Christians, Here's How to Respond if Your Child Claims to Be Transgender

a boy holds up cut outs of a man and a woman, looking confused as he chooses between them.

Parenting is hard enough without the added difficulty of gender confusion and gender identity issues pushed by the transgender movement. But Christian parents need to be prepared for their children to struggle with gender identity.

So what should Christian parents do if their child says, "I think I'm transgender?" Andrew Walker, director of policy studies at the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and author of God and the Transgender Debate, offered advice on this difficult issue in an interview with PJ Media.

His book also gave specific advice for children struggling with these issues at specific ages.

"If a child comes out as gender dysphoric, the first thing to do is hug them," Walker said. (Gender dysphoria is a term for the sense of being born in the wrong body.) "The first thing you have to do as a parent is to love — the bond between a child and a parent is indissoluble."

In his book, the ERLC director emphasized that abandoning a child is wrong, no matter what that child has done. "Even if it's a child who disagrees with your faith, that person does not cease to be your child," Walker told PJ Media.

"If the person is not a believer and is identifying as transgender, you treat them as an unbeliever — that is, you love them, invite them into your home," he added. "The fundamental thing to be communicated is that there are no grounds for a parent to sever the relationship with their child, ever."

The fatherhood of God is a central aspect of Christian belief. The Bible promises that those who believe in Jesus Christ are adopted children of God. Earthly parents present an image of God's fatherhood to their children, so it is important to their spiritual life to be loved unconditionally.

But Walker insisted that transgenderism is incompatible with Christianity. "The transgender movement is fundamentally incompatible with biblical Christianity because it is a casting off of the biological categories of male and female," he said.

Transgenderism "nullifies the very concept of there being objective maleness and femaleness, objective fatherliness and motherliness."

He even suggested that transgender ideology may be a form of idolatry. In this movement, "all that matters is my freedom and my choice and my own self-definition." Therefore, "We have put ourselves at the center of the universe. We're building an altar to the non-God, man. We're dethroning God from His role as an objective creator."

But Christianity also carries a powerful hope for people suffering from gender dysphoria. "We have an answer to people searching after an identity and a community, and Christ is the ground for that," Walker said. The Resurrection promises a new, unblemished body for each person who is born again in Christ Jesus — one unbesmirched by tears, disease, and psychological issues.