I’ve been dreading writing this blog. Headaches and stomachaches have wreaked havoc on my body the last few days. Yet I know the Lord is leading me to write this. Readers, it’s possible you may feel discomfort with this article for it is an uncomfortable topic. It is one in which most people have a strong opinion. Chuck Stecker, president of A Chosen Generation told me, “An opinion is like a nose. Everyone gets to have one.” Please know the subject matter you are about to read comes from a private and heart wrenching place.( Before posting this, I got my daughter’s permission.) I ask for your grace and understanding as I open up to my personal pain and experience.
My twenty-four year-old daughter, my oldest child, has decided- for now -to give up her struggle and has recently gone public with her decision to embrace a gay life style. While she was in the midst of her battle, it was right to be quiet and respect her privacy. I value transparency but I’m also not in the practice of publicly airing my children’s issues.
I want you, my readers, to know my family is not perfect. Far from it. I also want you to know, I understand the struggles you may face. God has entrusted me, like many of you, with a full resume of family challenges. (Lucky us…please forgive the sarcasm.)
Parents, especially Christian parents, who find themselves in the unenviable position of having a child declare himself or herself gay, discover it is a lonely place. Once the information goes public, many well intended but misinformed individuals have advice to pass along. Most of the advice is not asked for and unwelcome. My friend, Heather Riggleman, calls this “A Parenting Drive-By”.
Many parents feel confused, afraid, betrayed, hurt, or angry when their adult children make decisions contrary to the way in which they were raised. As children age and become adults we can continue to speak into their lives with love and truth but ultimately the journey is their own, a journey of independence.
Parents find themselves choosing between grace and truth, mercy and justice. But why choose? Jesus gives us both. The place where I know I can always go to for comfort, love, and truth is to God’s Word.
So if you are in this place and do want a tip -here it is: Unconditionally love your child. Pray any activity that is not honoring to the Lord leaves him or her empty. Pray for your child to have a heart’s desire to know the Lord better. Ask God for His strength and to be filled with grace, mercy, and humility while continuing to speak truth. Identity is not defined by sexuality, it is defined by being a child of God.
I would love a response to this blog. I have to admit I’m feeling pretty vulnerable. What situations have you found to be challenging? Has your adult child’s behavior collided with your beliefs? What advice would you offer?
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.