What can I do about my daughter? We can never talk any more. I feel so

angry at her all the time. She is so busy with her friends and her new

life-style, she doesn't even care about what her dad and I think. She is

ruining her life. And ours. What am I going to do?

This call for help by a mother whose daughter is struggling with

homosexuality is an expression of her pain and helplessness. When parents

first learn or are told of their child's homosexual involvement, the jolt

is devastating. The effects of homosexuality in a loved one reach deeply

into the day to day emotional lives of mums and dads of children involved

in homosexual behaviour and relationships. Disbelief and doubting often

occurs. "I don't think he is really gay. It's just a phase." After this,

feelings of fear surface. Finally, "What in the world are we going to do?"

is asked.

From their children and their community, many parents are told to accept

homosexuality and learn to live with it. People who have not gone through

this are not always very understanding, though, as to what is at stake for

a parent and what trauma this brings to their life. It's hard for a parent

not to sadly reminisce back to the days when little Susie was sweet and

innocent, wanting a bedtime story read.

It is also difficult not to think about the opportunities you wanted to

give your children that you never had, like a chance at university and a

good job, not to mention having hopes of them finding a good mate and

having a family. Sorrow, anger, and restlessness are all products of such

unhappy news. Because these reactions are natural, don't let anyone tell

you it's not appropriate to feel this way.

What also comes up in the midst of these feelings is the urge to do

something: to get the child out of this lifestyle and back on their feet.

As we've talked to our kids, told them how we feel about homosexuality, and

tried to figure out a plan to get them out, frustration has been added to

our hurt. There are some things we just can't do for them. As we well

know, talking and figuring can sometimes make things worse. The child,

adult or otherwise, grows distant as we unknowingly antagonize him or her.

But there are ways to make our lives more manageable and our relationships

with our children more satisfying.


1. Love is the reason for our frustration and hurt in our relationships.

It's because we love so much that we hurt so much. Love is a positive

factor, but when it is manipulative it becomes negative. If a sentence is

started, "You know I love you, but ...", who is going to take heed to the

rest? In Dr. Ross Campbell's book, How to Really Love Your Child, he says,

"What is unconditional love? Unconditional love is loving a child no

matter what. No matter what the child looks like. No matter what his

assets, liabilities, handicaps. No matter what we expect him to be and,

most difficult, no matter how he acts. This does not mean, of course, what

we always like his behaviour. Unconditional love means we love the child

even when at times we may detest his behaviour." 1/

If, as parents, we can practice unconditional love, our children will

respond more positively to us. Because they are human beings, they deserve

to be loved and, most importantly, in an unconditional way.


2. To love unconditionally we must let go. This is needed in two specific

ways. First, we must give up our desires and attempts at controlling our

childrens' lives. This includes setting unrealistic limitations on when

and where they can go (for the child at home), constantly giving advice

with the subtle undertones of "I'm right and you're crazy." and stifling

their normal independence with our mistrust. Our children know how we

feel: it's not necessary to reiterate it at every opportunity. We must

respect them enough as people to allow them to make their mistakes and make

their own life choices.

The second area of letting go is difficult because it's hard to see. To

give our children the freedom they need, we must give up our expectations

of them. Whether it was a fantastic career with a strong wife supporting

him, or grandchildren to sew for, these are our dreams, not theirs. It's

not fair to live for the successes and hopes fulfilled in our childrens'

lives. We must somehow convey to our children that their decisions are

their own and, "Whatever you decide is okay with me. I still want to be a

part of your life because I love you, not because I'm pleased with what you



3. Pray. Pray to see God's perspective of our child when we aren't feeling

like loving unconditionally. Pray for the courage and wisdom of how to let

go. "Lord, show me in what areas I'm controlling and have expectations.

Give me the courage to remove the pressure of my dreams from my child."

In our parents support group, we often pray for God's intervention in the

child's life, that through His creative work God will confront the issue of

homosexuality and bring our children to truth. Then trust God daily that

He is in control of our son or daughter and it is by His power that healing

will come.

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May

your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our

Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

(I Thessalonians 5:23,24 NIV.)

Parents are naturally very angry and very hurt when a child does something

completely against their grain. When kids are three and four, we have the

opportunity and responsibility to correct and discipline. But with our

adult children, it is difficult. We never have to compromise on our stance

that homosexuality is sin. We never have to feel terrific that our child

is involved in homosexual behaviour. We don't have to quit praying. But,

in time, as God gives us grace, we do have to let go of our child into the

care of the heavenly Father. In time, we must show unconditional love as

often as possible.

I hope you see the time as now.

-- Kelcie Sheriff


1/ Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child; Victor Books,


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371 0446


This article is reprinted by permission from

Metanoia Ministries

P O Box 33039

Seattle WA 98133-0039



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