I included that quote from the Scottish author George MacDonald in Woven because I recalled stumbling upon those words in one of his books and feeling overwhelmed by the loveliness, bravery, and hope of choosing to be what God has made me to be.Back then, in my own life, I was too consumed by trying to be something I wasn’t in a vain effort to impress people who didn’t even notice. Some people exhaust their lives trying to be someone they were not meant to be because they feel so dissatisfied with what they think they are.
Meanwhile, our Creator has made us to be glorious, worthy, lovable, and lovely beyond compare. God is waiting for us to allow His loving nudges to move us in the direction of being eternally beautiful—to be Christlike. Sometimes those nudges feel painful as we’re called to take up our cross. Part of that cross is letting go of the false self and letting the authentic us bloom.
Our teens are confronted by modern ideas of identity which present confusion and sometimes despair. If male and female are fluid, what are we? What message does it send our girls when a boy who “identifies” as a girl is the symbol of great beauty on Vogue magazine? What message does it send our children when their teacher requires them to call her Mx.?
In Woven, we directly addressed the truth that we are each created male and female by God. The modern issue of being gender confused is also touched upon in Chapter 3, pages 93-94, in a story of two sisters who are each putting up a mask to cover their authentic selves out of insecurity. One sister is hyper feminine and the other retreats behind oversized dark clothing and tomboyishness. This story is a great springboard for discussing topics like gender confusion, finding your own style as a Christian girl in a world of Instagram influencers, or even finding an authentic you away from all the cultural noise that confuses us.
Discussing modern issues with our teens is important. Let’s not fear shocking each other, but approach all with the sunlight of God’s love and His righteousness. Our teens are dealing with these things in direct and personal ways. Sometimes we’d rather not even look at it all because the world seems to have gone crazy, and it’s not comfortable to us, but look we must while also keeping our gaze on Christ. Seeing the confused and the demanding with His eyes makes all the difference. Under the demands is a fragility. Under the confusion is a person created to bear God’s image. We affirm reality, biology, and God’s creation of people as male and female. There is a pitched fight to undefine the very essence of being human, but we battle it with prayer, love, and openness.
Sometimes that battle looks like a cozy chat with your teen (or with your mom!).