What’s Wrong with Being a Girl (or a Boy)?

Everywhere I look in the news and on Facebook lately, I see articles about people proclaiming that they are a different gender than the body they were born with. Others proclaim their right to make such claims. I see articles of parents who insist that it is good to raise their children as gender neutral. Supposedly they can raise children, with definite gender specific bodies, with no gender training.

How is that even possible? Boys and girls are different. I’m not talking about what colors they wear. Male and female bodies grow differently. When they approach puberty, those differences become even more noticeable. How do you not teach them about those differences when their bodies are changing differently than their friends? Children and teenagers are curious by nature. How do you convince them those differences are in flux when they are not? And, how can any parent subject their children to medical intervention to stop puberty? That is simply medically dangerous to a child. That is abuse.

But, today, rather than debate something that neither side will budge on, I’d like to approach this subject from a different angle.

What is wrong with being how you were born? What is wrong with being a girl? I don’t mean that a girl has to be frilly and lacy. A girl can wear frills and lace or she can wear jeans and shirts, or even suits or dress pants made to fit a female figure. Male and female anatomy are different after all. She can wear her hair long and curly or she can wear it short. But, she can still be a girl and everything that means. She can be a stay-at-home wife and mother or she can have any career of her choice. And she can still be a girl and everything that means.

What is wrong with being a boy? I don’t mean that a boy has to be all macho, rough and tough without any artistic talents or nurturing instincts. A boy can wear jeans and t-shirts, or he can wear suits and ties. And he is still a boy. I don’t think I can go for a boy wearing dresses and such, because well, he is still a boy, and male and female anatomy are different. A boy can wear his hair long or short and still be a boy. He can work a hard physical job, or work in a corporate office, or work in an artistic career. And he is still a boy.

All of this talk of people thinking they are a different gender than they were born is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong being who you were born. How can you expect others to accept you if you can’t accept yourself?

I am not a frilly, lacy girl. But, I am a girl. I like being a girl. I liked being a wife, except for the abusive behavior of my ex-husband. But, if I found a good man who loved God and loved me as Christ loved the church as the Bible teaches, then I would love being a wife again. I love being a mom. I bore and raised two wonderful kids, a boy, and a girl. I taught them how to be the man and woman of God that the Bible taught me. I wear pants, but they are women’s pants. The same goes for shirts. They just wouldn’t fit a man’s anatomy. I wear my hair short, but it’s a haircut that accentuates my face, not whatever is the current fad. Once in a while, I wear a skirt or dress just because I choose to do that, not because I’m required to wear one. No one has ever mistaken me for a boy. Yes, I dealt with gender inequality in the workplace. But the solution isn’t to change my gender. The solution is to fight the discrimination by fighting for gender equality. My generation has won great victories in this even if we haven’t won all of them.

But, seriously, what is wrong with being a girl or a boy? Why do people have to be so contrary? And raising a child without teaching them your faith is bad enough, but not teaching them how to understand their bodies is just plain abuse. Our bodies are different for a reason, meant to work together. The human race needs both male and female, real male and female, not those who are surgically manipulated to be one or the other, in order to survive and thrive. After all, medicine and science teach us that two males or two females cannot produce a child independently. It’s just not medically or scientifically possible.

And, once again, what is wrong with being a girl or a boy? I don’t mean just accepting that you are a girl or a boy, but celebrating that you are a girl or a boy.

These beliefs that there is no such thing as a gender, inborn from conception, is simply not realistic. Regardless of whether you believe in God, which I do, it is a fact that when babies are born they are born either male or female. And, no teaching can change that reality. No surgery can change what a person is at the chromosome level, and all the surgery in the world can’t change your chromosomes.

I’d like to see real women stand up and celebrate that we are women. We are smart and talented and unique and gifted and beautiful in our own individual way.

I’d like to see real men stand up and celebrate that they are men. They are smart and talented and unique and gifted and handsome in their own individual way.

We don’t have to be something different because society is pushing a different belief. We need to learn to be tolerant of one another as we are individuals, but we need to be totally intolerant of teachings that feed poison into us regarding who we were born to be.

When a teaching says that who you were born to be is wrong or is not enough then that teaching is harmful. It’s not supporting you. It’s insulting you.

I encourage everyone to take joy in who you born to be. I was born a girl and rejoice in being a girl. I don’t need a psychologist to help me deal with that. I don’t need surgery or medicine to make me something else. I don’t need to make myself over into something else to please anyone. And if anyone expects that of me then they don’t respect me as a person.

So, one last time. What is wrong with being a girl or being a boy?

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Parents as Educators

Parents as Educators – First published in the Church of God Evangel Magazine August 2006

There has been much controversy regarding the type and quality of education our children receive. The public schools complain that the parents take no interest in their children’s education and blame low grades, truancy, and delinquency on that belief. The parents, in turn, blame the schools, citing lack of discipline, lack of dedicated teachers, and poor teaching methods as the reason for low grades, truancy, delinquency, and adult illiteracy.

Some parents have chosen either to homeschool or to enroll their children in private schools as their solutions. Most parents, due to finances, job demands or larger families, have had no choice but to keep their children in public schools. The parents demand a better education for their children. The schools cry out for more money, even though many question the allocation of current funding. This has become a vicious cycle with parents and schools on opposing sides, and the children are stuck in the middle, without voice or empowerment regarding their own education.

I am a single parent of two grown children and have dealt directly with public schools and private schools on these issues. I decided upon a different course of action with each of my children when the situation became intolerable in our public school system. This was done after much prayer and research based on their individual personalities, gifts, talents, and future plans.

I pulled my son out of public school in his junior year due to an assault and battery in the classroom between classes. I homeschooled him for the remainder of the school year, and he earned his GED at age 17. He went to work full-time and soon found a job with a small computer manufacturer, where he learned how to build computers. He later moved to a larger computer company, where he studied and became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) at age 21.

The counselors at our public school had wanted to push him toward a college-prep program, but I knew my son has always been a hands-on learner with no desire to attend a four-year college. What this large, inner city school was not able to do was give students individual attention for their specific learning styles and talents or to consider their future goals and plans.

When my daughter was in middle school and planning for high school, this same school district took a very different approach. She was put into the traditional, general program, even though her grades were high, her work was always done early, and she had declared her major and college choice at ten years old. When she asked for more challenging work, they told her to “read a book.” My daughter actually lost interest in reading because of this forced, dry, continual excuse for not challenging her academically.

When I tried to withdraw her on open enrollment, the school refused to release her, based on some measurement of racial balance. Since I knew the violence there was not a temporary problem but a long-term one, I decided to homeschool her for one year and then I enrolled her in a Christian high school in a neighboring city. This school is a long-established, college prep, fine arts school that made it possible for my daughter to attend with the help of financial aid. My daughter went on to earn her education at her college of choice and is now a music teacher at a music studio.

She would never have been properly prepared for this by our local public school because they had pigeonholed her in the wrong category in middle school. Throughout this decision-making process, I researched at great lengths the pros and cons of home education and private schools versus public schools, based on the options available to me. I believe I made the best, most informed decision for my family.

For those who are still facing these decisions, there are many things to consider. Some strong proponents of public school argue that only public schools offer the best opportunities for extracurricular activities. I found that this Christian school offered the same extracurricular opportunities. Also, some homeschool groups join together to offer their children these same opportunities.

Some say public schools do offer their high academic standards, and I agree. I have found, both in my personal experience and in my research that academic standards vary with each individual school, whether it’s public, private, or homeschool. I also found that fine arts opportunities are rare in anything but a private school.

Finally, some argue that parents who choose private schools or home education are overprotecting their children by sheltering them from unsavory conditions that they likely will eventually have to face in the world. To this argument, I answer an adamant, yes! Our children are precious gifts from God. He has given us our children as a heritage and a reward (Psalm 127:3-5). They come to us as tender, innocent lambs, and it is the parents’ responsibility to protect them and shield them from as much danger and evil as possible. Parents are their children’s first and most lasting teachers (Proverbs 1:8, 9).

God has commanded us as parents to train, teach, and protect our children (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:1-9). In all things, we are to demonstrate our love for them. This is a mirror of God’s love for us. God created each human being in His image, and our children are the most precious fruit of the Kingdom. They are the only things of this life that we can take to Heaven with us. We must pass down a Godly heritage to them if they are to continue to carry God’s Word to the world and enjoy His blessings. We must teach them that no matter what wind of doctrine is presented, the final authority is God, and this authority is found in God’s Word.

Each family must choose the best education for their individual children based on their needs and their situation. This must be done prayerfully. Some families may find they are blessed with good, quality, public schools with many opportunities. Others may be stuck in an inner-city school with no other options. Still others may be able to utilize home-schooling or private schools.

Whatever decision is made, we must actively teach basic Biblical foundation at home. God never intended the church or school to be parents. We need to instill in our children their rightful identity and heritage. They are created by God, in His image. We and our children are not simply higher forms of animals that are bound by uncontrollable physical desires. Neither are we our own gods or creators, able to improve ourselves by our own power or override God’s laws.

Let us pray constantly for our children’s protection and for God’s wisdom and guidance for the wondrous task of training them to reflect the image of Christ in their lives. Then, when our children are properly equipped, they will be able to go out into the world and carry out the Great Commission, which was given to us by Christ just before His ascension into Heaven.