“I’m getting hungry” my little guest declared. We’d been coloring together as we discussed her concern about her playmate Chrissy and Chrissy’s decision to become a boy named Chris. This sudden event had thrown her into confusion as the adults around her revealed opposing viewpoints and she’d now been forbidden to play with her friend.
“Me, too. Want to help me finish lunch and get it on the table for us?” As I instructed her in setting the table, filling the glasses with ice and water, and carrying items to our places, I was frantically searching my mind and heart for God’s viewpoint on the issues of gender identity, transgender, same-sex attraction, and gay marriage and lifestyle. These points of view are and will continue to be a part of the changing world around her. How do we help our children navigate these confusing and emotion-laden waters?
Finally settling at the table, my young companion clapped her hands in glee at the heart shaped PB&J sandwich, carrot flowers and rose radishes. She was especially excited about the coming ice-cream rose with raspberry drizzles on marshmallow cream with colorful sprinkles. We were having fun! We then folded our hands and I thanked God for our food, and for His wisdom to understand our friends. Then we started to eat.
“Would you like for me to tell you something Jesus says about boys and girls?”
“OK,” she agreed, munching on the curly carrot.
“Well, Jesus said that God had a wonderful plan for boys and girls when they become men and women. He said God made us male and female and that when we get married, we love and take care of each other and help each other live God’s beautiful way. He also said we are to help our children know Jesus, too, so they can grow up living God’s way of the happiest life forever. How does that sound to you?”
“Jesus said something else, though. He said that not everybody needs to get married.”
“Some people God made for something different. Jesus never got married, and the Apostle Paul wasn’t married, either. God made some people who make the world a better place just by being a very good friend to so many others.”
She contemplated her rose radish, took a nibble and put it back on her plate. Nice to look at but not as much fun to eat! “So I don’t have to get married when I grow up?”
“No, you don’t my dear. But if you change your mind when you’re older, that’s okay, too. The main thing is that whatever you do, you do it God’s way.”
I handed her a second napkin for the peanut butter on her nose. “But I have to tell you that not everyone wants to do things God’s way because they don’t like to mind anyone and they want to make up their own rules.”
“You mean like wanting to change into a boy?”
“Yes, that’s one thing. Do you see how trying to do things not God’s way causes confusion and fussing and sadness? Chrissy’s uncomfortable about what bathroom to use. Her friends are confused about how to treat her. Grownups worry about what to do. And teachers are trying to keep everyone happy.”
“Oh. Then Chrissy didn’t choose God’s way. So is God mad at Chrissy?”
“No, God knows Chrissy doesn’t understand. He wants so badly for Chrissy to have what He dreamed for her to have. But you know, maybe nobody’s told her about God’s best way and I think that makes God sad. But you and I get to choose the way we follow. I have seen God’s way and it always works if we really listen to Him. I’m going to follow Jesus’ plan for me. He made us and He knows best. And He’s the greatest of anyone, anywhere and He loves me so much! And part of God’s way is to be kind to everyone, even if they don’t understand, right?”
“Yeah. They don’t understand,” she mused. Then as if she’d finally found her answer, she said, “I’m going to be nice to Chrissy, but I know she’s still a girl and just doesn’t know how much God likes her just as the girl she is.”
“Honey, I think that’s very wise of you. You’ll always be glad you chose God’s dream for you. There are some other ways people miss out on God’s dream for them? You may already know some of them.”
She looked up at me, taking a sip of her pineapple-banana juice. “What things?” she asked.
“Some of them are sad,” I offered. “But God gave us the answers so we can understand the best way.”
“Okay,” she answered. “Can we have dessert first?”
We’d go on from there. She was curious. Now was the time to show her the Creator’s design, giving her the magnificent vision of beauty and love meant for her.
(To be continued)