May 17


3 Ways That Christian Parents Must Respond to the Transgender Bathroom Debate

By Anna Joy

May 17, 2016

I have to admit, I took the transgender bathroom letter from President Obama pretty hard last week.

I am worried about a culture and a government that are willing to put the safety of children aside in order to accommodate a handful of people.

I am deeply concerned about a government who thinks it has the right to dictate policy to local school districts.

How can Christians respond to the transgender bathroom debate? There are three important things that we must realize and do - and they begin at home.

I am grieved by the plight of transgender people who are caught in the middle of this debate, at risk themselves in so many ways, and desperately needing God’s truth and love in their lives.

And, of course, as a mother I want to hold my children close and keep them safe and innocent. I don’t want them to be put at risk in any way.

How can we, as Christian parents, respond to the transgender bathroom issue? Here are 3 ways that Christian parents must respond:

1. We need to realize that we cannot protect our children.


Many people are upset about the transgender bathroom issue because they fear that their children will no longer be “safe”. I totally understand these fears. I have them, too.

However, our children never have been “safe.”

The reality is that we CANNOT ensure that our children have a “safe” childhood. We do the best that we can as loving parents, but only God can keep our children safe.

And, that may not be His will for our children’s lives. While God cares deeply about what happens to each of one of us in this life, God is more concerned with whether we will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. God is more concerned with our spiritual safety than with our physical safety.

After all, isn’t that why God sent His own Son into an unsafe world to be tortured to death? So that He might make a way for us to spend all of eternity in heaven with Him?

It is easy for us to make our children’s “safety” an idol in our lives. We pray, not for God’s will to be done in our children’s lives, but that our children would be “safe” and “healthy”.

What if God’s will for our sons and daughters will lead them into a ministry that isn’t… SAFE? What if God’s will for our children is that they would glorify Him through persecution? Do we trust God enough to pray that His will would be done in our children’s lives?

God loves our children. We must realize that and give our children back to God. Though we do our best, we cannot protect our children. They are in God’s hands, and that is a very safe place to be.

How can Christians respond to the transgender bathroom debate? There are three important things that we must realize and do - and they begin at home.

2. We need to recognize that the greatest threat to our children is not in a public bathroom, but in our own living room.

Our children’s greatest threat is not a morally confused culture.

Our children’s greatest threat is not the risk of encountering a child molester in a public bathroom.

Our children’s greatest threat is growing up with morally apathetic Christian parents who enjoy the same entertainment as the world, who are working like crazy to make money and lead “comfortable” lives, who are spending more time on social media than in prayer, and who are letting the sins of anger and selfishness dominate their lives.

If we truly love our children and want to “protect” them, the greatest thing we can do is to pray for revival in our own lives. We need to be in prayer that God’s will would be done in our lives. We need to pray that our desires and wills would be completely aligned with God’s perfect will.

We need to cut off the things that are distracting us from God, that are keeping us from being filled with His Holy Spirit.

We cannot sit apathetically on the sidelines anymore, wishing that “someone” would do “something” about a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile towards Christians. We cannot sit back and wait for politicians to get this “figured out” so that we can go back to our comfortable lives of ease.

It is time for us to take a stand with God. It is time for us to be so concerned with having a deep, personal relationship with God that we are willing to sacrifice our comfortable lives, our entertainment, and even our safety in order to follow Him, wherever He might lead.

For, it is only when you and I have a deep, personal relationship with God that our children and our neighbors will see what true Christianity really looks like.

How can Christians respond to the transgender bathroom debate? There are three important things that we must realize and do - and they begin at home.

3. We need to remember that God is in control and that He is worthy of our worship.

We can become so focused on the “bad” things that are happening around us that we forget to look up and remember how great God is.

When we run around wringing our hands in worry and shaking our heads in despair, we are not giving God the worth that He deserves.

Nothing that is happening is outside of God’s control, and none of it is coming as a shock to God.

Let’s remember Who God is and what He is capable of. Let’s give Him the honor and the glory He deserves.

As we worship God, we will find that our perspective changes. I believe that God will give us confidence and joy in the midst of uncertainty and difficulty, in direct proportion to our worship.

How can Christians respond to the transgender bathroom debate? There are three important things that we must realize and do - and they begin at home.

How about you? Are you more concerned with your children’s physical safety or their spiritual safety?

Will you pray that God’s will be done in your own life and the lives of your children?

Will you make a commitment to worship God, even when life is difficult? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to comment.

More Posts from Path Through the Narrow Gate:

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah  Is life not going the way you thought it would? How can Christians deal with crushed expectations? Lessons from Peter...  Have your children ever questioned God? It can be a terrifying experience for parents. This post offers real help.|Path Through the Narrow

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  1. I’ve been praying about how I should handle this not just as a Christian mum and aunty, but also as a high school teacher in a secular school (where one student has now set the ball rolling and we have to provide them a bathroom). I’m in New Zealand, so our laws are a little different in some respects, but in others, Kiwis like to think of themselves as way ahead of the world in human rights. What that often translates to for me is, “Please help me figure out how I handle this one, God.”
    Your thoughts, and everyone’s responses, are speaking so much sense and wisdom to me. It’s refreshing to be able to turn to a group of people who are also speaking to Jesus about how we live our days the best we can for Hi.
    Thank you all for helping me out. I have more of a handle now.
    As for the students at my school – I will continue to pray for them in my heart, and then bless them in my interactions. In a small rural town, I know that for some of these kids I am one of a handful of people in the community who show them a shabby version of who Jesus is. For the ones who also struggle with how to handle this issue, I’ll use all your advice and try to lead by example. For the others who are embracing this lifestyle, I’ll apply your advice and love them as an example.
    If anyone has any more thoughts on anything else I or they will practically do, please post.
    Bless you all heaps.

    1. What an amazing mission field you have, Rebecca! May God be with you as you seek to tell these precious kids the truth of God’s Word in an environment that is often less than welcoming. May God give you wisdom and grace and a heart full of love for these kids.

  2. Wow! This was very encouraging and has give me so much to think about and pray about. My husband and I work very hard on guiding our children in their Christian walk and it is not always easy. It’s hard to watch them fall and struggle, however we lean on the Lord for wisdom and guidance as parents.
    Thank you for your message.

  3. I love this post. The only thing I would add is praying for those who are transgendered. That God will help them find peace in their lives and hearts. To often I think we talk about “those people” (pick any group) and we forgot “those people” are humans that deserve just as much love, compassion and forgiveness as anyone else.
    Thanks for such a well written post about a subject Christians have a hard time with.

  4. I keep getting amazed by the love of my Father….I have been feeling anxiety about financial predictions of disaster in America…God used your web page tonight to shake me loose from ALL OF THAT! He always has us on His mind! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  5. We ALL must remember our children are a gift from GOD and they are to be given back to HIM in the condition or BETTER than HE gave them, daily we must pray, daily we must be aware of our responsibility, our GOD GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY, to care, nourish and teach our children all that GOD has for them, it is in the manual, and then after the time of their growth in your care, see it continues through them to their children. When we do as GOD tells us to do, we are putting our gifts in GOD’s protection, and these gifts give back to us in our older days in many ways. Mean while, GOD gives us blessings, HE gives us peace, and HE gives us the ability to pass this all on to others. Just Sayin’ 🙂

  6. Thanks for reminding us his promises. We are to fear God (Yahweh) and not man. All is true with Brian comment as well. But we must foremost trust in God and pray everyday, thank him and obey his commandments. We are so quick to obey man’s laws that fail us so miserably. God is not done with us yet. Call on him as a nation and he will hear our prayers.

  7. May I ask how we handle changing rooms and the bathrooms in gyms that are only accessible by way of the locker room? My family and I are not comfortable undressing with the opposite sex in the room regardless of how that person feels about their gender.

    1. It is such a difficult question! Personally, and for my family, we will be avoiding these situations. That’s fairly easy for us because we homeschool, but I know that it will be a huge challenge for many families. I will be praying for you as you make these decisions for your own family, Heather. May God bless you.

      1. Yes, that’s how we were going to handle as well. Thank you so much for your response. May He bless you as well.

    2. i was never (and still really am not) comfortable undressing with people of the SAME sex, let alone opposite sex. so i’d probably handle it the same way i did in junior high and high school – change in a bathroom. most of us girls did that. it wasn’t until college that i actually saw other girls undress in a locker room.

      and by the way, at least one of the girls in that college locker room able to see me undressed was a lesbian. but she was FEMALE so in this theory we have floating around now that makes it okay, right? as long as there are no males in the room everything’s okay, we don’t need to feel comfortable or threatened?? i get that people are uncomfortable with certain things or don’t want to be around certain things. i think the issue is that there’s no way around it. what are you going to do, insist that lesbians have a separate room or undress with the guys?? where do you draw the line of what is or isn’t acceptable or comfortable (or fair)? like i said, i personally don’t feel comfortable around ANYONE in that situation. get in, get out, get done is my motto. and as for “safety,” probably one of the best things you can do is not think of a public restroom as a “safe” zone – it never was and it never will be. Predators have been lurking around them for decades, if not centuries, if not millenia. You aren’t safe, you never were, and you never will be. Back to my motto – get in, get out, get done. And be on high alert. It isn’t club med.

      And as for “safety,” can we just be real here for a second and admit that your daughter has no reason to physically fear the boy dressed up as a girl in her school bathroom? But can we admit that the boy dressed up as a girl has a great deal to fear using the boys’ bathroom? And that he probably always did have reason to fear the boys’ bathroom even before he started dressing like a boy because he was always “different”? I’m not condoning or advocating the idea of boys dressed as girls or vice versa (nor getting into whether or not that’s even a legitimate argument based on the the concepts of sex and gender). But I AM arguing that the position of it being “unsafe” is, well, decently ridiculous. Your husband isn’t worried about being beaten up by a gay man. Nor are you. Nor should your daughters. And if you think that boys in school are dressing as girls just to get their rocks off looking at naked girls or getting the honor of being in the same room doing things that most of us prefer no one even know we do (believe it or not, urination and defecation are not turn-ons), you’ve forgotten what school was like. No boy chooses to be ostracized and singled out as a freak (because that IS what will happen), just to be a pervert. Really. Have you forgotten what the real perverts look like? They look like the teachers and the pastor and the “normal” guy down the street and that lady at the day care. Perverts and pedophiles don’t draw attention to themselves.

      All in all, my advice would be to take a breath and consider the matter rationally. Even morally. But the bogus claims about safety, etc….they do nothing but stir up fear. Maybe my issue is that I’ve seen plenty of sin and perversion dressed up to look “normal” or even “holy” that i get a little (a lot?) annoyed when people point to something obviously different (that stands out) and act like it is worse. It’s not worse. And frankly, I’d rather see what I’m dealing with than give the “normals” a free pass because I’m so limited that I can’t see beyond outward appearance.

      upshot: teach your kids the morals and values you want them to be taught, teach them to always be cautious in a public place (hopefully you were doing this already!), and let them (and us) be a light in the darkness rather than simply sequestering the darkness to a closet so that none of us have to look at it or deal with it…. We were all in that darkness until we saw the light of Jesus reflect off of someone. how sad if, once saved, we are content to walk away from the dark, shut the door on it, and let it go on without the presence of God. in fact, that is Hell – existence without the presence of God. Hell is not meant for this earth, nor is it our place to condemn people there. Jesus walked on earth to be the presence of God, the light of God, in the dark. unsaved, we are just as unholy as the most perverse and sick and twisted among us today. and yet He came to us. and He calls us to do the same. we were saved to do good works, not sit on a shelf looking pretty. we have a purpose, a reason, a calling. we are set apart. But not set apart to be better than the dark and live in isolation from sin. We’re set apart so that the dark can see that there is something different. How else will they know? How else did we know?

      1. I am not as concerned about my child’s safety with the transgendered in the bathroom as much as I am those who would abuse the nongender bathroom. I am concerned with the pedophiles who will use any means necessary to satisfy themselves. Once bathroom gender is removed, any man can enter a bathroom where young girls are and no one can question his motives for being there. Have we all forgotten about those dangers? I am amazed at how many people think that safety concerns have to do with the transgenders themselves. The concern is with the ones who will abuse it – and the concerned adult can no longer voice an objection for fear of discrimination lawsuit. There is a reason why bathrooms have been separated for thousands of years (even in ancient Roman times in some cultures).
        Anna Joy – Thank you for the excellent reminder that the real danger is in our living rooms – in our complacency as parents.

  8. I’m not a mom but I sare your thoughts, we all Christians should be more concerned about the spiritual safety of the church, which is us and the children.

  9. I agree with the articles points, but i feel that it’s a bit incomplete. God ultimately does keep us safe and/or allow us to be harmed, but he has still given parents the position of authority, protection, provision for His/our children. We are not to be passive on any part of this. In the same way that we try and control whats watched in the livingroom, and are actively asking certain companies to remove offensive commercials, we also petition our government and take steps to do the same moral choice in this area. We can never remove all risk, but it is our responsibility to use common sense and promote moral judgements. Otherwise, claiming God’s protection, we could remove locks from our doors, stop wearing seatbelts, and protective helmets. I know this is extreme, but necessary to see the balance of God’s protection and our responsibilty.

    1. I completely agree, Brian. Thank you for making these comments to round out this post. Yes, we need to do everything in our power to protect our children and our grandchildren with whatever legal means that we can. I am not advocating putting our children in danger in any way. Do I accompany my kids into public restrooms? Absolutely! However, we cannot become paranoid and lose sleep over things that we have no control over (because that is my tendency). Instead, we need to be in prayer. As you said, that balance of God’s protection and our responsibility.

      1. I agree with much of what you wrote. However I believe Brian expressed my own “feeling” a bit more. No disrespect, and you even thanked Brian and agreed.

        I do have a comment about this; “Absolutely! However, we cannot become paranoid and lose sleep over things that we have no control over”.

        That’s just it, you DO have control over this particular aspect of your, and your children’s, lives! You already home school your children. Now most likely this isn’t the reason you home school. My point is parents have that option to protect their children. people do not have to shop at places like Target, or any business that allows men/boys in girls restrooms, or women/girls in boys restrooms.

        Yes, we need to be in prayer. We need to pray hard for these misguided people who think they are or think they want to be the opposite sex. But as Brian said, we have a responsibility as well. We DO have some control over the safety of our children.

  10. So good, Anna Joy. While it’s still a little bit disconcerting, I appreciate your emphasis that God is more concerned with spiritual safety than physical safety. I agree that our own apathy is more dangerous than what’s happening around us. Was it Thomas Jefferson who said the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing? And God is ALWAYS worthy of worship, for He really is bigger than each trial we face. Thanks for the encouraging admonitions.

    1. It is disconcerting that God doesn’t promise us physical safety in this world – in fact, Jesus promises trials and difficulties when we follow Him. But, God is so much bigger than any trial that we might face. Thank you for your thoughts, Abi, and for the quote from Thomas Jefferson.

  11. Amen to this article in Jesus name…we need a revival in our homes. I gave up cable TV three years ago and my family is happy and satisfied. Love your thoughts in the true. We need to be separate and set apart from the world. There should be a difference from darkNess and light. GOD for this revelation knowledge.

  12. Excellent reminder that our God is in control and is bigger than all these issues! We must, as you say, do our part in showing our children a real, vibrant relationship with Christ in our own lives that is lived out in every decision we make.

  13. Thank you for this wonderful message! I was fervently praying about #2 last night and today. I love feeling affirmation from God through the wise words of others just when it is most needed. Of course, I opened my Bible this morning and felt God speaking to me through those words as well! He is always present when we seek Him!

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