Here are two, 90 second video clips that reflect the confusion that teens feel today about their sexual identity: My Son Told Me He Was Gay After Looking at Gay Porn, My Twelve-Year-Old Daughter Told Us She Was Transgender. What do I do? In today's world, children NEED THEIR PARENTS' HELP growing into a godly sexual identity. Here are five component parts to this personal identity script we must help our teens develop for themselves.
1. It must be rooted in gospel grace, so teens know that the community to which they belong is the church, the Body of Christ. Feelings of same-sex attraction or doubts about one’s manliness or femininity are shameful. Teens will only open up about these struggles to adults who exhibit brokenness over their own sin and a continual recognition of their own spiritual poverty.
2. It recognizes that as believers, their truest identity is to be in Christ and, through him, the adopted children of God. The Apostle John marvels at the new identity that belongs to those who come to faith in Christ: Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called “children of God”—and that is not just what we are called, but what we are.
3. It explains why they don’t fit in to the secular world around them. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter challenges his readers to consider their special identity in the world: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. The fracturing of sexual personhood into sex assigned at birth, physical attraction, emotional attraction, gender identity, and gender roles comes from the world of darkness. That darkness fiercely opposes the biblical worldview of sexuality. But, Christians’ special calling is to be light to the world.
4. It emphasizes that they are uniquely designed by God. God is glorified by making no two portraits of femininity or masculinity the same, but gloriously different. Ephesians 2:10 reads, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Helping teens explore their unique design (spiritual gifts, natural abilities, personality strengths, etc.) must be part of helping them grow into adulthood.
5. It motivates boys to pursue godly manhood and girls to pursue godly womanhood. The biblical writers steer the natural motivation of boys to be masculine towards godly manhood, and the natural desire of girls to become beautiful towards developing the inner beauty of godly femininity. We need to do the same.
For a more detailed explanation of these vital components see Anchoring Your Child to God’s Truth in a Gender-Confused Culture (p.76-78) The rest of Chapter 5 explains how teens adopt a sexual identity, what parents can do to minimize the chances that their child’s formation of his sexual identity goes awry, and what they can do to help each child adopt a biblical sexual identity that is rooted in Christ.