Same Sex Attraction
I believe this begins way before they even know what sex is, before “attraction” even happens…. what are we teaching and instilling in them? That lays the foundation for the storms they will face later and how they/we stand later. Much like the wise and foolish man building upon the rock or the sand.
Different ages require different responses. As a child/teen, and as one under our authority and protection, that would require a different action than an adult child.
I would take it deadly serious, because that is what this comes down to, eternal life or death. Will I love them, always. We are committed to walk beside our children as a support and with guidance in this life, so they will have life everlasting. Acceptance, no. I would be warring against the spirit behind it until victory is found, not the flesh and blood. I will not just sit back and accept any sin, Jesus in me won’t allow it.
I have friends, believers in Christ who have been presented with this exact situation.
Presuming that the situation is as you describe, we would begin in prayer and as described by others, seek to under stand all of the circumstances involved as painful as they might be. We would counsel him with respect to what will happen to his church membership once he begins to yield to this temptation. We would counsel him on what will happen at home if he yields to the temptation. We would offer to pay for counseling both spiritual and psychological. We would ask him what his expectations are of us. I would review with him his understanding of God’s word on the subject. We would advise he establish an accountability partner in the Lord that can hold him accountable. We would pray with him. We would buy books on the subject. We would seek counsel. We would pray some more. The end is not now, and we would gear up in prayer for the battle of our son’s future.
I would have a heart-to-heart discussion about why he/she feels that way (when did it start, were there any outside influences) as well as making 100% sure that there hadn’t been any sexual abuse. Then I contact my pastor and schedule counseling sessions with either the pastor or someone he recommended.
After that, I’m not sure what I would do. I do not see myself cutting the child or adult child off in any way, shape, or form. I’m not sure what your definition of acceptance is. Would we celebrate the marriage? No, just as we wouldn’t celebrate any other sin. But if I have a 30 YO son who is on his own and marries another man, I’m not going to disown him and never see him again.
We need to understand and explain temptation. Temptations are common (1Cor. 10:13), no one is immune to stumbling (James 3:2) and but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed (James 1:14), God is always faithful, not allowing us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, and then also graciously provides a way through it (1Cor10:13). But by giving in to temptation, as with Adam and Eve and all people since, we separate ourselves from God and His righteous ways.
Even the temptations that weren’t so common in the past, are becoming common in our society simply because the power of suggestion through the predominant narrative out there which says same sex relationships, sexual involvement, marriage, etc. are ok and should be celebrated. As followers of Jesus seeking to be faithful to God’s Word, we need to teach (as SC states so well) children from an early age the truth of scripture, the reality of various temptations, the practices of resisting and fleeing temptation, the need for the Spirit’s power in our lives, winning the battle in our minds, etc.
Yes, I would seek to continue to love my child. And I would take them very seriously. But I would contend with them to overcome and live as God designed us to live.
Marriage? I would not accept that. I wouldn’t affirm that type of union.
I’d say that all of us struggle with sin. What do you expect is the result when you give up the struggle? If coming out means sharing the struggle for support to overcome it, that kind of humility is a step in the right direction. If coming out means this is who I am, God made me this way and I can’t change it, that is a serious and sad standpoint. Reality: We are all born this way. Marred by sin, prone to wander, no one is righteous, enemies of God, without hope. So when people with same sex attraction say “I was born this way”, in a sense they are right. I’m born a sinner too. But God is able to change hearts. By grace and through His saving work, not ours, we can leave our life of sin. Making a life choice to live in sin is a serious, extremely rebellious offence. We can all stumble and sin, but to commit to a lifetime of sin in homosexuality is determined defiance. In this increasingly popular movement which started with “God made me this way, I was born this way”, we suddenly now have others who were clearly and scientifically male or female saying the opposite. “The way that I was born is not who I am” That said, if I was confronted by this with my children, they would already know what they have been taught. They would be loved unconditionally, but part of that unconditional love will be a continued effort to point out their destructive course and lead them to God in repentance. If they decided to marry of the same gender I would not attend. It is not anything to celebrate, rather it would be a day to mourn.
Not sure what I would do if this happened with an adult child; I’m lucky to stay a half step ahead of the age we have. That said,
Our daughter has just completed middle school and knows several kids who already believe themselves to be SSA. A close friend of hers claims she “will do [have sex with] anything”. (This particular girl is primarily attention seeking; I don’t feel any alarm at allowing the friendship to continue.) I firmly believe that kids who are still trying to figure out basic hygiene can’t possibly make an informed decision about re-writing something so basic as the gender (and therefore complementary gender) assigned to them before birth by an all-knowing, all-powerful God (or for non-believers, a nature that is generally consistent in applying male-female pairs to most living things.) I believe OFTEN, though probably not always, a young teen will begin to identify with the gay community because the teen feels outcast and ostracized from family or peers and therefore by saying “I’m gay,” they are both thumbing their nose at those who they believe to have rejected them and attaching to a group who claims to be judgement- and hate-free. They convince themselves that the gay community takes them in when no one else will and that the gay community is the only one who is open and loving enough to be worthy of their previously rejected allegiance. I’m NOT saying ‘a boy can’t get a girl so he decides to like boys’. That’s too simplistic and not accurate. What I am saying is that at that age it is all about wanting to be like everyone else and yet unique at the same time; they want to be accepted for who they are, but will change whatever they have to to gain acceptance. They are malleable clay with a volatile mix of hormones; they are essentially C4.
Yet as my daughter reminds me, I can’t tell them that. So we continue teaching our daughter God’s plan for marriage, modeling a good relationship, and discussing everything under the sun, including her friends who think they are gay or some other sort of _______-sexual (there are so many prefixes to -sexual these days!) We exhort her to always compare anything she hears or reads or sees to the truth she knows from the word of God, and we pray she will make good decisions. We also make a point to spend time with her friends so that A) we know who she is hanging out with and know them and their parents well; B) she knows her friends are important to us; C) her friends will get used to hanging out at our house rather than getting into mischief after they can drive; and D) when we get the chance, we can try to influence her friends by speaking love and truth (in that order) into their lives. We have been honored and humbled to be able to share our beliefs with them many times and many of the kids refer to us as Second Mom and Second Dad.
So far DD likes boys, and that is horrifying enough, but I confess to having been somewhat conscious of being relieved that at least it wasn’t girls.
There is so much wisdom in your posts above, I am not sure here is anything of value I can add but I will try. Our children and grandchildren live in an age of increasingly radical social positions… often portrayed under the guise of “compassion” (that really aren’t, whether well-intended or not) and which believers know is a manifestation of the unseen ongoing battle in the spiritual realm. (Eph 6:13)… what greater rebellion against our Creator is there than to reject who/what He created us to be? At the same time, we who know Christ (and recognize the source of the problem) are called by Jesus to have compassion on those who struggle with their sexual identity and to understand that their misery is real – not to condone it but to love them and to be prayerful for them and recognize that Christ died for them too. Only Christ has the power to save them (in the same way that He is the only hope for heterosexuals.) As I said, those with young children and teenagers now who have posted exude great wisdom in “preventive measures” to guide children in Biblical truth, hopefully before they are led astray and to the extent of my interaction with them, will double down on your good suggestions.
This thread spurred me to go back and find this interview with Rosario Butterfield https://www.familylife.com/podcast/familylife-today/a-train-wreck-conversion/ which I heard several years ago as the best Christ-centered discussions on the subject I have ever heard and does a great job of addressing the balance (tension?) we are called to strike between “loving” and “not condoning” what the Bible clearly defines as sin (Rom 1 and many places elsewhere.) Re-listening to the podcast (and the next two day’s that are linked), if I was confronted with such a declaration from a grandchild as a teenager or later I would hope to follow the loving example of the “Ken Smith” that Rosario describes (beginning at about 14:30) and in the next day’s podcast (mark 9:40). She describes “J”, a transsexual (mark 15:30) who was a Presbyterian minister for 15 years who had prayed fervently for God to heal his compelling desire to be female… eventually leaving the faith and undergoing “chemical castration” because he/she couldn’t afford surgery.
No thinking person, Christian or not, can overlook the reality and depth of misery that someone has to be in to go down that path and I have great empathy for them and their parents, siblings, and grandparents as they struggle their way through it.. That said, any proposal such as described here https://www.wsj.com/articles/did-democrats-just-create-a-problem-with-soccer-moms-and-dads-11558385818?shareToken=ste526c4560e594208bbf013942a9ea034 to legislate the allowance of a minor son or daughter to begin the process of irreversibly changing their God-given gender (via drugs administered by a physician, even surgery) without the consent or even knowledge of the parents should be emphatically rejected and the proposer thrown out on the street . And if one of my grandchildren grew up to choose to marry a person of their own gender, I do not think I would go because that would be bestowing a blessing on their union.
This topic got thrashed over regularly on the old boards, and I was always hopeful it wouldn’t come up again.
It isn’t a sin in and of itself to be gay. The sin comes about when a person expresses their sexuality outside of heterosexual marriage. A homosexual person can be a Christian living out their lives as a single person just as singles have within the Church (and society) forever. And the ‘sign’ that a homosexual has been ‘cured’ isn’t marriage to someone of the opposite sex.
And this nonsense about ‘perfectly assigned gender’ and etc. you must be kidding.
I see a difference between a marriage blessing in a Church and the legal/civil/Government version. If I got invited by one of my gay friends/relatives to their ‘wedding’ (legal/civil/Government) in a park or a hall, no problems I would go. In a Church ………. probably not.
As for my kids, they are all partnered up with members of the opposite sex, so probably a moot point. Grand kids, my friends kids, friends ……… I am called to love them and point them to Christ. So I love them unconditionally (or I try to) and leave the rest up to God.
Thank you JLoydH for being the only one to use the word empathy.