p a r e n t s

So, I realize that I haven't written a whole lot of original content thus far, just commenting on and responding to various articles. I promise I will get to that. I've just been reading a lot of things leading up to and through the process of starting the blog, and I have encountered a lot of different people writing a lot of different things that I both agree with and disagree with. I think it's a good description of someone's beliefs when they articulate what exactly they believe and what they do not, which is what I have been doing so far. So today, I have another post which stems off another article that I just read recently. This post is addressed to any parents that might be reading this blog or this post. The article that I'm going to link to below is one of the best that I've read. It describes one pastor saying all the things that he will do if he has gay children, and I think that it's heartwarming and encouraging for all of the LGBT Christians out there. I think that it provides a nice contrast to all of the straight, Christian parents and pastors who would love nothing more than to continue to berate Christian young people for simply being the way they are. And yes, the comments at the bottom of the post, if you choose to read them, are disheartening and difficult to read, perhaps even angering, but I think that the point is that this pastor and dad is willing to speak up about this even though he knows full well that his opinion will probably not be received well, which is precisely why I'm sharing this with you. I'm all about people speaking up for what they believe, especially if their beliefs aren't popular. Here's the link:

http://www.faithit.com/gay-children-4-promises-christian-parent/

Alright, this article is pretty short, so I'll try to touch on at least the four points that are brought up as well as some other things that caught my attention while I was reading. The first thing that I want to mention is that I'm very thankful that this pastor has had many interactions with LGBT people in his life. I think that's incredibly valuable for anyone who is in a leadership position in the Christian sphere, especially when those interactions are with LGBT people who have had bad experiences with the church. I really appreciate that he addresses the fact that it's difficult to be a gay Christian kid in the church, because it is! There are a lot of different opinions on whether or not being gay and being a Christian can coexist, and many of those opinions are not positive. I'm just really glad that he acknowledges the struggle that gay Christians have to go through even while they're trying to be a part of the church.

It's difficult to be a gay Christian kid in the church.

For his first point, the biggest thing that stands out to me is that fact that he promises not to be ashamed of his kids, at least that's what he seems to mean at the core. He states that having a gay child won't be the dirty little secret that his family guards above all else, and I think that's incredible, because it reiterates indirectly that being gay isn't something to be ashamed of, something that's important to remember, especially in Christian circles. Just like him, my opinion probably won't be very popular, but there's nothing wrong about having a homosexual orientation. God doesn't love you any less because you're gay, and He certainly didn't make a mistake in the fact that you're gay, and it definitely isn't a choice that you can be ridiculed and torn apart for. I'm so glad that this pastor isn't willing to sacrifice his kids for the comfort and acceptance of others. That's parenting done right. How are kids supposed to be able to go out into the world on their own and endure all the hate and criticism that they're going to experience from others when their own parents don't accept them and love them all the same regardless of their sexual orientation that they certainly didn't choose? Just like the Christian community as a whole, I believe that the responsibility of parents is to love their kids unconditionally while pointing them to Christ. God will take care of the rest.

God didn't make a mistake in the fact that you're gay, and it isn't a choice.

Secondly, I really like the intent and the attitude that is behind his second point. The promise to pray for his gay children is an important one to make, even though it seems to be almost trivial compared to what other parents might do when they find out that one of their children is gay. To me, the reasoning behind this is the same as in the other points and the article as a whole. This dad and pastor is aiming and striving to love his kids unconditionally no matter what, and that is his focus. And again, I absolutely love that he isn't praying for his kids to be "normal" or that God would make them straight. This is such a powerful model for other Christian parents of gay children to keep in mind, because when you pray that God would take away or change your child's orientation, what you're really saying is that there is something wrong with them that needs to be changed. What kind of message is that to be sending to your kids, especially kids who are already probably struggling with this identity means for them and what it means for their lives? Again, it's not the responsibility of parents or even Christians in general to try and change other Christians who also confess to being gay. That's not a part of the Gospel message that was given to us in the Bible. Changing of orientation, if that's even going to happen, is only God's responsibility. Thus, I also really appreciate this dad's prayer for protection for his kids, especially the prayer that ungodly treatment from others wouldn't prevent them from continuing to seek the Lord. That is a very real thing that happens in churches all over the country. Gay Christian kids commit suicide or leave the church because they feel so unloved and judged by a community that is supposed to be the embodiment of Christ's love on earth.

He isn't praying for his kids to be "normal" or that God would make them straight.

The third point of his article is the most important one in my opinion, because it encapsulates everything that he is trying to say and also the mission of Christians in general. My favorite idea that he gets across is that the sexuality of his children is basically irrelevant in regards to his love for them. He says that he won't love them despite their sexuality or even because of their sexuality, but simply because they are his. That is a beautiful picture of what parental and also unconditional love is supposed to be. You love someone simply because you do. This also ensures that those children will be open to talking with their parents regardless of whether or not they are gay, and that is an important relationship to have. As he says, his children might doubt a million other things in their lives, but they will never doubt that he loves them, because he will make sure of it. And that's all he is supposed to do, love them and point them toward Christ. Anything after that is up to God. Even if his children walk away from the Lord or live in a way that isn't pleasing to the Lord, he will know that it's in God's hands, that he did everything that he could. And I think that's another good perspective to keep in mind, especially when dealing with older children. It's not the parents' responsibility to control their children and dictate everything about them. As they get older, their parents need to promise to love them unconditionally, but then release them to make decisions for themselves, whether they be good or bad. That sounds like a characteristic of uncaring parents, but in reality, everyone has to learn things for themselves. Everyone has to make their own mistakes and everyone has to encounter God on their own, otherwise their faith will never truly be their own.

Everyone has to encounter God on their own, otherwise their faith will never truly be their own.

Finally, I can't even begin to express how much I appreciate this author's take on homosexuality, because I think that even the idea of being gay is something that most straight people can't even fathom. They don't understand why a boy would be attracted to another boy or a girl attracted to another girl, but that's simply because they themselves aren't straight. An oft asked question, but a good and thought-provoking one at the same time is: Did you choose to be straight? I didn't think so. And I understand that many people will attest to the fact that it seems unloving and highly unlikely that God would create someone and make them gay knowing that it goes against what His word says and the general Christian conventions, but I also strongly, firmly believe that God does not make mistakes. In the same vein, I believe that God is sovereign over all things, which by extension would imply that He does indeed make people gay from the start, and I think that the verse that the author quotes and interprets is used properly and the interpretation correct. The Bible states that God knew every one of us even before the foundations of the world were made, which means that He knew that some of us would be born this way, that we would not choose it, and He made us that way anyway. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, everyone struggles with different sins in their lives, whether that is selfishness, pride, greed, lust, or anything else. For gay people, it just so happens that what they will have to struggle with is their sexuality, which is not wrong in and of itself. The Bible never says that it is wrong simply to be attracted to the same sex. It only states what is right and wrong to do sexually, something that it address for people of all orientations. The reason for this is that we, as Christians, are all called to live holy lives and strive for holiness, and that path is going to look a little different for everyone. No one has the exact same path to follow in their pursuit of God and His will in their lives, and for this reason we cannot expect any two people to approach life and its struggles the same way. And this also applies to gay Christians. After all, I don't recall anywhere in the Bible where it says that holiness entails being straight, thus I don't think that God will "cure" all professing Christians of their orientations that differ from the norm. That's because there's nothing to "cure." Being gay is not a disease, not something to be ashamed of, not something that makes you more sinful or dirty than everyone else. It's another aspect of yourself that you must align with the will of God, just like a straight person would have to align all aspects of themselves with the will of God. It's no different. It's just going to look a little different for Christians who also happen to be gay.

So to any parents reading, keep these things in mind, should the occasion arise. Remember that it's not your responsibility to convince your children of any particular way of thinking and that it's not your responsibility to change them. Your only responsibility, and the responsibility of all Christians, is to love unconditionally with the love of Christ and point them toward Him. After that, it's all on God. It's out of our hands, because we don't control other people. Only God can change their hearts and minds if that is His will, and He loves them to the ends of the earth.

So again, never forget that Jesus loves you, more than you could ever imagine. He doesn't need to change your sexuality or your attractions for you to serve Him. He will take you and meet you where you are, and He will walk alongside you on your path to holiness, whatever shape or form that journey may take.