‘God Does Not Make Mistakes’

| |
God brought this eye-opening, heart-exploding, joyful struggle into my life to lead me to a place I have never gone before.

“God doesn’t make mistakes.” That’s what I told my youngest son after he sat me down and told me that he wants to become a woman. My son, who was baptized in the Christian Reformed Church, who attended Sunday school and youth groups and went on mission trips, told me that God led him to the knowledge that he is transgender.

For months I dove into the Bible looking for Scripture passages to show him that God could never approve of this. I signed up my husband and myself for therapy, hoping to find out how to talk sense into my son. I didn’t want to lose him. The therapist couldn’t offer any comfort in sorting out all of our questions and feelings. Instead she referred us to a support group for parents of LGBTQ children.

This group allowed us to open up and reveal the pain, confusion, and sadness we were feeling without being judged. The leaders suggested reading material, and as I began reading these books I slowly realized I had been so focused on finding the perfect Scripture passage to enlighten my son that I missed what he really needed: love, a listening ear, and acknowledgment of his struggle and pain.

I started focusing on Scripture with an eye to how Jesus would treat my son. What would Jesus say to him? Jesus was compassionate, loving, forgiving, and patient. He wouldn’t be judging my son or withholding his loving touch. He might seek him out, as he did the tax collector Zacchaeus. My son needed to be embraced. But my church could not give him what he needed. Nor could I, because of my own ignorance and pride. 

Jesus himself gave us the greatest commandment of all: love God and love one another. Can we do that and trust God to figure out the hard stuff? Can we see through the outward shell of a person and see the potential? Our mission is to share God’s life-saving gift of grace with everyone. Only God can see into our hearts to see his Spirit working. We don’t know how God will work through us in his kingdom, but we know God is working through us.

I still believe God does not make mistakes. God brought this eye-opening, heart-exploding, joyful  struggle into my life to lead me to a place I have never gone before. I can’t fix this. I can only trust God. I pray for my son every day to listen to the Spirit in him to guide him on this journey. I see God working in him, leading him to a church that has welcomed him with open arms.

So I pray for our churches to join me by loving people like my son just as if they were your own son or daughter. Share with them God’s gift of grace by welcoming them into your community. Then stand back  and watch what God can do!

About the Author

Lisa Schulz has led Coffee Break studies and Vacation Bible School and has been a GEMS counselor. She lives in Schererville, Ind.

See comments (10)


I am reminded of what the LBGTQ activist group All One Body said a couple years ago, when strategizing the best way to transform the CRC into an "ally" of LGBTQ ideology: Don't rely on Scripture; rely on personal stories.


Let the personal stories begin!

The answer to the question "Does God Make Mistakes?" depends on how we define "make" and "mistakes."

The answer to the question "Does God Make Distinct Genders?" is "Yes."  At least it is "Yes" according to Scripture. But in the world defined by personal stories, there are no answers. To this or any other question.

Dan, Your comment is factually incorrect.  Some (perhaps as many as 1 in 1,000) babies are born with ambiguous genitalia.  Physical evidence suggests that your claim that God always makes distinct genders is false.

       This article’s title is, “Does God Make Mistakes?”  Perhaps Christians put too much stock in God being a personal God who is involved in every aspect of every person’s life.  We quote verses telling of God’s knowledge and involvement in even a bird falling to the ground or his numbering the hairs of our head.  Come on.  Reality and experience tells us otherwise.  We read accounts of looming hurricanes and tsunamis   destroying thousands of homes and lives despite the hundreds of prayers that were raised as such storms approached land without any special regard to Christians or otherwise.  We know Christians and non Christians are recipients of common grace in like measure, with no advantage to Christians.  We know in our personal lives that good and bad happen in equal measure to all people regardless of religious affiliation. Christians rationalize God’s involvement in their own lives (based on the Bible) when there is no real evidence of such personal involvement.  So perhaps Christians are putting too much confidence in a personal God when God’s general revelation and experience would dictate a much lesser involvement than most Christians think.
       So perhaps it is wrong to question God as to a person’s sexual preference and genetic makeup that might him/her different from the norm.  Do we question God when someone is born with or has a mental or physical handicap?  We simply make the most of it and adjust as to how we relate to such people and family members, sometimes even giving them preferential care.  Certainly we should be loving and accepting of people who may be different from ourselves, without blaming or crediting God for the many differences we see in each other.

John S, God designed chromosomes to determine gender. You are correct that sometimes genetic errors cause certain body parts to be ambiguous. But the X and Y chromosomes are not ambiguous.

How do we know this story is true?  "God doesn't make mistakes" is the Christian transgender mantra. If you Google "God doesn't make mistakes" and "transgender", you get a surfeit of stories, articles, and books with those words included.

Dan, I am curious to know which scripture passage mentions chromosomes.  It is my understanding that chromosomes were first observed in the 1800's - scripture was written much earlier.

Dan - I agree that we should look to the authority of Scripture, and I too worry about replacing the Gospel with an ideology.  But it looks like the author has been looking to Scripture in addressing their and their child's personal story too.  What would you do different?

To what Scripture would you direct someone who can't recognize a distinct gender in themself, or doesn't feel like the gender they grew up thinking they were?  What Scriptures can guide us in our dealings with such people, in our congregations and our families?

I see as of 2/13/2020, The Banner has added the author's name. Thanks for the update.

First, a big thank you to Schulz (the author) for writing "Jesus himself gave us the greatest commandment of all: love God and love one another. Can we do that and trust God to figure out the hard stuff?" So many people forget to love in the pursuit of being right with God. And to Schulz, congratulations on your new daughter. Such a transition is not easy for her, you, or family and friends, but please know there are those of us who will welcome her with open arms. God did not make a mistake with her at all, for she is finally becoming who He made her to be.

Second, it's important to remember the vocabulary definitions for discussing LGBTQIA+ issues. The word "sex" refers to the biological genitalia a person is born with - penis, vulva, ambiguous genitalia. This definition includes the chromosones X, Y, and the various combinations. "Gender" refers to the societal constructs applied to the sex of a person. The belief that men wear pants and women can wear pants and dresses is a gender issue. An intersex person could be someone born with XY chromosones (sex) but since their genitalia is female, that person is raised as a female (gender). In fact, some people can be born with XXYY, XXY, or XX (but still have male genitalia) chromosones, thus indicating that God made a veritable bounty of diversity of people for us to welcome into our family and friend groups.

Third, ultimately, I think how a person thinks of themselves (male, female, queer, intersex, non-binary, etc.) is between them and God. 
It isn't morally wrong to acknowledge that the author's son is now the author's daughter because the author's daughter is responsible to God, not me. Am I being imoral by showing a transgendered woman+ love? Nope. I can't think of any place in the Bible where it announces that being transgendered/intersex is wrong. In fact, in Acts, God told Philip to help the eunuch (which is a form of intersex) to understand the message of Christ. Which Philip then did in love. Who am I to do otherwise?

Without going so far as to say that God makes mistakes, you can acknowledge that we live in a world tainted by original sin, and that God allows the consequences of originalsin to affect His children.  I was born with a gene that caused me to develope schizophrenia.  I'm NOT sayng that for your son to feel he was born of the wrong gender is a mental illness, but it is a consequence of original sin.  As God used my illness and moderated its worst effects, so that my positive symptoms are controlled and I'm able to help others, He will help you and your son to navigate the course of his sexual identity as he grows up.  Nobody knows how that will work out, but you will need to be compassionate and understanding if things come to a point where he feels he has to choose between changing genders or killing himself.  God doesn't make mistakes, but He doesn't shelter us from the struggles of this world brought about by original sin either, and being transgender is one of them as is homosexuality.  That's the reality of living in a sin-tainted world.  It's more complicated than if your son was born with a defective heart or a degenerative disease, but in the end it all boils down to the same thing.  We are born with defective bodies and minds, and we have to cope with whatever that implies.