Perhaps you’ve heard an encouraging sermon with a title similar to “The Suddenlies of God.” This message speaks to those who are enduring great trials or suffering, and then, usually, unexpectedly, God brings about a quick deliverance. For example, Acts 16:16-25 records an incident where Paul and Silas were unjustly stripped, beaten with rods, and thrown into prison. Despite being held in the inner cell with their feet in stocks, the two never gave up. In the face of their dire predicament, they prayed and sang hymns to God while the other prisoners listened on. And then God acted powerfully and quickly.
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16:26 (NIV)
I think we can all relate to experiencing prolonged suffering, and then God, out of His mercy, brings unforeseen and swift relief. And, if we’re in the middle of a painful experience, reading or hearing messages such as these gives us the faith to persevere.
There is a different kind of “suddenly” happening with increasing frequency in our culture that is not coming from God. I believe this scourge is being delivered via the internet from the pit of hell. It’s called Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).
Gender Dysphoria (GD) “is a condition that causes distress and discomfort when the gender you identify with conflicts with the sex that you were assigned at birth” and often manifests at the onset of puberty.
Imagine you’re a parent, and without warning or prior suspicion, your precious, very young teenage daughter comes home and announces to the family that she now identifies as male. She goes on to explain that she and some of her female friends will soon begin receiving treatment. One, she announces, will be receiving puberty blockers, another is considering a double mastectomy, and all in her peer group will start dressing as males and receiving testosterone. Untold numbers of parents the world over are dealing with these shocking scenarios.
A research article titled Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria describes the phenomena this way:
Parents describe that the onset of gender dysphoria seemed to occur in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe. Parents also report that their children exhibited an increase in social media/internet use prior to disclosure of a transgender identity.
While ROGD occurs in both males and females, the condition is being reported predominantly in teenagers born female.  This variant of GD seems to be contagious. A blog post from the Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Dysphoria Working Group carried the title, “Is Gender Dysphoria Socially Contagious?” It seems the answer is yes.
How do you stop this contagion? An excellent place to begin is for parents to enforce proper social distancing, as found in Scripture.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Far too many children are raising their parents. No, that’s not a misprint. Parents who allow their children to rule over major life decisions have abdicated their God-given responsibility. Choosing those we allow into our lives is a huge responsibility. In other words, parents must have the final say who their children can be friends with, online and offline. I’m not writing this to condemn parents, far from it. I’m pointing these truths out to empower parents to assume their God-given rule over their children. In doing so, God’s grace will preside over the home instead of demonically inspired confusion. Let’s choose to limit our “suddenlies” to the ones that come from God.
 WebMD. (n.d.). Gender Dysphoria: Your Assigned Gender vs. Gender Identity. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sex/gender-dysphoria.
 Kyriakou, A., Nicolaides, N. C., & Skordis, N. (2020, March 19). Current approach to the clinical care of adolescents with gender dysphoria. Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569586/.
 Littman, L. (2018, August 16). Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria. PLOS ONE. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0202330.
 Kenny, D. (2019, September 13). IS GENDER DYSPHORIA SOCIALLY CONTAGIOUS? gdworkinggroup.org. https://gdworkinggroup.org/2019/09/13/is-gender-dysphoria-socially-contagious/.