The gender identity crisis happening among young men and women is alarming, disturbing and sad. (Hopefully) well-meaning parents are working hard to allow their children to decide what their identity is and adults in their 50's are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to change their earth suits in order to finally identify with who they believe they really are.
In my early teen years, I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking that this face did not belong to this body. Why was I made as a mistake? Why wasn't I made whole like everyone else? At birth, I was not complete. As I grew up I felt like a whole person yet my body did not convey that same whole idea. I was sewn together, not quite the same as being whole.
In some ways, I understand the feelings of those with gender dysphoria or those that feel they were born in the wrong body. I was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Certainly a far cry from the hell of thinking you are trapped in a body that doesn't match your sexuality, or that your gender doesn't line up with the body you're in, but nonetheless painful. When you look in the mirror and all you see is something that's not right, that doesn't look the way you feel it can be easy to want to change what you see.
In some ways, I understand the feelings of those with gender dysphoria or those that feel they were born in the wrong body. I was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Certainly a far cry from the hell of thinking you are trapped in a body that doesn't match your sexuality, or that your gender doesn't line up with the body you're in, but nonetheless painful. When you look in the mirror and all you see is something that's not right, that doesn't look the way you feel it can be easy to want to change what you see. In a word where identity is based on superficial image, this is a huge struggle and great place for the enemy to work.
Missing the Mark
The church is missing the mark. Many want to focus on the wrongs of gender identity past male and female and shame those who question their gender and their sexuality. We understand what God created, male and female and we dismiss anyone who identifies with a nonbinary gender (something other than male or female). Perhaps you don't realize that people in our world are struggling with gender identity. Check out the link in the previous sentence to get a taste of the genders of the world.
Church, this is a real struggle for real people in the world. This is no less a struggle and snare than pornography, infidelity, gambling, and addiction. No less real than financial issues, health issues, depression, and everything else we, the church, understand to be valid struggles.
We can't shun this issue and look at it was holy disgust. We need to see it for what it is. The gender identity crisis is the answer to question every human asks, “Who am I? Where is my identity?”
If you spend any time reading through this list of nonbinary genders, you'll notice many of them are defined as the way a person feels, or they are situational for the moment as in, demifluid gender: A gender identity for “someone whose gender is partially fluid (genderfluid) with the other part(s) being static; an example could be: one part of their gender is ‘woman' while the part that fluctuates is ‘man' and ‘genderqueer‘.
The world is believing the lie that feelings dictate truth. Truth is no long that which is true, it is instead, that which feels true to the individual. Here's where we miss it and where we need to step up. We condemn the outward answer as sinful but we fail to provide the true answer which would free the person before us. The truth of identity comes not by the earth-suit we wear for a short time, nor the costume we dress it in. Our identity is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ.
Telling someone they're sinful because of their costume (answer) is as helpful as telling a bulimic (answer) they need to just stop the binge and purge cycle. The underlying issue, the root, the cause must be addressed.
Here's the secret: This isn't a gender identity crisis, it's just an identity crisis. People are struggling to know their identity and they think a change in hair color, clothing style, sexual appearance or gender is going to tell them who they are. They problem is, who they are is not found in this body we live in. We are three part beings: soul, spirit, body. The body is temporal.
Our lasting identity is a spiritual one and we find that in Christ Jesus.
“For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance”
~ 2 Corinthians 5:7(AMP)
Someone's appearance is the last thing we should consider when we look at a person. Do you think Jesus was ministering to bodies or souls and spirits while he walked this Earth? Yes, He healed the body but in every single miracle He performed, His bigger purpose was ministering to souls and spirits.
Truth About Identity
#1 – Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation (hetero- or homosexual). Gender is how one identifies themselves: male or female. Sexual orientation refers to the gender to whom they are sexually attracted. From a biblical perspective they are very much related but they are not the same.
#2 – God designed Maleness or Femaleness as a holistic package of sexual orientation, gender, mental and physical make-up. Satan wants to disrupt this with things like gender dysphoria. God creates and gives life, Satan lies, kills and destroys. We must remember this.
#3 – What we see is not who a person is. We cannot look at the outward appearance if we are operating in the name of Jesus. We aren't ministering to body parts and clothing, we're ministering to the spirit.
#4 – True identity is found in Jesus Christ. You must understand this truth. It applies to all of us, with or without a gender question.
- We are loved by God. His love overshadows all that we've done, are doing and will do. He doesn't love us because we qualify to be loved, He loves us simply because He created us and we are meant to be His. As if it needs proven, He laid down His very life, through Jesus Christ's death on the cross. (Romans 5:8; John 17: 23; John 15:13, Eph 3:17-19)
- We are precious because we were purchased at a high price. That death, a shameful one on the cross was a high price to pay for us. A person's value is not in what the world thinks of them but in the price paid on the cross for them. (1 Corn 6:20, Revelation 5:9, Romans 5:8)
- We have been declared innocent. Once we repent we are innocent. The blood of Jesus cleanses us. (Galatians 2:16)
- Our conscience is clean. We are allowed to have a clean conscience. Satan wants nothing more than to stop us from having a clean conscience by reminding us of our sins. But Truth says, “my scars have paid the price.”
- Our sin is no longer part of us. We no longer claim your sins. Jesus took them from us. (Romans 3:22: Romans 3:25, Romans 5:17)
- We are new in Christ! We are not just sinners saved by God's grace. We are new! We are saints! This is our new identity found only through what Christ did on the cross for us because he loved us more than life itself. (2 Corn 5:27; Eph 4:24, John 1 12-13; Galatians 2:20)
- We are now in a position of authority. We are seated with Christ at the right hand of God. This is a place and a position of authority. We're saints with power and authority over our past, our present and our future. Satan's lies and agenda of confusion are powerless if we get this. (Eph 2:6; Mark 16: 15-18; Revelation 5:9-10)
The gender identity crisis is a distraction away from the true identity we all have through Jesus Christ. As we know, our struggle is not against flesh and blood against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. (Ehp 6:12,) It does not make the struggle any less real to the individual. We must stop wagging our finger in disgust and start being the hands and feet of Jesus. Those caught in this crisis are simply trying to answer the question: Who am I?