Should Kids Pastors Talk To Their Groups About “Gay Marriage”?

With the news yesterday of the Supreme Court striking down the “Defense Of Marriage Act”, the topic of “Gay Marriage” is once again a major story in the news.  No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground.  It’s hard for a Christian parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic.

I received a question yesterday from a fellow Kids Pastor asking my opinion on whether or not he should “address” his Kids Ministry on the topic of Gay Marriage and/or Homosexuality in general.  I gave him my opinion, so I thought I would share it with you here – in case there were others who were wrestling with this same question.

In short, my answer is, “No.”

I think you have to be careful what issues you are addressing “as a group.”  So many children are at different parts of the journey regarding both mental and emotional maturity.  When you address something as serious as homosexuality and gay marriage to a large group of kids, it is very difficult to do so in a way that is appropriate for EVERY child.

In addition, many parents (as they should) want to be THE ones to discuss topics such as this with their kids.  I understand, many parents DON’T ever discuss it with their kids.  That’s unfortunate.  However, you don’t want to undercut parents by addressing it publicly in a large group of kids.  This should be something that parents include in their general talks about “sexuality” with their kids.

Of course, if a child asks you a direct question about it – treat that just like you do any other question about sex or sexuality.  Answer with, “I would be happy to share my thoughts with you about this subject.  Let’s talk to Mom or Dad when they come to pick you up.  Perhaps together, we can answer your questions in a healthy way.”  Then, follow the cues of the parent.  If they do not wish to discuss it right then and there, follow their lead.  Allow them to do so on their own terms and in their own timing.

An alternative to discussing this with the large group is to offer a special class or “discussion” in which you allow parents to sign their kids up to attend.  Allow parents to attend with their children if they wish.  Rather than coming at the topic in a negative manner (i.e. “We are AGAINST gay marriage”, etc.), discuss the topic within the overall umbrella of God’s plan for our sexuality (“God created male and female to complement one another.  Marriage is the life-long commitment between one man and one woman.”).

The topic of “gay marriage” and “homosexuality” is a difficult one.  It is polarizing.  While we don’t ever shy away from the truth, we also must be wise and careful when dealing with the youngest among us.  We want clarity, not confusion.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Do you plan to address it as a larger group?  In small group time?  I welcome your thoughts.

12 thoughts on “Should Kids Pastors Talk To Their Groups About “Gay Marriage”?

  1. Very helpful Brian! Thank you for taking the time to write about this. I was just having this conversation the other day with a couple other pastors. I think one of the best ways we teach kids that homosexuality is against Gods plan for humanity is continue to teach them that Gods word is true, everything in it is true and God breathed. (2 Tim 3:16). When kids have that understanding and relationship with God then they live according to Gods word! As they mature in their relationship and reading they will find that Homosexuality is a sin, along with many others listed in 1 Corinthians, and is not apart of Gods plan.

  2. I totally agree. Having a class and letting the parents sign their child up, if they feel ready, is a great idea!

  3. Great Post! One thought that I have had is allowing a workshop for parents to come and “learn” how to have this conversation with their kids. Many parents don’t have this important discussion with them due to the fear of the unknown and not understanding how to handle it. Now a days with the media and general mentality is that if you disagree with what I think it means that you hate me. This is not the truth at all and this mentality has seeped into the church and the family. Children are bombarded with equality and acceptance which are great things but are being taught with the idea that you need to agree with what I think in order to accept me. Allowing our parents to understand this mentality and giving them the backings and resources to handle this is the difficult and yet very critical part.

  4. First of all, I believe we need to also help lay healthy foundations and help children develop Spirit-guided discernment. We cannot just be satisfied with sharing Bible facts and stories.

    Secondly, know that your upper-aged elementary kids are exposed to all kinds of sexual material and environments. Helping them understand what God’s plan is, is a good thing. Every year we would spend time talking about “healthy relationships” between guys and gals in a small group-type of setting. I shared that “God is not the author of confusion”.(1 Cor. 14:33)….and one of Satan’s primary tools is confusion. He wants people to be confused about proper relationships. We need to be proactive as a church to help kids understand what God’s positive plan is. (…and yes, in relationship with parents too.)

    Next, one of the greatest things we can do for kids (according to James Dobson) is help them celebrate who they are and how God made them. For boys, “It’s GREAT to be a boy!” For girls, “It’s GREAT to be a girl!” In my kids ministry I’ve tried to speak positively to both genders.

    Lastly, I believe that we need to be careful to not brand certain behavior’s as “gay.” I find it sad that a boy can’t like the color pink because that’s what’s known to be a “girl-color”. If a boy enjoys doing art rather than football, he’s put in a group that’s considered non-masculine and effeminate. In time, boys that grow up being branded into a non-masculine group come to believe they must be different and are welcomed with open arms into the gay community. Turned away and belittled by “manly” church leaders, but welcomed by the homosexual community. Oh, that the church would be willing to love these kids and tell them, it’s okay if you like the items and activities that some brand as cross-gender (i.e., girls playing hockey). Many “gay” folks were pushed there, because it’s the only place they could go to feel accepted. (Just for clarification, I’m not supporting gay sexual relationships, I’m just saying that many kids are pre-branded and so they, consequently, eventually land in that camp.)

    Lord, help us to provide a community that encourages healthy self-concepts and healthy relationships.

    • Thanks for weighing in, Randy. I think we agree with each other here. My focus was on the question, “Should I bring up the issue of gay marriage and homosexuality with the entire group?” I totally agree that teaching healthy self-image and healthy view of their gender is vital to helping kids understand the Biblical view of relationships – ALL relationships. All of this that you have shared are EXCELLENT thoughts. I totally agree with the sad fact that the church and society do more damage than good when trying to “steer” boys and girls into the stereotypical characteristics that our society think they should hold to. Thanks for adding to the discussion!!

  5. Pingback: Should Kids Pastors Talk To Their Groups About “Gay Marriage”? | Worship Leaders

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