How do you walk in GRACE AND TRUTH when choosing how to minister to others? When engaging with loved ones who are confused or who are struggling with their gender or sexuality, how does one navigate between showing love and speaking the truth?
Know that Jesus was full of grace and truth, and he operated from valuing both!
For the next few emails, we will be doing a series on this subject, offering some practical foundations and steps to engage in grace and truth with your loved ones about gender and sexuality, with a focus on moving in understanding rather than judgment.
Is this an issue that affects your family? Please feel free to reply with questions and comments!
Today, I just want to start with an important reminder:
BE CAREFUL NOT TO STEREOTYPE PEOPLE.
As people of faith, let’s be aware of what is in our own hearts that can affect what we say to people. Let us be mindful not to label or stereotype people.
For example, whether a boy or man loves sports or not, is creative in the arts, or is interested in being a ballet dancer, a construction worker, an artist, a pilot, a fashion designer, or a businessman – all this does not take away from being a great and good man.
A man can have God-given gifts and talents in creative writing, dancing, cutting hair, public speaking, fixing things, or marketing. Let us celebrate and support people in their good endeavors and not stereotype people (as many times culture does, by labeling men gay if they are emotionally sensitive or like the arts more than sports). And yes, good men can cry.
In the same way, let’s not stereotype women. Once, a teen girl came up to me telling me she believed she should be a boy. I asked her why she thought this. She said, “Because I don’t like shopping, I don’t like to wear dresses, and I don’t like to wear make-up.” I then began to explain that I had many women friends who didn’t like those things either, but that didn’t take away from each of them being an amazing woman! This shifted this girl’s thinking, and she embraced being a girl.
A girl or woman can love weightlifting, wrestling, shopping, and can be interested in being a pilot, mechanic, police officer, CEO, doctor, actress, or chef. God gives people gifts, talents, and passions that are unique and can be used to glorify God and help people.
This week, let's be intentional in honoring the uniqueness of the men and women in our lives without expecting them to fit a certain mold.