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!

Just 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

a "I-don't-feel-like-praising-You-for-it-but-thank-You-anyway-Lord!"

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.



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

your family..

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

parents,write to:

Barbara Johnson,


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:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371-0446


Database Listing - Ministry To Homosexuals.
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