What Do Parents Do When They Discover Their Children Are Involved?
Devastated by our son's homosexuality, we found ourselves part of a growing
minority of shattered parents in the process of being healed by God.
The bundle of homosexual magazines stuffed under our 19 year old son's bed
hit me like a sledge hammer and -- without the least hint of warning --
shattered our dreams, pride, "super spirituality" -- and us.
"I hate you!" he shouted, cursing us, when we painfully confronted him with
our discovery. Was this the same son we had raised to know the Lord, the
popular son who had won scholarships and awards, who even had won other
young people to Christ?
"We love you -- but you've got to stop what you're doing! It's wrong.
It's sin. How could you? How could you?"
It all seemed unreal. In recent years fads among young people have run the
gamut. First came booze. In the 1960's it was drugs. Today knowledgeable
youth workers say the "in thing" is bisexuality, even hard-core
homosexuality! But could homosexuality actually touch the child of
Christians? I hadn't even known what a homosexual was until I was in my
20's. And only two months before our confrontation with our son, when I'd
heard that a local youth adviser at a camp for runaway boys was a
homosexual, I had announced rather loudly to the family, "I'd rather die
than have that happen!"
Now our son was involved with another boy his age!
Suddenly, all we knew was what we felt: complete, uncomprehending shock,
mingled with confused disbelief. We didn't realize then that homosexuality
wasn't something you could turn off like a light switch. And, although we
tried to convey our love for our son, our over-reaction must have come
across as condemnation.
"You're not my mother! I never want to see you again!" he said.
Two days later, our desperate son disappeared for more than eight months,
leaving us to piece together our fragmented lives, haunted by the memories
of the child we had known before and the child we unexpectedly uncovered.
We've learned firsthand that Christians are not immune to homosexuality.
We've also learned that we are not the sole survivors, but part of a
growing minority of shattered parents in the process of being healed by
God. And God is able to work beauty out of the ugliness of sin -- even out
of homosexuality. But it takes time and praise and the power of prayer to
surrender to God what somehow seems too painful to bear.
Terminally ill patients often struggle with denial, anger and depression
before they can accept their own approaching death. But for the Christian,
death is ultimately a victory where we finally face our Lord. The
reactions of a parent whose child has labeled himself a homosexual often
parallel these initial traumatic reactions, but the emotional loss of a
child to homosexuality is more far-reaching. It affects one with physical
symptoms of anxiety -- chest pains, nausea. It becomes a living grief with
an uncertain end, a daily shouldering of self-blame that only God can
alleviate, and the nightly drum beat of "why our child?"
Those first few months after we learned about our son, I lost 66 kilos. I
could hardly get up in the morning and went into severe depression.
Friends would say, "What's wrong? You're just not the same bubbly person?
But how can you be the same? I wrote reams of letters asking everyone from
Billy Graham to Oral Roberts why a Christian boy could get involved, and
got no positive answers. It was either too hot to handle -- or no one
quite knew what to say.
That's when I created by "joy box" -- a shoe box stuffed with any
inspirational Scripture, poems, stories and letters I could find. Within
easy reach on my kitchen counter, I grab into that box for a dose of praise
and hope whenever the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.
At first, there didn't seem to be anyone else in the whole world who was
going through what we were suffering -- or who had experienced the same
tremendous emotional tug-of-war with depression and guilt! If they had,
they weren't willing to discuss it. If they hadn't, they couldn't possibly
understand it or handle it.
Where are all the other suffering mothers, Lord?
There must be one!
to help me see
it's possible for this wound to heal!
God answered my prayers in the form of a growing Christian ministry located
near Melodyland School of Theology, Anaheim, California. The "Spatula
Club" -- a branch of the growing EXIT team -- a group of Christian ex-gays
who have developed a ministry to the gay community -- provides Christian
parents the fellowship they so desperately need. Attending "Spatula"
meetings -- so named because parents have to peel themselves off the
emotional ceiling when they first learn of their child's homosexuality --
helped my husband and me realize that we are not alone. We discovered
something everyone facing a crisis situation of this proportion needs -- a
friend you can be completely open with -- someone you can cry, laugh, share
and pray with. And having as a friend another mother going through the
same situation is invaluable in gaining strength.
Realizing that others share our problem helped greatly, but it hasn't
completely stilled the voice of inner questioning: "Why can a Christian
become involved? Lord, I used my best recipe in raising my kids ... which
ingredient went wrong? Was it my fault? My husband's? Am I being
punished for something I did wrong?"
Answer's aren't simplistic, nor are they easy to digest, but one answer
comes through loud and clear. If your child is a Christian, then he is
God's, not yours. God has bought him with a price. And if he is God's,
then God will take care of him -- no matter what. Quit being his baby-
sitter. Give him completely to God!
I had been pretending to myself that my son had gone on a long trip and
that he would be returning soon. Now God was showing me I had to surrender
him totally -- even if that meant I would never see him again, or that he
would never be delivered from homosexuality.
Praise is the active key to that door of surrender which leads to healing.
How hard it is to praise the Lord for something so devastating to your
child's personality and yours!. Many times I've forced myself to crank out
Involvement in a praise-centred church or prayer group helps parents focus
outside of themselves. When you learn to praise God in the midst of the
situation, you begin to trust and believe He will bring something very
special out of it!
"I wasn't a Christian before I learned my 17 year old son was a
homosexual," recounts Dorothy, one of my "Spatula" friends. "But he and
his sister have been Christians for four years and had been praying
diligently for the salvation of my husband and me. It wasn't until we
underwent this ordeal that I accepted Christ as Saviour through a relative
of mine. Little did I know that God would answer my son's prayer through
this means! But our family has changed and is really growing. It's
wonderful -- when we look beyond the problems -- to see how God is bringing
beauty out of such an ugly sin."
I find it easy sometimes to dwell on the mistakes of the past or get
trapped in emotional obstacles of the present. But there's nothing Satan
wants more than to cripple Christian parents emotionally so they're unable
to actively love and serve others.
Love heals. It speeds your own healing, and it helps to heal others around
you. God wants us to get "unkinked" so love can flow through us to the
other people who are hurting -- our child, the rest of our family, others
who are suffering problems -- not only for their sake, but for your own, to
keep you from freezing up inside from bitterness and hurt.
Many former practicing homosexuals say, "I felt guilty. I despised myself
and lived in terror of the day when everyone I loved would despise me as,
one by one, my family and friends learned the truth."
Your child maybe could say that! The outspoken homosexual who has "come
out" to crusade for gay rights today is still in the minority.
Homosexuality usually is a secret, silent struggle which creates great
loneliness and inner turmoil. If your child is into this, he probably has
suffered greatly. And he is still your child, no matter what. More than
ever, he needs that accepting unconditional love from you that God can keep
you demonstrating. While God hates the sin, He loves sinners.
Can a homosexual be "cured"? We have seen answers to prayer with our own
son. After disappearing for almost a year, he has returned, and a cautious
yet loving relationship has been resumed. Through God's "special filter"
we know the Lord is quietly working in his life. Homosexuality is too
complex and its causes too diversified for pat solutions. But we continue
to pray, surrender and praise.
Christ said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this
mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it shall move" (Matthew 17:20).
Homosexuality is like a mountain. But it can be moved. Like any other
sin, Christ paid it's price on the cross, dying for our weaknesses and
sicknesses -- physical, spiritual, emotional, and sexual.
The "once-gay, always-gay" philosophy is a myth gay activists would like us
to believe. But there is a way out. His name is Jesus.
"I just wanted to die when I learned about my son," confessed my "Spatula"
friend Dorothy. "Every morning I would check my breasts for lumps, hoping
I would get cancer and die. But I wasn't a Christian then, I didn't know
there was a God who listens and answers prayer -- a God who is willing and
able. Now I know that if God can heal the blind and the deaf, He is able
to heal the homosexual.
WHEN HOMOSEXUALITY HITS YOUR HOME ...
1. Stop blaming yourself! You cannot take blame for the choice your
child has made. Remove self-pity by realizing that there is one no factor
identified as the root cause of homosexuality.
2. Don't try to give advice. Rather than play the
counsellor/psychologist role, unconditionally love and accept your child
through His/her struggles with identity.
3. Start a "Joy Box" collection of inspirational verses and poems to
help lighten those day you feel the fog of depression settling in.
4. Keep communication channels open with your child -- even if he's left
home. If you've blown your initial confrontation, reach out to him in
love, admitting you made a mistake in over-reacting.
5. Concentrate on making your home a warm, loving place for the rest of
6. Get involved in a praise-centred church, in a prayer cell, in
hobbies, tape ministries, with helping other people through their
suffering. This brings your focus outside of yourself and your suffering.
7. Praise the Lord continually in the midst of the situation. Believe
He knows the end result -- and will bring good out of it.
8. Find a friend with whom you can share, laugh and cry. The common
strength you draw from friends is invaluable.
9. Uplift your child continually in prayer. Remember that God is in
10. Hang a big spatula in a prominent place to remind you that your hand
and God's are the only ones which can pull you off the emotional ceiling of
For more information about the
author and her outreach to
P O Box 444,
La Habra CA 90631 U.S.A.
Phone 01 213 691 7369
This article is reprinted by
permission from Christian Life
magazine. Copyright August 1977 by
Christian Life Inc,
396 E. St. Charles Rd,
Wheaton IL 60187 U.S.A.
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION
G.P.O. Box 1115
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371-0446
MINISTRY TO HOMOSEXUALS
Database Listing - Ministry To
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web
These documents are free from BelieversCafe.com
the complete christian resource site with more than 5000 webpages.