Tag Archives: Children

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Why Gender Matters 3: What Children Need

‘We urge healthcare professionals, educators, and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts—not ideology—determine reality.’ American College of Pediatricians, May 2017

Children want to belong. We discover who we are in community through positive encouragement and reinforcement of our biological gender. That may be a harder road for some than others. We who help a struggler make peace with his or her gender help that one take a necessary step into reality.

I was a girly boy. It is hard to look at one early family movie of me in nail polish, lagging behind my brothers with my younger sister in tow. At 6-years-old, I recall playing in a skirt and being ‘caught’ by my mom. I was ashamed, aware that my fantasy clashed with the reality of being a boy. My mom was great. She said: ‘You know, it’s ok once or twice to play like you are someone you are not. It can make you more understanding of that someone. But you are a boy. And it’s not good to practice being someone you are not. You are a boy and boys don’t wear skirts.’

My mom did not add to my shame. But she corrected my unreality. Thank God she did not encourage my ‘gender expansiveness’; rather, she reinforced the goodness of the boy I was, one who needed to make peace his gender. That included accepting good restraints like not crossdressing! Gently directing a child away from what will make it difficult for him or her to adjust to reality is love, pure and simple.

Sadly, we throw kids under the bus when we mistake their opposite-sex impersonations as some kind of ultimate reality for them. In a recent third grade classroom, the teacher introduced a girl to the class ‘who had become a boy.’ She (the teacher) insisted in a loving manner that the whole class embrace ‘Tom because that is who he truly is now.’ Anything short of that, added the teacher, was unloving as it rejected Tom’s true self.

A friend of mine’s daughter came home and recounted the incident to her mother. She was a Christian little girl who had been taught her whole life that love was the highest good. She became visibly distress when her mother gently pointed out that one might best love ‘Tom’ by realizing that she is sad and confused but not really a boy as it is impossible to change one’s gender. The mother brought up how God made us as either male or female, and though that can be hard for some to live out, we cannot change who He created us to be.

Her daughter escalated emotionally—here was a Kingdom clash, two dueling views of love, acceptance and identity–too much for an 8-year-old to wholly grasp! Mom kindly gave her daughter space then she and her husband spent some time with her reading the Bible, praying, while intending to continue the conversation at another time. Their commitment is for their daughter to live in Love’s reality. So should it be for all of us who value human freedom.

‘Father, forgive us for denying reality in the face of another’s confusion. Continue to teach us what love is, as we accompany persons who are caught in the crossfire of false freedoms. We pray especially for children who need loving parents and other caregivers to help them integrate their gender value.’

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contracepting beauty

November, 9 2014: Contracepting Beauty

The beauty of man for woman is not found primarily in thrashing limbs and ecstatic release. First and foremost, sexual love is beautiful because of its fruit, the gift of children. When we separate sex from openness to new life, we risk making idols of sensual pleasure and our own goals. We also lay a faulty foundation on which more exotic sexual liberties seek to stand.

Have you ever wondered why we as a nation have been so powerless to combat ‘gay marriage’? Behind closed doors, most Americans would admit they have a problem with it: we know instinctively that marriage requires a bride and a bridegroom. Yet we stammer to make a case for traditional marriage because we know that the heart of marriage—children—has been rendered optional in today’s unions.

That ‘option’ is the bitter result of various judicial actions, beginning in the 1920’s, which legalized contraception. The latter is the base on which ‘gay marriage’ is built. How so? Without openness to life, sexual love becomes merely about the pleasure two people feel in sharing their bodies with each other. Sex devolves into an end in itself. In God’s design, transmission of new life is the primary (but not the only) aim of sexual love.

Contraception took on a whole new meaning in the 1960’s with a renewed commitment to taking authority over our own bodies. We insisted on autonomy—our right to do what we wanted with them. The pill revolutionized ‘family planning’ and liberated extramarital sex. Even without the pill, judicial decisions made abortion legal so we could destroy the fruit of sex. Judicial actions favored the right of the individual to do whatever (s)he wanted with his or her body. Sexual pleasure trumped all other concerns.

‘Gay rights’ emerged out of this national cry for sexual autonomy and pleasure. Having removed children from the sexual equation, we soon found that we had no authority to insist that only male/female couplings had moral value, sexually-speaking. If pleasure, not children, was the bottom line for sex then why not same-gender unions? Finally, why not ‘gay marriage’?

If Jim and Jean can have contracepted sex in order to enjoy their ‘quality of life’ then how can we deny Jim and John’s version of life together?

Sexual love must give an answer for itself. It is not mostly about fireworks. It is about openness to the beautiful and arduous work of making a way for new lives.

Contraception is the fault-line on which ‘gay marriage’ arises.

Beauty contracepted. Our hope lies in repentance to Jesus from the ground up.

Please join us as we pray for:

  1. Rocky Mountain Region, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Cindy Del Hierro – Coordinator: For strength and vision for Cindy, for existing groups in the region and for new groups to be established.
  2. Ministries of Pastoral Care (ministriesofpastoralcare.com): For the international schools, October 18-22, near Munich, Germany and February 22-28, Auckland, New Zealand.
  3. COR Project: For financial provision and creative inspiration and fortitude for Christopher West.

“Courage for Reverend Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BLOGS & PRAYER POINTS FOR NOV. 8. 9. 10, 11

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Fifth of 7 Prayers for Marriage: Children Need Mom and Dad

prayer-mercy‘At stake [in ‘gay marriage’] is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and mother and willed by God.’    Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis

May I implore you to join me in prayer for marriage? For children’s sake, might we pray for those making a case for marriage before the US Supreme Court next Tuesday the 25th? Those challenging Prop. 8 are taking the most aggressive stance possible by insisting on a sweeping constitutional right to ‘gay marriage.’ If they succeed, not only must CA implement ‘gay marriage’ but every state in the union must strike down its ‘marriage as male and female’ law.

Please gather with a handful of people before the 25th and pray for real justice. What matters to God and what should matter to us is the fate of children who have no voice. If ‘gay marriage’ becomes the law of the land, children will be subject to the delusion that gender makes no difference in human relating–a slap in the face to God and to the real needs of children everywhere.

Fueling this delusion is practicing gay judge Vaughn Walker who struck down Prop. 8 upon its appeal. He claims that ‘gender is neither relevant nor essential to marriage’, and ‘that it is beyond any doubt that parents’ genders are irrelevant to children’s developmental outcomes.’ Lie upon lie upon lie, poised to become the toxic ground for a new definition of marriage in the USA.

The truth: marriage is sealed by intercourse, the only way to generate kids. Kids require the fidelity of parents in order to thrive, and so marriage demands this fidelity. The marital bond insists that man and woman call each other into account for the children they have created. However imperfect, those who stay together provide for kids masculine and feminine models and faithful love.

Gay couples do neither; they exist in reaction to male/female, and the most recent study suggests that gays tend to be ‘monogamish’—‘emotionally’ bonded to one but sexually open to many.

Dr. Mark Regnerus of the Univ. of TX conducted the most extensive study yet on the effect of gay parents. In contrast to kids from normal marriages, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative results in 19. Not surprisingly, activists have all but lynched Regnerus and his meticulously done work. Just google his ‘New Family Structures Study’; its clarity is confounded by slander posing as science.

Listen to the story of a man reflecting on growing up with two moms:

‘Growing up in with gay parents was very difficult. To most I was a well-raised, high-achieving kid. Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, you grow up weird. I grew up in a home so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.

My peers learned all the unwritten rules of decorum and body language in their homes; the learned both traditionally masculine and feminine social mechanisms. Even if their parents’ divorced, my peers grew up seeing male and female social models. They learned to be bold from male figures, and sensitive from female ones. These are stereotypes of course, but stereotypes come in handy when you have to leave the safety of your lesbian mom’s trailer and work and survive in a world that thinks in terms of stereotypes.

I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mom and her partner were unlike traditional mothers or fathers. As a result, I had no few recognizable social cues to offer friends of either gender. Thus I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily. Life is hard when you are strange.’ Robert Oscar Lopez

Please pray with us that the US Supreme Court will uphold marriage and refuse its counterfeits. In its gender duality and pledge to fidelity, marriage serves justice to kids and to the common good. The hour of decision is now upon us.

‘Father, please empower the entire Alliance Defending Freedom team as they make a case for marriage on March 25th. Prepare the Supreme Court to hear their case and be persuaded that it is unwise to redefine the most basic and influential social unit on earth. We pray especially for Chief Justice Roberts. Might You bless and honor him, his faith and his family? Grant him a spirit of wisdom and revelation as he weighs the evidence and guides his colleagues in the decision that is best for all US citizens, especially our children.’

 

 

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Fighting for Our Best – Part 1: What Parents Know

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord Himself will fight for you.’  (Deut. 1:22)

cracked mirrorMy mother’s tears spoke louder words in response to my ‘coming out’ years ago. ‘I want more for you,’ she then said.

Parents want more for their kids than misbegotten identities and relationships that render them fruitless. Some convey this concern better than others. We as parents must learn to express our concern well. It is an expression of loving authority.

Annette and I are the parents of four adult children; together, we fight for their fruitfulness. How can we not? Through God’s gift of committed sexual love, we created them! It is normal, right, and godly to advocate prayerfully for our children:  ‘In Your mercy God, show our children the gift that they are and how to offer that gift fruitfully!’

Times have changed since my coming out 37 years ago. Born Kathlyn, the transgender daughter of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, has rechristened herself Stephen. She recently uploaded a video that celebrates her new male self as ‘a queer and nerd fighter’ with a penchant for ‘any male-identified person wearing thigh highs or garters.’ Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad.

My heart grieves for every parent today whose children leave home as an awkwardly emerging man or woman and returns to announce his/her newly re-created ‘gender’ self. Doubtlessly all young adults tempted to do so have faced profound conflicts of soul. But to resolve those conflicts by forcing one’s genitals into lifeless outlets or butchering them altogether is nothing short of demonic: ‘rebellion like the sin of witchcraft, arrogance like the evil of idolatry.’ (1 S 15:23)

All we as parents can do is weep and cry out for the Mercy that rendered us fruitful. We as co-creators of new life have limits. We cannot make our adult children’s moral decisions for them. But we can nurture a vision of fruitfulness for their lives in spite of any declaration to the contrary.

That child will always be the fruit of our love. So shall we implore the God who made us fruitful to gently woo our children back to Himself—the One who knows them best. He alone has power to grant them the ‘more’ of His splendid design for their lives.

‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.’ (Ex. 14:14)

 

 

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True Justice

‘The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.’ (PS 103:6)

‘Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.’ Pope Benedict

My wife Annette observed an 8-year-old boy in a waiting room trying to make sense of a photo in People magazine of two men in tuxes, probably a feature on some celeb ‘gay wedding.’ Wide-eyed, and too truthful to have anything but a visceral response to the madness, he said: ‘Are those guys… you know, together? That’s real scary.’

No scarier than the wedding photo in front of me of two men, 20-years apart yet mirror images of each other, with their adopted 4-year-old daughter between them. Her smile is stained, theirs soft and wide as they beam through her at each other. A glimpse of unrealized manhood, a girl in trouble, and the hemorrhaging of justice in the form of ‘gay marriage.’

Children become parents, purveyors of truth, when we celebrate and seal the disintegration of gender identity in ‘gay weddings.’

Consider a young man—Ben—whom I just met at a healing conference. Having come to terms with his own same-sex attraction, he possesses a firm resolve to reach for all that Christ has for him. He also just discovered that his father is now ‘out’ as an active ‘gay man’ and is urging his son to do likewise. Ben’s first task was to set a firm boundary with his deluded father and make decisions for his own integration as a man, including coming to this conference. (Check it out: Ministry of Pastoral Care, founded by Leanne Payne. Excellent)

Over the course of our week together, I observed the Holy Spirit moving upon Ben. He received grace in such abundance that confessing his sin, and grieving over his damaged father and the arc of damage in his life thus far occurred readily, gently. Through a host of Christian loved ones who accompany him on this journey, he will continue to take hold of all for which Christ took hold of him.

In truth, Jesus’ justice for those with same-sex attraction lies in recognizing how oppressed we are and repenting unto the only One who can help us.

On the other hand, justice is thwarted when we redefine marriage. ‘Gay marriage’ validates the disintegration of gender identity for parents and children alike.

‘Marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the law may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and influential.

No-one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize for the sake of justice and for the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.

First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience is jeopardized. Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education programs in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding recognizes as ‘marriages’ sexual partnerships that many believe are non-marital and immoral. Third, the common good of society is damaged when the law itself becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage culture in any society vitally depends.

And is it is out of love (and not hate) and prudent concern for the common good (not prejudice), that we pledge to labor unceasingly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture.

How could we as Christians do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and His church.

Just as Christ was willing out of love, to give Himself up for the Church as a complete sacrifice, we are willing in love to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.’

( If you are interesting in reading The Manhattan Declaration concerning marriage please click here.)

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