The bodies of our children are under attack, and we need to teach them how to defend themselves.
In September 2022, conservative commentator Matt Walsh Tweeted a thread exposing a K-12 school in Tennessee for promoting Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Pediatric Transgender Clinic. Underneath the nice language of “equality” and “acceptance” lies the reality that preadolescent children are receiving cross-gender hormone treatments and reconstructive surgeries.
Cross-gender hormone treatments and reconstructive surgeries are becoming prevalent in children with gender dysphoria. These treatments are irreversible and often lead to the sterilization of children. There is no telling the long-term effects of these treatments.
But even before their parents decide to place them under the scalpel, these children are being bombarded with confusing messages about identity and the significance of their bodies.
Many popular YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and other social media influencers spread the LGBTQ message through their lifestyles or simply by verbally affirming it. Young people face increasing pressure to declare themselves as allies of the “trans community,” and it can be socially dangerous to refrain. Their Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat bios proclaim their pronouns, ranging from the biologically obvious (He/Him, She/Her) to the fantastical (Xe/Xem, Ey/Em, Zie/Zim, Ve/Ver, Ne/Nem).
You may be rolling your eyes, thinking that social media can’t have a real impact on the real world. But as a parent in the 2020s, you must understand something: social media is where your kids spend their time, and it’s where they are being discipled. Social media cannot be shrugged off or dismissed. It is and will remain a powerful force in everyday life.
This attack on the bodies and identities of children has been going on for decades, even centuries, and its effect on our culture will not be thwarted overnight. As Christian parents, we must teach our children what the Bible says about their bodies. Satan whispers many lies to us to pervert our understanding of our bodies, and unfortunately, some of these lies have gained a foothold in churches. Let’s look at some of these lies and how we can instruct our children in biblical truth.
The lie: “You can recreate yourself however you want… you can be your own god.”
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, 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 (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV).
One of the reasons Satan hates humans so much is because we bear the image of the God whom he sought to become like. It is a possession he could never have, and his existence now is defined by the hatred and anger he bears toward it. Every thought of his mind, every command he gives to his demons, is toward the goal of attacking the image any way he can. And he does.
All around us are voices telling us how we should feel about our bodies. We see images of the idealized human form, smooth skin, toned muscles, healthy smiles, and, of course, a price tag telling us what it would take to achieve this beauty. Our children are now growing up in a world that fills their minds with confusion about gender, masculinity, and femininity, and they will face a host of questions at an early age that we have never encountered in our lifetimes.
The physical body has been broken by sin. It can starve, thirst, become tired, succumb to sickness, grow old, and die. Because it was made after the image of God, Satan attacks it with gluttony, sexual perversion, substance abuse, and gender dysphoria. People constantly fall into the temptation to remake their bodies after any image other than God’s - even Christians.
The antidote is the truth: We are made - mind, spirit, and body - in the image of God. This is the summation of our identity. We were made for righteousness and obedience to our God, and to find all our joy and satisfaction in who He is, not in who we are.
We must teach our children that they were created in the image of God.
The lie: “Your body is yours to do with whatever you wish.”
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20).
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).
We see in the verses above a logical argument against this lie of Satan. You were purchased by Jesus Christ, not just your spirit but your body as well. Since they belong to God (doubly because He also created them) it is reasonable and expected that you should dedicate your body to His glory. Among your fellow humans, yes, you have a degree of ownership over your body. But on the highest level of reality, you own not a cell of it. It is completely a possession of God’s, given to you as a gift. You are obligated to obey God with your body.
We must teach our children that their bodies were created by God and belong to Him.
The lie: “Your body does not matter. After you die, you will be pure spirit, eternally disembodied.”
This is a lie that can be found everywhere. The pagan philosopher Plato popularized the idea that the physical world - including the human body - is not as important as spiritual realities. The Gnostics in the days of the early church held to the notion that the physical world was under the dominion of Satan and completely evil and irredeemable, directly contradicting the Scriptures. Multiple religions teach reincarnation, believing the body to be an interchangeable container for the soul. And sadly, there are many uninformed Christians who believe that they will exist as disembodied spirits after death, completely leaving behind the physical world, including their bodies, for all eternity.
But that is not what the Bible teaches.
[Jesus] will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Philippians 3:21).
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body...Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 51-53).
Notice in these verses that there is no idea of Christians receiving brand new bodies, freshly created out of nothing for the new eternal era. These are our bodies that we have now, purified, and glorified.
Yes, your body is very important to God. God intends to save your body just as much as He intends to save your spirit.
We must teach our children that their bodies will be brought back to life and perfected to live forever.
It matters what we do with our bodies and how we treat them. It matters how we dress. It matters how we eat and drink. How we exercise. How we keep ourselves healthy. How we identify ourselves. God designed the body, called it good, and destined it to operate in the eternal new heaven and new earth.