I am a parent, who like you has dreams that my child will find love and happiness in life. I may also be a parent like you whose child or grandchild is part of the LGBTQ community. My love for her and my joy for her hasn’t changed. I have taken this to the Lord for many days and nights and I am trusting that He is with her, as he has been all her life.
As a member of a conservative church, this was at first uncomfortable for me. I have many gay, lesbian, and transgender friends who I deeply respect and love. I have never hid that my understanding of the Bible is that marriage is between and man and a woman. Our relationship has allowed us to have rich conversations as we shared our views and sought to understand those differences. At the end of those conversations I always left feeling that their life was authentic and that their loving relationships were genuine.
And they have also led me to question my own belief system as I walk and talk with them.
I am finding I’m not the only parent, or sibling, with LGBTQ family in my conservative circle. Many just don’t talk about it for fear they will be ostracized from the community that God has brought them to and in which they have made wonderful friendships. There has been a “suffer in silence” mentality among us and as a result, it hasn’t always been easy to share the joys of a child’s marriage or other accomplishments. For some, they never even mention those members of their family to people in church.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:113-14)
Sadly, many of these children also don’t feel comfortable in their own family churches. They can attend a service with family and maybe volunteer in certain things, as long as no one really knows the “truth” about them. They are not allowed to marry in these churches and even if they have a civil service, they still aren’t allowed in positions of leadership. They are believers who want to grow in their faith and they are broken-hearted because they can’t really do that with their families. The alternative options for church aren’t always appealing to them either.
For me, I know that God keeps telling me to love better. Love people who are not like me in the way Jesus loved people who were not like him. He saw their true value and worth as God’s creations and loved them where they were. He called them out of sin, as he calls all of us out of sin. I’m just not as convinced as I once was that this is one of those times. Love is love.
How do we love our LGBTQ children better? How do we as parents openly acknowledge and love our children in our communities? How do we lift a sense of shame that is cast on parents as failures?
I would love to hear from parents and children that have navigated these waters.