Will You Go to Your Gay Child’s Wedding?

wedding

Love is in the air!

Jeremy and Elliot will marry next month. Why? They love each other. They’ve been together for ages, longer than many marriages. Now it’s legal and they can finally make it official. Bring out the wedding cake, fancy clothes and well-wishers for this journey into a bright and shining future! They are in love, and they are loved. It is time to rejoice.

But Jeremy’s mother will not be attending.

No, his mother does not approve, so she will express her disapproval by staying home. This mom, this very special person in her son’s life, cannot bring herself to participate in the wedding.

Maybe she bases this on some distortion of the Bible, which she thinks requires her not to go. It does NOT. Or perhaps she uses the Bible as a reason to support her own repugnance. Or perhaps she’s digging in her heels because she can.

You may be facing this same dilemma. You may be asking yourself whether to attend your child’s same-sex wedding. Or others may have told you not to attend. If this is you, I implore you to reconsider.

The Bible not only does not require you not to go to the wedding, it doesn’t even give you grounds not to go. In fact, I believe the Bible rightly interpreted calls for you to stand beside your loved one in support and honor, to celebrate with those who are happy. [Link]

In your stampede to avoid even the appearance of “condoning sin,” you’ve sinned in countless other ways, trampling verse after verse!

We’re told to love our enemy, walk with an occupying soldier for more than he required, give someone our coat when they’ve just taken our shirt – and we can’t stand by our son as he marries someone he loves and someone who loves him?

We are told not to judge others, time after time, but we still dig in our heels about this?

We have twisted and pulled this issue so that it has absolutely nothing to do with the truth and heart of the gospel!

Audible sigh.

Let me give you a different view. I hope that at least you want to attend the wedding, but (because of all the distortion around it) you need some kind of permission. Let me give that to you here!

You likely view homosexual expression, including marriage, as a sin, if going to your child’s wedding is an issue for you. So for the sake of this discussion – what if it is a sin? So what?

*Disclaimer: I am going down this road for the sake of discussion and I’m going to sound very legalistic for a few minutes, because I’m answering the idea that you shouldn’t attend your child’s gay wedding, which comes from extreme legalism. [Legalism, in part, means to address the letter of the law instead of the spirit. Oops, already a sin…]

So you are sure gay marriage is a sin. So what?

Let’s look at other weddings you’ve attended. Have you attended a wedding where one or both parties were divorced? Where they had premarital sex? Where one was a Christian and one was not?

What about a wedding where they served wine? Oooohh, wait a minute. Now we’re opening a whole can of worms. Jesus turned water into wine at his cousin’s wedding. Apparently he condones drinking wine at weddings. But people get drunk at weddings, especially the long, drawn-out celebrations these ancient weddings were. Surely people got drunk at that very wedding… but getting drunk is listed as a sin.

As it happens, getting drunk is mentioned nearly four times as often as those 6 or 7 verses attributed to homosexuality (but which really mean idol worship, sex with slave boys, etc. Ugh, this gets crazy!)  So did Jesus condone the sin of drunkenness when he turned water into wine at the wedding?

Do you see how convoluted this can get? Do you see how there is no escape from legalism? [Link]

Then there’s the fact that we actually sin ourselves by not celebrating our child’s wedding — this is a sin all by itself. Celebrating with those who celebrate is woven into the community and a high biblical value.

You see? You cannot choose one issue – not attending the same-sex wedding – without dislodging a dozen more. Keeping the law legalistically is impossible. Not just hard, but impossible. (How could that be? Because it was never meant to be kept.)

How did this question: “Will you go to your child’s wedding?” become the polarizing question for Christian parents? We don’t ask that question of any other issue – for other disagreements we have with our children about — only the gay issue. Why? Where did we get so detoured onto this dead-end road, facing off with our beloved child, saying we won’t go?

They want to marry someone they love, of the same gender, and we won’t go?

We are without justification.

Please, please, please join your child for one of the most important days of their life.

You won’t ever regret it.

[Tomorrow, a letter from a mom whose gay daughter is getting married.]

19 thoughts on “Will You Go to Your Gay Child’s Wedding?

  1. I write from the perspective of an almost-engaged gay Christian man with a large and conservative family. My dilemma is about whether or not I *want* my family at the wedding, knowing that they do not celebrate our relationship. While I agree that attending a wedding does not obligate guests to morally approve of that couple’s relationship, I *do* believe that by showing up, guests are committing to celebrating and supporting the couple not just during the wedding, but throughout the marriage. I know that my family will not agree to that, but I feel culturally obligated to invite them, and I worry that they will attend for similarly shallow reasons. I want to look at at the crowd on the wedding day and know that everyone there is truly happy for us; my family’s presence would only bring me down. There’s still a year(ish) to go before the big day, but given how little has changed in the last 6 years, I’m not holding my breath. Will I regret discouraging my family from coming?

    • Well, my dear, you ask a great question. Idk the answer, and I hope readers who have been there will weigh in, but I have a couple of thoughts. I always default to inclusion, but not at the expense of mental health… especially on YOUR day. You can present the invitation in such a way that you are asking them to accept you as you are. Dancer Twiggy Pucci Garcon said to his mom (on The Out List): “You can take all of me or you get none of me.” I can see that as a healthy option so you’re not dealing with toxin and bad feelings during your own wedding. Another option is to welcome them, and as you gaze out on them, instead of seeing them as detractors, have sympathy for where they are, as they are simply “running the program that was installed.” You can be the love to them that is missing in their own perspective. (Easier said than done, I admit.) Readers? What’s your experience?

      • I would honestly express my concern with them and ask them if they can rise to the occasion and make it a wonderful day for all… ask them if that is the way they would have liked their wedding day?

  2. I find it so difficult to understand being so bound by fear that we are crippled in our ability to love. Where did the church take this so very wrong turn? God’s commands, as stated by Jesus, are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul repeatedly stresses in his letters that we are no longer under the Law but under Grace. So, here we are, stubbornly grasping at law to give us a sense of boundaries, when God has said, “My love has no boundaries!” Love and a desire to follow God cannot be wrong, because it is exactly what God has said He wants us to do. While I know there will be family members who will not attend my daughter’s wedding when she is ready to take that step, I will actually go take dancing lessons so I can dance everyone under the table at her wedding party. A declaration of love and commitment is cause for joyous celebration!

    • Bless you, momcat! That is the spirit! That is the Holy Spirit! Idk where the church took a wrong turn, but I’m guessing it is when it moved from a group of people following Jesus and became an institution… which requires a building… and money… and members (supporters). The best way to keep members is to have a common enemy (certain sinners). Jesus was the opposite. He encouraged everyone, gave hope to everyone, embraced everyone — correcting ONLY the religious who held standards for others. Bazinga. Those who have ears…

  3. My father who has since left our side to be in heaven with his god was a country Baptist Preacher who LOVED my partner with all of his heart, soul and mind…when Michael passed away unexpectedly my father spoke at his grave side sobbing with heart wrenching tears as he spoke of the pain of losing a son. I have no respect or time for those who continue to twist the love that is Christ into such hatred and discrimination. My daddy always said he wanted to be able to stand at the gates forever so he could laugh at all the “christians” who will be turned away because they totally missed the whole point of God’s Love. Jeremy & Elliot on behalf of all the folks who were raised in homes with the blessings of the true God and the LOVE of Jesus Christ I apologize for your mother’s hatred. It is not of God. May you find peace and joy in the union of your souls on your magnificent of wedding days! We are so jealous we do not live in a state where it is legal yet…Our hearts are thrilled for you and Patrick & I send our love to you this day! Blessed Be dearest Brothers!

    • Thank you so much for this, Larry and Patrick, and thank God for your father! What a picture of Christ! That’s what Christian love is supposed to look like. Tragic to justify our hatred and discrimination by twisting that love. Bless you both. Much love. ❤

  4. Not only will my husband and I attend but if they want any assistance we will be right there. We treat them as a couple exactly the same as my oldest son and his wife. Those who were in our circle be they friends or family that have been unable to come to terms with the reality of life, are the ones who are missing out. This includes my own mother whom I have had to distance for sanities sake.

  5. To whosoeverperiod: Congrats on your upcoming wedding!!! My partner and I have shared 37 years together but just got married in September. I am sad your friend won’t be there for you…a time when you are celebrating what love is all about.
    I wish you peace and all God’s great blessings!! We are so lucky to be together this long, now aging, but so grateful for each other. May you have years of gratitude as well, no matter what, no matter who is your witness. We are all your witness here!
    Kay

  6. I attended the wedding of my daughter and her girlfriend (her mom passed away two months before hand but would have attended). It was a lovely ceremony on the beach – every girl’s dream, right? The marriage is not legal here in FL but the two of them consider it binding. I would not have missed it for the world. In fact, there were no family members missing though one or two friends. I can’t imagine missing it because of her sexual orientation. I consider my daughter in law to be my daughter. She is a sweet addition to the family, and is loved by everyone. I can’t imagine our lives with her.

  7. We went to our daughter’s wedding. Being there for her, on a day that meant so much to them, was priceless. Parents, you don’t ever get a chance to re-do that day. Your absence will be between you and them forever. If, by any chance, you are sinning in this, don’t you believe God would forgive you? For trying to show love to this beautiful child He gave you? Go, and put a smile on your face. This is not about us as parents or our feelings or beliefs. If God expects us to love our enemies, surely we can love our LGBT children.

  8. What strikes me here is the fear of sinning by supporting a loved one. I know we shouldn’t go ‘looking’ for opportunities to sin, but if we choose to support our love one and find out doing that IS a sin, then we can seek forgiveness. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t we just celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection for our sins?

    To NOT support a loved one because it MIGHT be a sin is like NOT eating celery because you MIGHT get some stuck in your teeth. IF it does get stuck, then you do something about that. But, go ahead and eat the celery…the benefits out weigh the possible negatives by a long shot!

    • TOTAL agreement with you, Criselda — couldn’t have said it better. But the sin-avoidance-based church (most of our evangelical churches) are terrified of sin. And we completely miss God’s heart — of justice and mercy and humility — because we’re focused on minutia of rule-keeping. It’s absurd. And it’s why people are leaving. It completely misses the heart of God. Thank you.

  9. I am getting married in 32 days. I am a woman marrying a woman. We are required to travel thousands of miles to be married in a state that will allow it. The person who has been my best friend for over 30-years, and known I was gay every single day of that relationship, said that not only can she not be my “witness” and stand by me, she cannot attend the wedding. She has been told she would be spitting in the face of God by attending. And while she is not certain if that is true or not, she does not want to risk it. This is the very same friend who was married in the backyard of my home a few years back.

    It is sad that in the midst of the most joyous day of my life .. there is rejection. But the good news is I am learning exactly what God meant when He said FORSAKING ALL OTHERS … I am blessed to have found the one worthy of forsaking all others. She will be my partner in life … she will be my other half … she will be my person! We will honor God in our marriage and our lives.

    God bless Jeremy and Elliot. God bless them with a strong marriage. God bless them for being true to themselves and becoming legally wed when so many are choosing not to marry. God bless them for taking the road less travelled and standing for each other. God bless them with a wonderful, peaceful, transparent, compassionate and passionate marriage. God bless them and show them favor and in doing so show the doubters that a same sex marriage can be a God honoring event! Lastly God help their wedding not to be a bittersweet event due to the rejection of some. Be more than enough for them for their day to be perfect!

    • That you for your sweet words, my dear. What a terrible thing. Funny, we want to play it safe and not “offend God” — but refusing to celebrate with a friend is not neutral. It is choosing. God NEVER gives us reason to believe this would spit in his face. That is straight-up fear. Love about “forsaking all others.” And others will forsake us, but God never will! I’m sure you’ll have a spectacular time anyway — wish I could be there. ❤

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