“Have a good life. Goodbye.” – Dad


“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.

(We celebrate FreedHearts one-year anniversary this week with special reposts of our TOP THREE POSTS OF THE PAST YEAR.  This one was #3, tomorrow is the #2 post of the year.)

18 thoughts on ““Have a good life. Goodbye.” – Dad

  1. Pingback: Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day: Master List of Posts – Mombian

  2. Pingback: Have a good life | GregComesOut

  3. It is completely shocking and disgraceful to think that any parent could be so utterly insensitive, dismissive, and inhuman towards their child. I am constantly amazed how so-called “christians” seem to overlook or ignore or dismiss the bible passage at Matthew 19:12 where Jesus acknowledges that some men do not enter into heterosexual unions because they are “born that way”. Jesus states this as a fact of life without condemnation and with no talk of people being unnatural or abominations or outcasts. It is a great pity that more people do not keep this bible passage in mind far more often instead of wanting to unnecessarily and wrongly condemn gay people for being gay.

  4. When I came out to my mom when I was 19. She didn’t speak to me for several years. Actually when friends asked about me she would tell them she didn’t have a son he was dead. As much as I thought it wouldn’t have an effect on me it did. I spiraled down but eventually pulled my self up and did well. We had grown so far apart that it took years to get to a relationship you should have with your child. I am now 50 and recently told my mother looking back now wasn’t it foolish for what she did. Now she regrets but as I told her those are years gone and all we can do is move forward. I think her just like this father it’s more of a control thing than a religious thing because that was her same attitude. If they truly believe in God they should know he doesn’t hate anyone or wishing death on them. He loves unconditional just as well all should

    • I’m sorry for your many lost years. And sorry for your mom, too. It was foolish. Also, if they truly believe in God, they should know they are not God, and they cannot speak for him on matters so weighty. It is about control, not God, because God tells us to love well and not to judge, both of which get thrown away when we reject someone this way. I say loudly now, to all parents reading this: people REGRET abandoning their child over this issue, but NO ONE regrets maintaining a loving relationship. Please, let someone else’s heartache be your fair warning. Donald, thank you for sharing. Best to you and your mom.

  5. I am a father, I have seven children and never I could deny one of my children because he is gay, it is a shame who are we to tell our children which sexual orientation they owe credit note it is their private life not ours. In France, I am voluntary in an association ” Le Refuge ” which accommodates offer a psychological support and a food aid for the young people thrown to the street by their parents because they are homosexuals, and to say that we are in 2014, in which world live we *EQUALITY

  6. I can hardly explain how much this hurts me to read. Every child is a precious gift. Gay, Straight, Lesbian, Transgendered, those are just words. They do not reflect the soul of an individual. When I carried my daughters I prayed for just two things. They would be born healthy and that they would live happy lives. God answered my prayers, just as he did this father’s. How sad that the cause of his son not enjoying that second wish, a happy life, might be due to his own treatment of the young man.

    I work with teens and young adults everyday and they have enough to worry about without being told that the way they were born is wrong and somehow makes them less than others.The only real “sin” being committed here is the hate and abuse being delivered by this father.

    • Yes, and yes. So glad you shared. The walls are cracking. These viewpoints are being seen for what they are on a much broader scale. It’s only a matter of time. Thanks for speaking, and thanks for the work you do every day. It’s terribly needed.

  7. I can only pray that this father comes around eventually, just as my own father did when he told me, “well, I guess you are on your own.” It was one LONG year, but my father did speak to me again and loves me with all his heart.

    In the meantime, I pray that James is able to see this as his father’s problem, and not his own.

  8. I could never ever do that to my gay 15 year old son, or my non-gay 9 year old son! I pray for this Dad, that his heart will burst open with love that only God can produce. I pray for this son, that his heart is protected by the love of God. May grace cover this family and may peace abound!

  9. Sitting here in a laundry may in hill country of West Virginia. Fly back to NC Tuesday to my temporary home. As I am a Michigan girl and all family and roots are there.

    My heart is crying for this young man. As the loneliness I experience is temporary. His is a rejection from all he knew as foundational life.

    I know we can never replace the foundational needs of a rejected person. Yet, know we do offer hugs, love, acceptance.

    We are here for you… Just Holler!!!

  10. Absolutely breaks my heart! My first reaction was this is the difference between a sperm donor and a father! My heart breaks for James and the burden this is creating for him. My heart also breaks for his father who is walking out on a life-long relationship and the opportunity to share in his son’s life. My fervent prayer is that James will be wrapped in the loving arms of the God of Love and know that he is not alone. I also pray that God will be allowed by this father to move in his heart… to see James as God’s Masterpiece, God’s Poema, (Eph 2:10)

    • I’m with you, Michael. I can only think that the father views God this way, that God is ready to throw that father out if he “crosses the line.” I think that shift in our understanding about God is what’s needed. Thanks for your comment.

  11. What an absolutely heartbreaking letter for anyone to receive! Also what a blessing this father has missed out on, having his gay son in his life! I am a better person now, learning to love more fully, than I was before I found out about my son. So very sad for this young man to feel this rejection.

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