Mom… Don’t Miss Your Daughter’s Wedding.

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Close your eyes and picture your daughter’s wedding day… it is a day she will never forget. Now imagine you not there, not part of it, not part of the ceremony, not part of the photographs, not part of the celebration. She won’t forget that either. You missed it.

So, will you go to your daughter’s wedding if she is a lesbian? Here’s an email from a mom about this…

Question: I am struggling with an issue with my gay daughter. She came out at 18 (Now 27) and left the house and we were all devastated, but God spoke to my heart and showed me I have to love my daughter unconditionally, which I do and I accept her and her significant others in my home.  Now she has met the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with and is planning a wedding in September. I always told her I would be there for her but I could never attend her wedding as I stand with God and His word that it is a Holy Matrimony between a man and woman and is an abomination to Him, and IF I am there then I am in agreement with this “union.”  I have fasted and I have prayed still listening and waiting for God to show me what I should do, still I hear nothing but love her unconditionally.  I have missed her choosing her dress and I cry all the time knowing I can’t be there, My HEART is so TORN…. can you shed any light on this, as I search through the internet trying to find similar stories, I feel alone.  Thank you. Cynthia*

And here is my response to her…

I’m glad you wrote, Cynthia. I won’t tell you what to do. But if I were in your place, wild horses couldn’t keep me from that wedding! Your refusal will only hurt you both and further distance your relationship. It won’t make her straight, and it won’t stop her wedding.

I understand your beliefs about God’s word, but you must hear me that this has been badly misinterpreted. Please read the resources on my resources page for some wonderful insight. It will be quite illuminating.

But let’s go back to this very important part you said, that God is telling you to love her unconditionally. That’s vital! To pray for specific leading from the one who will lead you in all truth is the most important thing you can do.

And God answered you by saying to love unconditionally! Huge. That means without condition. No asterisks, no exceptions. I’m so glad to hear you’re praying and God is answering. And he did not say don’t go to her wedding.

But here’s the thing: the church has taught so much fear around this issue that honest seekers such as you are afraid to go to your own child’s wedding. What a tragedy!

I know this is very, very hard for you — because of the fear. But I entreat you not to be afraid of the direction God is leading you. You already asked. If God meant no, wouldn’t he have said no?

Not to attend her wedding is conditional. Other people have other conditions: they won’t attend a wedding of someone who’s been divorced, someone who will serve alcohol at the reception, someone who’s not a virgin, someone marrying a non-Christian, or someone of a different denomination. Those are all conditions. They may seem extremely clear in your own mind, but they’re still conditions… and God told you to love her unconditionally. 🙂

What if we just surrendered our knee-jerk reaction to gay marriage and simply embraced it? What if we just let it be, and moved on to loving? Period. It couldn’t be worse than it is right now, where people are condemning and even physically attacking LGBTQ people in God’s name. For heaven’s sake.

As I said, wild horses would not keep me from my son or daughter’s wedding.

If you are unsure about attending the wedding, what alternative would you offer her? Marry someone of opposite gender that she is not attracted to? People have tried that and it ends in destruction. It requires denying who they are, and suffering the rest of their life… or owning up to it later and getting divorced in the end, which is not fair to her and certainly not fair to the man who’d get looped into this.

Would you suggest lifelong celibacy? Well that’s a fine thing to suggest for someone else. It’s a heckuva requirement to place on someone else, to make you more comfortable! You see what I mean? God calls some people to live celibate, but you can’t put that on someone. It’s always between that person and God – no one else gets to decide. And it’s a calling, not a default.

Or would you suggest some kind of reorientation? Well, that’s what countless people have tried with devastating results. Such deadly results that the biggest proponent of “reorientation” therapy shut its doors in 2013, admitting it doesn’t work.

Or would you settle on your daughter having her wedding to the woman she wants to marry, but she’ll have to do it without you? One of the most important days of her life, a day she will remember forever — including remembering whether or not you were there and maybe explaining to her children why Grandma is not in the wedding photos? I guess of all those options, that’s the least terrible. At least she will move forward with the life that’s right for her, better than the other options.

But, you do have one more choice: Let her marry the love of her life, and YOU stand beside her, shop with her for her outfit, throw her a party, meet her friends, and sit in the chair that is reserved for you, only you, at the ceremony! Let them see the awesome mom who produced this beautiful daughter — who is strong enough to follow her heart. Let them all see that Jesus is the love He offers in the Bible… even to those the religious people would spurn! (Exactly the way we see Him doing that in the Bible.)

Here’s what you can say to God. “God, I prayed for you to change her, and you didn’t. I prayed to know how to treat her, and you said to love her unconditionally. The way I see unconditional, it means without condition. 🙂 So… I’m going to her wedding. I see Jesus loving, embracing, celebrating, and that’s what I want to do. I see religious leaders condemning and judging and excluding — and Jesus scolding them for it. My only real choice is to imitate Jesus, not imitate the religious, judgmental people he corrected. I’m going to celebrate this milestone in the life of my beautiful child You gave me! Thank you for the most wonderful daughter in the world, someone you love exactly as she is. You aren’t changing her (despite my many heartfelt prayers), so… I need to stop trying, too! My revised prayer is that you reshape my heart to be in line with yours.”

Trust God. He loves her and He loves you. You prayed and He answered. Love her unconditionally. Period.

Your place in your daughter’s wedding day was reserved exclusively for you on the day she was born.

Don’t miss it.

Love, Susan

 

11 thoughts on “Mom… Don’t Miss Your Daughter’s Wedding.

  1. I am going through the same thing with a daughter who is about to marry another woman and I cannot tell you how much the above has meant to me. I battle daily with whether I should be at the wedding – I am going but have a heavy heart about it. Reading the above has made me realize I also just need to love, love, love both my daughter and her partner.

  2. From someone who is recently engaged and climbing this same religious mountain, just from the other side, please don’t miss it.

    As we (my fiancé and I) think of the “when, where and who” around our wedding, so many thoughts race through my mind. Will we travel away? (As our state, SC, does not yet offer wedding licensees to same-sex couples.) Should we go get a license and have an intimate ceremony somewhere in the northeast and then come back home and have the big party/reception? Who will come? We can’t just have everyone there, can we? I mean, will someone’s uncomfortable stance take away from our day? Will we be so happy that we won’t even notice anyway? Do we even want people there who haven’t shown genuine support for our relationship? None of this matters, right? I mean it’s OUR day, so it should be exactly as WE want, right? So much to think about…….including……will my mom be there with happy tears, and does my dad want to “walk me down the isle” (whatever shape that takes on)? Those two questions are the ones that break my heart to think about. I want to have a big day. A day of pure celebration. A day shared with those we love and who love us. And I certainly want my family to be a big part of it. I know I make them proud in so many ways. If I only knew they were proud of this part of me too….

    Dear loving mom, please go. And beam with pride over your strong and beautiful daughter. What freedom (for both of you perhaps) that will be!

  3. “Now she has met the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with and is planning a wedding in September. I always told her I would be there for her but I could never attend her wedding as I stand with God and His word that it is a Holy Matrimony between a man and woman and is an abomination to Him, and IF I am there then I am in agreement with this union.”

    You hear nothing but love her unconditionally, than the answer is clear, you MUST go!

    I have fasted and I have prayed still listening and waiting for God to show me what I should do, still I hear nothing but love her unconditionally. I have missed her choosing her dress and I cry all the time knowing I can’t be there, My HEART is so TORN…. can you shed any light on this, as I search through the internet trying to find similar stories, I feel alone. Thank you. Cynthia*

    You hear nothing but love her unconditionally, than the answer is clear, you MUST go!

    Dear Cyntia, your God is screaming his answer at you loud and clear. Love your daughter unconditionally and GO TO THEIR WEDDING!!!

  4. Please go to the wedding…if you don’t you will regret it later. She will feel you were not “there” for her and perhaps doubt your love for her. A daughter longs for her mom at her wedding. Think about what it might have been like if your mother did not attend your wedding due to disapproval. I do therapy with folks all the time with this issue. Please go to the wedding…it is about loving your daughter!!! God calls us to love witout condition…what will you choose? I am a lesbian therapist. My mother loved me deeply. I listen to weeping sons and daughters daily who believe their parents stopped loving them when they came out. If you want them to believe God loves them or that you love them GO!!! Our faith and belief in God is so often tied into what we experience with parental love and acceptance. I have a faith that carried me beyond parental acceptance, but not all do.
    Join with your daughter. If there is ever heartbreak she will your unconditional love then too. And you would never want to miss out on grandchildren would you? Go!!

  5. Wonderful response, Susan. I have to wonder if there is an unspoken fear for parents facing this struggle. Is that they are also fearful of what their family/friends will think of THEM for attending. If that is the case, then my response is this: Welcome to the club of being judged simply for loving someone.

    If you truly LOVE your child, you should be willing to risk the *possible* sin of showing support for gay marriage by being there on the biggest day of their life. Your children should come before other relatives and friends.

    The wedding is going to happen. What kind of memory do you want your daughter to have…it’s up to you!

  6. I cannot fathom ever missing my son’s wedding… besides who would tie his tie for him?!? I refuse to let fear or lack of love or religious dogma keep me away and showing Christ like love trumps all.

  7. I also encourage you to go to the wedding!! Love your daughter!! Love her soon-to-be spouse!! God is a God of love!! God loves and supports and embraces your daughter!! God tells us to love unconditionally! I encourage you to love your daughter, embrace her, stand with her, and celebrate this special day with her!!!

    I have the honor of attending my Becky’s wedding on Mother’s Day weekend!! She is marrying the love of her life, Mary! I love my daughter and nothing, absolutely nothing, could keep me from standing there to celebrate this special day with her!! She is an incredible daughter!!!

    Know that I have wrestled with God about this! I am no longer in touch with one of my sisters because, due to her beliefs, she cannot accept that I love and embrace my daughter and her choices. This break in relationship with my sister grieves my heart, not only for me, but for our whole family! I do not believe that God wants families divided!! I hope that maybe someday we can, at a minimum, come to the place where we can agree to disagree and share holidays together!! We also left our church. I felt very alone for a time and questioned everything I believed!! My husband and I have since found a church that is inclusive, that loves God and also loves and embraces everyone!!

    • So beautiful, Millie. Bless you! Interesting factoid: I have not had a single comment from a parent saying, “I regret going to my gay child’s wedding!” You have a blast with your precious and very fortunate daughter and her fiancé. ❤ Love, love.

  8. Attending will bring your relationship with your daughter to a new level … an all time high … not attending will weaken the intimacy you share with your daughter. The wedding is about your daughter … not you … but the remainder of your life will be affected by this one decision. While I realize that may seem unfair and you are honestly struggling to do the right thing … trust me when I tell you, from personal experience, you do not want to miss this wedding. The wedding date will come and go, but your attendance or lack thereof will change the rest of your life. I beg you not to make the mistake so many others have made. I challenge you to consider attending and in doing so being a true reflection of Jesus.

    • Beautifully put, sweet friend. Imagine Jesus missing a wedding? No! Everything he did said otherwise. Providing wine to all these wined-up people at a wedding, indeed! Letting a “sinful woman” wash his feet and dry them with her long flowing hair — good grief! We love to cry “sin” but overlook the pillars of mercy and justice, which Jesus exemplified at every encounter. Remember that those who endeavored most fervently to follow every law, however inconvenient, Jesus repudiated! Relationship ALWAYS trumped law. Justice and mercy always trumped parsing the law. Jesus would be the first to toast the happy couple, the first to dance.

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