and unchanging authority of Scripture, provided within the context of the gospel, and offered in a spirit of love and humility.
Included are supplemental sections with a list of Bible passages to read and discuss, a glossary, and some specific answers to issues and common objections.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, this is great for somebody, but why do I need to discuss this with my children? They are still very young. Not only can it be awkward and embarrassing, but we are Christians-- this issue doesn’t really even come into our home.” In the opening chapter, Seagraves and Leavine deal with this question. “If we do not take building foundations seriously, our children can fall into two massive dangers.” The first danger is that of misplaced identity “based on anything—our desires, attractions, skin color, or actions—other than what God’s word says.” The second is the danger of failing to recognize authority, that is God as he has directed through his word.
“You and your children need this book because, while statistically it is unlikely that your children will become transgender themselves, it is assured that they will have to decide who they stand with on the questions of gender and authority. There are only two options: stand with God or stand against him.”
Because of the importance of the issue, we want to put this resource in your hands. Several copies of Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors are available free of charge (or you may make a donation if you like) at the family resource table. Parents and grandparents are welcome to take one book per family.