“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s crap. Absolutely untrue. Bones will heal, words can hurt forever.
I have a flood of emotions as I read this letter from a Dad to his gay son. I am a parent of five children and my primary job is to love them and display God’s love in their lives. They will make a lot of decisions about who God is and what kind of God He is, as well as decisions about themselves, based on their relationship with me. It’s just the way it is.
We parents have a massive impact on our children. Our words, and our love and acceptance – or our withholding of love and acceptance – will impact their lives forever.
This father’s selfish words and condemnation will impact James for the rest of his life…
“James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye, Dad”
Parents, please do not inflict this kind of harm upon your children. It is not only your task, but your privilege to love your gay child. Above all else. Even if you are conflicted. Even if you disagree. Your love and acceptance are at the core of your child’s understand of the love of God.
Regardless of where you stand on this particular issue, I beg you to look beyond yourself. It took great courage for your child to come out to you. They are brave. They are scared too. They are probably wrestling through a lot of issues. Not only do they need your affirmation and acceptance – but you have an opportunity to actually take some of the weight off their shoulders. You can love and you can help bear their burdens.
Err on the side of love, acceptance, approval and affirmation – even if you disagree – and let the Holy Spirit work in your child’s life in His perfect way and timing. As Billy Graham said, “It is God’s job to judge, the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, and my job to love.”
Your child needs the same love God gave to you. Your child needs your approval. You child needs you.