#645 - Gender Identity - Part 1
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, a playwright writes the story about a fisherman and his family. It is a story about how the ups and downs of a man's profession can impact his marriage and his relationships with his son and daughter. One day, much to the playwright's surprise, the lead character in the story decides he wants to be a woman. He demands that the playwright change his gender to female. The playwright protests, "This is a story about a man, his career, his marriage, and his relationships with his two children. If I change your gender, I'm changing the entire story I intended to write." Father, many of us believe that our gender assignment at birth is a chromosomal roll-of-the-dice. There is no design in who we are. There is no larger story that we are a part of. We are isolated individuals, disconnected from any other person. We are a lone wolf, unencumbered by the responsibility of relationships. We are not a stitch in the fabric of a community knitted together by God. However, I cannot escape the fact that I am a child of my parents. I am a sibling. I am a spouse. I am a parent. The fact that I was born a boy or a girl has had major implications on the lives of my loved ones. My parents might have had a son instead of a daughter or a daughter instead of a son. My siblings might have had a sister instead of a brother or a brother instead of a sister. My spouse might have had to find someone else to marry. My children might have known me as a mother instead of a father or a father instead of a mother. My male friends wouldn't consider me another guy to play basketball with. They might consider me a girl they long to date, marry, and have relations with. My girlfriends might no longer come to me for girl talk because I am one of the boys in school. In other words, my gender assignment at birth has had an enormous impact on many people's lives. Is there a sovereign God, the Master Playwright, who is writing stories in people's lives? If there is, we must consider the possibility that our gender assignment at birth was designed, purposed, and planned. We were born the gender we were because the stories of our parents, siblings, friends, spouses, and children called for us to be our birth gender. We are characters in their stories just like they are characters in our story. My sister's story called for her older sibling to be a brother, a loving father-figure after dad's death. That's who I am to her. My mother's story needed her youngest child, still in the house when she experienced divorce, to be a daughter to bond with. I am her daughter. It was all planned. The alternative perspective is to believe that our lives are completely disconnected from each other. There is no Master Playwright and there are no stories being written by a sovereign being. I can do as I please in life and there will be no implications to anyone else or to any master plan. Is it possible Your master story includes our changing our gender? Maybe our loved one's stories needed the sub story of our gender change. However, to acknowledge this is a possibility is to acknowledge that You have a master plan for our lives. We are admitting our decision-making process necessitates that we inquire of the Lord, asking if it is Your will for us to change our genders. Our acceptance of our birth gender has everything to do with faith. Do we believe You are in control and You are a genius at assigning roles and creating characters in a play? Or, are we in control, free to do as we please, including changing our genders? Do we believe You don't exist or You aren't involved with the affairs of earth and our gender decisions don't matter? Do we believe You did purpose our birth gender but we are going to do what we want anyway? Our gender identification in the 21st century has everything to do with our faith and our theology. Whatever we choose to do with our gender identity is as much a spiritual decision as is the choice to be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, agnostic, or atheist. Father, You are God and we are not. However, the human heart has rebelled from You. We believe we can make our own decisions about right and wrong, good and evil, the plans and purposes of our lives, and our gender identity. Forgive me for my rebellion from You. Help me to listen to discern Your will for my life. Help me to surrender to it. Amen.
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