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As a Conservative Christian Counselor, our guide offers a range of questions and biblical counsel to help individuals grappling with transgender ideology. Discover how compassion and biblical truth can guide you back to God’s intended design for your life as male or female.
In today’s culture, issues surrounding transgender ideology have become increasingly complex and polarizing. The role of a Christian counselor is to approach these issues with both biblical fidelity and compassionate understanding. When counseling those struggling with transgender ideology, it’s crucial to pose thoughtful questions that encourage self-examination while also providing biblical perspectives that offer clarity and hope.
Questions for Self-Examination
Do you understand your intrinsic value as created by God?
- Scripture tells us that everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). How does this biblical truth influence your understanding of your worth? [More on this below]
What is your ultimate source of identity?
- Are you seeking your identity in your gender or in Christ? According to the New Testament, our identity should be in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).
What fears or concerns do you have about conforming to biological gender norms?
- What does it mean for you to be a man or a woman, and how does that align with or contradict God’s design in Scripture?
Have you considered the long-term implications?
- Physical alterations like hormone therapy or surgeries have long-lasting consequences. Have you considered what God’s Word says about our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)?
Are you experiencing a form of suffering or distress?
- Is this issue of transgender ideology linked to a particular form of suffering or distress in your life? How does Scripture guide us in dealing with suffering (Romans 5:3-5)?
What are your beliefs about God’s design for gender and sexuality?
- Do your beliefs align with the biblical teaching that God created man and woman (Genesis 5:2), and that this creation has particular roles and functions (Ephesians 5:22-33)?
How are you engaging with community?
- Are you isolating yourself or are you seeking wisdom from a community that aligns with biblical principles? (Proverbs 11:14)
Have you prayed about this struggle?
- Prayer is our primary means of communication with God. Have you sought God’s wisdom and guidance concerning these feelings (James 1:5)?
Biblical Counseling Perspectives
Reaffirm Human Dignity
- Regardless of their struggles, everyone is created in God’s image and therefore possesses intrinsic value. Show them love and respect as Christ loved us. [More on this below]
Root Identity in Christ
- Encourage them to find their identity in Christ, not in gender. Highlight Scriptures that show our identity as children of God through faith in Christ (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26-29).
Focus on God’s Design
- Remind them that God, as the Designer of all creation, designed the concept of male and female* with specific intentions (Genesis 1:27). Discomfort with one’s biological sex is an indication that something is amiss, and the solution is not necessarily altering one’s body but seeking alignment with God’s design.
- Discuss the long-lasting medical, emotional, and spiritual ramifications of transitioning. Instead, suggest that they focus on becoming the man or woman that God created them to be, embracing the biological sex He assigned them at birth.
Engage with Community
- Encourage them to connect with a community that will support them in a biblical manner. This community could include pastors, mature Christian friends, or Christian counselors who can provide additional guidance.
Commitment to Prayer
- Encourage consistent prayer for wisdom and for God’s will to be done. Reiterate the importance of relying on God for understanding and guidance.
Scripture for Encouragement
- Share Scriptures that speak to God’s love, grace, and transforming power. Passages such as Romans 12:2 can be particularly comforting.
No Instant Solutions
- Make it clear that neither you nor they have all the answers now and that it’s a journey that will require ongoing reliance on God and His Word.
- Ultimately, the Gospel message is one of hope. Despite the struggles we face in this life, the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ is always available to us.
It’s crucial to guide those struggling with transgender ideology to the infallible truths found in Scripture while being sensitive to the emotional and psychological distress they may be experiencing. The objective is to offer biblical counsel that leads to genuine freedom in Christ.
Made In the Image of God
The foundational biblical teaching that humans are made in the image of God should not be misconstrued to suggest that God endorses or supports a departure from the biological categories of male and female* that He created. Scripture is clear on this matter: God made human beings male and female* (Genesis 1:27). There is no biblical support for the idea that a multitude of genders exists; rather, the binary nature of gender is affirmed consistently throughout Scripture.
Moreover, being made in the image of God is not an endorsement of our fallen desires or propensities. All humans have a proclivity toward sin, a point that is emphasized in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21, which state that human thoughts are inclined toward evil. Jeremiah 17:9 further drives home the idea that the human heart is inherently deceitful and wicked. So, if someone claims that their feelings toward the opposite gender are divinely ordained because they are made in God’s image, that argument is not consistent with what Scripture teaches about our fallen nature.
Addressing the matter practically, we do indeed have a range of desires and inclinations that are out of step with God’s design, such as the propensity for sexual addiction for some. However, the presence of these desires doesn’t justify acting upon them. Instead, these are areas of our lives that require transformation and renewal, as you’ve rightly pointed out.
Paul’s teachings offer substantial hope in this regard. We are endowed with a conscience that distinguishes right from wrong (Romans 2:14-15), and this moral compass needs to be cultivated and shaped by God’s Word. A neglected or repeatedly violated conscience can grow “seared” or calloused (1 Timothy 4:2), no longer providing reliable moral guidance.
Paul strongly encourages believers to “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), which is the regenerated nature that aligns with God’s will. We are also urged to adopt the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 15:5), a transformation that comes through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). As we immerse ourselves in Scripture and surround ourselves with godly influences, our thinking becomes increasingly aligned with God’s will.
In the same vein, Paul also exhorts believers to gain control over their bodies, referred to as “vessels” in passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:4. This means exercising self-control, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and ensuring our bodies are instruments for righteous acts and not sinful desires.
So, if someone is struggling with transgender ideology or other feelings contrary to God’s design, the counsel remains the same: Work on renewing the mind and transforming the heart according to God’s Word. Aligning oneself with God’s designed order for gender is a part of the broader Christian call to live righteously and holistically, something achievable through the empowering grace of God and the renewing knowledge of His Word.
What is a Woman?
* In the current cultural conversation, the definitions of “woman,” “sex,” and “gender” have become points of contention. There is an increasing tendency to differentiate between “sex” and “gender,” with the former being viewed as biological and the latter as a social construct subject to fluidity. While the categories of “sex” and “gender” are indeed recognized in various disciplines, it’s crucial to address this subject from a biblical perspective to counter unbiblical and unbiological assertions.
According to Scripture, the terms “sex” and “gender” are not separate categories but are intrinsically connected. God created human beings as male and female, and this binary categorization is rooted in biology and affirmed in theology (Genesis 1:27; 5:2). There’s no room in this biblical framework for a multitude of genders or for the separation of gender from one’s biological sex. Consequently, being a “woman” is not a socially constructed role or a personal choice but is rooted in the design of God.
The Hebrew expression for “woman” is ʼish·shahʹ, essentially meaning a “female man.” This term can also be translated as “wife,” reflecting the interrelatedness of roles and identity between men and women in both the family and broader societal structures. The Greek term gy·neʹ holds a similar dual meaning, being translated both as “woman” and “wife.” In both cases, the terms are relational but grounded in biology. They do not offer an abstract, socially constructed concept of womanhood that can be molded to fit individual preferences or societal changes.
Moreover, the attempt to decouple “gender” from biology on the grounds that gender roles and characteristics are “taught” does not align with the biblical teaching that male and female distinctions were designed by God and are part of the created order. While it’s true that societies have norms and roles, these are not what fundamentally define men and women. In the biblical view, a woman is, by definition, an adult human female who has passed the age of puberty. Her identity as a woman is not a social construct but a biological and theological fact.
Indeed, gender roles, as described in Scripture, are relationally significant. They carry both equal worth and different responsibilities in the context of family and church life (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). However, these roles are not arbitrarily or culturally imposed but are derived from the created order.
Addressing the issue pastorally, those struggling with gender dysphoria or confusion should be approached with compassion, acknowledging the psychological and emotional complexities involved. Yet, compassion must be coupled with truth. It would not be truly loving to affirm someone in a self-perception that conflicts with their God-given biological and theological identity.
In summary, from a biblical perspective, a woman is an adult human female whose identity as a female is not a social construct but a divinely ordained reality. The current attempts to redefine or expand the categories of “sex” and “gender” are not compatible with biblical teaching. The challenge for the Church is to compassionately engage with those who experience confusion in this area while steadfastly upholding the truth of Scripture.