Sermons those exploring the faith. Yarhouse, in his book

Sermons can be an effective place to open safe ground for the exploration of culture and gender identity issues. Topical sermons can be developed from Genesis accounts of gendered creation, especially sensitive treatments of the Adam and Eve story as an expression of organic connection between male and female. Matthew 19:12(a) could easily become the starting place for a sermon on the topic of intersexuality, or the biological reality of individuals whose anatomical sex is not clearly differentiated. Jesus teachings regarding wholeness can always be powerful resources for pastoral preaching.A pastoral response to individuals with any form of gender dysphoria requires a strong foundation in a biblically based understanding of natural law and our creation by God as only two distinct genders, male and female. There must be a holistic biblical understanding of both the gravity of sin’s effects and the Gospel of redemption from sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. During personal interactions, the pastor will understand that the child struggling with sexual identity is indeed dealing with a grave disorder, but the pastor will also understand that the deepest need of such a boy or girl—as it is for every person—is to know that he or she is beloved by God. Jesus’ love and forgiveness are in this case as always one’s greatest needs. Sorrow, confusion, frustration, shame, and despair are likely present in any individual dealing with gender dysphoria or struggling with questions about his or her identity as male or female.Another method of pastoral care is through healthy discussion between the pastor and the child (Patton 2005). In this widely diverse culture, the Church must not shy away from talking about and understanding different perspectives on matters of sexuality. Conversions and changes may happen as a part of the course of months or years of relational life.  While not celebrating non-biblical expressions of gender or sexuality, there may be healthier practices a pastor can use to help the child by showing compassion toward those exploring the faith. Yarhouse, in his book talks about things get complicated for some people if there is no family bathroom in the church (Yarhouse, 2015).Pastoral care for such a person struggling with gender identity does not begin with debates about what is or is not moral. Certainly, the Christian pastor is called to help an individual struggling with gender identity to understand the biblical view of gender and to distinguish between his or her feelings and actions based on those feelings (Yarhouse 2015). The rightfully persistent idea of loving the sinner even as one discourages specific sins is vital here as it is in every situation of pastoral care and moral guidance. More important for pastoral care, however, is the development of genuine Christian friendship modeled after the One whose friendship knows no boundaries (Luke 7:34). Loving pastoral care for the individual seeks to provide a spiritually nurturing, encouraging, and accepting a safe place to someone who may well have suffered from trauma, mockery, and animosity (ERD, 2009) (Patton 2005). He or she may view the church with suspicion or share the common assumption that Christianity is more concerned with moral judgments, cultural battles, or political victories than about broken and suffering people. In accepting the struggling individual, a relationship of interpersonal trust develops. Within that relationship there will be natural opportunities to make Christ known, to call the person to trust in his promises and love, and to show that the purposes and commands of God for our lives are for our good.