Moms & Dads… What The Heck Are We Doing?!?

gay-teens

Well, my heart is broken. Yet another mom has emailed me that their daughter came out to them as gay, and her husband, the girl’s father, kicked her out.

Dad said, “I don’t agree with her lifestyle; she will have to leave.” (Bear in mind there was no ‘acting on this’ yet, no “lifestyle” – it was simply the daughter revealing her heart.) Mom disagrees with Dad – she is wondering how she can continue to live with a husband who would do that to his own daughter.

Unfortunately, this is way too common. With high drugs use and teen suicide rates for kids in this situation, it is a major threat to the actual lives of our precious children.

What the heck are we doing??

To kick your child out of the house is a major issue. Being gay? Not so much. Jesus never ever mentions this. He says to love, period. How does this translate somehow to permission to kick a child out of the house?  How does this fits with the Jesus who put people over rules, every time? Tell me how this fits with the Jesus who knocked down the “rules” the religious leaders brought him, every time.

Of course, being divided like this in a marriage is a difficult, excruciating situation. How does a couple proceed? I don’t know, but I think you have to err on the side of unconditional love and acceptance – for your child’s sake.

“This is now a house divided,” the father said, but he fails to see that he’s the one who wrongly divided it. He’s the one who drew a line in the sand over his daughter’s behavior. Not even her behavior, just over her heart.

So, here we are. Knowing this dad is wrong to throw out his child – he is wrong – and knowing he may or may not change his tune anytime soon. Knowing that his wife has a difficult road ahead, and knowing how alone she must feel.

I want to rally us as parents to come together to do the right thing – for the sake of our child and our family.

I want to rally other affirming, accepting Jesus-followers to come alongside families like this and say, “What are you doing? Whatever you think about this issue, you can’t throw your daughter out.”

I want to rally this Dad’s male friends to sit down with him and say, “Buddy. This is your daughter. You’re supposed to love her unconditionally. You are Daddy – and if anyone can love her that way, she expects it to be you. Don’t teach her that love is conditional.”

But sadly, much of the church clusters in like-minded groups (we tend to find people who agree with us), so he is likely surrounded by those who share his viewpoint.

But these clusters are breaking down, getting smaller. The truth of Jesus, the truth of his life and love, the truth of scripture is breaking all of this down. It is indeed getting better.

But kids are still kicked out every day. They still turn to drugs every day. They die every day.

We need to speak up in love, come alongside these families and say, “This is not okay. We are here. You are not alone. We will help you.”

You will be glad to know that after a couple of nights to cool down, to consider what he was saying to his daughter, this dad is softening. He has told her she can come home, but no girlfriend. (We’ll give that time.) What he has realized is he doesn’t want to destroy his family. That’s good.

Everything is a process. Everyone needs time to change. I encourage LGBTQ people to be patient with their parents. Realize that there anger is not really about you – it is about what they have been taught on Sunday mornings for so long. But things are changing.

I also encourage parents not overreact and announce ultimatums, to let your spouse’s cooler head (or your own cooler head tomorrow) prevail. Many of those lash-out reactions are simply fear, anger, and a desire to push it all back.

We were clearly instructed to love – unconditionally. Period.

In the end, we will not be remembered for which rules we kept. We’ll be remembered for who and how we loved.

9 thoughts on “Moms & Dads… What The Heck Are We Doing?!?

  1. When our son told us he was gay my husband told me the same thing about kicking him out. I said my son would not be kicked out n if dad cant handle this he could leave. However God has a different plan for us. We are still struggling to deal with this but we are dealing together as a family n I thank God my husband decided to stay n try to learn to deal with this. I pray for all families going through this…it isnt easy by any means but your child is someone you are blessed to have n to love unconditionally. I am a christian which is helping me my husband is not but i pray he will be one day.

  2. This message is for this dad if he ever reads this blog. I’m the conservative Christian on the pew next to you. I don’t have a gay child (that I know of) and I probably used to feel the way you did when you learned about the way God designed your daughter. It’s a long story, but the Holy Spirit moved me in spite of the church and her teaching of rejection and discrimination. My heart breaks for you and for the division in your family today. Division in families has the fingerprint of Satan all over it. It’s ugly, vile and not in the will of God. I’m sorry that you have to walk this road that you would never have chosen. Lots of people walk unchosen roads and I suspect that your daughter is on one of them too. What I have come to learn is that it IS an unchosen road. She would undoubtably choose to be straight if she could be, but she’s not. She’s still your baby though. She still needs her daddy to love her with a fierce, unquenchable, paternal love. I don’t judge your daughter harshly and I will stand with you against those who do. Unfortunately, I’m as afraid of the others on the pew as you are, but I’m here and I’m getting braver to stand up against their hatred. Join me in righting this wrong that is being done to these precious image-bearers. You have more at stake in this fight than I do and I need you to be strong just like your little girl does. God designed you to lead your family and He will equip you step by step. This didn’t surprise Him!

  3. As a Conservative Christian father of a gay 13 year old son, I just shake my head. Certainly it is not what my wife and I desired, but in the end it is about our son.

    Dad needs to really think about this and not react in a way that would damage his relationship with his daughter. Sure it is a shock, but I hope dad looks at the bigger picture.

    It does take time, but it can also gets better for parents. But if dad is so mad that he does not want anything to do with his own flesh and blood, it won’t get better. It will be bad for all involved.

  4. I have a hard time being respectful when it comes to situations like this… It’s a flaw, I know. There’s a simple answer in my eyes. Leave your husband, who is a poor excuse for a father (at the moment, anyway), and support your daughter. Any other decision should be embarrassing. Thank you again, Susan.

  5. This is so excellent. I think Christian fathers, especially, need to be VERY aware and VERY careful that what they communicate to their daughters, for good and for ill, is nearly an exact representation of how their girls view God. I pray this dad comes to fully realize that he, alone, is putting a stumbling block before his child as long as he lays down conditions on loving and accepting her. While Jesus could often be vague and/or silent on other things, He was very, very clear about the serious ramifications of doing this.

  6. I am so saddened to hear of stories like this and it breaks my heart to think of those who turn to drugs or suicide. I am so blessed that my husband and I are on the same page. We will always love and support our gay daughter and we said we would stick together to face all the hard times ahead. It must be so hard on a marriage when one parent turns their back on their own child. We need to keep supporting, encouraging and taking those steps mentioned to bring about the change this world needs.

  7. Once again, Susan you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for this reminder to those of us who are STILL overcoming these ingrained thoughts and beliefs, and trying every day to love more like Jesus. Your posts challenge me to not give up, to be determined to love more, judge less. So thankful today for this Dad’s change of heart, and hopefully the start of his journey toward unconditional love!

  8. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for writing this…things have calmed down and my husband has backed down even more..he has NOT cancelled her cell phone, he has asked if she would like some of her furniture at her new place and wants her to come over for dinner.( not yet ready to have her girlfriend over yet)..he misses her and he is more concerned with her financial well being and her overall health and happiness..I keep telling him that with love comes acceptance. He has even asked her to hang on to her house key case in the event that she needs anything or wants to come home at anytime.

    We were recently away in Halifax for work and I had ordered steak and lobster. When I looked up at him, he had tears in his eyes. I asked what was wrong and his response was that this is our daughter’s favorite meal…one that we take her out for for every birthday. He is struggling with his feelings and I get that. I know he is regretting things that he said to our daughter. She is very happily settled in with her girlfriend and no longer hiding. That is all that matters to me right now.

    As a couple, we are working through this and agreeing to disagree on things. He loves our daughter so very much.

    Thanks you for all of your support and I love reading all of the newsletters.

    I hope all is well at your end, Susan.

    Take care, Toni

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