Raising Gender Neutral Kids
Celebrities are raising their kids gender neutral. It’s a growing trend in celebrity culture, but what does it mean? Apparently, the parents let the kids drive. Kids are allowed to dress how they want, play how they want, and aren’t forced toward gender stereotypes. According to this article at moms.com, “Parents are participating by ‘breaking away from the gender binary and exposing children to a variety of gender types and allowing them to explore.’” The article goes on to champion 20 celebrities who are raising their children this way. The writer goes on to say, “But at the end of the day, anyone is allowed to raise their kid the way that they see fit. There is no official handbook; there is no one person who rules them all. And there is certainly no physical creator on earth to guide us through this parenting process.”
Should Christians jump on this trend? Should we get rid of the saying, “boys will boys” and exchange it for “boys might be boys”? Is there really no guide for us in the parenting process? Are our kids ready to make these kinds of decisions for themselves?
A Good Gift
The writer of the article fails to realize that when it comes to raising our children there is an official handbook, there is one being who rules them all, and the physical creator did take on human flesh and walked this earth leaving a guide for us all to help us as we parent. The very first book that gives us an account of creation tells us that God gave us gender on purpose and He said that it was very good. “He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them ‘Mankind’ when they were created.” Genesis 5:2.
Jesus Himself affirmed this when he said in Matthew 19:4 responding to the Pharisees, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,”. Jesus, who was involved in creation, affirmed that being male and being female are part of God’s purposes and design.
If part of God’s design then we can be sure that gender is a good gift. It is not something to be decided; it is something to be celebrated. As a dad of two girls, I celebrate that they are female. I play dolls. I encourage painting nails. I like the beautiful, long hair that my two-year-old has. I want my daughters to know that God made them to be girls and that we celebrate His goodness in their femininity. We can’t improve on what He’s done and we certainly know He’s not wrong in His design.
Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape the fact that, as a human, you are made in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Being made in His image means that every human we come in contact with shares God’s likeness and therefore has value. It also means that whether people deny His existence or not, they can’t escape knowing He exists. Usually those who deny Him reveal their knowledge of Him in the way they speak. God created everything and we are bound by His rules. We can’t get around that.
Given this fact, we as Christians must be faithful and ready. We must be faithful in pointing our own children to their Creator and celebrating the way He created them. We must be faithful in taking opportunities to explain to them how following God and His rules leads to our flourishing in His world.
We must be ready to give answers to our children’s hard questions. We must be ready to love their unbelieving friends who may be raised in gender neutral homes. We must be ready to make much of Christ when called upon. We must be ready to love in a society that is becoming increasingly polarized.
Gender neutrality will cause pain in the future. People will feel confused and they won’t know why. They may be hurting as they live as active rebels against the design of their Creator. May we be a people who are ready to show them that there is an official handbook, there is one being who rules them all, and the physical creator did take on human flesh and walked this earth. He didn’t stop there, though. He went to a cross and took the punishment that rebels against the Creator deserved. Three days later He rose from the dead so that we could have a relationship with that very same Creator we rebelled against. We don’t have to be confused anymore; Jesus has brought clarity.