To be a Christian parent in 2022 is to long for life beyond the rainbow. As a mom of four boys (toddlers to teenagers), I am acutely aware of the challenges you face. We are the first generation of modern parents to raise children in a world where all manner of sexual preferences and positions are celebrated.The pendulum has swung so far that there are moments when it seems that the historical norm of one man and one woman, committed to lifelong faithfulness, is the only scenario that doesn’t get a standing ovation. This can be confusing for kids and parents.
You don’t need me to belabor the problem. You’ve seen it every time you flipped on your television, every time another company added the rainbow to its branding, and every time you stepped foot into a public library or favorite restaurant with your kids only to find the rainbow flag flying. Somewhere along the way, June became “Pride Month,” a trend not likely to reverse any time soon. You’ve probably already spent time wrestling with how to talk to your children about the moral and sexual revolution that’s underway.
I’m not an expert, just a Jesus-loving, Word-affirming momma who wants to help my kids understand the broken world they’re growing up in. As our family has talked about “Pride Month” (and we’ve talked about it a lot) here are some principles that have been helpful.
1. Prayer Is Our Primary Work
The Bible makes one thing clear: God responds to the prayers of mothers. Consider Hannah, whose prayer for a child was so desperate and passionate, people thought she was drunk (1 Sam. 1:14). God heard her plea and opened her barren womb (1 Sam. 1:19–20). Consider the Canaanite mother who prayed, “Lord, help me!” as she faced her daughter’s demon possession. In response, Jesus delivered her daughter from torment (Matt. 15:21–28). Consider Lois and Eunice, a grandmother and mother whose faithful prayers and discipleship of Timothy shaped him into a devoted Jesus-follower and church planter (2 Tim. 1:5).
Let “Pride Month” press us into prayer, mommas. In the face of such overt messaging, quiet prayers offered on behalf of our children may feel like hurling cotton balls at a tsunami, but God’s Word promises otherwise.
Prayer changes things. When righteous mommas pray (alongside dads and pastors and grandmas and grandpas), God listens. Practically, I’ve been leaving my phone downstairs in recent weeks as I sit in my children’s room at bedtime. They don’t benefit from my doom scrolling, but they do benefit from passionate prayers of faith offered on their behalf. Don’t throw up your hands. Hit your knees.
2. The Era for Sheltering Has Passed
I put sunscreen on my kids to keep them from getting sunburned. I keep hot and sharp items stored up high to keep my toddler from grabbing them. And, with daily dependence on the Holy Spirit, I keep ideas and ideologies that contradict God’s Word tucked away until my children are old enough to weigh them wisely. It’s part of our job as parents to protect our children from that which would harm them.
For the same reason my husband puts training wheels on our boys’ bikes when they’re learning to ride, we don’t throw every view at them and expect them to navigate its complexities without crashing. So it’s understandable that as parents, we hope to shelter our children (particularly our small children) from debates centered on sexuality, homosexuality, gender fluidity, and beyond. Unfortunately, in the case of the LGBTQ+ agenda, our opportunity to completely shield our children may have passed. Though Jesus remains victorious, the wider society seems to have embraced the idea that homosexuality (with it’s many other tentacles) is to be celebrated.
As Christian parents, we’re commissioned to parent with discernment, no matter how the cultural winds blow. But it seems to me that if our only strategy is to shelter our children, we miss an opportunity to face this issue head on. So the next time your child asks why the neighbor boy wants to dress like a girl, or is confused by a woman calling another woman her "wife" on TV, resist the urge to brush aside their questions, change the channel, and move on. Now is the time to engage! I can empathize if that puts a pit in your stomach, but remember, you’re not left to parent alone.
As a Christian parent you have a hefty toolkit:
- God’s Word at your fingertips. It’s a sharp and effective sword (Heb. 4:12).
- The Holy Spirit living within you. He is your Helper as you live as a disciple and seek to make more disciples (John 14:26).
- The Church, Christ’s Bride, surrounding you. We are in this together (1 Thess. 5:11).
Because of Jesus, we are not impotent for this moment.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
3. This Is Not a One and Done
Christian families are set apart. We don’t just want our kids to grow up to be productive members of society. We hold to a higher hope, that they will become devoted followers of Jesus, committed to seeing His Kingdom come. Therefore our homes are to be incubators for discipleship.
What we see in Scripture is that discipleship is not an activity relegated to certain calendar slots—it’s a way of life. Jesus taught about the kingdom while He lived the carpenter’s life. Not every moment was a Sermon on the Mount moment, but every moment was an opportunity to talk about God’s character and His will for His children.
We see this same principle modeled in Deuteronomy 6, a foundational passage for Christian parents.
Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead.Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates. (v. 4–9)
What if “Pride Month” were an opportunity to talk about God’s best as we go? See a rainbow flag displayed at the gas station? Talk about the fact that this world is not our home (Heb. 13:14). Is the homepage of your streaming service stacked with shows celebrating homosexuality? Take a fast from TV for a while. Talk about why as a family and make plans to spend the time in ways everyone enjoys. (We’ve been having some epic wiffleball games this month!) Does your waitress or waiter display gay pride on their uniform? Take the time to pray for them as a family, asking that they would experience Jesus’ love and surrender to His plan for their lives.
This shift is important. Instead of living in defensive mode, reacting to the culture around us, we move into offensive mode, eager to teach our children God’s truth and to take advantage of the many opportunities we have to walk what we talk.
4. Repeat after Me: God Is Love
At the forefront of the spiritual battle that is raging for hearts and minds is a very practical reality: when it comes to messaging about LGBTQ+ inclusion, we’ve simply been out-marketed. “Pride Month'' has become a brand, complete with strategic messaging. One such message is that “love is love.” Since it’s hard to argue with love, that idea has gained some serious traction. Except, it’s simply not true. Love isn’t love: God is love. That’s a message our children need to hear over and over again.
And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. (1 John 4:16)
One direction we can steer this conversation is toward the fact that God has given us guardrails for our lives because He loves us so deeply. God doesn’t hate gay people. He loves them. God doesn’t hate trans people. He loves them. God doesn’t hate confused people, or angry people, or open and affirming people. He loves them. He loves us. He loves our children. He has called them to love others. In an attempt to communicate God’s law, let’s not leave off His love. Because of Jesus it is possible to live with conviction and compassion. The truth that I want to soak down to the very marrow of my children’s bones is that God loves people—all people.
5. Choose Humility
I love how Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (my friend and mentor) has chosen to approach this month. She’s been using her social media to call Christians to celebrate #humilitymonth with tweets like this one.
Let’s be careful how we frame this conversation with our kids. The easiest picture to paint is one that seems black and white, us vs. them, but I have found that the conversations that impact my children the most are the ones where I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I want to be careful not to communicate that my goal is to be “right” or to cause shame but to make sure my children know that God’s way is the best way.
The messages our children hear the loudest are the ones we live. As we stand for Christ in a culture that is increasingly hostile toward Him, and as we raise our children to do the same, our mission is not an agenda. It’s to love Jesus with everything we’ve got. Pride Month will come and go (and come again), but take heart Christian parent. Because of Jesus it is possible to live with conviction and compassion. This month, and every month, we’ve got an opportunity to build our families on the solid rock of God’s Truth.
Let’s get to work.