The guy on TV looked like a man.
But he talked like a woman.
I’m pretty sure that my grandfather never got that question from one of his sons.
Our culture is currently falling all over itself to convince us that it is perfectly normal for a man to act like a woman, a man to marry another man, two women to raise a child together, so on and so forth. A lot of the dirty work in the battle to normalize gender confusion is done through the entertainment industry. That’s why ESPN makes a big deal about a late round pick in the NFL Draft. It’s why many shows feature gay characters. And it’s why the man in one of the commercials that comes on during your kid’s favorite television show likes to act like a woman.
If you grow up seeing something every day while being told that it’s normal you’ll eventually believe that it is. That seems to be the strategy these days at least. And it seems to be working. Sometimes it can even be intimidating when a parent considers the world kids are growing up in and being influenced by. Can we really expect Romans 1 to compete with the media and the government?
But it can’t just be a passage that we reference in a political conversation. It, along with the rest of Scripture, has to be something that parents live out before their children. It’s not enough for our kids to hear us talk about what manhood is not. We have to show them what it is.
When a man works hard to provide for and serve his wife and kids, the ridiculous examples of manhood we see demonstrated in television and film will seem foolish.
A church where men boldly serve, pray and sing in public will be the training center in which our children learn to discern what true manhood really is.
Something just won’t seem right about gay marriage in our kid’s eyes when they’ve grown up with a mom and a dad who take the gospel seriously and apply it to their own marriage.
And when a dad is actively engaged first in the pursuit of his God, then in the pursuit of his wife and finally in the training up of his kids, his words will carry much more weight in the household that he leads. If all we ever do is simply point out what is wrong in our culture, our voice will be just one among many that our kids hear. But if we actually make the effort to live out what we preach, showing consistent examples of true manhood and womanhood, our message just might stick.
I still remember the first time that I saw two men holding hands. One of them had a ribbon in his hair. I had no idea what to think. My mom could see my confusion but she didn’t say much. Just don’t stare. Keep moving.
Those days are gone.
We can no longer get away with avoiding tough topics like this one with our kids. It’s been said that nature abhors a vacuum. The hearts and minds of our children are no exception. If we aren’t busy speaking truth to them, we can be sure that someone else with plenty of lies to sell will quickly take our place.
At some point, every parent will have to answer a question similar to the one that my kid asked me. We must be ready, at all times, to give them the answers they are looking for.
But our words can only go so far. Simply hearing what we are against is never enough.
Our kids need to actually see our pursuit of Truth.
And as they grow older, we pray that the pursuit of truth will just seem normal to them.
Even in a world where normal is no longer tolerated.