3 Things Gay Children Need From Their Parents.
My son is gay.
He is seventeen years old, trying to navigate his way in a small town. I have made it clear to him, and everyone else, what they can expect from me.
1. He is not our family’s best kept secret.
I will not talk around him in conversations with others. I will not speak in code or vague language. I will not try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I will not try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable.
Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.
When my son came out we came out as a family!
2. I will pray for him.
I won’t pray for him to be made “normal.”
I’ve lived long enough to know that for my gay son, that is his normal. I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix him. I will pray for God to protect him from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at him, simply because of who he is.
I pray that He shields him from those who will despise him and wish him harm; who will curse him to hell and put him through hell without ever knowing him at all.
Above all, I’ll pray to God that my child won’t allow the ungodly treatment he might receive from some misguided Christians keep him from being a Godly man.
3. I will love him.
I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length.
I love him in an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-him-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love. I don’t love him despite his sexuality, and I don’t love him because of it. I love him; simply because he is sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine.
My son is gay.
He may doubt a million things about himself and about this world, but he will never doubt for a second that his Momma is over-the-moon crazy about him.
God has created him and wired him, and placed the seed of who he is within him.
Psalm 139 says that He, “…stitched him together in his mother’s womb.” The incredibly intricate stuff that makes him uniquely him; a once-in-history soul, was uploaded into his very cells, and I LOVE HIM.
Many of you may be offended by all of this.
I know this may be especially true if you are a religious person; one who finds the whole topic disgusting. As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, hell-bound heretic… but with as much gentleness and love as I can muster;
I really could care less.
This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you.
You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.
You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.
You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight, snuggle sessions.
You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, and whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches.
You’re not the one whose head I love to smell and whose face lights-up when I come home at night and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul.
You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.
And you’re not the one who I’ll, hopefully, be with, when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well.
That is my prayer, my deepest desire, the motivation behind my every decision, my every action: that I protected him well, loved him well, that I sent him out into the world steadfast in the knowledge that he is loved and accepted.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my words, it humbles me.
Sending you love.
*****I have been following John Pavlovitz blog for the last several weeks. He is a full-time pastor and blogger. I have enjoyed what he says, and it has guided me in my actions when my son came out gay. I have taken his blog and used it here to express, in a way I could never have constructed on my own, how I feel about my son and his journey. Please click the link below for his full blog post. http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/09/17/if-i-have-gay-children-four-promises-from-a-christian-pastorparent/