- While Sidewalk Outreach (SWO) Teams’ primary goal is reaching abortion-minded women, we often see other groups entering Planned Parenthood (PP). Our desire is to use our time wisely to advance the Kingdom of God.
A new cash-cow for PP is people who desire to change their gender through hormone therapy. Since this is a growing client base that SWO teams will see, it is useful to understand the issue in order to know how to call out and offer help to these people.
Gender and Sexuality
The Christian worldview view of gender and sex is based on Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’”
The divine creation of biological men and women guides a world view on love, marriage, sex, and reproduction.
Increasingly, teens and adults decide they want to change gender. Oftentimes, this desire is influenced by social media, peers finding it as popular or trendy, and many social and educational clubs that celebrate sexual gender fluidity.
•Low self esteem
•Anxiety and depression
•Lack of identity
•Eating and personality disorders
• Sexual and/or gender trauma
Gender Roles: Guidance in scripture, not feelings
While much of current gender confusion is based on feelings, feelings change and can often mislead us. Instead, we should focus on the unchangeable truths of Scripture to guide us in considering our gender and roles based on God’s creation.
-We are all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)
-God has a divine plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11)
-Male or female are of equal value before God with differing roles and strengths (Matthew 19:4-5)
-Our roles as male or female both reflect important aspects of God’s nature (Ephesians 5: 22-33)
-When we uphold standards of sexual purity, we honor God (Ephesians 5: 1-10)
-We can find joy and purpose in centering our lives in grateful obedience to God’s standards (Psalm 16: 11)
-We can find joy and purpose in celebrating who we are as male or female (Psalm 51:12, Psalm 16:9)
-Our bodies are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
-Sexual sin leads to devastation (I Corinthians 6:18)
(Changing appearance, genitalia, or hormones doesn’t actually change a person’s sex. Our DNA and every cell of our body reflects our God-ordained gender.)
-Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) thus we should honor God with our body. It is God who designed every detail of our bodies for His glory.
Develop an Intimate Relationship with God is the Christian Answer
From Focus on the Family Answer to Transgender People:
While you may not have the answers of why you have been made with specific desires or inclinations, you can still turn to Christ in humble repentance and trust that He can meet you in your crisis and lead you. Below are steps you can take immediately:
- Lean into God’s presence right where you are instead of trying to fix your behaviors first. Even if you can’t find rest in your sexuality yet, will you dare to find rest in God’s love?
- Find a church home with a high view of Scripture. Live in community with other Christianswho will come to know and care for you.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to convince you that God intentionally made you male or female and that your body at birth is His blessing and work.
- Consider what it means that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than yours. Ask Him to help you cooperate with His good purposes for your life. Cultivate the truth in your heart that God has restored others with sexual identity issues, and He not only can, but
He desires to do the same for you.
- Take heart in the fact that your pain does not have to go to waste. By definition, Christians are called to live a life of sacrifice. But Christ’s completed work on the cross makes your pain redemptive too. He invites you to join in the fellowship of His sufferings.
- When thinking of God, make sure it’s about relationship instead of just behaviors. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The relationship is what creates the obedience, not the other way around.(from Focus on the Family: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/a-biblical-perspective-on-transgender-identity-a-primer-for-parents-and-strugglers/ )
Practical Suggestions in Sidewalk Outreach Key and central to gender confusion is the issue of Identity. Transgender people are struggling in finding peace with who they are, what is their purpose, why are they made with yearnings outside of typical gender norms, and why are they dissatisfied and struggling?Sometimes just asking questions that we know have probably already entered their minds can help them to pause. Some suggested questions to encourage them to talk with us are listed below.“Hi there, we are here offering help. We don’t know what you are here for, but so many people your age are struggling to know just who they are and what is their purpose. Maybe that is part of why you are here. We would love to talk with you. We have information and a list of resources that might help.”
“Are you wrestling with any of these issues like who am I and what is my purpose? We know that must be hard, but this place is not where you will find answers. First of all, it profits from taking innocent unborn children’s lives. But secondly, it offers hormone therapy that has been shown to have dangers and risks that you may not be aware of.”
“The Mayo Clinic lists these risk factors of hormone therapy: Complications can include:
- Blood clots in a deep vein or in the lungs
- Heart problems
- High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood
- High levels of potassium in the blood
- High levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood
- Nipple discharge
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- StrokeEvidence suggests that people who take feminizing hormone therapy may have an increased risk of breast cancer when compared to cisgender men — men whose gender identity aligns with societal norms related to their sex assigned at birth. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/feminizing-hormone-therapy/about/pac- 20385096”“Does this sound like it is worth the risk to take hormones?”“Some of the physical changes caused by hormone therapy can be reversed if you stop taking it. Others, such as breast development, cannot be reversed. What if you change your mind? What you are doing can cause irreversible damage and changes.”“What if this irreversible therapy does not make you feel more content with your identify? Do you know a very recent study found that most of the people in the study who had transgender surgery were STILL dissatisfied with their lives?”“In our study, the level of life satisfaction in transgender people was not increased in transgender who had undergone gender-affirming surgery as compared to those who were unoperated.” https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-023-15831-4
“Would you be willing to hear about how you can know with assurance that you are created with an identity that is known and loved by God, and in the midst of all your questions and struggles, you can turn to Him and find the source of your identity and purpose?”
“I may not have had the same struggles as you, but I once was lost and wondering who I was and what I was made for. I found the peace I longed for in falling in love with Jesus. May I share that with you?”
Salvation is Possible Right Now
No matter what your past or present situation is, the Bible reminds us that all of us can find forgiveness and redemption in submitting our lives to Jesus as Lord. He longs for us to come to Him with a repentant heart over our sins, knowing that the penalty for our sin is severe; eternal separation from our Creator. If we confess our sins, repent of our sins and then submit our lives to Jesus as Lord, we can find the peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of our struggles. He will guide and lead and transform us if we will let Him.
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.””
*We are developing a pamphlet for people struggling with gender identity issues. We hope that will be a useful resource for SWO to share hope and help with this group.