Our culture celebrates gay-identified individuals and same-sex relationships. Even some churches, denominations and prominent Christian leaders have shifted on this issue, claiming that Scripture supports same-sex marriage.
To withstand this cultural surge, Christians must be able to lovingly and courageously speak about—and live out—God’s design for sexuality and marriage. In addition, we must equip the next generation to stand for truth in a world that sees homosexuality as good and the Christian view of sexuality as antiquated and bigoted.
That’s a tall order, given shifts in social policy that put believers on the defensive and embolden revisionist theologians who challenge Scripture and the church’s historic teaching.
Christian apologist and author Tom Gilson’s book, Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens (Kregel Publications, 2016) offers help as we equip teens to stand strong in an adversarial climate. Gilson explains how we arrived here, then goes on to discuss marriage as “a distinctive human good, the comprehensive union of a man and a woman,” using supporting arguments from natural law and the Bible.
The second section of the book offers wise advice for parents of teens:
• Ask good questions.
• Be a safe listener.
• Explore questions and ideas with your teen.
• Pay attention to their questions and resist offering simplistic answers.
• Love them no matter what.
Parents can help their teens relate with friends on these issues, including those who don’t believe as they do or who may identify as gay. Teens can learn to be strong in the face of opposition, stand against any kind of bullying and love and respect those they disagree with. The final chapter of this section deals with relating to teachers and school administrators, advising parents to know their parental rights and their student’s rights, but also to cultivate a positive relationship with staff members.
In the final section, Gilson examines arguments and provides specific responses to each. For example, when people say polygamy is found in the Bible, Gilson points, “The Bible strongly affirms monogamy. Other forms of marriage consistently end up being bad examples. And all of the marriages in the Bible (yes, even the polygamous ones) were between men and women.”
Parents and teens can review this handy guide so they are prepared with truthful and loving responses, should the opportunity arise.
For More Information:
To purchase Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens,by Tom Gilson, visit https://store.focusonthefamily.com/critical-conversations.
Originally published in the March 2018 issue of Citizen magazine.