With the changing landscape of how our world defines healthy sexuality, parents need to be ready to have some important discussions to help their kids navigate some key issues. Today we present a guest post from Tom Gilson, author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality With Teens.You may not perfectly agree with everything he says, but he gives Christian families a great start towards framing the talks that we need to be having at home.
“Hey Mom and Dad—is it true what they say about Christians hating gays?”
Are your kids asking that question? They sure are! Are you ready to answer it? You need to be—and you can be.
They may not be asking about gays and Christianity out loud, but there’s no doubt they’re wondering about it. How could they help it? Every day, through film, TV, social media and even in the classroom, they’re bombarded with the message that gay is great, and that there’s something morally wrong with Christianity for disagreeing.
No church and no family is exempt. Terms like “hate” and “tolerance” have been turned upside-down, so no matter how loving and grace-filled your church may be—or even your home—in the back of their minds young people are asking, “But isn’t this ‘hate’ anyway? Why can’t we get along with what LGBTQ people want?”
It’s almost certain that your own children are asking that question. They’re listening to all the conversations around them, too. And make no mistake: If young people think those hateful things are true about Christianity, they’re also wondering how they could possibly decide to follow Jesus Christ.
The numbers on this aren’t encouraging. The great majority of young people support homosexuality and gay marriage. The younger the person, the more likely he or she is to think traditional Christian teaching is wrong. Seventy percent of millennials (born in 1981 or later) agree with gay marriage, compared to 56 percent of Gen-Xers (born 1965 to 1980) and 46 percent of Baby Boomers. Evangelicals of all ages are less likelyto take that position, but those numbers aren’t strong enough to overcome the youth effect. Somewhere between 50 and 80 percent of young people raised in good churches—which also means good churched families—leave the faith once they leave home. Pro-gay messaging is becoming one of the main reasons. Your kids are definitely vulnerable. They’re bound to be confused.
So you’ve got to get into the LGBT-vs.-Christianity conversation with them, or they just might come to all the wrong conclusions about the faith, for all the wrong reasons. They might reject it in the end.
Mom and Dad, this is your job. Your church may be carrying the ball on this, too, but you’re responsible regardless. Here are four steps toward protecting your kids’ faith in a day of gay confusion.
1. Know what the Bible says.
Too many Christians know that the Bible is against homosexual practices and gay marriage, without knowing what it actually says or where it says it. Key passages on homosexuality are Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Tim. 1:9-10, and especially Rom. 1:26-32.
Key passages on marriage are harder to name—there are so many of them! But you could start with Jesus’ teaching in Matt. 19:1-10, and also 1 Cor. 7:1-16, Heb. 13:4, and of course Eph. 5:21-33.
2. Be able to explain why the Bible’s teaching is good.
It isn’t enough these days to say, “The Bible says … ” Many young people are so indoctrinated by the culture, their unspoken response to that is likely to be, then there must be something wrong with the Bible! They’re not just questioning whether Bible is true, they’re doubting that it’s good.
| Share the Good News |