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April 19, 2022 2:02 am
How can we bring God and the Bible into the painful complexities of gender dysphoria? Author Sam Allberry offers tips to express Jesus' compassion and help.
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What percentage of people do you think Dave look in the near and absolutely love what they see. Wow, what percent for Zürich. In my mind with 1% very very very low. I remembered you member of the opening to happy days help to remember :-) fancy that's how happy they started.
He looked in the mirror is getting ready to do his heritages goes imperfect and he walks away. That was the opening of every show fond of happy days and I thought nobody does that.
Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most kind and Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find email@example.com or on our family life. This is family life today.
Nobody looks in the mirror goes you know I'm perfect.
Look at me I'm a work of godly. I think am I wrong. Do you look in the mirror go there's nothing I would change items absolutely love how I look. I think since the age of 13.
I've been wanting to change things about me and before that I just never thought about it, but I think that's true of the Western culture. I don't know if that's true in other parts of the world, plus find out we got Sam Albury back with something like today. Welcome back soon. Thanks Army we were talk about this because you wrote a book called what God has to say about our bodies and it's really about applying the good news of the gospel to a theology of the body and obviously many know you as a pastor, writer or speaker and apologist so talk about the UK.
Is it any different. There are people look in the mirror in the UK is that all I just look awesome. There's nothing I want to change it is is it a struggle.
There as well as his in the US, yet it's a huge issue in both countries and in so many pulse of the world and its broadly say it's predominantly a Western thing, but given the, globalization of culture and everything else, it seems to be spitting into everywhere and even I can say this is probably not true now probably offend a bunch of people that we, as women we feel more sorry for ourselves because we think guys have it easy when man we have cycles every month, which changes class hormonally.
Some of us had babies and then we have this added weight and then we lose the way. It's hard see and it's way harder for us as women. Is that true, I think here, I think you're right. I do agree. I have experience a big amounts of how thought of that but I would imagine so what I would also say is that it's harder for men the most people realize we were always as open and honest about it but on a lot of men who have huge angst and anxiety about that the parties and their parents. I think that is true and it's become more so.
I know that Davis coached young men for years I've coached you in almost 30 years. In 30 years ago when I was coaching middle school basketball you could say in a practice.
Hey you guys take off your shirt, Cisco skins first shirts you know to pick teams.
You cannot say that anymore they look at you like. I am not taking off my shirt. You can ask me do they give me a different color shirt on, knocking a lit. My peers even see my my skin so it is definitely true for men as well, as women do you feel that Sam that it's even more so very much so it's it's increasing the, so those that have been done on the show that amongst men and women unhappiness about how we look is is just going up and up and up and up and yeah lots of reasons for that, but I think at least one of those reasons is with a look of online social media stuff just fits with the kind of technology were driven that the standard of what counts now is as being beautiful is almost entirely unrealistic and unattainable. Even the images were sitting on the billboards and on on the movie screens not necessarily real, it might be that person's legs and the person's arms and you know it's will be Photoshop or its holy reduction who looks the way they do because they been. Into a certain regime of training and teaching that would not be sustainable beyond the lifespan of making them particularly but it is training one of us to think well Science you're just a waste of flesh.
So I think I'm getting uglier just think a fair enough. Yeah, because the abuser becomes kind of crazy rugged of the use of the study is something you said mean to look like a Hollywood actor is is there life is their job member watching the rock Dwayne Johnson on a talk show in the host of the Dr. this was years ago and you know he's got this sculpted physique. That's just unbelievable it's it's what he does right on their forget this host asked the rocks or do you ever take a day off because he was talking about. I get up at 5 AM a workout. I eat like this and then I did another workout at noon. I do third work. I mean all day long and on their forget the rock looks and goes so yeah I to I cheat. He was really like talk about that. What you doing as well once every six months. I have a slice of pizza once every six months. The truth is you know you can't look like that if you cheat every day in for us to think that's the normal body that is not the normal body but let's talk about in the rock is going to get old. It one of the sections of your book as you talk about broken bodies, the struggles we have so stuck about this. One of the big questions in our culture right now is gender as you think about physical and our bodies in a theology of the body from God's perspective, how would you enter into this question of gender. Yeah, it's up it's a big issue. This was a very tender issue. I think where we are aware of with the will of discussion going on about transgender is and be particularly aware of is that's kind of part of the conversation, but it's actually a much broader conversation.
70 men and women I speak to all.
Wonder if they all everything that's supposed to be as a mantle as a woman in the can. I think that's anxiety is on the rise, even among people within the church that can be a sense of United often look at from a man I'm supposed to be this socialist way and I'm not sure why I most vulnerable when I'm sleepy.that's and I'm not sure I am. It's in everywhere.
I think I can more than we might realize people notice comfortableness as they may appear to be was even with their own senses, who they are as a man or woman say again we come praise God that we would not left completely to ourselves to figure these things out.
We have the Scriptures and and we need them. I may need sits on those areas where we need to be so careful not to say more than the Bible says about what it means to be a man or woman, and sent a note to say less in the Bible says nothing, and this is very pro brushstrokes. I think sometimes Western culture says less in the Bible. Thus, I think the church sometimes has more than the Bible does something one of the ways that the Western culture often says less in the Bible does it simply by denying that that made and female distinct physical categories of tool on the focus is now much more on that in a sense of identity. The innocence of self and and who you feel yourself to be. Being the REIT real determine both what the wall a man or woman wears in the Bible REIT, we see that you know co-create system male and female. In Genesis 1. Jesus reaffirms that in Matthew 19 and very significantly just a few verses off to Jesus reaffirms the court's latest male and female he says some of born eunuchs. So he's he saying unite the featherweight male and female doesn't mean there's no complexity doesn't mean there's no difficulties and there people who whose experience and feelings of own agenda unwelcome to be straightforward and in the case of unit Jesus is speaking to people who, in this instance, men who may not have a list of anatomical package that you would expect a normal man to have.
And so, Jesus anticipates that that's going to be some complexities that so being met in FEMA doesn't mean there's no such thing as a unit that that there is no such thing as is complexity, but the presence of the unit.
Similarly, doesn't mean there's no such thing as men and female so we we need to again let the Scriptures show us that's there is brokenness there is pain there is confusion, but there will also some fixed points that we can build our understanding around nothing that the church often goes further than the Bible positive adding to what it means to be a man and unite your monument to be shooting stuff will unite aggressive and athletic Orfeo group woman you meant to be a member from unsigned that his his home school textbook said gold wants women to be dainty and he was saying that wasn't a bracket with the bottles us next to the sentence because you call there is in the Bible verse says that so I think sometimes if our culture's of the obliterates any distinction between man and woman Menefee Manna think sometimes that the church has two narrow view of what it can look like to be a man of one of the clock to be a woman I received within the Scriptures. Just some wonderfully varied. Examples of great copy men and some varied examples of great Gobi women.
I think a King David hate he epitomizes something of the stereotype of unite, he was a warrior be set up as a FISA so that fits that come the stereotype and yet David was also autistic keep spent a lots of time playing a hop and washing programs. Things that we wouldn't necessarily associate with being set up a real man say nothing.
The Bible gives us study border categories and we've we've typically solution walk us through sand because I'm I'm thinking of their listeners who kids are struggling with.
Maybe gender dysphoria there, confused, and they don't now and I have talked to so many moms that are think I don't know what to say. I don't know how to say it.
I don't how to bring God and the Bible into this in a way that they would understand and have even receive anything like you've really helped us.
Even with the biblical context of how to communicate that but but talk to those parents as their kids are confused. Maybe there in adolescence and they're starting to wonder about themselves, especially in schools and in a culture it's really highlighting a lot of the things yeah it's a can be an agonizing situation for parents of NOC agonizing for the for the child as well. I think that the very first thing when we need to do is to be compassionate, summing again that the Bible shows us that we don't have a straightforward relationship with abilities, pulses and rhymes like creation is being subjected to frustration abilities a part of that creation and so that there's all manner of ways in which our properties can be the sources of pain and confusion and hurts and say actually Christians of all people should be the most instinctively compassionate to someone wrestling with gender dysphoria because we got up the Bible that accounts for how someone can end up thinking that way on the someone could even feel so alienated from their own. Only their own flesh feel so ill at ease in the writing kind of skin that we can understand that the Bible shows us how that can be the case so I think to show you compassion and understanding. Often in the culture around us that a lot of the thinking and discourse around the issue of gender dysphoria Ares I think what unhelpful in the bottom biblical but that the pain is very real.
We should be very much alive. To that, we will have broken bodies that gives us even if I don't know what it feels like to wrestle with gender dysphoria. It means I should feel some form of solidarity with that struggling person because what that path is not, but I also have a broken voting. So let's come alongside and say that we can the journey through this together.
We will say no. I think that the the. Also, to boldly brokenness is not going to be found in our invoice but ultimately and so will value. Culturally, there are options for people who wrestle with gender dysphoria that is surgeries as hormonal treatment, says all kinds of other things that can be done to the body to try to make it feel right for that person. I see we know as Christians that that is not going to be ultimately what helps because underneath that gender dysphoria underneath the roof boldly. Brokenness is is a much deeper brokenness and trying to fix one aspects like boldly brokenness without attending to that deeper brokenness means we went really interesting how tissues and we we see around us, instances tragically of people who've gone through surgeries and transitions and have ultimately that they've not felt better about themselves and that the rights of mental health, and suicidal ideation amongst people. He's gone through transition can be cited dramatically higher than for the for the water population, but so it was just means that we need to remind ourselves that the onsets of this kind of boldly brokenness is is ultimately the broken body of Jesus. That is where we find healing for all parties a sense of that's where we can begin to find peace when it comes to all parties is that Jesus went through ultimate orderly brokenness for us.
We know the physical afflictions that he went three we can barely imagine what those must've been like. But we we also know that in his flesh. He bore our sins court made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so if I can put it this way, the ultimate experience of being in the wrong flesh was was when he you knew no sin became sin for us, that is the ultimate dysphoria who and it's only going to be in that that we can find hope for all right because of what he's done. We will one day have parties that will be perfectly fitted for all service of Christ and his people, and until that day.
We for some people. Gender dysphoria may be a lifelong battle I can think of one day a Christian friend of mine who is wrestled with this his entire life. And so he he just has to keep as we will do has to keep bringing how he feels about himself under the gospel and reminding himself of what God says about himself. One of us need that because again as we talked about before we we have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and so by God's grace and it can take a long time with his help we can begin to start to receive the bodhi we have is a gift from him again. David says I praise you for I officially wonderfully made. That is not can happen if not for someone with gender dysphoria may be a battle for them for the for decades to praise God for the bodhi that they've been given, but some it is a gift to us.
Abilities are a gift under cooling from the Lord.
They may not be the gift in the coating we would've chosen and that can be say much about physical experience in life that we would notice chosen and that will not ultimately be fixed until the age to come, which is why we need to keep remembering that is an age to come and we will not be disembodied in that age to come, we will have resurrected bodies and this life. Now this physical life now is not the only experience of imported life. We cannot have so for all our dear friends, listening, who deal with chronic pain that will be a time when you feel pain free in your flesh. Athanasius getting little bit older and losing our hair unite. I'm in my mid-40s and every now and then I managed to cause myself bizarre amounts of pain just by getting out of bed the wrong way also thinks it's ridiculous but you know we all just physical days are ahead of us. That's what it means to have a resurrected body up unite. I may been in my prime. In my early 20s whenever it was financially my best physical days are ahead and answer constantly look back I can look forward to start you think that that's a beautiful thought out, but I gotta say the same of what you just said in the last 70 minutes was such a beautiful theology of the body, and you started with something I think we really we got a lien in a little bit was the best response from a parent or a Christ follower to someone struggling with whatever issue is with their body was dysphoria is compassion and empathy help our parents understand what that would look like and maybe even what that wouldn't look like, what should we should we not do as a Christ follower, especially our listeners are parents and I like when you're talking to me my son or my daughter is right there because they are gripped in fear death. They Can't Touch Yourself.
What Should We or Should We Not Do You Listening to Damon and Wilson with Sam Mulberry on Family Life to a Will Hear Sam's Response in Just a Minute, but First to Say That We Love to Send You a Copy of Sam's Book Called What God Has To Say about Our Bodies Will Send It to You When You Make a Donation of Any Amount This Week to Support the Work of Family Life to a You Can Do firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give us a call with your donation at 1-800-358-6329 could be a one time gift or recurring monthly gift. Again the number is one 800 death as in family L as in life and in the word today.
All right, now let's get back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Sam Mulberry.
I think that we shouldn't do it. I'm sure this is obvious, but you have someone is is expressing pain of something not gender dysphoria that simply saying it, I shouldn't feel that way you not supposed unite telling someone to stop it is never good first approach to an issue like that.
We can't help experiencing some of these particular pains we can help how we respond to them and what we do with them and what we allow ourselves to think about them and what they might mean on the main that's I think you know. But when someone is hurting tenderness, listening, while national turn is as parents into tribes. Compasses install kind of diagnosing where that person is critical wrong. All I'm sure that an easy reaction for parent is to think about what I do wrong.
That means you are experiencing this and you could've done every single thing right as a parent, which no one ever has annual child would still be experiencing the ravages of the full because we live in the form of popular say that the doctrine of total depravity I think is a great comfort to parents because it means your child is going to experience foreignness in every area of life from however good a parent you will not. So it's not something simply to be such a sweep in and try to correct her to come in and understand and sit alongside and trying. You know it's a weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, we can over time try to help someone to learn what it might mean to think biblically about a given struggle in a given pain for the bit the proceeds.
That is someone feeling heard and understood and sympathized with and we have a great example of that in our Savior himself. He's not unable to sympathize with us and we can learn from his example in and make sure we sympathize well with one another.
So I think going to be some of the key things to try to do what we can to understand and will try to going to fix it might man. I think we often say to parents and we have set it to ourselves in the first response. Do not freak out if you are freaking out. Just hold it inside and I think that that's super helpful Sam were offering empathy, sympathy, understanding, like that's can it be really hard for you and confusing Inc. to love them to hold them to hug them and then you can go into your room and you get on your knees and this is what I would take Jesus are you hearing like I don't even know what to do but to go to the father who loves us and wants to hear us and wants to help us with whatever situation were going through for ourselves or our kids and how beautiful would it be if the nonbelieving world felt like the safest place to go. With any struggle I have is to a Christ follower. The community of Christ followers to my parents who are Christ followers.
It's safe there. I will be understood there. I can bring my full self there. My spiritual issues my body issues, you name it, that's warm to run rather than running away.
I'm running to that community because there I find compassion what you thousand.
That's the picture that the jurors in the end we as parents should be absolutely payments is as a bruised reed he will not break week we can trust Jesus with almost tender bruises and he's not been a stone play for us is not gonna scold us. He's not gonna crush us and say that again to what would a parent can do is to show the child. I will do everything I can to be with you and as long as you wrestling with this on to be with you in it.
But Jesus can understand you in a way that none of the rest of us will be able to. He's not unable to sympathize. He gets it all the way to and he's gonna pretend with you so we can keep showing all precious kids that whatever they're going through. They will never find anyone better than Jesus to bring those programs to and society is a path of insurance in the pricing for parent to say I can help you assert a man he can help you so much more.
He is the good Shepherd you've been listening to family life to a if you know of anyone who could benefit from today's conversation with Sam Mulberry. Glenn tell them about this station or you can share today's episode from wherever you get your podcast as well.
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At least not too often will Sam Mulberry will be back tomorrow to talk about what God has to say about our bodies on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be added will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life to family life today is a production of Emily accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most