“Christ-centered restorative help is a responsibility of all in the Church. It is just one aspect of our Commission from Christ as His Body. But it is an aspect that historically has been sorely neglected.”
I made that statement in Prodigal’s brochure years ago, and still feel that both aspects of the statement—the responsibility and the neglect—are true.
In this and future posts I’ll be offering some questions and statements to help you evaluate where your local church stands in its response to this one aspect of our “Great Commission.”
If your church desires to reach out in the love of Christ to those who are gay-identified and to their loved ones, consider first the following five things that parents of a gay-identified child need to hear and experience in your church.
1. Your child is welcome here.
Whether your child is gay-identified or same-gender attracted, he/she is welcome here. Your child can have a seat next to everyone else seeking Jesus with their expression of broken humanity.
This man (Jesus) welcomes sinners (all people). Luke 15:2
2. You did not make your child gay.
Sin has corrupted everything! Sin has contaminated the weather, relationships, sexuality and everything else.
Just as parents cannot make their child anorexic, bulimic, addicted to cocaine, promiscuous or any one of the other sin options out there, a parent cannot make their child ’gay’.
You are not perfect parents! But a parent’s imperfections do not make a child gay. Think of what happened to Adam and Eve (our representatives). They lived in a paradise of an intimate relationship with their perfect, Heavenly Father, but still chose to be independent of God and to reject His perfect plan for their lives.
Thus, do not assume responsibility for your child’s reaction/choices to life’s (parenting) imperfections. If you recognize you have wronged your child, confess it to them, ask for forgiveness, and make amends where possible. Then you’re done. Just as this act of repentance cannot change your child from’ gay’ to ‘straight,’ so, too, the offenses that led to your repentance cannot make your offspring ‘gay’.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
3. Build bridges and draw lines.
Secret build isolation. Be grateful your child has ‘come out’ to you. This allows your relationship to moving forward deeply and authentically.
You have permission to be in relationship with your child. You are free to love! Love unabandonly! Love unabashedly! Partake of resources to building a loving, communicative, valuing, respectful and nurturing relationship with your child. Keep your relationship and build it strong.
But…you also are free to—and must—draw lines and set boundaries. Your heart can’t handle the pain of some situation? You are free to say, “No.” You discern that your actions might be saying, “I condone your behavior?” Then you are free to and must follow your conscience to say, “No.”
Saying, “No” does not mean ‘I don’t accept you. ‘ You can accept without condoning.
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:50
4. It’s about Jesus, not sexuality.
As difficult as it is at times resist seeing your child through the lens of ‘gay.’ Ask The Father to give you eyes to see your child as He sees him/her. Your child is much more than the ‘gay’ identity he or she has taken on. See his/her gifts, talents, good contributions to humanity, unique personality and successes. This can be the first step toward helping him or her find their identity in Christ, rather than in their sexuality.
Do not let your focus be on illuminating your child on the wrongness of homosexuality. Instead, focus on the character, nature, love, power, truth and peace of Jesus. Remember: Changing one’s behavior patterns does not bring him into a relationship to Jesus. Only God’s grace through faith does that.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
Jesus is still in the business of transforming and restoring lives including persons with same gender attraction…and, transforming YOU! This is a multifold process. Jesus wants to do something great in not only your child’s life, but your life too. With Jesus anything is possible. Our God is on a mission to transform individuals, people groups, cities and nations.
Prodigals do come home.
There is support available to you. You are not alone. Jesus wants to do something in you through this journey with your son or daughter.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2