Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner {or a Gender}

Have you heard about this?

As initially reported in the Toronto Star Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, have chosen to keep the gender of their 4 month old baby, Storm, a secret.

The Toronto couple hopes that Storm will form his or her own definition of gender roles instead of the roles pushed onto children by society.

Witterick has said that this decision is a tribute to freedom and choice in a place of limitation

In reality, the mother is attempting to protect her child, saying that it is demonstrated in research and the day to day world that gender stereotyping causes suffering to both men and women.

The parents wholeheartedly believe that they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females.

Mistaken Identity

To be clear, let me begin by saying something that should go without saying: God designed men and women differently

Both men and women express characteristics of the Father, as we are told, 

27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (Genesis 1:27)

There is a distinction, a purposeful difference between men and women, that was set in motion by God.

In that sense, gender is something to be embraced and not rejected, hidden or manipulated.  It is not a limitation, but rather a God designed part of my identity.

Kung-fu Fightin’

Baby Storm’s parents are seeking to offer their child freedom and choice in a place of limitation.

By shunning the stereotypes of gender, they feel they are offering their child freedom.

As Christians, we don’t fight the ills of our world by shunning our God given identity. 

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  (II Corinthians 10:3-4)

With God’s Truth we are able to demolish the lies perpetuated by our culture, lies about gender, social status, and appearances.

We each have lies that we believe about ourselves, and they’re not just about gender.  Some of the other lies include:

  • You’re not good enough.
  • You’re not pretty enough.
  • You’re not skinny enough.
  • You’re not smart enough.
  • You’re not rich enough.
  • You’re just a girl.
  • You’re just a boy.

These lies can take root in our hearts and destroy our God given identity. 

But, because He lives in me, I can tear those lies apart with my spiritual kung-fu skillz.

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ .  (II Corinthians 10:4-5)

 The lies?  Drop kick ‘em outta here. 

I don’t need ‘em.  They don’t determine my course in life.  They do not define who I am. 

My fears, my insecurities, my pain, the things that hold me back…all of those things are broken, demolished and shattered when I take on my identity in Christ, and gain the freedom that only He can give.

1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  (Galations 5:1)

Identity Change

So, what does my new identity look like?  I find a description in Ephesians 1:4-9

Pure

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Chosen

In love 5 He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Redeemed

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.

Wise

With all wisdom and understanding,

Purposeful

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

 

Locks on Cages

The band Tenth Avenue North has written a song entitled “Empty My Hands” that beautifully expresses the way in which we often succomb to the lies. 

And, although His power within me allows me to demolish those lies, I’m still susceptible to them.

These voices in speak instead and what’s right is wrong
And I’m giving into them, please Lord, how long
Will I be held captive by the lies that I believe
My heart’s in constant chaos and it keeps me so deceived

But, that deception can be turned into His Truth.  It requires prayer and daily surrender.

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
 

 ::

What disciplines keep you kung-fu fighting the lies?

What’s a lie that you no longer believe about yourself?

 

45 thoughts on “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner {or a Gender}

  1. Keri,

    Sorry, I am stupefied at this display of political-correctness, liberalism, nonsensical parenting, and just plain old idiocy.

    I wonder sometimes if people should not be tested before they are allowed to pro-create, to avoid such supreme stupidity as being displayed here.  Like some kind of intelligence exam. 

    I can only hope that our Father intercedes and makes sure this kid doesn’t grow up as moronically liberal as his/her parents.

      1. I’m going to assume you’re serious here. And, as I was writing this post, it came to mind that there are some people who believe that we actually don’t struggle with such things after we have been saved, since we are now slaves to righteousness.  Others feel that the fleshly desires are always in combat with the spirit.  Your thoughts?

        1. The flesh does indeed hate the things of The Spirit, true, true.

          Yet, is it implausible to believe that through His strength and grace and affirmations we can reach a place, spiritually, where we walk in the near totality of His Spirit to the point of becoming mature enough that struggles are a thing of the past?

          I do think it is possible, because I walk it.

          It is not a platform of being awesome and holier-than-thou.  No.  It is realizing and acknowledging the complete power of His promises and Sovereignty in our lives and walking as sons and not as babies.  He does it all in me; I bring nothing to this truth, lest I would then boast arrogantly.

          Sons always point to their Father, and give Him total credit and acknowledgment for His Salvation.  It’s what we do, don’t ya know?  :)

          1. You’re saying that it’s His power at work in you that allows you to dispell the lies.  I can dig it.  I feel that I’ve done this in certain areas, but others I’m still a “baby” as you say.  :(

    1. I know what you mean, but these people actually seem rather intelligent.  They even used one of your favorite words: vitriol.  :)  What gets me is the idea that they think it’s “obnoxious to make decisions for our children”.  Yet, they have made what is likely THE most damaging decision they could make in “not” making a decision. 

  2. Yikes, I hadn’t heard about that story until now. Sad. Makes me feel sad for the kid.

    A lie that creeps in for me: that I will be discovered to be an imposted. I not only dropkick the lie from time to time, I also sucker punch it in the larynx. Bam!

    1. Confession: the lie that gets me is similar to yours.  I fear that I’ll be called out as stupid, unintelligent and moronic.  :(  I’ll try  the sucker punch to the larynx next time.  You know what else is interesting?  Usually the lies we buy into tend to be our push button issues.  For example, if anyone so much as looks like at me like I’m stupid, I get all defensive and huffy.  #juniorhighercomesout

      And, yeah, I’m really sad for this kid, too.  Not only is {s}he being confused by the parents, but now the baby’s picture is all over the internetz.  Poor kid.

  3. That is crazy, so, so, crazy!

    The lie that I fight the most is the one that tells me I have very little value. I usually throw a pair of “truth” ninja stars at it and whisper in it’s ear… “I’m a son, you better recognize” as I proceed to take back my ninja stars and leave that lie bleeding and crying out for help. BOOM!

    1. Oooooh, scared of you!  This comment cannot be read without neck twirl and fingers in Z formation.  I need to come to your ninja training school, Moe!  When does registration begin?

      1. Registrations begins in August 2011. You can fill out application in my “Ninja” page on BC.  Be warned, it’s highly difficult to get in. As chief Ninja, I can recommend you. :)

  4. I feel horrible for that kid.   Since it’s all on the internet, that kid will be harassed for their entire time in school.  How’s that for development of “self”?

    1. I guess the parents don’t consider that problematic!  Gender stereotypes are worst than being labelled an “it”?  Their logic is severely lacking.  And, if Oprah didn’t just go off the air, you know we’d see this on there! 

      Not sure if you read the article in the Toronto Star, but the baby also has 2 older brothers who live “gender free”.  Yet, the older one just admitted to reporters that he doesn’t like being called a “girlboy”.  He asked his mother to write a note to his teacher telling her that he’s a boy.  So sad!  :(

    2. Jason,

      Indeed.  This kid will be the butt of jokes and ridicule.  We all remember how “accepting” and “open-minded” children were when we were kids, don’t we?  Mmmmm, yeah, gosh, not so much, no.

      Since they are enlightened liberals, I foresee many years of counseling for this kid.

  5. Wow those parents. Smh. Poor Storm.

    I used to indirectly identify myself with my past and all the crapola that was part of it. I thought I was free, but I would make all these what-ifs statements as if my past would catch up to me.

    I’m so so thankful for my identity in Christ. That I am a new creation, and a son of the Living God!

    P.S. I really love that song by TAN and that entire album.

    1. Jonathan, I know exactly what you mean about the past.  God revealed to me earlier this year that I was holding onto a lot of guilt that He didn’t want for me.  In reality, my holding on to that wasn’t fully accepting His forgiveness.  So grateful that His love covers all wrongs and all that can become of the wrongs. 

      Oh, man, that album is the bomb biggity.  Love how they weaved the them of confession and forgiveness and healing through all the songs.  I actually went back and forth between “Empty My Hands” and “You are More” for this post.  Saw them in concert last fall and it was legen….wait for it…DARY!

  6. Wow, what a saddening story. Unfortunately the child is going to grow up even more confused.

    The thing with identity is that it has to be established by those that raise you. The way God has designed it, the role of a father is the key factor in establishing identity in the heart of a child. That’s why you see so many lost and confused people in this predominantly fatherless generation.

    I used to believe that I wasn’t awesome. But thankfully Jesus encountered me and told me that I might not be awesome on my own, but since He lives in my I’m awesome by proxy.

    1. Awesome by proxy…LOL!  You should sell a t-shirt that says that on it.  :)

      Thankfully, even for those who have not been raised by a father or had a terrible upbringing, God still puts His stamp of approval, adopted and redeemed, signed and delivered.  He’s the father to the fatherless.  My Pastor never knew his father until he was in his 50s.  God was his father his entire life.  The stories he shares of knowing and believing God was with him when his earthly father should have been-so powerful and full of God’s redemptive love. 

      1. No diggity. My parents divorced when I was 3 and I struggled with my identity honestly until after my divorce. It was then when I encountered God in a real way (although I had been saved most of my life) and He established the 3 key things that I should have gotten from my father but didn’t:

        1. Provision
        2. Protection
        3. Sense of Identity

        The design is for this reality to come from our earthly fathers, but other times they come through father figures or God Himself will reveal it to us.

        1. Tony, I don’t presume to have any firsthand knowledge of what that journey must have been like-the pain, the questions, the heartache.  But, I’m so happy that He has redeemed you as His son, and that I can call you brother in Christ.  And, from what I’ve seen, I think you’ll make an amazing dad someday.  (especially since you already figured out the proper way to “check” a diaper, among other things).  THAT in and of itself will be a testimony to how He heals our hurts completely.  :)

  7. If the child isn’t stereotyped based on gender, now it will be stereotyped as having insane, attention-seeking parents. Offering your child a wide range of toy options and not coaxing them toward “gender-appropriate ones” and probably homeschooling/unschooling them is a much better way to achieve what they say they are trying to achieve than the media circus they are creating.

    I get fighting mad when people bully others (or lie) in the name of Christ.

    I no longer  believe that I’m ugly and worthless.

    1. It is really quite odd.  Their logic is shoddy, to put it nicely.  Their older 2 sons have already been stereotyped.  :(

      So happy you don’t believe THAT lie anymore-too many women do believe it.  And, when someone is truly beautiful, like you, it’s because of His work in your heart.  It’s undeniable, irrepressible, and unfading beauty, because it’s not skin deep.  :) 

  8. This is the first I’m hearing about this story too.  Makes me wonder how confused I could have been if I had been raised with parents like this – or any non-christian values.  A lie I no longer believe is that I cannot be who I am because it is simply too much for some people to handle.  I am confidant in my quirkiness and expressiveness – though I still have my feelings hurt from time to time when others say rude comments.  I know now that they say them to “bring me down a peg” because it is hard for negative people to be around positive.  Darkness does not always like light – and I’m okay with that.

    1. Wow…I thought it was on everyone’s radar.  Good thing y’all have me to shed on light on the crazy!  :)

      Cindy, somehow I’ve gotten the quirky vibe from you, but I see it as completely endearing.  It’s artsy and free spirited.  I wish I could be more like that.  :)

  9. I read about this story recently. Poor kids (the older brothers included).

    I no longer believe that I am somehow not as good as other Christians because I’m a single mom. I used to feel ashamed about it and I would wonder what other people thought. I still have to fight with it sometimes. Like today, my pastor called and told me he wants to get a picture of me and write a bio about me for the church website (I’m the secretary/treasurer/whatever is needed). My first thought was how it would look to have a single mother on the church website. But I kicked that thought out pretty quickly.

    1. Yeah, it certainly sounds as if the older brothers have it bad already.  So sad for them.  :(

      Jenn, I’m glad you are fighting this lie.  It’s so not true!!!  And, you are teaching your daughter through example how to trust Him not matter what the circumstances.  I’m so glad to have met you and heard your story and see how God is guiding you through all of this. All the single mommas get on the church website!  :) 

  10. I saw this a couple of days ago…and I think it’s ridiculous. 

    What lie do I no longer believe about myself? That I’m dispensable. I used to believe that it was easy for people to leave me, to find what I provided in someone else. I am confident now that I fill a role in certain people’s lives that would be void if I were gone. 

    1. Melissa, you are irrreplacablllllle (saaaaaang it like Beyonce now).  You certainly fill a role in my life-friend, sister in Christ, encourager, listener, one who prays, loves and leads.  :)  There’s some good lie fighting words if that one ever creeps back up again.

  11. I’m so glad I don’t know these people, I’m sorry but I just don’t have the patience…I know, not very “christian-like” huh. Oh well.

    The lie that I no longer believe: That I’m irrelevant, and that what I say doesn’t matter.

    1. I’m so glad God has shown you that you ARE indeed relevant.   And, it’s cool to see you express those things through your bloggity.  :)

    2. Oh, and I don’t know what I would say if I knew these people in person.  I mean, if I had a close enough relationship with them to share my concerns, I would.  But, it sounds like they march to the beat of their own drum and have not likely considered any other viewpoints.  Eek!

  12. I can understand their desire to protect their child from harmful gender stereotypes, but this is going to backfire big time. Plus, they will have to shelter the child from EVERYTHING! Even themselves! I’m not one to believes that all men should act a certain way or that all women should act a certain way, but this may end up limiting the possibilities available to the child. What bathroom will Storm use? What happens when Storm has health class? What happens when Storm goes to the doctor?

    More than anything, it just seems mean.

    1. What’s interesting is that the root of this decision is fear.  They don’t want their child to suffer and are afraid of what “gender stereotypes” will do to him/her.  Incidentally, your comment reminded me that a lot of Christian families do things just like this: shelter their children in an effort to protect them, which only ends up backfiring when they get out into the real world and don’t know how to live out their faith.  I’m afraid Storm may have this same dilemma.

  13. Bible study and prayer is how I fight the lies. And the lie that I no longer believe is that I’m not good at anything. I know I’m good at things now–even when it is hard to admit.

    1. You’re pretty good at making me laugh!  And, you must be good at something else since you have a brood of children.  :)

      I definitely need Bible study and prayer in my life to fight the lies, too.  Wanna know what’s interesting?  It helps me to blog/write much easier, too!

    1. Well, thanks to Twitter, now we know when someone is talking about us.  hahahaha  I totally understand the insecurity issues.  Like I shared with Dustin, I fear that people will think I’m unintelligent or stupid.  :(

  14. Great post. Lies are so dangerous, thanks for the encouragement to fight.  I love how you want to bring things back to whats true about God. Would you be willing to link up for Brag on God Fridays? I would  love my readers to hear from you.

    1. Hi Laura!  Thanks so much for stopping by and welcome to Pop Parables.  :)

      We do need encouragement to fight the lies, don’t we?  I find that surrounding myself with friends who really encourage me when I need it helps so much.  I depend on them to help me see what God sees in me. 

      I love the idea of Brag on God Fridays and I would love to link up.  This Friday I have a guest poster, but I will keep this in mind for next Friday.  Thanks so much for wanting to include Pop Parables.  :)

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