children, sexual identity, and counseling


“All Things Considered” on NPR ran a two day story on children and gender identity. Two days ago, they ran a story on two families with toddler to preschool boys who are attracted to girl-oriented toys, colors–one of whom sees himself as a girl, changing his name from Jonah to Jona as he entered school. His parents now refer to him as their daughter. Yesterday, they ran a story about a prepubescent boy wanting to take hormones to delay or stop puberty. You can click here to read or hear the stories and additional content on their site.

What makes this fascinating is the two psychologists interviewed. The first, Dr. Ken Zucker, sees the problem as gender identity confusion, something to be modified. The second psychologist, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, sees it as something biological and fixed and then the job is to help the child and parents transition to transgender. Dr. Zucker rejects that idea and likens the acceptance/transition approach to that of accepting that a Black child wants to be thought of as white (I wonder if he would also liken it to accepting a psychotic child’s hallucinations were real). His response sounds behavioral in that the boy has his dolls and dresses removed and play with boy type toys is reinforced. Dr. Ehrensaft opposes this as controlling and suggests the best treatment is to go with the flow and allow the child to express him/her self as they see fit:

Ehrensaft, however, does not use that label [gender identity]. She describes children like Bradley and Jonah as transgender. And, unlike Zucker, she does not think parents should try to modify their child’s behavior. In fact, when Pam and Joel came to see her, she discouraged them from putting Jonah into any kind of therapy at all. Pam says because Ehrensaft does not see transgenderism itself as a dysfunction, the therapist didn’t think Pam and Joel should try to cure Jonah.

“She made it really clear that, you know, if Jonah’s not depressed, or anxious, or having anything go on that she would need to really be in therapy for, then don’t put a kid in therapy until they need it,” Pam says.

Ehrensaft did eventually encourage Joel and Pam to allow Jonah to live as a little girl. By the time he was 5, Jonah had made it very clear to his parents that he wanted to wear girl clothes full time — that he wanted to be known as a girl.

While I disagree with his approach, I would humbly suggest that Zucker’s diagnostic view is more accurate. Children may go through fixations and personality response types that do not carry into adulthood. To treat even an entrenched viewpoint of a small child as fixed is unethical. A child simply does not fully understand themselves and the world yet. We do not accept our children’s fears of monsters as normal, we do not accept our children’s hitting to get their way. Why? We know they are not old enough to understand. We empathize but correct.

This is not like trying to make a left handed child be right-handed, to force feed peas when the child gags. Our identities may be rooted in biology, they are not fixed. Zucker rightly accuses some of being essentialists–a form of biological reductionism. Even the APA does not do that when it comes to personality. A child cannot be given a personality disorder until 18 because we know that personality is flexible even when shaped and rooted in early years.

However, Zucker seems harsh in that his treatment is to remove all girl playtoys. While I would not want a child of one gender to accept and believe they are the opposite gender, I would want they and the parents to expand their view of gender. If a boy likes pink, silky things, dolls, etc. so what? There is nothing essentially male about trucks. My wife as a child was a cowboy. She’d be more likely to have six shooters than a doll. Thankfully, her family didn’t make it an issue (which may be the cause of some folks’ gender identity confusion). 

Of course, a family will want to draw some lines, such as saying no to referring to oneself as the opposite sex. “No, God made you a boy, but he gave you interests in soft things…” Instead of wearing dresses which in our culture isn’t the norm, the boy might be able to enjoy softer materials.

It would seem that some, in the interest of helping everyone self-actualize, lose their ability to think critically about child development. This is not unlike the misguided notion that all bad behaviors are about low self esteem and so we should only praise. In fact, many have too much esteem of self and so abuse others.

ADDED: Check out this link for a local Philly news article on the subject of a transgendered 9 year old and see that they spoke to the ever controversial Paul McHugh from Johns Hopkins.

19 Comments

Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Identity, News and politics, parenting, Psychology

19 responses to “children, sexual identity, and counseling

  1. Scott Knapp, MS

    I’m working with a teen-aged boy now who originally came to us from a state in the North East. He presents in many ways as someone who has “gender identity” issues: effeminate mannerisms, history of sexually acting out with male peers, expression of desires to be a girl. He was exposed to explicit and grotesque sexualized abuse and behaviors as a youngster, and has been in treatment for many, many years prior to coming to my center. While in one particular center back East, he was strongly encouraged to “come out of the closet,” admit he was gay and get on with the process of accepting this as unchallengeable reality and merging with mainstream gay culture. “Strongly encouraged” is a euphemism on my part; our field rep described the facility as more of a “gay programming” center, much akin to the stereotypical abortion clinics who push and prod only for abortions and lots of ’em! I’ve used several approaches to help this boy lower his defenses (very steeled and mistrustful when he came to us), which opened the door to begin to examine his abuse, how his thinking was impacted, and what protective strategies he continues to use that found genesis in that abuse. We’re looking at how he views masculinity, and how it was dangerous for him as a small child to exhibit the stronger traits of masculinity, and how he learned to mask them for safety’s sake. For all our therapeutic efforts and techniques, however, his most striking turning point was when his father (who lives locally) became involved in his life and took an active part in his treatment. I agree with John Eldredge when he asserts that masculinity is passed on from one generation of men to another…we learn to be men from the men who walk before us. The most significant thing I can do for this young man, I think, is to help him and his father cultivate a healthy relationship that begins to dissolve the roadblocks that hinder other forms of helping efforts from being effective. When I think of the pro-homosexual promulgators who worked with this young man prior, I think of 2 Tim0thy 4:3-5, which states, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” These are the kind of teachers Jesus described who will welcome millstones around their necks in lieu of facing God for the misleading they’re doing and the carnage in the human soul they’re causing. They don’t grasp what Peter wrote, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:18-19).

  2. Dr. Phil,

    I heard this same broadcast on NPR yesterday on my way home. Zucker’s approach of cold-turkey cutting this little boy off from his favorite toys seemed counter productive and harsh, but I too believe his behavioral approach had merits because it promoted correcting the child’s confused behavior.

    I totally disagreed with Ehrensaft’s approach, allowing the child to continue down the wrong gender path, exploring his thoughts and entrenching himself in the female gender, which I felt was a misleading, counterproductive and ungodly approach to take with a child.

    I think you said it best when you said: “Children may go through fixations and personality response types that do not carry into adulthood. To treat even an entrenched viewpoint of a small child as fixed is unethical. A child simply does not fully understand themselves and the world yet. We do not accept our children’s fears of monsters as normal, we do not accept our children’s hitting to get their way. Why? We know they are not old enough to understand. We empathize but correct.”

  3. Linda Kreger

    Good morning. I’m a therapist working with Dr. Bill Kelly at Counseling Associates in Coopersburg and Montgomeryville. A friend pointed me to your website, and specifically this article. We have a friend in common whose son is an out-of-the-closet homosexual, and she has recently cut off all contact with anyone who cannot accept his lifestyle as approved by God. Our concern for her is deep and real; I particularly fear her sliding into depression, since she has been there before.

    I don’t have a question, really. Just wanted to say i appreciate any and all information I can find that may be helpful with my friend, to help her understand that it is not our behavior that takes us to heaven or hell, but rather it is our acceptance or rejection of Jesus. That I am not condemning her or her son, but that I do accept God’s standard of holiness.

    It’s hard, isn’t it? We are called to love others as Christ does, and as we love ourselves. When that love is rejected because we reject a behavior, there just aren’t many places left to go.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Linda

  4. Scott Knapp, MS

    Hi Linda, your post prompted a few thoughts. First, let me say I’m just another blogger here, and don’t speak for Dr. Phil, Biblical Seminary or anyone other than myself. I come from a family where many of us are genuinely born again, and about 10 years ago one of my cousins (definitely saved) “came out”, left his wife of 20-some years and his children, and moved in with his gay lover. Our family struggled with what kind of response to offer: at first, outrage kept any of us from moving toward him; shortly afterward, though, the church formed “prayer teams” to pray and fast for his repentance; after a year or so, the family slipped into grudging acceptance of the reality of his choice and his committed persistence in it. Several of us made contact over the next several years, which he accepted with some reservation, and he permitted us to reason with him about his choices. After some study, I determined that our best course of action was to follow Paul’s prescription in 1 Corinthians 5:1-12, and consider him as the “immoral brother” and cease contact with him until God had done work in his heart. I’m all alone in advocating for this position! Our family is close-knit and it seems that few want to break fellowship, even when an issue like this becomes a fly in the ointment. I think what God had in mind when He prompted Paul to write these words was to separate the stubbornly “immoral brother” from the opportunities for fellowship and comfort that would naturally take place within the body of Christ, so that He can have opportunity to create a “desert experience” for that brother, offer the opportunity for heart softening and eventual repentance. When we (my family, in this case) operate by our own instincts and interfere with this life-offering-via-death experience, we meddle with the work of God in that brother’s life…but we’re foolish and believe we know what’s best. I miss my cousin immensely, and sometimes drive by his home and think about popping in for a visit every once in awhile. I restrain myself, however, so that I stay consistent with what I believe God commanded me to do, and continue to pray for his growth and repentance. Perhaps his “coming out” is being used by God to set my cousin up for a powerful “Damascus Road” experience, so that he more clearly sees the futility of “kicking against the goads” (I’d use the KJV term “pricks” in my analogy, but the overtly sexual pun, given the circumstance of my cousin’s present orientation, may seem crass!). My cousin’s mother (my aunt) struggles mightily with the dilemma of how to respond to her son, and in that struggle she’s been given the opportunity to gain insight into her own heart, her propensity to want to control. She’s been given a powerful litmus by which to evaluate her own willingness to “trust and obey” in the face of the possibility of on-going personal loss of fellowship with her son. It’s also given our family a fresh opportunity to learn to grieve together over a “loss”, but only so long as we’re willing to accept it as “loss” until God completes His work….if we fail to obey as Paul prescribes, we’ll keep ourselves from facing “loss” of our brother (cousin, son, etc.), and never need to trust God in grief. I’m not sure where we’ll end up as a family on this one. Food for thought, humbly served.

  5. Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by. Say hi to Dr. Kelly for me. My then 6 year old and I spent a weekend with him and others at his hunting camp in the Pennsylvania Elk country. Fine man!

    It is a hard thing to have these conversations since so much emotion is present. Unfortunately, that emotion drives many to the extremes of either rejection or complete acceptance. If you can get your hands on the work of Mark Yarhouse (Regent Univ.) you can see some really good thinking on the matter of sexual identity development. HarvestUSA has some good information as well.

    Scott, I have gone through this struggle with 2 friends. I’m not comfortable with the “cut off” approach. Seems to me that the spirit of Matthew 18 and other passages is to (a) work for the purity of the church and so reject the premise that we act as if nothing is the matter when people speak and act in unchristian ways, but (b) pursue those same individuals as those in need of either rescue or salvation (just like we would with anyone else). I would suggest that while the church may not act as if nothing is the matter, we continue to pursue and relate to those that need rescue.

    Further, there are those who struggle with what to do with their attractions. I for one want to walk with those with that struggle. Let’s remember such a walk is quite the heroic walk that most of us know nothing of!

  6. Scott Knapp, MS

    Phil, I appreciate your response. I think what I do as a counselor with someone struggling with homosexuality is a different issue altogether than what Paul exhorts the body in general to do with an unrepentant “immoral brother.” I’m not fond of the notion of excommunication from fellowship any more than anyone else, but Paul’s language concerning a genuine believer who persistently pursues an immoral lifestyle is fairly clear. Perhaps “pursuit” of this brother under those conditions must look a little different. I continue to “pursue” my cousin by praying for him as often as I think of him and, like the father of the prodigal son, my own heart is prepared to throw open a welcoming door for him when he repents. My natural inclination as a member of the “therapeutic community” is to blanch at this notion, as I’m conditioned to remain engaged with even the most reprehensible client through thick and thin. I often feel as if I’m not doing good work unless I’m directly involved and engaged…it seems negligent to disengage with someone because of their moral choices…unless God is able to use that sort of response on my part to further His own purposes and position someone where He can do His most effective work in the brother’s life. On our part as the rest of the body, to choose TO remain engaged with the “immoral brother” while he is bent on his pursuit, should be done only after much prayerful consideration and consultation, since it would be done without consonance with Paul’s exhortation. But perhaps this must be a point on which we agree to disagree.

  7. Can’t go much further than this due to time but I would suggest the Bible gives different instructions to the church than it does to individuals. The context of the texts suggests that the church was entertaining an obviously immoral person in their communal meals and acting as if nothing were wrong. That, Paul says, is wrong. However, we are also called to pursue the lost. Not act like we are brothers, but yet still pursue. Prayer may be a form of pursuit, but it surely is not the only one. I do not see any restriction against meeting with, caring for, mercy ministry, or exhortation that we would do for anyone who we think is needing such activity.

  8. Scott Knapp, MS

    Well, we certainly disagree on this issue. How many folks would have to be gathered together to constitute a “church” and therefore being restricted from associating with the “immoral brother”? If they sent a few folks home, would they then be free to minister to him? I don’t think one should assume that when Paul addresses a body such as the Corinthian church, that he intends his exhortations to be employed only when the body gathers corporately, and excuses them when the body has separated into individuals again! When Paul writes to “remove the wicked man from among yourselves,” I have a difficult time swallowing that he simply meant boot him out of your church building, but feel free to associate with him individually in the parking lot! I strongly disagree with your theological position and your method of interpretation on this passage.

  9. Scott,

    Maybe you read my response as offensive and attacking. It wasn’t intended that way. I do find your reaction quite strong and sarcastic but recognize that may not be your intent either. As you can see in my prior response, I’m not suggesting freely associating with someone in the parking lot and I fail to see that pursuit of someone in a rescue mission is violating any Scripture. And yes, certain Scriptures do give direction to churches and their leaders, no matter how small. Taking the whole council together we see that in our truth-telling we love, in our not being of the world, we are in it. How you decide to handle your family’s situation is your call and your conscience. I think I’m reacting to the sense that only your position of cutting off is correct. We probably do have agreement in the area love as the foundation for excommunication in the church. But when one “has been handed over to Satan”, it is for their ultimate restoration (which you allude to as well). While the church won’t treat them as a brother, they should and ought to pursue as they would any unbeliever. Otherwise, I fear cut-offs would be no more healthy than the Amish version.

  10. Scott Knapp, MS

    Hi Phil, no I didn’t find your responses offensive or attacking…I think of these blog conversations as a group of folks sitting around a living room, discussing topics at their leisure. Sometimes we get vigorous in our discussions, and sometimes we chide one another with a little sarcasm! I accept that we disagree on this issue, and I enjoy the opportunity to dialog about it here…that’s what good blogs are for when used respectfully and properly. Thanks for your concern about how I received your responses.

  11. Kurt Wood

    Scott and Phil,

    Commenting here as a layman (and parent and church elder, for what that’s worth):

    It seems to me, in terms of the last discussion, that there is a useful distinction to be made between how we respond to an individual like this as a church, and as family– for the cousin you mentioned, the church needs to have proper church discipline, which at least as we have understood it does not involve “shunning” in a social sense, but which would certainly be intended to communicate that we consider the person’s soul is in peril due to lack of evidence of regeneration (so we “treat him as an unbeliever”– we don’t “shun” regular garden variety unbelievers, they are our neighbors, and we eat lunch with them at work, and maybe we invite them to church); meanwhile, he does continue to be your cousin, and his mother’s son, and that relationship isn’t severed, nor should it be, by his sinful actions. . . .

    I did want to comment on the NPR stories, however, which I also heard. What struck me about the six year old boys who self-identified as girls, was how unlike real six year old girls their notion of girlhood seemed to be (I say this as the father of two daughters, now college age). The boys seemed to have a 1950s type stereotyped notion of girlhood, not in any way a “realistic” one. My own six year old girls would have vigorously rejected those stereotypes! It gets back to the point, alluded to above, that six year olds are in no position to make authoritative pronouncements about their adult identity– any more than they have enough life experience to make other kinds of adult decisions. . .

  12. Scott Knapp, MS

    Thanks for your thoughts, Kurt. I’m going to have to disagree with both you and Phil on the issue of “shunning.” I think that is exactly what Paul prescribed, and I think it has a therapeutic purpose, if one is predisposed to believe that ultimately the truly “therapeutic counselor” is the Holy Spirit, who is at work in the “counselee” even when the human counselor is not present and active. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 5:2, “You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.” “Shunning” someone by removing them from the midst of a congregation must not be done because the congregation is angry or offended (which likely is the case when the Amish shun one who fails to conform to their standards), but because the one shunned has been unrepentant of immoral sin. We are “not to associate with any s0-called brother,” whom I understand to be someone who legitimately has been a part of the body of born-again believers, but not behaving as a “brother” within that body due to blatant and unrepentant immorality. Socially, believers have access to the more “therapeutic” elements of body life while in fellowship with other Christians (I interpret that when Paul refers to the “church” he’s talking about all fellowship aspects between the believers, whether in the formal congregational activities of a specific local body, or during informal fellowship between any believers). Denying the unrepentant believer access to the life-giving elements of the body of Christ can do some very healthy things for the unrepentant believer. He must seek “soul food” elsewhere, which eventually will prove to be like dust in his mouth; he is forced to reckon with his sin “in the desert”, an experience that is much more difficult to foster while he has access to the comfort of the Christian body; God can parse out and clarify much more readily during this period of suffering, once this believer has come to a point of seeing his need. When we as a body fail to follow through on this, we display not only the lack of intestinal fortitude to obey what I think is a clear commandment, but we demonstrate that Paul is correct in calling the body “arrogant.” This kind of treatment of an unrepentant believer can be successfully carried out only by a body of believers who are mature enough to “mourn” over this believer’s sin, and be willing to do whatever it takes, including “shunning” if necessary when every other biblical approach to calling one to repentance has been rebuffed. It’s not to be carried out in anger, resentment, or disgust for the sin which is being addressed. And once the one upon whom this treatment (and I use the term “treatment” conspicuously) is applied has “come to his senses” and repented, the Bible is clear about how we are to welcome this one back into fellowship (Galatians 6:1-4). I am aware of one recent occasion where this was applied correctly, at a church I attended while living in Philadelphia. After several months, the focus person came to the pastoral staff in brokenness and penitence, and reported that during his time out of fellowship, the Spirit did some massive breaking and restoring in his soul, something he would not have been receptive to if he still had access to the fellowship and comfort of the body. I worry that many times, the Christian church today has lost its guts to make some hard decisions like these, and that in our “therapeutic” culture we don’t cotton to treatment methods which do not involve our direct control and manipulation. This is definitely one biblical treatment modality in which God requires the disengagement and un-involvement of the “therapeutic community” in order for the Counselor to do His most effective work.

  13. Welcome Kurt. Nice to “see” you stopping by.

    Scott, some reason your last comment appeared twice. Seemed identical so I deleted one of them.

    I’ll end my part here with this. I agree with much of what you are saying but the one piece I have yet to see you engage is the difference between someone who is barred from the table, barred from acting as if they are one of the body of the visible church AND being pursued as an unbeliever and so therefore being engaged with them for that reason. That is the point I was trying to make and that is the point I think Kurt was trying to make. Can you comment to that particular part of the issue.

    Ron Lutz, pastor of a church in the area, did a DMin dissertation at Westminster Seminary on the topic of church discipline that is really good. I’d recommend it for reading but unless you have access to their library, its not available elsewhere.

  14. Scott Knapp, MS

    Hi Phil, first of all, let me thank you and all who have participated in this particular discussion for the respectful treatment given to one another when we disagree (my sarcasm in a previous post notwithstanding). This is refreshing, and promotes thought. As I look over the passage in 1 Corinthians that I’ve been referring to, at no point do I see an exhortation from Paul to ever consider someone who is legitimately a “believer” as an “unbeliever.” In fact, Paul goes to great lengths later in the passage to make distinctions between the two in regard to how the church is to relate. Now, that being said…if I were persuaded that the “so-called brother” had lost his salvation as a result of his sin, and were to become an “unbeliever”, then I would have to agree that the best “therapeutic treatment” of this unrepentant sinner would be to pursue him as we would anyone who was not regenerated, did not have the “mind of Christ” and was bent on following the flesh with no other recourse. Then, pursuit of the helpless non-believer would be fully warranted, as it would truly be a “rescue mission” to bring him back to Jesus, get him “re-saved” and “re-regenerated” once again. If one could truly lose all those things, one would need to be pursued like we responsibly would a non-believer. And maybe this is the crux of the matter upon which we disagree…I am firmly convinced that sin subsequent to salvation does not have the capacity to annul salvation, and therefore this “so-called brother” is still regenerate (albeit in denial), still indwelt by the Holy Spirit (albeit in rebellion), and must be dealt with in a manner proper for one who has the capacity to think reasonably and repent effectively due to the Spirit within him. He is not to be treated as an unbeliever who doesn’t have those capacities, regardless of how self-incapacitated he may have chosen to make himself. As far as engagement with the “church”, there are many who would define this as whatever formal activities a person attends or becomes active with within the visible local body as an organizational entity (Sunday School, church picnics, board meetings, services, Communion, small groups, formal functions). I consider the exhortations that Paul gives in this passage as applying to my behavior as a believer whether I’m sitting in my home, driving my car, or sitting in the church pew…anywhere I may have interpersonal interaction with another believer, this exhortation applies (hence the humorous/sarcastic remark about differentiating between fellowshipping with the “so-called brother not being allowed in the building, but OK in the parking lot). As an aside, I once had an interaction with a pastor who firmly believed that the only behavior that Paul referred to in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 as resulting in either wood/hay/stubble, or gold/silver/precious stones was the behavior he engaged in while doing his vocational, formal ministry as a pastor…all other behavior was exempt because it didn’t fall into “ministry”! That is analogous, in my thinking, to how the word “church” is being treated…”while I’m in the building doing formal church activities, I must “remove” the so-called brother…but when I’m not “at the table” and “doing church” then I can pursue and fellowship with him, for his sake. The “so-called brother” is ALWAYS being pursued…but I believe God sets limits on who can do the pursuing and when it legitimately can be done, always appropriate and timely for the one He is pursuing. Pursuit by the body should be done prior to salvation (evangelism), and constantly while he is growing (nurturing), and up to a certain point when he is backsliding (rescue), until he reaches the point of decided un-repentance and continuation in his chosen sin. At this point, 1 Corinthians 5 becomes applicable, and should be applied to all Christian interactions with this “s0-called brother” until evidence of repentance is visible. For further clarification…if this “so called brother” were to come to me for counseling, even though he had not formally repented so as to be invited back into fellowship with the local body, what would I, as a fellow believer, do? (Is that what you’re really asking?) For this so-called brother to approach a patently biblical counselor at this point is evidence (to me, at least) of a heart shift in the direction of repentance, and unless I could tease out evidence to the contrary in our conversations, I would consent to work with this person, with a view to the counseling goal of preparing this person to make the penitent movement themselves back toward the local body. However (and maybe we’ll have severe differences of opinion on this point), if the local body has chosen to “deliver such a one to Satan” by ex-communicating him from fellowship, I consider that binding on all Christian fellowship, whether I’m going to that local church body or not. I presume that for that body to have taken such action they’ve engaged in prayer and wise counsel so as to do it “in the name of the Lord Jesus” as Paul did…and if God has endorsed it, who am I to arrogantly subvert it by offering my fellowship as comfort to this individual? I don’t consider these acts of ex-communication to be performed in the vacuum of merely the local body…I think they’re physically performed in the locale of the local body, but in a larger sense the sentence is imposed by the entire corporate body of Christ (which is how Paul could claim to be able to exercise authority in the matter, aside from apostolic authority, though not present physically, but present in “spirit”), and to be respected by the entire corporate body of Christ everywhere. So that’s a lengthy summary of where my thinking goes on these matters, these days. Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.

  15. Barb

    I may be a tad simplistic, but it seems to me that the situation of the 6 year old may have as much to do with a culture that elevates the child above the adult as it does with sexual orientation. What I mean to say is that it would seem our society has foolishly granted children and adolescents authority in areas that they are unable to navigate. That they are incapable of navigating, really.

    And so, now we have well-educated authorities telling us the same 1st grader that would like to eat Smarties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dash after his kickball into the busy street, is in a position to determine something as complex as his gender identity. As a FIRST GRADER!? What?!

    Sorry about that. I think I’ll just go spend time with my 8 year old son. He’s apparently made some decisions about his gender identity… and announced that he wants to marry me. (smile)

  16. judi lemay-lusk

    barb, what a great comment! thanks, i appreciate where you’re coming from. we have had some recent experience with a transgendered teen and it is heartbreaking. i have to wonder what the result would have been had the parents challenged the two year old who insisted that they were not the gender they were born with.

  17. Linda Kreger

    Well, my goodness, I missed out on a really meaty discussion by being absent from my computer for a short time. I really don’t have a lot to add that hasn’t already been said, but I would like to make some very simple and probably obvious observations:

    1. I think we all need to keep in focus that if there had never been a homosexual (murderer, liar, thief, etc.) Jesus would still have had to die–for MY sin! Pride, gossip, whatever may be our particular bag of bricks, all of these put Jesus on the cross.

    2. In Deuteronomy, God says that homosexuality is “abomination.” I find it fascinating and deeply convicting that He uses the same word in Proverbs 6 to describe seven sins He hates, and most of them have to do with the tongue. Abomination.

    3. In my somewhat limited experience with gays or lesbians, on a personal basis, I have found that once they understand my biblical stance, they don’t want fellowship with me unless they are looking for help in leaving that lifestyle.

    4. And finally, I have to state here that I find it just as reprehensible that the gay/lesbian community hates what is precious to me as they find it that I abhor what is important to them. There is very little common ground.

    5. Okay, one more thing. Galatians tells us that our speech is to be “always with grace, seasoned with salt.” There is no excuse for unkindness. We must always aim to speak the truth in love.

    And now I think I’m done. Didn’t know I had that much to say:)

  18. Linda Kreger

    And Phil, I will try to remember to convey your greetings to Dr. Kelly. He is indeed a fine man.

  19. Scott Knapp, MS

    Good thoughts, Linda!

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