A Mom Torn Between the Church and her Son


It’s an awful position to be in. It is a heart wrenching conflict between a parent’s love for a child and their faith. But think about it… those two things should never be in conflict! If they are, something is off-track.

I want to share with you a comment/question that I received from a parent in just such a situation, along with my response…

Comment / Question: Thanks for all of your support, Susan. This has really helped me a lot but I still have lots of reservations/questions. My 24-year-old son came out last year although we knew he was battling this since middle school. He had been in counseling in high school because HE wanted to be “fixed.” Of course that didn’t happen. We are a VERY conservative Christian family so this just goes against what we’ve always been taught…you are not born gay. You may have been born with a predisposition to this but it’s your choice whether or not to act on it. Although this may be true, I just don’t see how God would create someone to have to go through life like this. But then again, the Bible makes it pretty clear. I’ve tried to twist it around to suit me, but my gut feeling is that the Bible is against homosexuality. Our son feels comfortable around us concerning this, especially me (mom), and there’s complete acceptance. He’s been going to gay bars lately (part of his internal acceptance, I think) and that bothers me. I don’t know why but it kind of does. I would never let him know that. Please give me some words that will help comfort these thoughts. I know only God knows the soul, man does not, so it’s not up to us to judge. But it’s still a concern.

My Response: Sweet Paula, I’m so glad you wrote. I know the Bible may SEEM clear to you on this topic, but it’s not clear. Please look at my resources page to find out all sorts of new info you’ve probably never heard before about those few passages. Of course being okay doesn’t sit well with you – how could it when you’ve heard all your life that it’s not okay? The only way it could possibly make sense to you is by God’s intervention in your understanding. I’m very glad you’re accepting. But I want you to have the comfort and peace and joy you seek, not just acceptance. I want God to show you that your son is perfectly fine.

How could God create people predisposed to this, with NO ATTRACTION to the opposite gender as so many people are, and then require them never to act on it? Makes zero sense. But what DOES make sense is that Christians have been wrong countless times before. About imprisoning Galileo and Copernicus for daring to say the earth was not the center of the universe! Or for burning women as witches who didn’t fit the accepted norms for being a woman. Or for beating their slaves to death while quoting verses justifying slavery. People have “prooftexted” verses (pulled our specific verses to prove a point) over the millennia, and it never works – starting with the religious leaders who tried to trick Jesus this way repeatedly. Prooftexted verses crumple the moment you put any weight on them.

You said that your son has had increasing peace and been much happier since he stopped trying to change. That was my daughter’s experience as well. That is an important piece!

Philippians 4:7 says: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” In other words, His peace will verify that we’re on the right track. That’s an amazing promise — and what a load off our minds! He will give us peace! Conversely, when we are veering off-track, the imminently capable Holy Spirit will “guide us in all truth,” as John tells us.

We have to be willing to trust what we’re hearing from Him when we have heard our entire church lives that it’s NOT okay. That human teaching has been so loud for so long – and it is fallible.  It often drowns out God’s still small voice – which is infallible. Doesn’t it?

I strongly encourage you to ask God to prepare your heart as He speaks His heart to you. We just got back from the Gay Christian Network conference in Chicago, where our friends Rob and Linda Robertson were keynote speakers. They were the visual aid for how the church response of resisting our kids’ gayness only leads to death.

Please take a moment to read their story here and watch their video here. It will be eye-opening.

Ask Him to fill your inmost being with his truth. Ask God to help you lay aside what you already believe and to inform you himself instead. He will!

In his abundant love,


16 thoughts on “A Mom Torn Between the Church and her Son

  1. Thank you for such a compassionate response to this mother. Its so important that we have family support and know that we are loved. I was just reading about a gay activist from Azerbaijan who committed suicide. The note he left said that it was not the anti-gay sentiment from the public and legislators that caused him to decide to leave this world, but the lack of love and support of his family. For Isa, Bobby, for all the gay children of this world, I pray that they will know acceptance and love.

    I thought I would share this sermon. Bill is a friend – one of the kindest pastors i know. Check out the sermon from Trinity Sunday (2013)


    And for those who have not seen it, here is the trailer for Prayers for Bobby https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBVcTCpKx3g

    • He was dealing with his sexuality from Middle School or 12 years old. That is about the average age for first crushes of most kids. He did not have a choice he just thought other boys were cute. We may have a choice to remain virgins but how cruel is that to say you can never fall in love, hold hands, first kiss, or first date. Love and romance are more than sex but for a person to go without is not fair. Its more than just for creating babies. Its for feeling really connected and as one with another.

  2. I feel for this mom who says her gut feels like she can’t accept her child. But it’s important to figure out what makes our gut feelings.

    I remember an article a few years ago written by an Amish woman who moved out into society and how her gut feelings made her feel absolutely wicked for not wearing a bonnet.

    I don’t think that was God convicting her over her hat.

    Sometimes it’s hard to reprogram ourselves away from old traditions and follow God’s voice. Especially when the people mired in the old traditions keep firmly repeating that the old traditions are God’s will.

    But when we open ourselves, build relationships with real people, and listen to God’s voice, He leads us to the real answers.

    • Yes indeed, Jim. Great observation. And those connections are made so early and so deeply — connecting a particular thing with God — that is extremely hard and terribly frightening to separate. One friend of mine was repeatedly raped by her pastor from age 6 on, and told it was God’s will. Imagine how much God had to do to unravel that. Other connections appear less heinous but be just as enmeshed and hard to unravel. The more we choose to take those often scary steps you suggest, the more love and freedom we find. Thank you so much for sharing!

      • We must read it with all our heart, all our mind and soul. The Bible tells us many stories about many issues great and small. In the begining there may have been a reason to forbid two men not women though be honest. Life was harsh and often brief with many not living to maturity. Early man lived small groups in which every life was needed to aid in survival. If two men did not father as many babies as could be with as many women than the group may die. Does anyone believe with 8 billiion we are in danger of extinction? Slavery was blessed in scripture as was stoning a child for not following the parents rules but would we now? No

  3. Susan,

    Thanks so much for your heart-felt response to this mother. There are so many in her shoes. I appreciate the compassionate way you answered her concerns and didn’t just try to slap on a “one-size-fits-all” bandaid or a “get with the program” response to push her toward affirmation before she’s carefully considered her own conscience and Scripture.

    This is a process I had to go through myself in accepting my own sexuality. I had to search God’s heart and I was shocked by what he found there. One time, I was praying (in a rather accusatory manner), “God, why don’t I feel bad or more shame about this? Have you given me up to a “reprobate mind” (this verbiage is remnant of my KJV-only upbringing)

    God’s response was breath-taking and I crumpled. “I just want to love you. Why won’t you let me love you?” He said.

    • Oh my gosh, that’s breathtaking. What a beautiful God he is. Perhaps my favorite attribute of God is that he is not one-size-fits-all, but he is so personal with us! That is always the part that moves me to tears… but I also love his kindness and generosity and tenderness… 🙂 Precious. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love, Susan

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