To Christian Parents of Gay Children

Neil Patrick Harris and momYou want to shove those words back in and put the lid on. But you can’t. Your child is gay. This goes against everything you’ve been taught. It was not what you had in mind, and you instantly wonder where you went wrong.

When you become a parent, you know to expect the unexpected. But for many Christian parents, nothing can prepare them to hear that their beloved child is gay. This is the child you have cradled, spoon fed mashed bananas, and dreamed a beautiful future for. How could this be? What will the church say? What will your friends say? What does the future hold? You can’t even get your head around this.

If you are a Christian parent, family member or friend to whom your loved one has come out as gay or lesbian, then this is for you. I invite you to sit down, relax, maybe get a cup of tea, and soak in what I’m about to tell you. My hope is to guide you as we walk for a bit through this maze of confusion, to help you find your way to wholeness.

In most Christian circles, this is not good news, and you may begin to spiral into reflection and self-searching. We’ll get to that. But at the bottom of it all, this is not about you. Most parents’ first mistake is to make it about them instead of about their son or daughter. So let’s talk about some of the major stumbling blocks for Christian parents.

1. This is not an offense against you. This is not something your child did to you. They did not “choose gayness” to rebel against you, get back at you or make your life miserable. In fact, it really has nothing do with you. You did not cause this; it’s not a failure on your part. As a younger Christian, taught that homosexuality is a sin, I believed that trauma somewhere in someone’s past caused homosexuality, even if they didn’t remember it. To my surprise, God completely shifted my understanding and revealed to me the many people who had a great childhood and are still gay. He also reminded me of the many straight people who had traumatic childhoods, yet remained straight. Your expectations may lay shattered at your feet. But those are your expectations for your child. Quite simply, they may not be God’s expectations. Ask God to replace your vision for your child with His.

2. This orientation is not news to your child. They likely did not tell you the first time they noticed their same-sex attraction. In fact, they have probably lived with this quite a long time. They had to discover how true it was. They had to watch other young teens grow into puberty, and realize they weren’t developing the same feelings. Perhaps they dated the opposite gender to see if passion might develop, and yet none did. By the time they come out to you, they are pretty sure of what they’re saying. You may have to work through a slate of brand new emotions about this, and your emotions will affect them, but theirs are not brand new. Do not ask them if they are sure, if maybe they want to take a little time and see what happens. Instead, consider the journey they have been through. Ask them things like, “When did you know?” “How long have you felt this way?” and tell them how you are grateful that they are including you, that they don’t have to go through this alone anymore.

3. Now is a key time to embrace your child. Imagine for a moment the courage it took to tell you about their sexuality, especially when they know it seems to contradict your core beliefs. In this moment, your child needs to know he did the right thing by telling you. You may flood with fear, doubt, anger, grief, disappointment, shame, anguish or guilt, but do not let those hinder you from expressing your unconditional love and admiration for your child. Your child will have their own list of emotions to deal with; don’t hand them yours. Give yourself time to process all of your own emotions. Be kind to yourself and your child through this.

4. They were terrified to tell you. The risk they took is very real. Some gay teens have been shamed, banished, threatened, beaten, and shunned. They know that once it is said, it cannot be unsaid. They took this chance either because they trusted you and hoped for the best, or because they could not stand to live inauthentically any longer. You have a strong child. Be proud. You have the opportunity to make the most of their trust and come through for them with the unconditional love of a parent. That’s your job as a parent and a Christian — to love unconditionally.

5. Praying, wishing and believing will not make your child straight. If doing these things meant that homosexuality would not visit a Christian home, then we wouldn’t see it cropping up so often. I have heard countless stories of people who prayed without ceasing, but nothing changed. Picture with me the false faith-healers who pray to heal audience members’ maladies; when there is no result, those charlatans tell the poor kid in the wheelchair, “Maybe next time you’ll have enough faith to be healed.” Where does that place the blame? If anyone has ever been healed in that setting, it is God’s choice, not the one in the wheelchair. Has anyone prayed themselves straight? I don’t know. Meanwhile, countless stories of those who prayed, did everything right, followed every suggestion, and poured themselves wholeheartedly into being straight–only to experience disappointment and self-loathing. Your child does not deserve this.

6. For teens, there are still many changes to come. Don’t panic! Let them discover themselves. What did you know at 18 that you feel the same about today? Come to think of it, sexual orientation is probably one of the few things you were sure about. Do not require a certain life path for your son or daughter at this time when the world is their oyster. Haven’t we yet learned how crippling it is to have to please someone else? Do not tell them that it is a phase that will wear off. Acknowledge how far they have come, that they have an exciting future, and that you will be with them every step of the way. If they discover that their orientation may not be what they thought, then they alone will discover that. Telling them you are praying that they change, or that they will likely “straighten out” as they get older, will only distance them from you. Worst of all, do not send them to “reorientation” camp. This traumatizes countless teens, cementing deep shame and self-hatred.

7. Adult children are out of your hands. Even more than teens, adult children are beyond your parental authority. You have done your best as a parent, however flawed you were. (We all were!) You must trust God with this child you have raised. Embrace them and love them as a fellow believer–Jesus asks that of you. Do not shun them or take other action, which will only alienate you from their lives. Instead, look forward to the many major life events ahead, and be there for them as you wanted your parents to be there for you.

8. Put other peoples’ responses aside. The opinion of your pastor, your Bible group, or your extended family are not as important as your son or daughter’s well-being. Put others’ opinions aside and focus on how God would lead you specifically. If you can’t say in your heart that your child is more important than others’ opinions, then seek the Lord about this and ask Him to restore your priorities.

9. Bear your son’s or daughter’s burdens. Let the weight of unanswered questions and discomfort rest on you. You are not the one being pressured to change your identity. Your child has the whole rest of the world to navigate; you are uniquely equipped to help bear their burden and so fulfill the law of Christ, as Galatians 6:2 tells us. Your relationship with your child calls for that much. Don’t press for answers or easy solutions. As with other big events in life, get comfortable with not knowing, and patiently let God reveal answers in His timing.

10. Finally, remember that we are not responsible to change people’s behavior. Not our job, even with our children, especially as they get older. If you think you’re going to make your pianist into a football player, give it up now. Jesus is not about behavior modification; He is about life, His life flowing through us. That is what grace (kharis) means — to let Jesus’ love flow through us instead of feeling obligated to fix everything. Your job is to love people, especially your child. Let God use this situation to show you what it means to love unconditionally. While we love others, God is at work in ways we can’t see.

This road is likely not one you would have chosen, nor initially welcomed. But if you seek Him, God will show you the beauty of the journey. Perhaps God has chosen you for such a time as this, to shine His love amidst all the anger and hate (even if your beliefs about it never change). Perhaps He will work through you to restore His name that has been so maligned to a group of people who need Him — as we all do. God is good at giving us quandaries we didn’t expect, to rock our little tiny worldviews. He shakes everything that can be shaken until all that’s left is what is unshakeable. Cling to Him in this time, and He will bring about something wonderful — for you and your family.

Please feel free to comment below on your experience of your child coming out, or email me directly through the contact page. God bless you on this journey.

Book PresentationSusan’s new book:  “Mom I’m Gay” – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith is NOW AVAILABLE! Just click here for more information.

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About Susan Cottrell

Susan Cottrell is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: "Mom, I'm Gay" - Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith, as well as How Not To Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization - FreedHearts.org - Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that "loving God and loving others" are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said. She is the Vice President of PFLAG Austin, and her "Mom, I'm Gay" book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. She and her husband have been married more than 27 years and have five children - two of whom are in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Edward, I appreciate your idea, but it doesn’t answer all the questions. The reparative drive theory you’re talking about is full of holes in the research and doesn’t stand up even to observation; for instance, plenty of boys with strong father-relationships are gay, and plenty of boys with fractured father-relationships are straight. These don’t even begin to address the far more complex topic of women’s sexuality. Check out Justin Lee’s Torn, chapter 5, for a fresher view of current theories. The more research is done, the more evidence points to genetics as central in most people’s sexual orientation, but nothing has been proven. As you research, I encourage you to remain open to new information, rather than grabbing something to fit what you already believe. That will bring you the best insight. Thank you for commenting.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Edward, I appreciate your idea, but it doesn’t answer all the questions. The reparative drive theory you’re talking about is full of holes in the research and doesn’t stand up even to observation; for instance, plenty of boys with strong father-relationships are gay, and plenty of boys with fractured father-relationships are straight. These don’t even begin to address the far more complex topic of women’s sexuality. Check out Justin Lee’s Torn, chapter 5, for a fresher view of current theories. The more research is done, the more evidence points to genetics as central in most people’s sexual orientation, but nothing has been proven. As you research, I encourage you to remain open to new information, rather than grabbing something to fit what you already believe. That will bring you the best insight. Thank you for commenting.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Love this. I hear you. :) God bless you too!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Love this. I hear you. :) God bless you too!

  • Ulrika

    When my daughter had her first romantic relationship – it turned out to be with a girl. I am ever so grateful that she choosed to share that with me and her father. We had to protect her, and her love, from bullies all over. But she let us do that.

    Thank you for you words. It made me stronger for the next fight with the world.

  • Ulrika

    When my daughter had her first romantic relationship – it turned out to be with a girl. I am ever so grateful that she choosed to share that with me and her father. We had to protect her, and her love, from bullies all over. But she let us do that.

    Thank you for you words. It made me stronger for the next fight with the world.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re very welcome. :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re very welcome. :)

  • Sarabeth

    ….so in the situations where one twin is gay and the other is not…the father only loved one of them?

  • Sarabeth

    ….so in the situations where one twin is gay and the other is not…the father only loved one of them?

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome, Joaquin. I pray so too. I’m glad you found someone you love. Maybe you can send her the blog. :) I wish you the best!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome, Joaquin. I pray so too. I’m glad you found someone you love. Maybe you can send her the blog. :) I wish you the best!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh, I’m so sorry. Well, I hope she comes to realize she is blessed that you are her son, and to appreciate who you are. You are a blessing exactly the way you are. Don’t forget that.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh, I’m so sorry. Well, I hope she comes to realize she is blessed that you are her son, and to appreciate who you are. You are a blessing exactly the way you are. Don’t forget that.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Clyde… thank you so much for sharing. : )

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Clyde… thank you so much for sharing. : )

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for sharing your heart. :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for sharing your heart. :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much Dennis. Your words really touched my heart. : )

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much Dennis. Your words really touched my heart. : )

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I have heard that too, about siblings. Thanks for the smile!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I have heard that too, about siblings. Thanks for the smile!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so grateful that you were willing to listen for God to show you, whatever He wanted to show you. Well done on seeking until you found – we should all do that!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so grateful that you were willing to listen for God to show you, whatever He wanted to show you. Well done on seeking until you found – we should all do that!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh my goodness. Thank you for writing. Thank you for fighting for life. I’m so glad you have received the truth of God’s love — it’s true, it’s true! He loves you! Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh my goodness. Thank you for writing. Thank you for fighting for life. I’m so glad you have received the truth of God’s love — it’s true, it’s true! He loves you! Bless you.

  • Samuel I. Johnston

    I do like this post but claiming that “most christians” feel homosexuality is a sin is just wrong. In Britain, at least, The large majority still identify as christian and there is overwhelming support for LGBT rights.

    It’s more an article on how to cope with being bigoted, surely it should be more open your mind a little and let God’s love show you the real way.

    Frankly if you are in a Church that excludes anyone for any reason (other than causing harm to other people in the church) then that Church does not follow Christ’s teachings and you either need to help it to solve its problems or go somewhere else.

  • Samuel I. Johnston

    I do like this post but claiming that “most christians” feel homosexuality is a sin is just wrong. In Britain, at least, The large majority still identify as christian and there is overwhelming support for LGBT rights.

    It’s more an article on how to cope with being bigoted, surely it should be more open your mind a little and let God’s love show you the real way.

    Frankly if you are in a Church that excludes anyone for any reason (other than causing harm to other people in the church) then that Church does not follow Christ’s teachings and you either need to help it to solve its problems or go somewhere else.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh so sweet. Thank you. God bless your journey!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh so sweet. Thank you. God bless your journey!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Point taken. I changed it to “many.” Thank you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Point taken. I changed it to “many.” Thank you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful. So well stated. I appreciate your heart so much. You have really stated the problem well – we hit a wall in our own feelings, and then want to stop that suffering, so we turn on our child to change, to relieve our own mourning. How unfair to them. Bless you for recognizing that and working it out with friends instead of your daughter. What love and wisdom. Thanks for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful. So well stated. I appreciate your heart so much. You have really stated the problem well – we hit a wall in our own feelings, and then want to stop that suffering, so we turn on our child to change, to relieve our own mourning. How unfair to them. Bless you for recognizing that and working it out with friends instead of your daughter. What love and wisdom. Thanks for writing.

  • http://tikatusmuse.wordpress.com tiquatue

    Thank you for this. It’s something I need right now.

  • http://tikatusmuse.wordpress.com tiquatue

    Thank you for this. It’s something I need right now.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. :) Also, thank you for following the blog!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. :) Also, thank you for following the blog!

  • Sariah

    I agree with you on some aspects however, parenting doesn’t stop at 18. Our behavior in how we manage our lives shows an example to the adult child. I would still love the sinner; but I would make it clear that this in NO way excuses the sin. Many who were homosexual have found freedom through God. It is a choice and one that should be taken seriously.

  • Sariah

    I agree with you on some aspects however, parenting doesn’t stop at 18. Our behavior in how we manage our lives shows an example to the adult child. I would still love the sinner; but I would make it clear that this in NO way excuses the sin. Many who were homosexual have found freedom through God. It is a choice and one that should be taken seriously.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, here’s what I’ve discovered. I was just writing on the multi-layeredness of this issue for my next blog. I agree with you that by their own testimony, many have found freedom (to use their words) from homosexuality. But I also know that most never do, and many are at peace with it. (Some are not.) Most claim that they had no experience of choice about it. In fact, they prayed it would go away and it never did. In that case, what do you do? Do you seek out means to change them? Do you promise a change that for the vast majority, statistically speaking, doesn’t happen? Something those who have run Exodus for decades rarely if ever saw? As for our children, or anyone else, whose job is it to change anything? I can’t even find freedom from my own issues — God has to bring that. I cannot possibly find it for another, or somehow require it of them. Jesus is not about conditional approval, and He’s NOT about behavior modification. He’s about life in Him, and us trusting Him to lead us where we need to go. (I write extensively about this in my parenting book, How Not to Lose Your Teen, on the BOOKS page.) I totally agree about being an example, and the best example is abiding in Christ like a branch on a vine. What other example can I be? (Good behavior didn’t get it — look at Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees, who were darn near perfect!) I just had a heart-to-heart with Jesus earlier about this whole thing. The more I see, the more I know it is not black and white. I really recommend Torn by Justin Lee for a real inside view on the struggles associated with it. We cannot deny others’ struggles and say, just choose differently. We’ve seen the fallout from thet everywhere, haven’t we? Thank you so much for your comment, Sariah. God bless you and your family.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, here’s what I’ve discovered. I was just writing on the multi-layeredness of this issue for my next blog. I agree with you that by their own testimony, many have found freedom (to use their words) from homosexuality. But I also know that most never do, and many are at peace with it. (Some are not.) Most claim that they had no experience of choice about it. In fact, they prayed it would go away and it never did. In that case, what do you do? Do you seek out means to change them? Do you promise a change that for the vast majority, statistically speaking, doesn’t happen? Something those who have run Exodus for decades rarely if ever saw? As for our children, or anyone else, whose job is it to change anything? I can’t even find freedom from my own issues — God has to bring that. I cannot possibly find it for another, or somehow require it of them. Jesus is not about conditional approval, and He’s NOT about behavior modification. He’s about life in Him, and us trusting Him to lead us where we need to go. (I write extensively about this in my parenting book, How Not to Lose Your Teen, on the BOOKS page.) I totally agree about being an example, and the best example is abiding in Christ like a branch on a vine. What other example can I be? (Good behavior didn’t get it — look at Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees, who were darn near perfect!) I just had a heart-to-heart with Jesus earlier about this whole thing. The more I see, the more I know it is not black and white. I really recommend Torn by Justin Lee for a real inside view on the struggles associated with it. We cannot deny others’ struggles and say, just choose differently. We’ve seen the fallout from thet everywhere, haven’t we? Thank you so much for your comment, Sariah. God bless you and your family.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw, so sorry to hear about your difficulties with your family, but so grateful you have let God use them to conform you to the image of Christ! (That’s what trials are there for, aren’t they?) What a beautiful gift your children have in you. The people asked Jesus whose sin made the man blind and He said, no one’s, it’s for God’s glory! (And then He healed him!) What a great conclusion to know that it’s only God’s opinion that matters. Blessings.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw, so sorry to hear about your difficulties with your family, but so grateful you have let God use them to conform you to the image of Christ! (That’s what trials are there for, aren’t they?) What a beautiful gift your children have in you. The people asked Jesus whose sin made the man blind and He said, no one’s, it’s for God’s glory! (And then He healed him!) What a great conclusion to know that it’s only God’s opinion that matters. Blessings.

  • Sandra

    Thank you for this article, Susan. So many Christians “shy” away from this topic, so I think it’s great for have healthy and open discussions. We end up educating ourselves and others.

    I also find that society can play a significant role in the formation of one’s gender identity (of course we know that those around you contribute to shaping who you are). For example, I was not your stereotypical girl that wore dresses and played with dolls etc. I just enjoyed being more around boys and playing their games. What I’m getting at is that certain people can make you believe that there’s a problem with that, thus making you believe that there is something wrong with you. A good friend of mine (who just happens to be gay) told me that before he even knew what it meant to be gay, other boys would tease him for being “soft” and called him “faggot” and all kinds of other names to belittle him. Such occurences can lead to self-discrimination and confusion.

    For a long time I was estranged from God because I thought that he disliked me for feeling “different,” but when I eventually found the right group of friends, they convinced me of God’s unconditional love for me (and I saw it through them). I know i have a long way to go (and so do all of us, because Christianity is a journey), but at least I can approach my heavenly Father with an open and honest heart. Through my relationship with him, I am discovering so much about myself and my sexuality. Sometimes the revelations are painful, at other times they are a joy. As Christians we all need to learn to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right path because we are not always going to agree with what our pastors, parents and friends say. It also secures us in our identity. I have entered a place where no matter what negative thing a person has to say to me, I am confident in Christ’s love and acceptance.

    Thank you once again. May God bless you and keep you.

  • Sandra

    Thank you for this article, Susan. So many Christians “shy” away from this topic, so I think it’s great for have healthy and open discussions. We end up educating ourselves and others.

    I also find that society can play a significant role in the formation of one’s gender identity (of course we know that those around you contribute to shaping who you are). For example, I was not your stereotypical girl that wore dresses and played with dolls etc. I just enjoyed being more around boys and playing their games. What I’m getting at is that certain people can make you believe that there’s a problem with that, thus making you believe that there is something wrong with you. A good friend of mine (who just happens to be gay) told me that before he even knew what it meant to be gay, other boys would tease him for being “soft” and called him “faggot” and all kinds of other names to belittle him. Such occurences can lead to self-discrimination and confusion.

    For a long time I was estranged from God because I thought that he disliked me for feeling “different,” but when I eventually found the right group of friends, they convinced me of God’s unconditional love for me (and I saw it through them). I know i have a long way to go (and so do all of us, because Christianity is a journey), but at least I can approach my heavenly Father with an open and honest heart. Through my relationship with him, I am discovering so much about myself and my sexuality. Sometimes the revelations are painful, at other times they are a joy. As Christians we all need to learn to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right path because we are not always going to agree with what our pastors, parents and friends say. It also secures us in our identity. I have entered a place where no matter what negative thing a person has to say to me, I am confident in Christ’s love and acceptance.

    Thank you once again. May God bless you and keep you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome, Sandra, and thank you for your kind words. It definitely is a journey! We do need to know God’s unconditional love, and people around us who understand that. I’m glad you found people who grasp His love. God bless you on this path of discovery.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome, Sandra, and thank you for your kind words. It definitely is a journey! We do need to know God’s unconditional love, and people around us who understand that. I’m glad you found people who grasp His love. God bless you on this path of discovery.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw! I’m glad your son has you and your undiminished love. Yes, it’s so easy for them to “read” our disappointment. Breaks my heart too! Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw! I’m glad your son has you and your undiminished love. Yes, it’s so easy for them to “read” our disappointment. Breaks my heart too! Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so right, Karon. We do have to let it go and let God be God, not us! that gives us so much freedom.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so right, Karon. We do have to let it go and let God be God, not us! that gives us so much freedom.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh. Well, unfortunately, many parents don’t want their gay kids around. Very very sad. I’m so glad you’ve come to peace with who your kids are. How many straight kids are from divorced homes? I don’t know why God allows what He does, but I know with all the prayers gay kids have prayed to become straight, if that were the goal, you’d think God would have answered those prayers. Maybe instead it’s an opportunity for those who claim His name to learn to love well, the way He asked us! God bless your heart, and guide you on your ongoing journey — even with its ups and downs. You’ve done a good job, Mama!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh. Well, unfortunately, many parents don’t want their gay kids around. Very very sad. I’m so glad you’ve come to peace with who your kids are. How many straight kids are from divorced homes? I don’t know why God allows what He does, but I know with all the prayers gay kids have prayed to become straight, if that were the goal, you’d think God would have answered those prayers. Maybe instead it’s an opportunity for those who claim His name to learn to love well, the way He asked us! God bless your heart, and guide you on your ongoing journey — even with its ups and downs. You’ve done a good job, Mama!

  • Tiffany Gee

    Scripture teaches sexual immorality is a sin. It teaches that homosexuality is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Stealing is a sin. Pride is a sin. The list goes on, all of which Christ paid the penalty for in His death on the cross and none of which should be taken lightly. While they are all sin and equal in Gods eyes, the consequences are very different.

    Yes we need to love our children and be there for them but never allow them to think sin is ok. Gods Word is our guide, not our feelings or emotions even if experienced in prayer. If it doesn’t line up with scripture it’s not truth. The Word says to “test the spirits” so even allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you must be governed by Gods Word. There is freedom from sin Galatians 5:13, Galatians 5:16, 1 Peter 2:16, 1 Peter 2:21-24, Romans 6, Romans 8

    I’m not speaking as one who has little sin. I have done terrible things that I regret and that I am constantly having to remind myself of Christs forgiveness for and that I will experience the consequences of for the rest of my life.

    Follower of Christ, mother of 6

  • Tiffany Gee

    Scripture teaches sexual immorality is a sin. It teaches that homosexuality is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Stealing is a sin. Pride is a sin. The list goes on, all of which Christ paid the penalty for in His death on the cross and none of which should be taken lightly. While they are all sin and equal in Gods eyes, the consequences are very different.

    Yes we need to love our children and be there for them but never allow them to think sin is ok. Gods Word is our guide, not our feelings or emotions even if experienced in prayer. If it doesn’t line up with scripture it’s not truth. The Word says to “test the spirits” so even allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you must be governed by Gods Word. There is freedom from sin Galatians 5:13, Galatians 5:16, 1 Peter 2:16, 1 Peter 2:21-24, Romans 6, Romans 8

    I’m not speaking as one who has little sin. I have done terrible things that I regret and that I am constantly having to remind myself of Christs forgiveness for and that I will experience the consequences of for the rest of my life.

    Follower of Christ, mother of 6

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Tiffany. I do not make light of sin — it cost Jesus His life. But what are we going to do with it? All the sin listed in the Old Testament was given in context of relationship with God. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, all knew God conversationally. The Holy Spirit does supersede the written word or else Peter never would have eaten non-kosher (against the written word at the time) and then been able to reach the Gentiles. Hosea never would have married a harlot (against the written word), and thus shown us a picture of God’s amazing grace. We are NOT under law, but under grace. Grace means the life that Jesus gives us. We are not under law but under the life of Christ. In Genesis, God tells us NOT to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (how we see right and wrong) but from the tree of Life (Jesus, the way the truth and the life, guiding us specifically through the Holy Spirit). I appreciate your heart, and I know life can get very demanding, especially as a mother of 6! (I have 5.) But without the relationship to guide us, the rules are dead in the water. We’ve all done terrible things! But Jesus has freed us from those things — yea! — so we no longer have to feel condemned. (Don’t call unclean — including us — what God has declared clean! Acts 10:15). I challenge you, with all love, in the idea that you will reap the consequences for the rest of your life. The Bible says we reap what we sow, but only for that season. You don’t continue to reap green beans you planted when you were 25! They come up and go down, and if you don’t plant them again, you don’t reap them again. Would you continue to remind your grown son of the time he broke the lamp when he was 8? Of course not! That’s the beauty of life in Christ. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. I challenge all of us not to live under false guilt when Jesus has already wiped the slate clean. Once it’s over, it’s over. It’s so tempting to try to live according to the law, but there is no freedom in that. We are freed from the law of sin and death — hallelujah! Thank you for writing, and bless you and your family.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Tiffany. I do not make light of sin — it cost Jesus His life. But what are we going to do with it? All the sin listed in the Old Testament was given in context of relationship with God. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, all knew God conversationally. The Holy Spirit does supersede the written word or else Peter never would have eaten non-kosher (against the written word at the time) and then been able to reach the Gentiles. Hosea never would have married a harlot (against the written word), and thus shown us a picture of God’s amazing grace. We are NOT under law, but under grace. Grace means the life that Jesus gives us. We are not under law but under the life of Christ. In Genesis, God tells us NOT to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (how we see right and wrong) but from the tree of Life (Jesus, the way the truth and the life, guiding us specifically through the Holy Spirit). I appreciate your heart, and I know life can get very demanding, especially as a mother of 6! (I have 5.) But without the relationship to guide us, the rules are dead in the water. We’ve all done terrible things! But Jesus has freed us from those things — yea! — so we no longer have to feel condemned. (Don’t call unclean — including us — what God has declared clean! Acts 10:15). I challenge you, with all love, in the idea that you will reap the consequences for the rest of your life. The Bible says we reap what we sow, but only for that season. You don’t continue to reap green beans you planted when you were 25! They come up and go down, and if you don’t plant them again, you don’t reap them again. Would you continue to remind your grown son of the time he broke the lamp when he was 8? Of course not! That’s the beauty of life in Christ. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. I challenge all of us not to live under false guilt when Jesus has already wiped the slate clean. Once it’s over, it’s over. It’s so tempting to try to live according to the law, but there is no freedom in that. We are freed from the law of sin and death — hallelujah! Thank you for writing, and bless you and your family.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    So nice to hear. Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    So nice to hear. Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s like we’re afraid to love, that we’re afraid to just love people unless we check all their sin. We just need to love them, just like Jesus said, and then let Him deal with anything that’s necessary. Anyway, I’m so glad you are loving him well. What a difference you make to him and his partner!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s like we’re afraid to love, that we’re afraid to just love people unless we check all their sin. We just need to love them, just like Jesus said, and then let Him deal with anything that’s necessary. Anyway, I’m so glad you are loving him well. What a difference you make to him and his partner!

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    I am so grateful to have found this after reading Rachel Held Evans’ Sunday Superlatives. I know that God led me to this, because I was awake most of the night in despair over what I and/or my husband did to “make” our adult son gay. But we knew that he was different from our other kids very, very early on – I mean, he was a teeny little guy and was already causing us to wonder. So many of my Christian friends have faded away because they think I must be a bad parent, and I’ve had people tell me that, by supporting my son, I’m enabling sinful behavior and am sending him straight to hell. The past 4 years have been pretty hellish, actually, so it’s hard to imagine much worse – mainly because our son is openly gay, and I have battled feeling so ashamed. We’ve had so little support from the Christian community, it’s appalling. I feel like I have to hide, and that’s anti-Christian. My husband and I have accepted that our son is gay, and we are loving and supportive, but it’s that much more difficult without “back-up” from family and friends. It’s a lonely road. This is why I’m so grateful to have stumbled on your blog. It is, quite literally, an answer to prayer.

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    I am so grateful to have found this after reading Rachel Held Evans’ Sunday Superlatives. I know that God led me to this, because I was awake most of the night in despair over what I and/or my husband did to “make” our adult son gay. But we knew that he was different from our other kids very, very early on – I mean, he was a teeny little guy and was already causing us to wonder. So many of my Christian friends have faded away because they think I must be a bad parent, and I’ve had people tell me that, by supporting my son, I’m enabling sinful behavior and am sending him straight to hell. The past 4 years have been pretty hellish, actually, so it’s hard to imagine much worse – mainly because our son is openly gay, and I have battled feeling so ashamed. We’ve had so little support from the Christian community, it’s appalling. I feel like I have to hide, and that’s anti-Christian. My husband and I have accepted that our son is gay, and we are loving and supportive, but it’s that much more difficult without “back-up” from family and friends. It’s a lonely road. This is why I’m so grateful to have stumbled on your blog. It is, quite literally, an answer to prayer.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh, I’m so glad you stumbled across it too! I know it can’t be easy for you. So sorry that Christians are the ones making it hard. :( So so sad. Since when does behavior send us to hell? They might reread John 3:16… “whoseover believes…” I’m so glad God is showing you that you are NOT a bad parent. :) Yes, this week I’m going to write a love letter to gay teens. You might want to look over the blog for previous posts that might help you, too. I hope you subscribe, so you get the new posts. Bless your heart and let me know if I can be any help!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh, I’m so glad you stumbled across it too! I know it can’t be easy for you. So sorry that Christians are the ones making it hard. :( So so sad. Since when does behavior send us to hell? They might reread John 3:16… “whoseover believes…” I’m so glad God is showing you that you are NOT a bad parent. :) Yes, this week I’m going to write a love letter to gay teens. You might want to look over the blog for previous posts that might help you, too. I hope you subscribe, so you get the new posts. Bless your heart and let me know if I can be any help!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much!

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    Thank you EVERYONE for your warm welcome, kind words, and helpful suggestions! I think I’ll “pull up a chair and sit a spell.” :)

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    Thank you EVERYONE for your warm welcome, kind words, and helpful suggestions! I think I’ll “pull up a chair and sit a spell.” :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome, and I’m glad you decided to stay!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome, and I’m glad you decided to stay!

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it. I would like to add;

    Do not assume your child hates or is turning his or her back on God. Many gay people love God. Many have left the church after being made very unwelcome there, try to avoid that happening in your family and in your church.

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it. I would like to add;

    Do not assume your child hates or is turning his or her back on God. Many gay people love God. Many have left the church after being made very unwelcome there, try to avoid that happening in your family and in your church.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    100% agreed! That is exactly right. Just talked to a mom today who was made very unwelcome because her son is gay. What?? How do we justify this? The church will need to learn how to love unconditionally or it is going to become irrelevant. It’s already happening. It’s Jesus’ main instruction that sums up all the rest: love God, love others. I think the church is running out to time to learn it, before the culture cuts it out completely. It’s not because they rejected Christ either, but they rejected the lack of love and the legalism of the church. Tragic. I fear how the church is going to have to learn this one!
    Thank you so much for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    100% agreed! That is exactly right. Just talked to a mom today who was made very unwelcome because her son is gay. What?? How do we justify this? The church will need to learn how to love unconditionally or it is going to become irrelevant. It’s already happening. It’s Jesus’ main instruction that sums up all the rest: love God, love others. I think the church is running out to time to learn it, before the culture cuts it out completely. It’s not because they rejected Christ either, but they rejected the lack of love and the legalism of the church. Tragic. I fear how the church is going to have to learn this one!
    Thank you so much for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes. Just look at Jesus’ interactions to see it. He was completely unreligious! Thank you for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes. Just look at Jesus’ interactions to see it. He was completely unreligious! Thank you for your comment.

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I too lost friends when my 16 year old child came out. For the most part it was people who were shocked that I didn’t kick her out of the house.

    No one likes to be rejected but I realized that if they really thought I would kick my teenager out of the house they never really knew me. And I guess I never knew them either.

    So it was sad in a way, but not very. It was mostly just good to know the truth.

    Sharon

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I too lost friends when my 16 year old child came out. For the most part it was people who were shocked that I didn’t kick her out of the house.

    No one likes to be rejected but I realized that if they really thought I would kick my teenager out of the house they never really knew me. And I guess I never knew them either.

    So it was sad in a way, but not very. It was mostly just good to know the truth.

    Sharon

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, that’s hard to go through, isn’t it? Been there done that. You know, someone very wise taught me that our condition at our worst reveals us the most. To kick your child out for being gay certainly reveals that person, doesn’t it? So sorry you had to go through that. Frankly, I think God sometimes weeds people out for us! Best to you, and you love that girl of yours. She’s a gift from God.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, that’s hard to go through, isn’t it? Been there done that. You know, someone very wise taught me that our condition at our worst reveals us the most. To kick your child out for being gay certainly reveals that person, doesn’t it? So sorry you had to go through that. Frankly, I think God sometimes weeds people out for us! Best to you, and you love that girl of yours. She’s a gift from God.

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    BAM! That’s it, exactly!

  • survivorgirl007@gmail.com

    BAM! That’s it, exactly!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s interesting you say that because the Hebrews tried for centuries to follow the 10 Commandments and couldn’t do it. They seems fairly straightforward, and there are only ten of them, yet they constantly tripped over themselves! Following the law leads only to repeated failure — so what do we do with it? Paul tells us in Galatians 3:24 that the law only serves as a tutor to bring us to Christ, but once we are with Him, we no longer need the tutor. I know it’s tricky, because so much teaching is about following the law, and that fits our human thinking. But Romans 7:4 says we are dead to the law and alive to Christ! Yea! Christ supersedes the law! Thank God because we’re no good at following it (you saw how Jesus ratcheted up the righteous requirements in Matthew 5, to make sure no one thought they could keep it). Instead, Christ fulfills the law through us. Aah! Now that is appealing! Thank you for writing, Dusty.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s interesting you say that because the Hebrews tried for centuries to follow the 10 Commandments and couldn’t do it. They seems fairly straightforward, and there are only ten of them, yet they constantly tripped over themselves! Following the law leads only to repeated failure — so what do we do with it? Paul tells us in Galatians 3:24 that the law only serves as a tutor to bring us to Christ, but once we are with Him, we no longer need the tutor. I know it’s tricky, because so much teaching is about following the law, and that fits our human thinking. But Romans 7:4 says we are dead to the law and alive to Christ! Yea! Christ supersedes the law! Thank God because we’re no good at following it (you saw how Jesus ratcheted up the righteous requirements in Matthew 5, to make sure no one thought they could keep it). Instead, Christ fulfills the law through us. Aah! Now that is appealing! Thank you for writing, Dusty.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are very right about that, Matthew. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s a process for all.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are very right about that, Matthew. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s a process for all.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for your comment. Homosexuality is referenced in 6 verses, out of 31,103 verses in the bible. God destroyed Sodom because of their selfish inhospitality, evidenced by their attempt to gang rape visitors to Lot’s house, Genesis 19. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy,” Ezekiel 16:49. We are not to strive to live a sinless life. Instead, when asked what what works we are to do, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” Believing in Him is the work. He is the truth that sets us free, John 8:32. You’re right that the truth needs to be taught more; the truth we need taught even more is Jesus who will set us free. No one seek to live a sinless life, because Jesus said it’s impossible, we’d never make it. “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:20. Then He goes on to describe all the ways in which just thinking about sin is sin. Why? Because He wants us relying on Him, not on our own ability. We got nothin. In Him alone we get everything. There is no risk of final judgment for Christians. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If we would lift our eyes off of sin, and onto Jesus, we would truly be set free, and our sin (areas where we miss the mark) would fall right off. If we grasped His magnitude, we would realize the wonderful opportunity He offers us to abide in Him, rather than wallowing around in our own cesspool trying to find a way out. Best to you, Michael.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for your comment. Homosexuality is referenced in 6 verses, out of 31,103 verses in the bible. God destroyed Sodom because of their selfish inhospitality, evidenced by their attempt to gang rape visitors to Lot’s house, Genesis 19. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy,” Ezekiel 16:49. We are not to strive to live a sinless life. Instead, when asked what what works we are to do, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” Believing in Him is the work. He is the truth that sets us free, John 8:32. You’re right that the truth needs to be taught more; the truth we need taught even more is Jesus who will set us free. No one seek to live a sinless life, because Jesus said it’s impossible, we’d never make it. “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:20. Then He goes on to describe all the ways in which just thinking about sin is sin. Why? Because He wants us relying on Him, not on our own ability. We got nothin. In Him alone we get everything. There is no risk of final judgment for Christians. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If we would lift our eyes off of sin, and onto Jesus, we would truly be set free, and our sin (areas where we miss the mark) would fall right off. If we grasped His magnitude, we would realize the wonderful opportunity He offers us to abide in Him, rather than wallowing around in our own cesspool trying to find a way out. Best to you, Michael.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well thank you so much. I appreciate it. :) it is a lot The Lord has shown me over the years.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well thank you so much. I appreciate it. :) it is a lot The Lord has shown me over the years.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so happy! Thanks for finding and commenting. Definitely, it’s right to love them both. I see no exceptions to Jesus’ admonition to love others. He loved lavishly, fully and surprisingly — to the point that such love would mark a watching and hurting world. We were designed for open and transparent fellowship — it provides something nothing else provides. Feel free to email me if you like, on the contacts page. Blessings to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so happy! Thanks for finding and commenting. Definitely, it’s right to love them both. I see no exceptions to Jesus’ admonition to love others. He loved lavishly, fully and surprisingly — to the point that such love would mark a watching and hurting world. We were designed for open and transparent fellowship — it provides something nothing else provides. Feel free to email me if you like, on the contacts page. Blessings to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re most welcome.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so sorry for your hurt through this. This seems to be a sticking point for so many parents — more than any other thing. I’m sorry you’re on the receiving end of it. You might ask her to read my post, To Christian Parents of Gay Children http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/ or Why Hoping for Change Can Hurt http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/. I hope this gets resolved before your wedding. You can also suggest she email me if she’d like. Blessings to you. Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so sorry for your hurt through this. This seems to be a sticking point for so many parents — more than any other thing. I’m sorry you’re on the receiving end of it. You might ask her to read my post, To Christian Parents of Gay Children http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/ or Why Hoping for Change Can Hurt http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/. I hope this gets resolved before your wedding. You can also suggest she email me if she’d like. Blessings to you. Susan

  • Todd

    What if your son leaves home at 18 because his partner isn’t allowed at home or family function?

  • Todd

    What if your son leaves home at 18 because his partner isn’t allowed at home or family function?

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I would suggest allowing the partner into the family and family function. :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I would suggest allowing the partner into the family and family function. :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Frances, thank you for writing. I appreciate your heart, and I know this can strike a deep chord in us, this desire to try our best. But it’s important to let God do the change within us. We cannot cleanse ourselves, we cannot live a sinless life ourselves. God has to do it all through us. It sounds like a little thing, but it’s all the difference. Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We easily put forth human effort instead of letting Christ be our righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30. When we strive not to sin, we have no peace. When Christ is our all in all, we have peace that is beyond understanding! Your son is fortunate to have a praying parent who loves him so much. Thank you for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Frances, thank you for writing. I appreciate your heart, and I know this can strike a deep chord in us, this desire to try our best. But it’s important to let God do the change within us. We cannot cleanse ourselves, we cannot live a sinless life ourselves. God has to do it all through us. It sounds like a little thing, but it’s all the difference. Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We easily put forth human effort instead of letting Christ be our righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30. When we strive not to sin, we have no peace. When Christ is our all in all, we have peace that is beyond understanding! Your son is fortunate to have a praying parent who loves him so much. Thank you for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. As they always say, it’ll get better! Feel free to email me if you would like (through contact page). Thanks for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. As they always say, it’ll get better! Feel free to email me if you would like (through contact page). Thanks for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m honored by your extremely kind words and your show of support! I will LOVE to meet you. I will email you a few details, and see you very soon!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m honored by your extremely kind words and your show of support! I will LOVE to meet you. I will email you a few details, and see you very soon!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Far be it from me to call “evil good and good evil.” And they are equally dangerous. To call something evil that is good is every bit as dangerous as calling something good that is evil. Remember God telling Peter not to call evil what He has declared clean? He was telling Him to eat non-kosher, to prepare him to bring the gospel to a whole group of people, previously considered unclean. How many times does God have to say something? He had to say it three times for Peter to believe it. Peter had it so in his mind, from the scriptures, that Gentiles were evil, that he couldn’t see it any other way. It requires kind of a new set of eyes to look at something we’ve already determined to say one thing or another. But considering how much is at stake for a whole group of people who have been marginalized, we owe it to them, to ourselves, to our community and to God to be sure we have it sorted out correctly, lest we call something unclean that He has declared clean. How are we to be holy? Not by parsing out what is okay and what isn’t, straight from the tree of knowledge, but in relationship with God through Jesus, depending on the tree of life, just as He told us. I hope that you will seek Him for eyes to see whatever He wants to show you regarding this issue. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Far be it from me to call “evil good and good evil.” And they are equally dangerous. To call something evil that is good is every bit as dangerous as calling something good that is evil. Remember God telling Peter not to call evil what He has declared clean? He was telling Him to eat non-kosher, to prepare him to bring the gospel to a whole group of people, previously considered unclean. How many times does God have to say something? He had to say it three times for Peter to believe it. Peter had it so in his mind, from the scriptures, that Gentiles were evil, that he couldn’t see it any other way. It requires kind of a new set of eyes to look at something we’ve already determined to say one thing or another. But considering how much is at stake for a whole group of people who have been marginalized, we owe it to them, to ourselves, to our community and to God to be sure we have it sorted out correctly, lest we call something unclean that He has declared clean. How are we to be holy? Not by parsing out what is okay and what isn’t, straight from the tree of knowledge, but in relationship with God through Jesus, depending on the tree of life, just as He told us. I hope that you will seek Him for eyes to see whatever He wants to show you regarding this issue. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are so right. It’s exactly what Jesus would do. Just over dinner I was hearing about teens whose parents have thrown them out over this. I do not understand in what universe that is justified. Tragic. Your son, partner, friends are fortunate to have you. Bless you on your journey.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are so right. It’s exactly what Jesus would do. Just over dinner I was hearing about teens whose parents have thrown them out over this. I do not understand in what universe that is justified. Tragic. Your son, partner, friends are fortunate to have you. Bless you on your journey.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Pam. I don’t really see Jesus modeling “hate the sin,” except the sin He rails on the Pharisees for: self-righteousness and legalism requiring people (especially other people) to follow the law. He in fact loves the sinner to the point that religious leaders are uncomfortable (Luke 7:36-50) and end up killing Him! If we are to follow His lead, it should be to love beyond all reason and point them to His life, which He always freely offers!

    Just so you know, this is a hotly disputed issue, not the slam-dunk “sin” your comment implies; you probably don’t realize that to compare sexual orientation to “lusts of the flesh” is offensive because it is not an action but a part of a person’s identity. (You can find more on my resources and FAQs page.) But your heart is in the right place! Thanks again for your comment. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Pam. I don’t really see Jesus modeling “hate the sin,” except the sin He rails on the Pharisees for: self-righteousness and legalism requiring people (especially other people) to follow the law. He in fact loves the sinner to the point that religious leaders are uncomfortable (Luke 7:36-50) and end up killing Him! If we are to follow His lead, it should be to love beyond all reason and point them to His life, which He always freely offers!

    Just so you know, this is a hotly disputed issue, not the slam-dunk “sin” your comment implies; you probably don’t realize that to compare sexual orientation to “lusts of the flesh” is offensive because it is not an action but a part of a person’s identity. (You can find more on my resources and FAQs page.) But your heart is in the right place! Thanks again for your comment. <3

  • http://gravatar.com/survivorgirl007 survivorgirl007

    I want to second this re: Jesus modeling His disdain for the sinful. misplaced, SELFish allegiance of the Pharisees to their loveless rules and regulations yet not modeling disdain for people. During Jesus’ day, the cross was a symbol of death, not a symbol of any sort of burden as we think of it. Jesus’ call to us to “take up your cross and follow” is a call to die to self – completely. Are we willing to lose friends? to lose face? to lose our reputation? to be subjected to ridicule? to be alienated from our families who don’t understand our allegiance to Christ and His ways? I think so many of us battle a belief that it’s a call to some sort of improved morality when it’s really a call to a whole new way of being. People who are same-sex attracted can no more “deny” that attraction than can people who are opposite-sex attracted. No where in Scripture is this condemned or even mentioned. Behaviors are always the thing we question, when we get right down to it. And whether or not we believe that same-gender sexual activity between two committed people is wrong, it is more wrong of us to insist that a person must attempt to alter his/her identity to be acceptable to us and by God. If a person is committed to Christ, then Christ will generate any needed change as we cooperate with Him in that process. And a process it is!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/survivorgirl007 survivorgirl007

    I want to second this re: Jesus modeling His disdain for the sinful. misplaced, SELFish allegiance of the Pharisees to their loveless rules and regulations yet not modeling disdain for people. During Jesus’ day, the cross was a symbol of death, not a symbol of any sort of burden as we think of it. Jesus’ call to us to “take up your cross and follow” is a call to die to self – completely. Are we willing to lose friends? to lose face? to lose our reputation? to be subjected to ridicule? to be alienated from our families who don’t understand our allegiance to Christ and His ways? I think so many of us battle a belief that it’s a call to some sort of improved morality when it’s really a call to a whole new way of being. People who are same-sex attracted can no more “deny” that attraction than can people who are opposite-sex attracted. No where in Scripture is this condemned or even mentioned. Behaviors are always the thing we question, when we get right down to it. And whether or not we believe that same-gender sexual activity between two committed people is wrong, it is more wrong of us to insist that a person must attempt to alter his/her identity to be acceptable to us and by God. If a person is committed to Christ, then Christ will generate any needed change as we cooperate with Him in that process. And a process it is!!!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful, Survivorgirl. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful, Survivorgirl. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thanks, Jeanne. So now I’m curious: when did all your sin fall off of you — the moment you became a new creation or did it take a few days? And how does the Holy Spirit lead you out of every tempting “situation” — did you get one last trip to the store when you became a Christian, or was it cold turkey? I assume you no longer go of course because of those verses you cited (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13 — materialism is a deathtrap!). And good thing you no longer shop because you might randomly see an attractive man and accidentally commit adultery (Matthew 5:28). And surely you got all that gluttony out of the way, since you now live by “every word of God” — and the Bible talks about gluttony 100 times! That’s like 20 times as much as any reference to same-sex anything. So did the Holy Spirit lead you to purge your cupboards all at once or did He give you a week? You must have had to coordinate the new bare-bones eating plan with your now limited access the grocery store (see above).

    Did someone say this is absurd? But you said every word of God, didn’t you? Because the bible says that if you stumble on one law, you’re guilty of them all (James 2:10, Matthew 5:19) — if that’s the game you want to play. And then James 2:12 is a killer: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Whew! I’m glad I’m not under that! God must have made you a different kind of new creation than He made me because I’m taking seriously Matthew 22:36-40: “Love God and love others because this sums up the law and the prophets.” In other words, Jeanne, if you do those two things, everything else will come under that! Maybe you didn’t realize this option, but boy, I recommend it. It’s SOOOO much more pleasant than trying to keep every individual law! Besides, I REALLY don’t want to gouge out my own eye (Matthew 5:29).

    One more thing, Jeanne, I’m glad you’ve taken care of all those things above and plenty more, but you might want to give this consideration because you might be in just a teensy bit of danger here… if you have any anger at all toward gays. Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t sin by having anger, but the bible does say that if you call someone so much as a fool (even in your own heart!), you’re in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22). Just so you know.

    For anyone who is NOT Jeanne, those dire warnings Jesus gives about the fire of hell He says to those who think they can keep the law. In other words, those who pick and choose, those who determine who else is right and wrong — those people have a very hot place in hell. That’s what He’s saying. OR, you can choose to rest in Him, to let His life be your life, to love God and love others, and you’re all good!

    One last thing here… there is no reason to pray as Jeanne did that Jesus come quickly; thanks be to God, Jesus is already here!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thanks, Jeanne. So now I’m curious: when did all your sin fall off of you — the moment you became a new creation or did it take a few days? And how does the Holy Spirit lead you out of every tempting “situation” — did you get one last trip to the store when you became a Christian, or was it cold turkey? I assume you no longer go of course because of those verses you cited (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13 — materialism is a deathtrap!). And good thing you no longer shop because you might randomly see an attractive man and accidentally commit adultery (Matthew 5:28). And surely you got all that gluttony out of the way, since you now live by “every word of God” — and the Bible talks about gluttony 100 times! That’s like 20 times as much as any reference to same-sex anything. So did the Holy Spirit lead you to purge your cupboards all at once or did He give you a week? You must have had to coordinate the new bare-bones eating plan with your now limited access the grocery store (see above).

    Did someone say this is absurd? But you said every word of God, didn’t you? Because the bible says that if you stumble on one law, you’re guilty of them all (James 2:10, Matthew 5:19) — if that’s the game you want to play. And then James 2:12 is a killer: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Whew! I’m glad I’m not under that! God must have made you a different kind of new creation than He made me because I’m taking seriously Matthew 22:36-40: “Love God and love others because this sums up the law and the prophets.” In other words, Jeanne, if you do those two things, everything else will come under that! Maybe you didn’t realize this option, but boy, I recommend it. It’s SOOOO much more pleasant than trying to keep every individual law! Besides, I REALLY don’t want to gouge out my own eye (Matthew 5:29).

    One more thing, Jeanne, I’m glad you’ve taken care of all those things above and plenty more, but you might want to give this consideration because you might be in just a teensy bit of danger here… if you have any anger at all toward gays. Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t sin by having anger, but the bible does say that if you call someone so much as a fool (even in your own heart!), you’re in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22). Just so you know.

    For anyone who is NOT Jeanne, those dire warnings Jesus gives about the fire of hell He says to those who think they can keep the law. In other words, those who pick and choose, those who determine who else is right and wrong — those people have a very hot place in hell. That’s what He’s saying. OR, you can choose to rest in Him, to let His life be your life, to love God and love others, and you’re all good!

    One last thing here… there is no reason to pray as Jeanne did that Jesus come quickly; thanks be to God, Jesus is already here!

  • http://gravatar.com/survivorgirl007 survivorgirl007

    Are you telling all same-sex attracted people (as in millions of them) that they have NO hope simply because of something they cannot control? Do you even know any LGBT people – really know them? Heart change – yes! Sexual attraction change – not so much. In using your argument, you said that you don’t have to “agree with something that is against Almighty God.” What about divorce? Jesus, especially, issued very, very clear admonitions about that. But I know believers who have been divorced as believers, and I know believers who were divorced before they came to Christ. Are we to tell them that they have NO hope? The church doesn’t tell them that, but why not? Didn’t Jesus make it plain that God HATES divorce? What does “being a Christian mean,” then? It seems you’re saying that people had better clean up their stuff before they can come to Christ, and/or if after they give their hearts to Him (which is the root word meaning of ‘believe’), every struggle will auto-magically disappear. I’m straight and a committed Jesus-follower, but that surely isn’t my story. Even you wrote “Christ will generate any needed change…” Needed changes are from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, loving others as God loves us, not elevating Law over human need. The LGBT people I have the privilege of knowing are the most loving, compassionate people that I know out of a whole crowd of ‘Christians’ who are anything but loving and compassionate. It takes far more faith for a same-sex attracted person to be a believer than it would someone like me. When other believers are pronouncing them unfit and a disgrace, they have monumental faith to hang in there with Jesus and listen to HIS words about them. We need to be far, far more concerned about our OWN sin, because then we’d cease pronouncing judgments. And maybe, just maybe people in the LGBT community will stop killing themselves because we’ve communicated to them, erroneously, that God cannot love them ‘unless.’

  • http://gravatar.com/survivorgirl007 survivorgirl007

    Are you telling all same-sex attracted people (as in millions of them) that they have NO hope simply because of something they cannot control? Do you even know any LGBT people – really know them? Heart change – yes! Sexual attraction change – not so much. In using your argument, you said that you don’t have to “agree with something that is against Almighty God.” What about divorce? Jesus, especially, issued very, very clear admonitions about that. But I know believers who have been divorced as believers, and I know believers who were divorced before they came to Christ. Are we to tell them that they have NO hope? The church doesn’t tell them that, but why not? Didn’t Jesus make it plain that God HATES divorce? What does “being a Christian mean,” then? It seems you’re saying that people had better clean up their stuff before they can come to Christ, and/or if after they give their hearts to Him (which is the root word meaning of ‘believe’), every struggle will auto-magically disappear. I’m straight and a committed Jesus-follower, but that surely isn’t my story. Even you wrote “Christ will generate any needed change…” Needed changes are from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, loving others as God loves us, not elevating Law over human need. The LGBT people I have the privilege of knowing are the most loving, compassionate people that I know out of a whole crowd of ‘Christians’ who are anything but loving and compassionate. It takes far more faith for a same-sex attracted person to be a believer than it would someone like me. When other believers are pronouncing them unfit and a disgrace, they have monumental faith to hang in there with Jesus and listen to HIS words about them. We need to be far, far more concerned about our OWN sin, because then we’d cease pronouncing judgments. And maybe, just maybe people in the LGBT community will stop killing themselves because we’ve communicated to them, erroneously, that God cannot love them ‘unless.’

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    First, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I hear the torment it is to believe he’s doing something sinful with no plans to stop. And I am so glad you’re showing him unconditional love. Good for you. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to challenge you just a bit, okay? You mentioned the gay lifestyle – and what is that? Miley Cyrus and I both have a heterosexual lifestyle… but they are very different. There is no gay lifestyle; there is only being gay (attraction) and gay sex (action). But people who are gay are attracted the same sex, and there is nothing they can do about it. I don’t know of ANY gay men who have “prayed their gay away.” None.

    You’re right that God does not change; but people and cultures change, and our understanding scripture has changed drastically. We used to imprison people for having the gall to say that the world is round and revolves around the sun. Based on scripture. I’m not saying that it being a few scriptures means it’s not important, but we are resting a LOT of judgement on those verses — it is our duty to know what we’re talking about. Those passages in 1 Corinthians are not talking about adult, monogamous, same-sex relationships. Those were not even a concept in those days. They are talking about something different.

    I encourage you to watch Matthew Vines video. Look at my resources page for some very helpful info. I know you would not want to put a weight on your son that God does not put on him; that’s why it’s important that you look more clearly into those passages. Please, for your son’s sake. Best to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    First, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I hear the torment it is to believe he’s doing something sinful with no plans to stop. And I am so glad you’re showing him unconditional love. Good for you. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to challenge you just a bit, okay? You mentioned the gay lifestyle – and what is that? Miley Cyrus and I both have a heterosexual lifestyle… but they are very different. There is no gay lifestyle; there is only being gay (attraction) and gay sex (action). But people who are gay are attracted the same sex, and there is nothing they can do about it. I don’t know of ANY gay men who have “prayed their gay away.” None.

    You’re right that God does not change; but people and cultures change, and our understanding scripture has changed drastically. We used to imprison people for having the gall to say that the world is round and revolves around the sun. Based on scripture. I’m not saying that it being a few scriptures means it’s not important, but we are resting a LOT of judgement on those verses — it is our duty to know what we’re talking about. Those passages in 1 Corinthians are not talking about adult, monogamous, same-sex relationships. Those were not even a concept in those days. They are talking about something different.

    I encourage you to watch Matthew Vines video. Look at my resources page for some very helpful info. I know you would not want to put a weight on your son that God does not put on him; that’s why it’s important that you look more clearly into those passages. Please, for your son’s sake. Best to you.

  • Samantha

    Wow…love, love, love this. My son came out to me a few months ago. He is 19. We could always talk about things. My husband is southern Baptist as well. Believes it is a choice. Right now my husband does not know. I told my son when he is ready, if ever, he can tell his father. I was raised Lutheran. I now view myself as Christian…man has interpreted the Bible and built some churches that twist the message of the Bible. Be careful where you seek the truth. :) Early on, going to a few diff churches I saw the double standards Christians put on each other and how they walked the so called Christian walk. We all fall short, and as I sit here and type and judge shame on me. I am just truthfully stating what I have experienced. I immediately had a broken heart for my son, yet we talked so openly about the entire topic. I wrote on my son’s senior page that we loved him unconditionally and would always believe in him. That holds to this day. I have wrapped my arms around my son even more and do pray that he discovers why God has this plan for him. I have drawn closer to God and I am continuing to email my son and answer his questions the best I can. I have encouraged him to look at this web site and to seek God and a good support system. I do believe that the actions or life style of the homosexual are a sin, per the bible. It is about choices and being in control of one’s free will…that is where I am with it today. :) :) We all must walk our own journey and come to things on our own. We must walk through the pain and events to get a true understanding of what it is to be a born again Christian and to commit to walking with Jesus. We can pray, encourage, give grace, mercy and love…but each individual must open up their heart and soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. I told my son, maybe it is his calling to finish his degree in psychology to help others and their families to grow closer to God who have children, family members or friends who are LGBT. :)
    Who better to preach it and understand it then some one who has lived it , and lives it now?
    I always preached that a lot of times doing the right thing means standing alone, yet you are not alone, for Jesus is with you. :)
    One only needs 5 good friends on face book, not 3,000 fake ones.
    Seek God and I so pray that God seeks you.
    This conversation needs to happen.
    Think how many LGBT people we could bring to Christ and support if we would love them and not judge them!!!! God loves the homosexual…not homosexuality. (Act of).
    I like to say struggling Christian…not necc Gay Christian…..
    Be blessed.
    May the lord Jesus Chris be the keeper of your soul.

  • Samantha

    Wow…love, love, love this. My son came out to me a few months ago. He is 19. We could always talk about things. My husband is southern Baptist as well. Believes it is a choice. Right now my husband does not know. I told my son when he is ready, if ever, he can tell his father. I was raised Lutheran. I now view myself as Christian…man has interpreted the Bible and built some churches that twist the message of the Bible. Be careful where you seek the truth. :) Early on, going to a few diff churches I saw the double standards Christians put on each other and how they walked the so called Christian walk. We all fall short, and as I sit here and type and judge shame on me. I am just truthfully stating what I have experienced. I immediately had a broken heart for my son, yet we talked so openly about the entire topic. I wrote on my son’s senior page that we loved him unconditionally and would always believe in him. That holds to this day. I have wrapped my arms around my son even more and do pray that he discovers why God has this plan for him. I have drawn closer to God and I am continuing to email my son and answer his questions the best I can. I have encouraged him to look at this web site and to seek God and a good support system. I do believe that the actions or life style of the homosexual are a sin, per the bible. It is about choices and being in control of one’s free will…that is where I am with it today. :) :) We all must walk our own journey and come to things on our own. We must walk through the pain and events to get a true understanding of what it is to be a born again Christian and to commit to walking with Jesus. We can pray, encourage, give grace, mercy and love…but each individual must open up their heart and soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. I told my son, maybe it is his calling to finish his degree in psychology to help others and their families to grow closer to God who have children, family members or friends who are LGBT. :)
    Who better to preach it and understand it then some one who has lived it , and lives it now?
    I always preached that a lot of times doing the right thing means standing alone, yet you are not alone, for Jesus is with you. :)
    One only needs 5 good friends on face book, not 3,000 fake ones.
    Seek God and I so pray that God seeks you.
    This conversation needs to happen.
    Think how many LGBT people we could bring to Christ and support if we would love them and not judge them!!!! God loves the homosexual…not homosexuality. (Act of).
    I like to say struggling Christian…not necc Gay Christian…..
    Be blessed.
    May the lord Jesus Chris be the keeper of your soul.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Samantha. Keep up the struggle — God always meets us there. He always helps us in our authentic struggle. When we judge, we’ve closed off the struggle, the honest inquiry, and then we don’t hear anymore. You might want to look at some of the excellent sites on my resources page and ask God to show you. My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not. That’s my only place I would challenge you. Thank you for your willing and tender heart!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Samantha. Keep up the struggle — God always meets us there. He always helps us in our authentic struggle. When we judge, we’ve closed off the struggle, the honest inquiry, and then we don’t hear anymore. You might want to look at some of the excellent sites on my resources page and ask God to show you. My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not. That’s my only place I would challenge you. Thank you for your willing and tender heart!

  • Samantha

    In regards to my earlier post you said you didn’t under stand ……My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not.
    When I wrote the act of homosexuality, I was meaning the sexual acts as stated in the Bible.
    They are to still come to Jesus and ask him to be their Lord and Savior.
    If you are to be a Christian, one needs to check in to what one signs up for.
    Though this would not be easy, they are to live an asexual life style. I know that may seem harsh, but it is what the Bible says. Just as I have read that marriage is between a man and a woman. LGBT cannot marry and be true Christians.(per the Bible) IF they fall in love and cannot with hold their sexual desires then they must repent to God for forgiveness. How ever, repenting and asking for forgiveness does not mean we should just go out and keep sinning. It’s not a get out of hell free card. Just as married heterosexuals should not cheat. The non-married people should not be promiscuous, nor have premarital sex. We should not kill. All the sins that are listed in the Bible we should as humans not do. How ever, we are all sinners. As a born again Christian I fight against sin every day. I have sinned and have ask for forgiveness. We should at least try not to sin. We are all to be in control of our Free will. In the end it is between that person and God. I so pray that all people pray and ask God what is his plan for them? Why are certain people to have these struggles? Being in the medical profession I have seen alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, and I could go on and on. Why do some these have all these struggles? Why do little kids get cancer? We don’t know all the answers but God does. God has a plan. I just ask LGBT to seek God and the Holy spirit. I ask them to try to walk with Jesus. Not just LGBT, all humans. All man kind. To have respect for self and others. The love of Jesus will carry them. They need a positive support group and good family and friends. I know several medical professionals who are LGBT. They have chosen to pour them selves in to their work. They have great family and friends. They have chosen to not engage in sexual, loving relationships. They are happy. They are Christian. Thank goodness for this sight!!! I’m not a writer and some times have trouble getting my point over. I hope that is better? :) Right now that is where I am at with this. Some reading this may say I am not living in reality asking LGBT not to be in a relationship, it is not my place to make those decisions, they have to. I am just going by what God commands and writing my understanding that I have of it. :) I am still searching and reading and learning more about this as well. I have yet to find in the Bible where homosexuality is not a sin. It is not clear to me either ….that God made people LGBT.
    I believe that God made us who we are and that we are then in control of our free will and we all have choices to make. We are to put forth effort and to ask God to work through us and use us and direct us to do his work while we are here on Earth. I too struggle with science, biological make up, psyche issues, born LGBT. I do know some people have psyche issues and after years of therapy it was revealed and the person is now heterosexual. I do know many people, friends of mine that are born that way. I feel that people with these feelings and struggles must seek the truth as to why. Once that is established then they can take the next steps to living a content life. I do believe it is a process and we all need Jesus and to love one another and to not go through life alone. We all have struggles. The biggest hurdle for me is the Christian hurdle. It will be a life time battle for some I am sure. Like I said…in the very end it is between a person and God. God knows our hearts, and I believe all will be forgiven. :) :)

  • Samantha

    In regards to my earlier post you said you didn’t under stand ……My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not.
    When I wrote the act of homosexuality, I was meaning the sexual acts as stated in the Bible.
    They are to still come to Jesus and ask him to be their Lord and Savior.
    If you are to be a Christian, one needs to check in to what one signs up for.
    Though this would not be easy, they are to live an asexual life style. I know that may seem harsh, but it is what the Bible says. Just as I have read that marriage is between a man and a woman. LGBT cannot marry and be true Christians.(per the Bible) IF they fall in love and cannot with hold their sexual desires then they must repent to God for forgiveness. How ever, repenting and asking for forgiveness does not mean we should just go out and keep sinning. It’s not a get out of hell free card. Just as married heterosexuals should not cheat. The non-married people should not be promiscuous, nor have premarital sex. We should not kill. All the sins that are listed in the Bible we should as humans not do. How ever, we are all sinners. As a born again Christian I fight against sin every day. I have sinned and have ask for forgiveness. We should at least try not to sin. We are all to be in control of our Free will. In the end it is between that person and God. I so pray that all people pray and ask God what is his plan for them? Why are certain people to have these struggles? Being in the medical profession I have seen alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, and I could go on and on. Why do some these have all these struggles? Why do little kids get cancer? We don’t know all the answers but God does. God has a plan. I just ask LGBT to seek God and the Holy spirit. I ask them to try to walk with Jesus. Not just LGBT, all humans. All man kind. To have respect for self and others. The love of Jesus will carry them. They need a positive support group and good family and friends. I know several medical professionals who are LGBT. They have chosen to pour them selves in to their work. They have great family and friends. They have chosen to not engage in sexual, loving relationships. They are happy. They are Christian. Thank goodness for this sight!!! I’m not a writer and some times have trouble getting my point over. I hope that is better? :) Right now that is where I am at with this. Some reading this may say I am not living in reality asking LGBT not to be in a relationship, it is not my place to make those decisions, they have to. I am just going by what God commands and writing my understanding that I have of it. :) I am still searching and reading and learning more about this as well. I have yet to find in the Bible where homosexuality is not a sin. It is not clear to me either ….that God made people LGBT.
    I believe that God made us who we are and that we are then in control of our free will and we all have choices to make. We are to put forth effort and to ask God to work through us and use us and direct us to do his work while we are here on Earth. I too struggle with science, biological make up, psyche issues, born LGBT. I do know some people have psyche issues and after years of therapy it was revealed and the person is now heterosexual. I do know many people, friends of mine that are born that way. I feel that people with these feelings and struggles must seek the truth as to why. Once that is established then they can take the next steps to living a content life. I do believe it is a process and we all need Jesus and to love one another and to not go through life alone. We all have struggles. The biggest hurdle for me is the Christian hurdle. It will be a life time battle for some I am sure. Like I said…in the very end it is between a person and God. God knows our hearts, and I believe all will be forgiven. :) :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello Samantha. I understood what you meant before. You expressed it very well. But what I mean is, LGBTQ people experience this differently, not just as a sin they need to refrain from. You mentioned several things in your comment: cheating, promiscuity, alcoholism, etc. Do you see that those are all actions that you’re not guilty of until you do them. You see? But being LGBTQ is an identity. I get that. Just as heterosexual is my identity. It’s not ALL that I am but I am definitely that — even if I’m celibate. LGBTQ people are saying that is their identity, even if they’ve never engaged in sexual behavior. So it’s different. I think that’s where the schism is. It’s not just a matter of self-control but of identity.
    Speaking of self-control — where does that come from? Isn’t that a fruit of the Holy Spirit? We’re not meant to sort out our own ability, and gut it up to resist things — we’re meant to rely on the Spirit within us to produce life.
    I don’t know if you realize this, but those verses you mention are disputed by learned theologians. It is NOT the slam dunk you seem to think. I recommend Torn for you to see how not a choice this is. I totally agree with you, when you said it’s NOT up to us to determine what’s right or wrong. It’s not. It’s up to Christ in us. Let’s make an agreement: we will point people to Christ, and we’ll let Him direct them as needed. We have enough to do with our own stuff.
    Thank you for your thoughts.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello Samantha. I understood what you meant before. You expressed it very well. But what I mean is, LGBTQ people experience this differently, not just as a sin they need to refrain from. You mentioned several things in your comment: cheating, promiscuity, alcoholism, etc. Do you see that those are all actions that you’re not guilty of until you do them. You see? But being LGBTQ is an identity. I get that. Just as heterosexual is my identity. It’s not ALL that I am but I am definitely that — even if I’m celibate. LGBTQ people are saying that is their identity, even if they’ve never engaged in sexual behavior. So it’s different. I think that’s where the schism is. It’s not just a matter of self-control but of identity.
    Speaking of self-control — where does that come from? Isn’t that a fruit of the Holy Spirit? We’re not meant to sort out our own ability, and gut it up to resist things — we’re meant to rely on the Spirit within us to produce life.
    I don’t know if you realize this, but those verses you mention are disputed by learned theologians. It is NOT the slam dunk you seem to think. I recommend Torn for you to see how not a choice this is. I totally agree with you, when you said it’s NOT up to us to determine what’s right or wrong. It’s not. It’s up to Christ in us. Let’s make an agreement: we will point people to Christ, and we’ll let Him direct them as needed. We have enough to do with our own stuff.
    Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Samantha

    Wow….I sent you a direct email response. :)
    I will read Torn, I get it’s not a choice, my son did not choose it, how ever, what he does with his life IS his choice with God guiding him… Free will.
    The Bible is pretty clear on many things…it is man and different religions that skew it’s content.
    We all need to be careful where we get our facts from. :)
    I have day to day struggles, but I always find peace with God and actually live a very peaceful life… so is my son….I thank God for that. :)

    In the end, may God be the keeper of ALL our souls……seek him.

    I ask all reading these post to ask the Lord to be your savior. It’s the first step to inner peace.
    “Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”

  • Samantha

    Wow….I sent you a direct email response. :)
    I will read Torn, I get it’s not a choice, my son did not choose it, how ever, what he does with his life IS his choice with God guiding him… Free will.
    The Bible is pretty clear on many things…it is man and different religions that skew it’s content.
    We all need to be careful where we get our facts from. :)
    I have day to day struggles, but I always find peace with God and actually live a very peaceful life… so is my son….I thank God for that. :)

    In the end, may God be the keeper of ALL our souls……seek him.

    I ask all reading these post to ask the Lord to be your savior. It’s the first step to inner peace.
    “Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Those are my thoughts exactly, Murasaki, and why Christian cannot see that they’re chasing people away from Christ and God is beyond me. Just set this issue aside and let people interact with Christ on their own. Thank you for summing it up so well. Love your icon.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Those are my thoughts exactly, Murasaki, and why Christian cannot see that they’re chasing people away from Christ and God is beyond me. Just set this issue aside and let people interact with Christ on their own. Thank you for summing it up so well. Love your icon.

  • Samantha

    Mr. Broker,

    I have to agree with carolb12.

    I have two sons that are 19 months apart. We, my husband and I, treated both boys the same. Love, discipline, hugs, spankings, support, encouragement, rewards, church, family outings, etc. My older son came out to me a few months ago. He is a sophomore in college. We have always been able to talk about things…age appropriate. I never really thought about LGBT people, (as in the why, born, choice debate) until my son told me that day. I taught them to love all and to not judge, that is God’s job.Thus the research has begun. I suggest you do a lot more research. :) I read James Dobson’s book. It was given to me from my children’s school…a private Christian school! My son started to feel this way in elementary/middle school. When puberty kicked in. Imagine his inner battle in a conservative Christian family and school.

    Thank God I raised them to not pay attention to all the hypocritical Christians who are not walking a true walk with Jesus, that many times to do the right thing, you will stand a lone in it. Then pray for all our souls. Thank God I always loved him and still love him unconditionally. I taught him/ them from a young age that God made them and to make good choices. He could have been cutting or turned to drugs or drinking to cope. So far, he has a strong core and faith with God. He even asked me, why did God make him that way? He doesn’t want to be that way. He wants to be attracted to girls. He has good friends and a great support system around him. They all were shocked when he told them. He tries to be attracted to girls…he is not…What young teenage guy does not get aroused when girls are around???? Mine for one….He has been to medical proff counseling and his psyche is in-tacked. He hates that he feels this way. We are digging for the truth and accepting this as God is guiding us through it. We are trying to cover ALL the basis. We stand firm on the Bible and he has joined a Christian group at college who are LGBT. They are trying to be in control of their free will and choices. Many are trying not to live the life style, if they so choose to do so, it is between that person and God. Romans 3:23 He even tried to date and kissed a few girls, and said he almost vomited.

    As a medical professional as well, I agree that some people do have some experiences in their lives that can alter their perceptions and feelings towards others…thus detachment disorders, trust issues, sexual abuse, etc. I have seen it. Dobson’s theory is one example. How ever, I know many LGBT that I do believe, if they are being honest with themselves and with others they were born that way. I am still researching and reading in the “science” area of this. But until your child sits their and tells you about his gay struggles please be careful of judging us who are walking though this war with our children. These are our children and God help us all. We all need to help each other, not tear each other down.

    We all have a lot of home work to do and then let God’s plan unfold.

    Say a prayer for all….:)

  • Samantha

    Mr. Broker,

    I have to agree with carolb12.

    I have two sons that are 19 months apart. We, my husband and I, treated both boys the same. Love, discipline, hugs, spankings, support, encouragement, rewards, church, family outings, etc. My older son came out to me a few months ago. He is a sophomore in college. We have always been able to talk about things…age appropriate. I never really thought about LGBT people, (as in the why, born, choice debate) until my son told me that day. I taught them to love all and to not judge, that is God’s job.Thus the research has begun. I suggest you do a lot more research. :) I read James Dobson’s book. It was given to me from my children’s school…a private Christian school! My son started to feel this way in elementary/middle school. When puberty kicked in. Imagine his inner battle in a conservative Christian family and school.

    Thank God I raised them to not pay attention to all the hypocritical Christians who are not walking a true walk with Jesus, that many times to do the right thing, you will stand a lone in it. Then pray for all our souls. Thank God I always loved him and still love him unconditionally. I taught him/ them from a young age that God made them and to make good choices. He could have been cutting or turned to drugs or drinking to cope. So far, he has a strong core and faith with God. He even asked me, why did God make him that way? He doesn’t want to be that way. He wants to be attracted to girls. He has good friends and a great support system around him. They all were shocked when he told them. He tries to be attracted to girls…he is not…What young teenage guy does not get aroused when girls are around???? Mine for one….He has been to medical proff counseling and his psyche is in-tacked. He hates that he feels this way. We are digging for the truth and accepting this as God is guiding us through it. We are trying to cover ALL the basis. We stand firm on the Bible and he has joined a Christian group at college who are LGBT. They are trying to be in control of their free will and choices. Many are trying not to live the life style, if they so choose to do so, it is between that person and God. Romans 3:23 He even tried to date and kissed a few girls, and said he almost vomited.

    As a medical professional as well, I agree that some people do have some experiences in their lives that can alter their perceptions and feelings towards others…thus detachment disorders, trust issues, sexual abuse, etc. I have seen it. Dobson’s theory is one example. How ever, I know many LGBT that I do believe, if they are being honest with themselves and with others they were born that way. I am still researching and reading in the “science” area of this. But until your child sits their and tells you about his gay struggles please be careful of judging us who are walking though this war with our children. These are our children and God help us all. We all need to help each other, not tear each other down.

    We all have a lot of home work to do and then let God’s plan unfold.

    Say a prayer for all….:)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for your beautiful words. What a blessing for your son. God is at work, isn’t He? Thank you for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for your beautiful words. What a blessing for your son. God is at work, isn’t He? Thank you for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes, God has a way of changing our views, doesn’t He? Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes, God has a way of changing our views, doesn’t He? Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Excellent question – thanks for asking. I am NOT convicted that homosexuality is a sin. I do believe God has convicted some people not to pursue it (they’ve told me personally), and I believe to some He has said, there’s nothing wrong with it, I created you this way (also from their own lips). This need not be disconcerting; it fits exactly with the personal relationship Jesus invites us to, the Holy Spirit leading us personally in all truth, and our own conscience bearing witness (Romans 2:15). Any sin of which God convicts us, sexual or otherwise, is not okay for us, and what He does not call a sin we should not call a sin. Galatians 5:1-6 tells us that if you accept any of the law, you’re obligated to the whole law [impossible for anyone to keep]. “For in Christ Jesus neither [the law] nor [not the law] counts for anything but only faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

    I see my book How Not to Lose Your Teen as a beautiful dismantling of “parenting by rules,” encouraging instead “parenting by relationship,” just as God interacts with us! That was my point. The more I mature, the more permeating is the relationship-focus versus rule-focus. People freak because I talk about dependence on God instead of a handy rule list you keep in your pocket, afraid people will run amok. But on the contrary, rules cause us to run amok; how many ways we can we fight over how to slice and dice them? But focused on God, everything else falls right into place, just as Jesus said it would (Matthew 22:40). An absolute miracle!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Excellent question – thanks for asking. I am NOT convicted that homosexuality is a sin. I do believe God has convicted some people not to pursue it (they’ve told me personally), and I believe to some He has said, there’s nothing wrong with it, I created you this way (also from their own lips). This need not be disconcerting; it fits exactly with the personal relationship Jesus invites us to, the Holy Spirit leading us personally in all truth, and our own conscience bearing witness (Romans 2:15). Any sin of which God convicts us, sexual or otherwise, is not okay for us, and what He does not call a sin we should not call a sin. Galatians 5:1-6 tells us that if you accept any of the law, you’re obligated to the whole law [impossible for anyone to keep]. “For in Christ Jesus neither [the law] nor [not the law] counts for anything but only faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

    I see my book How Not to Lose Your Teen as a beautiful dismantling of “parenting by rules,” encouraging instead “parenting by relationship,” just as God interacts with us! That was my point. The more I mature, the more permeating is the relationship-focus versus rule-focus. People freak because I talk about dependence on God instead of a handy rule list you keep in your pocket, afraid people will run amok. But on the contrary, rules cause us to run amok; how many ways we can we fight over how to slice and dice them? But focused on God, everything else falls right into place, just as Jesus said it would (Matthew 22:40). An absolute miracle!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Junebug, I know that you are sincere in these beliefs, and what I’m saying is foreign to you and against what you have been taught and internalized. I simply ask you one thing: ask God about it. Lay all your beliefs on the table, all your understanding, and ask Him for His word to you, His still small voice (1 Kings 18:20–40), the voice of the Shepherd that the sheep recognize (John 10:27-33). And let Him guide you.

    The easiest thing is to say, “It’s an abomination,” and leave it there. But that’s too easy, and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Proverbs 6:16-19 calls “haughty eyes and a deceitful tongue” an abomination. Have you ever had either of those? We want to be very careful what measure we use for people given that’s the measure that will be used for us (Matthew 7:2)! (A scary thought, isn’t it?) Leviticus 18:19 says to uncover a woman’s nakedness during her menstrual uncleanness is an abomination — so that means sex within a week of your period. Have you canvassed your church for those people to warn them their because you will have to answer to God otherwise? You see? I’m not being absurd here; I’m showing you the logical extension of your thought.

    Those who submit to the law are UNDER THE WHOLE LAW (Galatians 5:3). So I suggest we back away from the law and grab hold of the grace Jesus offers. We are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). I could go on for a long time here, which I’m sure you don’t want! Churches split of these things. Instead, I entreat you to do as I first suggested: lay it all out, and ask God to speak to you about it. He will.

    Thank you for writing, and bless your journey.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Junebug, I know that you are sincere in these beliefs, and what I’m saying is foreign to you and against what you have been taught and internalized. I simply ask you one thing: ask God about it. Lay all your beliefs on the table, all your understanding, and ask Him for His word to you, His still small voice (1 Kings 18:20–40), the voice of the Shepherd that the sheep recognize (John 10:27-33). And let Him guide you.

    The easiest thing is to say, “It’s an abomination,” and leave it there. But that’s too easy, and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Proverbs 6:16-19 calls “haughty eyes and a deceitful tongue” an abomination. Have you ever had either of those? We want to be very careful what measure we use for people given that’s the measure that will be used for us (Matthew 7:2)! (A scary thought, isn’t it?) Leviticus 18:19 says to uncover a woman’s nakedness during her menstrual uncleanness is an abomination — so that means sex within a week of your period. Have you canvassed your church for those people to warn them their because you will have to answer to God otherwise? You see? I’m not being absurd here; I’m showing you the logical extension of your thought.

    Those who submit to the law are UNDER THE WHOLE LAW (Galatians 5:3). So I suggest we back away from the law and grab hold of the grace Jesus offers. We are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). I could go on for a long time here, which I’m sure you don’t want! Churches split of these things. Instead, I entreat you to do as I first suggested: lay it all out, and ask God to speak to you about it. He will.

    Thank you for writing, and bless your journey.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Hi there junebug,

    You know, we have been horribly, horribly wrong about so many things in Scripture. Really, we have. And since ALL of Scripture is tuned to the key of Jesus, we Jesus followers would do well to stop preaching Leviticus et.al. to the LGBTQ community and just love them in the name of Jesus, serve them in the name of Jesus, and accept them where they are – again, in the name of Jesus. It’s up to Jesus to make changes in their hearts – and what He requires first is faith in Him and complete commitment to Him. If changes are to come, then it’s up to Him to make them. Telling someone that they are an abomination is just about the least helpful, least loving thing one could say. I mean, who, upon hearing that, would want to set so much as a toe in any church? As Susan wrote so beautifully, there are many things that are deemed abominations in Scripture – and you know, we here on the other side of the cross just don’t ascribe to them any longer. I’m not asking you to change your stance; I’m asking if you will try loving one LGBTQ person in the name of Jesus – not with words but with deeds, which is proof of faith. We believers have to trust God enough, after we have given out the Gospel (which, btw, is not a sin-management message), to stand back and see Him at work. And watching God at work often looks so different than what we think it should look like.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Hi there junebug,

    You know, we have been horribly, horribly wrong about so many things in Scripture. Really, we have. And since ALL of Scripture is tuned to the key of Jesus, we Jesus followers would do well to stop preaching Leviticus et.al. to the LGBTQ community and just love them in the name of Jesus, serve them in the name of Jesus, and accept them where they are – again, in the name of Jesus. It’s up to Jesus to make changes in their hearts – and what He requires first is faith in Him and complete commitment to Him. If changes are to come, then it’s up to Him to make them. Telling someone that they are an abomination is just about the least helpful, least loving thing one could say. I mean, who, upon hearing that, would want to set so much as a toe in any church? As Susan wrote so beautifully, there are many things that are deemed abominations in Scripture – and you know, we here on the other side of the cross just don’t ascribe to them any longer. I’m not asking you to change your stance; I’m asking if you will try loving one LGBTQ person in the name of Jesus – not with words but with deeds, which is proof of faith. We believers have to trust God enough, after we have given out the Gospel (which, btw, is not a sin-management message), to stand back and see Him at work. And watching God at work often looks so different than what we think it should look like.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Junebug, you are right: the Holy Spirit brings forth repentance. We do not. And to stand there telling people what to repent of is like being the oldest child in the family and telling your siblings, “Hey! Mom told you not to do that! You better listen to Mom.” Well that is not your job. Mom can handle it, thank you. Even more, our perfect God an handle His own children and direct them to repentance (through His kindness, interestingly enough — Romans 2:4).

    Now let’s take a closer look at the abomination thing. God calls many things an abomination. What does the word mean? You’d think it means something that’s abominable — hated or despised. But the word translated abomination is the Hebrew word: toevah. It means taboo. That’s all it means. Why it’s translated as abomination, I can’t tell you. But it refers to cultic, pagan practices that God was telling the Hebrews not to do; for them it is taboo. That’s all it means. You can look it up.

    Unfortunately, the word has taken on a life of its own to mean something so despicable, we don’t even want to describe it, to mean something abominable — and we only seem to whip it out in relation to homosexuality. A lot of harm has come from that. If you want to stop in your thinking at the place of saying, “It’s an abomination,” you can do that. And people will walk past you paying little attention because you have not looked into this deeply enough. I think Survivorgirl is telling you that it’s not helpful to stand there saying homosexuality is an abomination. If you want to be accurate, then here’s what you need to say: “Homosexuality is listed among a number of other things as something taboo for Hebrews in a culture very different from ours thousands of years before Christ.” Because that is true. God was keeping the Hebrew people separate from the other nations, for His purposes at a time in history. It does NOT mean it’s abominable. I know this doesn’t make sense to you against the teaching you have internalized and I can hear you speaking from.

    We could be talking about many wonderful things — how we are no longer under the law but under grace, how Jesus turned the ancient world on its head when He said outrageous things they didn’t understand, or what it really means to love your neighbor. Hugely upsetting ideas Jesus brought in and laid out before them! But on this topic, I stand by my earlier plea for you to seek God privately and intimately as ask Him to show you what He wants to on this. Honestly, before that happens, that’s all the discussion we need to have about this deal about abomination. Best to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Junebug, you are right: the Holy Spirit brings forth repentance. We do not. And to stand there telling people what to repent of is like being the oldest child in the family and telling your siblings, “Hey! Mom told you not to do that! You better listen to Mom.” Well that is not your job. Mom can handle it, thank you. Even more, our perfect God an handle His own children and direct them to repentance (through His kindness, interestingly enough — Romans 2:4).

    Now let’s take a closer look at the abomination thing. God calls many things an abomination. What does the word mean? You’d think it means something that’s abominable — hated or despised. But the word translated abomination is the Hebrew word: toevah. It means taboo. That’s all it means. Why it’s translated as abomination, I can’t tell you. But it refers to cultic, pagan practices that God was telling the Hebrews not to do; for them it is taboo. That’s all it means. You can look it up.

    Unfortunately, the word has taken on a life of its own to mean something so despicable, we don’t even want to describe it, to mean something abominable — and we only seem to whip it out in relation to homosexuality. A lot of harm has come from that. If you want to stop in your thinking at the place of saying, “It’s an abomination,” you can do that. And people will walk past you paying little attention because you have not looked into this deeply enough. I think Survivorgirl is telling you that it’s not helpful to stand there saying homosexuality is an abomination. If you want to be accurate, then here’s what you need to say: “Homosexuality is listed among a number of other things as something taboo for Hebrews in a culture very different from ours thousands of years before Christ.” Because that is true. God was keeping the Hebrew people separate from the other nations, for His purposes at a time in history. It does NOT mean it’s abominable. I know this doesn’t make sense to you against the teaching you have internalized and I can hear you speaking from.

    We could be talking about many wonderful things — how we are no longer under the law but under grace, how Jesus turned the ancient world on its head when He said outrageous things they didn’t understand, or what it really means to love your neighbor. Hugely upsetting ideas Jesus brought in and laid out before them! But on this topic, I stand by my earlier plea for you to seek God privately and intimately as ask Him to show you what He wants to on this. Honestly, before that happens, that’s all the discussion we need to have about this deal about abomination. Best to you.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Susan, thank you for bringing up the Hebrew term “toevah.” As you’ve explained so well, it is used elsewhere to refer to ritual imperfection/cultural prohibition/taboo activities. When we look at that term in context (which is what we must do with all of Scripture in order to read it with integrity), homosexual activity is listed alongside other ‘toevah’ activities such as remarriage – or not keeping kosher.

    I think the bottom line is that the Church needs to stop putting so much focus on the activity and, instead, really focus on the person. As pastor and author Tim Keller reminds us, it’s only in the Gospel that we get the verdict before the performance. If we throw the mistranslated ‘abomination’ term at a group of people, then the likelihood that they will ever come to truly hear the Gospel is radically diminished. I don’t want to have to answer for putting that stumbling block before those that Jesus is trying to reach through me.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Susan, thank you for bringing up the Hebrew term “toevah.” As you’ve explained so well, it is used elsewhere to refer to ritual imperfection/cultural prohibition/taboo activities. When we look at that term in context (which is what we must do with all of Scripture in order to read it with integrity), homosexual activity is listed alongside other ‘toevah’ activities such as remarriage – or not keeping kosher.

    I think the bottom line is that the Church needs to stop putting so much focus on the activity and, instead, really focus on the person. As pastor and author Tim Keller reminds us, it’s only in the Gospel that we get the verdict before the performance. If we throw the mistranslated ‘abomination’ term at a group of people, then the likelihood that they will ever come to truly hear the Gospel is radically diminished. I don’t want to have to answer for putting that stumbling block before those that Jesus is trying to reach through me.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    He missed a LOT of opportunities — He didn’t tell the woman at the well to stop living with a man. He didn’t tell Peter to stop denying Him. He constantly built relationship with people, pointing to Himself as the way to life, as the one who could meet their needs and fill their hearts. The one example that leaps to mind is the woman forgiven for adultery. In fact, it is pulled out time after time as proof that yes, Jesus forgives, but we’d better get our act together. (The implication being that He might not be so lenient on us next time.) Please read this to get a fuller treatment on that story than a simple, “See, Jesus said stop doing it so there.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ You will see there that Jesus does not focus on the behavior but on the heart — as He does throughout every encounter we read of Him. Beyond that, this correction that He does of her (in which He redirects her to Himself), it is JESUS doing that. Not you. Not me. We seem to forget that little piece when we quote it as though it could be anybody correcting her. Jesus is the one who knows her heart and soul, who loves her more than anyone else, who could hold back the tide of those ready to kill her. So please, for me, stop quoting that as proof that it really is about sin-management after all instead of the new life Jesus gave us. (I don’t aim this at you specifically, Jen, but the droves of people who offer this up again and again.)

    If we want to be Christlike, then our best bet is to offer the love He told us to offer, and constantly redirect people to Him. He knows! He will do what needs to be done! He will correct in that amazingly gentle and effective way He does that we don’t!! He will bring about the best results (since results are so important to most people). Thank you for stepping in here, Jen!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    He missed a LOT of opportunities — He didn’t tell the woman at the well to stop living with a man. He didn’t tell Peter to stop denying Him. He constantly built relationship with people, pointing to Himself as the way to life, as the one who could meet their needs and fill their hearts. The one example that leaps to mind is the woman forgiven for adultery. In fact, it is pulled out time after time as proof that yes, Jesus forgives, but we’d better get our act together. (The implication being that He might not be so lenient on us next time.) Please read this to get a fuller treatment on that story than a simple, “See, Jesus said stop doing it so there.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ You will see there that Jesus does not focus on the behavior but on the heart — as He does throughout every encounter we read of Him. Beyond that, this correction that He does of her (in which He redirects her to Himself), it is JESUS doing that. Not you. Not me. We seem to forget that little piece when we quote it as though it could be anybody correcting her. Jesus is the one who knows her heart and soul, who loves her more than anyone else, who could hold back the tide of those ready to kill her. So please, for me, stop quoting that as proof that it really is about sin-management after all instead of the new life Jesus gave us. (I don’t aim this at you specifically, Jen, but the droves of people who offer this up again and again.)

    If we want to be Christlike, then our best bet is to offer the love He told us to offer, and constantly redirect people to Him. He knows! He will do what needs to be done! He will correct in that amazingly gentle and effective way He does that we don’t!! He will bring about the best results (since results are so important to most people). Thank you for stepping in here, Jen!

  • Samantha

    Wow…to your last sentence…. Great job in parenting a son who knows who he is and at such a young age is true to himself. Kudos to you for the “talking” relationship you have with your son!!!

    I once heard, “if one spends his life trying to please other people, he will not be pleased with himself.” Go DAD!!!! Hugs to you all.

  • Samantha

    Wow…to your last sentence…. Great job in parenting a son who knows who he is and at such a young age is true to himself. Kudos to you for the “talking” relationship you have with your son!!!

    I once heard, “if one spends his life trying to please other people, he will not be pleased with himself.” Go DAD!!!! Hugs to you all.

  • Samantha

    junebug,

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

    Please note the attached web site to the latest Rolling Stone article that came out in the October issue.

    I want to be around the Christians that you are around that are always nice to people, and non-judgmental. I live in the Bible belt and have issues with many churches here. I have witnessed and experienced such “not belonging” I do not even go to church much any more. Sad. No, I am not LGBT either. I do a lot of my own Bible study with a few good friends. I am a strong Christian and even sent my kids to a private Christian school. I have experienced some of the hypocritical behavior there as well. We all fall short….I just pray for the families and see them as a “lost soul.” They just truly don’t “get the walk yet.” Some days I don’t either. :)

    I stand firm on the Bible and what God teaches. I never have cared what others think and taught my kids to think the same. If one is to walk with Jesus, many times it will mean walking alone, yet not really alone, for one is with Jesus. We are all struggling Christians. In the end, it is between God and that person. In the meantime lets pray for others to seek God and that God seeks them. :)

    Be Blessed.

  • Samantha

    junebug,

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

    Please note the attached web site to the latest Rolling Stone article that came out in the October issue.

    I want to be around the Christians that you are around that are always nice to people, and non-judgmental. I live in the Bible belt and have issues with many churches here. I have witnessed and experienced such “not belonging” I do not even go to church much any more. Sad. No, I am not LGBT either. I do a lot of my own Bible study with a few good friends. I am a strong Christian and even sent my kids to a private Christian school. I have experienced some of the hypocritical behavior there as well. We all fall short….I just pray for the families and see them as a “lost soul.” They just truly don’t “get the walk yet.” Some days I don’t either. :)

    I stand firm on the Bible and what God teaches. I never have cared what others think and taught my kids to think the same. If one is to walk with Jesus, many times it will mean walking alone, yet not really alone, for one is with Jesus. We are all struggling Christians. In the end, it is between God and that person. In the meantime lets pray for others to seek God and that God seeks them. :)

    Be Blessed.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Pastor Tony Campolo addresses this beautifully – and somberly: “Jesus said, ‘Love the sinner, and hate your OWN sin.’” We are far, far too concerned with others’ spiritual hygiene rather than our own, and Susan has done a pretty thorough job of explaining why we need to step aside and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. In fact, her words remind me of what Billy Graham said when he was asked his thoughts re: homosexuality: “It’s the Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” I think he has it right.

  • SurvivorGirl007

    Pastor Tony Campolo addresses this beautifully – and somberly: “Jesus said, ‘Love the sinner, and hate your OWN sin.’” We are far, far too concerned with others’ spiritual hygiene rather than our own, and Susan has done a pretty thorough job of explaining why we need to step aside and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. In fact, her words remind me of what Billy Graham said when he was asked his thoughts re: homosexuality: “It’s the Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” I think he has it right.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, that’s where we disagree, Jen. You say, “encouraging them to continue living as they are rather than to follow Christ” — but don’t we always follow Him living as we are until He moves us forward? And who will move people from where they are better than Christ? Who knows which direction any of us need to go better than Christ? That is the whole point, Jen. That is the beauty of Christ! We look from the outside and hold each other accountable for sin we see, but we look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. Even if we do judge rightly, what plan do you have to stop sin? Who held those scoundrels accountable that Jesus hung out with? The worst kind of extortioners, prostitutes, drunkards! Jesus Himself was called illegitimate (John 8:41), mentally-ill (John 10:20), demon-possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20), a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7), a deceiver(John 7:12), and satan (Matt. 10:25). But that was man looking at the outward appearance. I know that I’m going counter to what is taught in most churches today, and if it’s too much, I understand that. I won’t blame you for not reading. But to continue to look at sin as something we can manage and hold to account, especially in each other, is to make a mockery of the cross! Jesus has so much more to do in us than to be sure we don’t do this or that. He is here to renew our minds and make us new. You believe gays are in sin but what do you know about your pastor’s sin? Sin-management will never produce life! Read Colossians 2:20-23: “…rules and regulations… have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion… but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Whoa! I’m not saying anything goes, Jen. I’m saying anything goes straight to Christ to direct in His time. We work from the outside-in and create an illusion of goodness (a grand illusion); Jesus works from the inside-out to create life. I take His life over anyone else’s illusion any day! Thank you for your heart in this, Jen.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, that’s where we disagree, Jen. You say, “encouraging them to continue living as they are rather than to follow Christ” — but don’t we always follow Him living as we are until He moves us forward? And who will move people from where they are better than Christ? Who knows which direction any of us need to go better than Christ? That is the whole point, Jen. That is the beauty of Christ! We look from the outside and hold each other accountable for sin we see, but we look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. Even if we do judge rightly, what plan do you have to stop sin? Who held those scoundrels accountable that Jesus hung out with? The worst kind of extortioners, prostitutes, drunkards! Jesus Himself was called illegitimate (John 8:41), mentally-ill (John 10:20), demon-possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20), a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7), a deceiver(John 7:12), and satan (Matt. 10:25). But that was man looking at the outward appearance. I know that I’m going counter to what is taught in most churches today, and if it’s too much, I understand that. I won’t blame you for not reading. But to continue to look at sin as something we can manage and hold to account, especially in each other, is to make a mockery of the cross! Jesus has so much more to do in us than to be sure we don’t do this or that. He is here to renew our minds and make us new. You believe gays are in sin but what do you know about your pastor’s sin? Sin-management will never produce life! Read Colossians 2:20-23: “…rules and regulations… have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion… but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Whoa! I’m not saying anything goes, Jen. I’m saying anything goes straight to Christ to direct in His time. We work from the outside-in and create an illusion of goodness (a grand illusion); Jesus works from the inside-out to create life. I take His life over anyone else’s illusion any day! Thank you for your heart in this, Jen.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I appreciate your words. That compassionate response is really what I’m asking of people, not determining right and wrong — which is what the tree of knowledge was all about, and God said No. According to my theology, it’s perfectly fine for you and me to disagree and still respond completely to Christ’s call to love God, love others. That’s all I’m seeking here! Thanks you for this second comment especially.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I appreciate your words. That compassionate response is really what I’m asking of people, not determining right and wrong — which is what the tree of knowledge was all about, and God said No. According to my theology, it’s perfectly fine for you and me to disagree and still respond completely to Christ’s call to love God, love others. That’s all I’m seeking here! Thanks you for this second comment especially.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I agree. If Christians could just land there (and we should be able to, given we have Christ in common!), the face of the church would be transformed. Bless you, Melissa!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I agree. If Christians could just land there (and we should be able to, given we have Christ in common!), the face of the church would be transformed. Bless you, Melissa!

  • http://irreverentrevs.wordpress.com tamalynk

    Melissa, I would encourage you to look at the MANY examples of marriage in the Bible. And the many stories dealing with sexuality. It’s an eye-opener, when we start to think about the polygamy, the concubines, the adultery, the murder… all within the confines of marriages of some of God’s finest people. And, when looking at the passages listing all the things God abhors, it’s equally surprising – and downright fun. We all do SOOOOOO many things that are an aberration to God – according to Holy Scripture. (Let’s face it, Leviticus is a fascinating book.) And none of these things are ranked in order of least bad to worst abomination ever. They’re just written down as abominations, or displeasing to God.

    In the interest of an honest examination and understanding of those holy words, it’s really important to consider ALL of the Bible, and the time and cultures in which it was written. Because, seriously, I’m going to keep borrowing my husband’s t-shirts and wearing clothes of mixed fabrics. And he’s going to keep eating shellfish.

  • http://irreverentrevs.wordpress.com tamalynk

    Melissa, I would encourage you to look at the MANY examples of marriage in the Bible. And the many stories dealing with sexuality. It’s an eye-opener, when we start to think about the polygamy, the concubines, the adultery, the murder… all within the confines of marriages of some of God’s finest people. And, when looking at the passages listing all the things God abhors, it’s equally surprising – and downright fun. We all do SOOOOOO many things that are an aberration to God – according to Holy Scripture. (Let’s face it, Leviticus is a fascinating book.) And none of these things are ranked in order of least bad to worst abomination ever. They’re just written down as abominations, or displeasing to God.

    In the interest of an honest examination and understanding of those holy words, it’s really important to consider ALL of the Bible, and the time and cultures in which it was written. Because, seriously, I’m going to keep borrowing my husband’s t-shirts and wearing clothes of mixed fabrics. And he’s going to keep eating shellfish.

  • Samantha

    This is the article I was trying to refer to in the above post.

    Sorry I copied and pasted the wrong story. :)

    The Hidden War Against Gay Teens Christian schools funded by taxpayers are expelling kids for not being straight

    Issue 1193 – October 10, 2013 Rolling Stone Mag

    page 74

    Features

    The Hidden Against Gay TeensByMorris, Alex

    Strange thing happened to Tristan at the end of eighth grade: He received a Facebook message from someone he didn’t know who seemed, somehow, to understand him better than anyone. “The message was like, ‘Hey, I’m pretty sure you’re gay. I just wanted…

    Thanks…..

  • Samantha

    This is the article I was trying to refer to in the above post.

    Sorry I copied and pasted the wrong story. :)

    The Hidden War Against Gay Teens Christian schools funded by taxpayers are expelling kids for not being straight

    Issue 1193 – October 10, 2013 Rolling Stone Mag

    page 74

    Features

    The Hidden Against Gay TeensByMorris, Alex

    Strange thing happened to Tristan at the end of eighth grade: He received a Facebook message from someone he didn’t know who seemed, somehow, to understand him better than anyone. “The message was like, ‘Hey, I’m pretty sure you’re gay. I just wanted…

    Thanks…..

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    And that right there is the love of Christ at work! Kat, you’ve moved my heart – thank you so much for sharing. God bless you on your journey. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    And that right there is the love of Christ at work! Kat, you’ve moved my heart – thank you so much for sharing. God bless you on your journey. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    And that slippery slope is exactly why God said, You know what? DON’T eat from that tree of knowledge. Seriously, don’t. Because you are not capable of handling what is okay and not okay. Multiple wives? Concubines? Overeating? Seriously, you cannot determine what is okay for each other. You don’t even know what’s right for yourselves unless you listen to My still small voice. So, here, let’s make it really simple for you: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). “Love Me, love others. Everything else will come under that.” (Matthew 22:36-40) So I’m telling you, I got this. I really got this. Thank you Melissa. Good thoughts.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    And that slippery slope is exactly why God said, You know what? DON’T eat from that tree of knowledge. Seriously, don’t. Because you are not capable of handling what is okay and not okay. Multiple wives? Concubines? Overeating? Seriously, you cannot determine what is okay for each other. You don’t even know what’s right for yourselves unless you listen to My still small voice. So, here, let’s make it really simple for you: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). “Love Me, love others. Everything else will come under that.” (Matthew 22:36-40) So I’m telling you, I got this. I really got this. Thank you Melissa. Good thoughts.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Melissa. You ask a great question. And I’m inclined to say, “I don’t know,” though I brace for impact as I write the words. The Bible does seem to make clear that some acts are inherently sinful. Abusing others, especially the defenseless. Not caring for each other (which is the sin of Sodom – Eze. 16:49). The trouble is that once we go down that road, we’re right back at the forbidden tree of knowledge, deciding what’s okay and what’s not. (“But we’ve got the verses to back it up.”) Yes, and so did the Pharisees and every legalistic group that has come down the pike.

    I really believe that when Jesus said, “ALL the law and prophets are summed up in ‘love God, love others,’ He really, really meant it. Everything. It’s just that it scares people. They want something to hang onto. Remember Israel demanding a human king in 1 Samuel 8, even though God said He would be their king? Isn’t that like us as humans? He warned them of the subjugation they would be under with a human king, but they wanted it and He gave it to them. In the same way, people want a written law to follow. God in Jeremiah 31:33 prophecies that in the new covenant, He will write the law on our minds and hearts — glory hallelujah! — but no, we want a written code which is constantly misinterpreted, applied inconsistently, and otherwise abused.

    Really, this new covenant is the most radical idea in the history of humankind, and to look for what parts of the written code still apply (as we’re prone to do) is to underestimate what we actually have in Christ. It’s just like asking for a human king who will take your sons and daughters to serve in his palace, when they could have had God Himself as king.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Melissa. You ask a great question. And I’m inclined to say, “I don’t know,” though I brace for impact as I write the words. The Bible does seem to make clear that some acts are inherently sinful. Abusing others, especially the defenseless. Not caring for each other (which is the sin of Sodom – Eze. 16:49). The trouble is that once we go down that road, we’re right back at the forbidden tree of knowledge, deciding what’s okay and what’s not. (“But we’ve got the verses to back it up.”) Yes, and so did the Pharisees and every legalistic group that has come down the pike.

    I really believe that when Jesus said, “ALL the law and prophets are summed up in ‘love God, love others,’ He really, really meant it. Everything. It’s just that it scares people. They want something to hang onto. Remember Israel demanding a human king in 1 Samuel 8, even though God said He would be their king? Isn’t that like us as humans? He warned them of the subjugation they would be under with a human king, but they wanted it and He gave it to them. In the same way, people want a written law to follow. God in Jeremiah 31:33 prophecies that in the new covenant, He will write the law on our minds and hearts — glory hallelujah! — but no, we want a written code which is constantly misinterpreted, applied inconsistently, and otherwise abused.

    Really, this new covenant is the most radical idea in the history of humankind, and to look for what parts of the written code still apply (as we’re prone to do) is to underestimate what we actually have in Christ. It’s just like asking for a human king who will take your sons and daughters to serve in his palace, when they could have had God Himself as king.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    That’s a very good point, bubblethink. A point that follows is how SURE his friends were that something HAD to be wrong for these terrible things to keep happening, there just HAD to be! And God told them otherwise. Thanks for the insight.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    That’s a very good point, bubblethink. A point that follows is how SURE his friends were that something HAD to be wrong for these terrible things to keep happening, there just HAD to be! And God told them otherwise. Thanks for the insight.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    So good. “As I get older my beliefs change. The most important thing is for us to be open to change.” True, true. Otherwise, we become a hardened, dispassionate pain in the neck – not the heart of Christ. Thank you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    So good. “As I get older my beliefs change. The most important thing is for us to be open to change.” True, true. Otherwise, we become a hardened, dispassionate pain in the neck – not the heart of Christ. Thank you.

  • Samantha

    I could have written your story…..:)

    “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling. He turns our scars into stars. Turns our pain into our pulpit.”

    From a coach at our Christian School…where at least the teachers pray for all our children and they are not thrown out for being LGBT.

    God is working…..overtime…..:)

  • Samantha

    I could have written your story…..:)

    “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling. He turns our scars into stars. Turns our pain into our pulpit.”

    From a coach at our Christian School…where at least the teachers pray for all our children and they are not thrown out for being LGBT.

    God is working…..overtime…..:)

  • Rose

    You made an interesting point, Melissa. You said that as sharers in God’s new covenant we are no longer asked to uphold the old laws. Jesus did not mention homosexuality in the new testament. If it was such a sin, as some believe, why would He have not spoken about it? In Psalm 139 we are told that God formed us in our mother’s womb…yes He formed homosexuals in their mother’s womb as well. God must have had a reason for doing so. Some day we will know why.I can’t believe our loving God would create so many homosexuals and then require them to remain celibate and discriminated against. For now, we as Christians, need to stop judging and speaking as if we know the mind of God. Instead, we should be willing to embrace people with differences in sexual orientation and include them as fellow human beings.

  • Rose

    You made an interesting point, Melissa. You said that as sharers in God’s new covenant we are no longer asked to uphold the old laws. Jesus did not mention homosexuality in the new testament. If it was such a sin, as some believe, why would He have not spoken about it? In Psalm 139 we are told that God formed us in our mother’s womb…yes He formed homosexuals in their mother’s womb as well. God must have had a reason for doing so. Some day we will know why.I can’t believe our loving God would create so many homosexuals and then require them to remain celibate and discriminated against. For now, we as Christians, need to stop judging and speaking as if we know the mind of God. Instead, we should be willing to embrace people with differences in sexual orientation and include them as fellow human beings.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Good for you, Mom. That’s the point of being here — to love. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Good for you, Mom. That’s the point of being here — to love. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    A horrible story, Angel, and there are plenty of others. Tragic, tragic. I’m so sorry for your suffering. Jesus said it’s better to tie a huge stone around their neck and throw them into the sea than to let people harm a child like that. Playing God over others is what Jesus got angry at — not people you struggling through life. I hope you have found some healing, as monumental as that can be. And I agree with your conclusions. Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you and heal you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    A horrible story, Angel, and there are plenty of others. Tragic, tragic. I’m so sorry for your suffering. Jesus said it’s better to tie a huge stone around their neck and throw them into the sea than to let people harm a child like that. Playing God over others is what Jesus got angry at — not people you struggling through life. I hope you have found some healing, as monumental as that can be. And I agree with your conclusions. Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you and heal you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jonathon, thank you for your beautiful heart here in telling your story. Let me be a good mom here for a minute. :) I invite you to step back, do what is needed for you, and don’t try to be there so much for your family. You do not need to mother your mom. I am very sorry that you have to go through this. But for your mom to lean on YOU for help, when she will not go to a counselor, is codependent. She is looking to you to meet needs you cannot meet. And here’s another nugget I tell people all the time: a parent’s job is to accept their kids, sight unseen. If your parents don’t unconditionally accept you straight out-of-the-chute, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not your job to “make” them accept you. Love you have to earn is conditional — which is worthless. Please rest in the arms of an unconditionally loving God whose approval you don’t have to earn. As for family, they will come around… or they won’t. You cannot bring them. Not to be too harsh, but it sounds to me very manipulative that she is holding you ransom to her approval. Better to let it go and let her hash this out on her own. If she’s unwilling to work to unravel her own lack of acceptance, don’t try to make it happen. Move forward in your life. God bless your tender heart, and comfort you with his all-embracing love.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jonathon, thank you for your beautiful heart here in telling your story. Let me be a good mom here for a minute. :) I invite you to step back, do what is needed for you, and don’t try to be there so much for your family. You do not need to mother your mom. I am very sorry that you have to go through this. But for your mom to lean on YOU for help, when she will not go to a counselor, is codependent. She is looking to you to meet needs you cannot meet. And here’s another nugget I tell people all the time: a parent’s job is to accept their kids, sight unseen. If your parents don’t unconditionally accept you straight out-of-the-chute, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not your job to “make” them accept you. Love you have to earn is conditional — which is worthless. Please rest in the arms of an unconditionally loving God whose approval you don’t have to earn. As for family, they will come around… or they won’t. You cannot bring them. Not to be too harsh, but it sounds to me very manipulative that she is holding you ransom to her approval. Better to let it go and let her hash this out on her own. If she’s unwilling to work to unravel her own lack of acceptance, don’t try to make it happen. Move forward in your life. God bless your tender heart, and comfort you with his all-embracing love.

  • Samantha

    Jonathon,

    Let me first say, as a mom of a gay son who recently told me about himself… that this a journey for all. Your mom is probably still in shock. She is trying to wrap her head around all of this. She may never get to that point of acceptance? You will have to accept that as well. Things will never be as they were. How ever, you are still the son she raised. As Christians it goes against every grain of our teachings and beings. You need to take care of you, offer the avenues to your mom as far as help, counseling, and an open dialogue between you and her, after that, walk away. She has to come to this on her own!!!! We as parents have expectations for our children and when kids are young we expect those to be met. Good grades, be nice, go to church, eat you peas and carrots, hug your brother or sister etc etc. As our children move in to adulthood the picture changes from parent to child to parent to friend. How ever, those feelings and changes are some times slow and cannot be turned on and off like a water faucet. My son is 19 and a sophomore in college, I have to restrain myself a lot. :) :) “Let him go,” I have to keep repeating. sigh. Yes, we will always be your parent, but the relationship evolves. From your story it sounds like you are older and I would think that your mom would have been “in the parent to your a young adult” now? How ever, I’m sure no matter what age that the person “comes out” to their parent, it is still a shock. She may have even over the years already known this about you or guessed it? I did about my son. :) It’s hard to explain the broken heart of a parent because we want certain things for your life. I too cannot imagine my sons struggles. He is very comfortable with who he is and his SSA. He is still searching for answers and I suggested he continue to seek God and that one’s sexuality is only a part of who they are. There is so much more to life!!!

    My 19 year old son has already taught me that my expectations may not be his. :) I have already accepted him for who he is. I wrote that on his senior page, the love you unconditionally message. Your mom loves you unconditionally and I would keep throwing her the Olive branch and continue on the “high road” that you are on. Give it all time, a lot of time. :) Sounds like you are getting a great education and serving in your community. Continue on your Christian walk and let God work. You are loved and worthy and do not let your families anger grow in you. It all takes time and they may never come around. Just keep being you!!! The kind spirited person that you are. It is about love first and foremost and then in the end it is between you and God. Your mom hasn’t come to that yet…that it is between you and your personal relationship with the Lord. God gave you to her, now she has to give you to God. You keep on your great path and hopefully she will step back and your kind words and actions will begin to teach her the ways of the Lord and what a great son she has raised. She has to let you go and you have to live your life for you….the man that you have become. :) :) Be Blessed.

  • Samantha

    Jonathon,

    Let me first say, as a mom of a gay son who recently told me about himself… that this a journey for all. Your mom is probably still in shock. She is trying to wrap her head around all of this. She may never get to that point of acceptance? You will have to accept that as well. Things will never be as they were. How ever, you are still the son she raised. As Christians it goes against every grain of our teachings and beings. You need to take care of you, offer the avenues to your mom as far as help, counseling, and an open dialogue between you and her, after that, walk away. She has to come to this on her own!!!! We as parents have expectations for our children and when kids are young we expect those to be met. Good grades, be nice, go to church, eat you peas and carrots, hug your brother or sister etc etc. As our children move in to adulthood the picture changes from parent to child to parent to friend. How ever, those feelings and changes are some times slow and cannot be turned on and off like a water faucet. My son is 19 and a sophomore in college, I have to restrain myself a lot. :) :) “Let him go,” I have to keep repeating. sigh. Yes, we will always be your parent, but the relationship evolves. From your story it sounds like you are older and I would think that your mom would have been “in the parent to your a young adult” now? How ever, I’m sure no matter what age that the person “comes out” to their parent, it is still a shock. She may have even over the years already known this about you or guessed it? I did about my son. :) It’s hard to explain the broken heart of a parent because we want certain things for your life. I too cannot imagine my sons struggles. He is very comfortable with who he is and his SSA. He is still searching for answers and I suggested he continue to seek God and that one’s sexuality is only a part of who they are. There is so much more to life!!!

    My 19 year old son has already taught me that my expectations may not be his. :) I have already accepted him for who he is. I wrote that on his senior page, the love you unconditionally message. Your mom loves you unconditionally and I would keep throwing her the Olive branch and continue on the “high road” that you are on. Give it all time, a lot of time. :) Sounds like you are getting a great education and serving in your community. Continue on your Christian walk and let God work. You are loved and worthy and do not let your families anger grow in you. It all takes time and they may never come around. Just keep being you!!! The kind spirited person that you are. It is about love first and foremost and then in the end it is between you and God. Your mom hasn’t come to that yet…that it is between you and your personal relationship with the Lord. God gave you to her, now she has to give you to God. You keep on your great path and hopefully she will step back and your kind words and actions will begin to teach her the ways of the Lord and what a great son she has raised. She has to let you go and you have to live your life for you….the man that you have become. :) :) Be Blessed.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Samantha, good words there. Just one little piece I heard in Jonathon’s story: “All my life I wanted to do the best for my parents and grandparents and to make them proud of my achievements.” That is a very different statement from, “All my life I HAD their love and acceptance, until I came out.” Hence my warning to let go of trying to please them; it’s a no-win battle. If he did not already have it before coming out, he can do nothing now to bring it about — as you reiterated, it is his mom’s battle to fight, not his to fight for her. Thanks for your kind words.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Samantha, good words there. Just one little piece I heard in Jonathon’s story: “All my life I wanted to do the best for my parents and grandparents and to make them proud of my achievements.” That is a very different statement from, “All my life I HAD their love and acceptance, until I came out.” Hence my warning to let go of trying to please them; it’s a no-win battle. If he did not already have it before coming out, he can do nothing now to bring it about — as you reiterated, it is his mom’s battle to fight, not his to fight for her. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Samantha

    Yes, thanks, some times I am not the most articulate person. I so want to be a great writer!!! :)

    I think we both know that the parent child dynamics are of expectations and approval and for different families there are different measures of it. Healthy and unhealthy. My kids both told me, they, at times wanted to do well and please us. They wanted us to be proud of them. Amazing how the perspectives come out after the fact! I never knew that my kids put that on themselves. The shift and change must come when the child goes on in to adult hood and the parent lets go. You are right , he, Jonathon has to live for himself and his own approval and his own expectations now. :) I hope and pray that they will accept him as they once did. If they do not, though painful and tough as it may be (for you Jonathon), it is on them. May God have mercy on their souls. It is a journey and I have learned there are different measurements of time and avenues for the parent child relationship to be healed. ( Months to years, therapy to no therapy, individual to group.) Hope remains. I think it will all work out…I really do. :) Hang in there Jonathon!!!!! Stay strong in the truth and in your self. You write/sound like an awesome person!!!!

  • Samantha

    Yes, thanks, some times I am not the most articulate person. I so want to be a great writer!!! :)

    I think we both know that the parent child dynamics are of expectations and approval and for different families there are different measures of it. Healthy and unhealthy. My kids both told me, they, at times wanted to do well and please us. They wanted us to be proud of them. Amazing how the perspectives come out after the fact! I never knew that my kids put that on themselves. The shift and change must come when the child goes on in to adult hood and the parent lets go. You are right , he, Jonathon has to live for himself and his own approval and his own expectations now. :) I hope and pray that they will accept him as they once did. If they do not, though painful and tough as it may be (for you Jonathon), it is on them. May God have mercy on their souls. It is a journey and I have learned there are different measurements of time and avenues for the parent child relationship to be healed. ( Months to years, therapy to no therapy, individual to group.) Hope remains. I think it will all work out…I really do. :) Hang in there Jonathon!!!!! Stay strong in the truth and in your self. You write/sound like an awesome person!!!!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so with you, Samantha. I also learned too late how hard my kids were trying to please me, when I so wanted to convey unconditional love! I think it’s the challenge for ALL of us parents! …and I think you express yourself very well. :) Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so with you, Samantha. I also learned too late how hard my kids were trying to please me, when I so wanted to convey unconditional love! I think it’s the challenge for ALL of us parents! …and I think you express yourself very well. :) Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jonathon, you have really summed it up very nicely. You sound at peace and mature for 22! You’re right: parents want to make things smooth for their children. But you’re also right to realize
    you can’t. The challenge for a parent, especially a Christian parent, is to surrender our desires to let God do what he wants. Isn’t it funny that we talk about faith, but we have trouble trusting God with our children when we don’t see the desired result! I’m so glad you already have that peace, and that you seem to have sorted yourself out quite a bit. Great job at 22! I trust that good things are ahead for you – I surely wish you the best.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jonathon, you have really summed it up very nicely. You sound at peace and mature for 22! You’re right: parents want to make things smooth for their children. But you’re also right to realize
    you can’t. The challenge for a parent, especially a Christian parent, is to surrender our desires to let God do what he wants. Isn’t it funny that we talk about faith, but we have trouble trusting God with our children when we don’t see the desired result! I’m so glad you already have that peace, and that you seem to have sorted yourself out quite a bit. Great job at 22! I trust that good things are ahead for you – I surely wish you the best.

  • Samantha

    Jonathon,

    Hugs to you…:) :) :)

    As a mom, I just wanted to address a few things from your post…from my own experience. I do not know your mom at all or her personality, but as a mom whether our kids are heterosexual or not we also just don’t want them to suffer. We, I , can only imagine what my son has gone through as a gay man in a middle school/ high school. (Private Christian school) Now he enters the real world. sigh. I taught him to ignore people, mean people. He has a strong core and a strong faith. That’s what helped to get him through. He hated his feelings and himself for a while, (per him). Now he has come to accept himself. In truth. Yes, born that way. My son said the same thing, “Why would any body choose this?” So at 22, sounds like you are getting a handle on it. You have so much to look forward to. :)

    I too did require my children to graduate from high school. It is a parents responsibility to do so many things for our kids.( too much to list) I encouraged college or the military after HS. I said to them, you will not live off of us forever. LoL I told them….” I would like for you to have a heart for God, a good education, and to not be a menace to society.” Ha…. As far as marriage and the family thing. I suggested to them to wait on that till closer to 30. I also said there are too many marriages that end in divorce for various reasons and so many children are now involved. Too many unhappy married folks. So I said whether you choose to marry or not is up to you….my main message to them is to just be happy and don’t hurt people along the way. Be Nice. :)

    In the end….. the decisions are theirs.

    They will make their own decisions and I also suggested to them to “walk slowly” for you are responsible for your choices and the consequences. I am not bailing you out. Do not make me visit you from jail, I’m not coming. :) I probably would go…sigh…..:) :)

    As parents we advise and give direction despite if our kids want it or not. It is second nature to most parents. For 18 years we have been doing this. It was out JOB. It is hard to “back off.” I am though…slowly but surely.

    I encourage you to continue to be patient with your family and your mom.

    She may not be trying to “win” this for you but “fix” it for you. She will realize she cannot. Thus her pain for you. I bet she feels you have suffered and probably will suffer. Some where in all of this you will have to tell her you are “ok”, you are still her “Jonathon” and your “OK.” It’s not just that your gay, but the pain she feels for you having to walk this path. I cried every night for my son because I could only imagine his struggles and his pain and his confusion at times and I just wanted to take that all away for him. We know how mean people can be, and now you guys have to deal with this as well.

    That is the love of a mother…father too. :) :) :) :)

    My son did reassure me he is not depressed, he has a good support system, it is a small part of who he is, and he has his educational goals. (PhD in psychology/minor in math.)

    .

    Let us know when you graduate!!!! We will all be proud and so will your family.

    You will be proud and entering another chapter in your life that is so much greater than this gay thing.

    No one can take away your education!!!!!

    I know a lot of LGBT folks and now a days it really doesn’t matter. Sure their will always be haters. Ignore them. Some times this stuff takes over our lives. I have to put it on the shelve for a while and get on with other things. My life. My other child. My husband etc. My job.

    So as a second mom…stay in school, respect yourself, respect others, be nice, have some class.

    Don’t be a menace to society. :) :) :)

    “You have to live with you.”

    Continue in your walk in truth and you will have no regrets. :) :) :)

    BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! Happy…Happy…Happy…Happy…:) :) :) :) :)

  • Samantha

    Jonathon,

    Hugs to you…:) :) :)

    As a mom, I just wanted to address a few things from your post…from my own experience. I do not know your mom at all or her personality, but as a mom whether our kids are heterosexual or not we also just don’t want them to suffer. We, I , can only imagine what my son has gone through as a gay man in a middle school/ high school. (Private Christian school) Now he enters the real world. sigh. I taught him to ignore people, mean people. He has a strong core and a strong faith. That’s what helped to get him through. He hated his feelings and himself for a while, (per him). Now he has come to accept himself. In truth. Yes, born that way. My son said the same thing, “Why would any body choose this?” So at 22, sounds like you are getting a handle on it. You have so much to look forward to. :)

    I too did require my children to graduate from high school. It is a parents responsibility to do so many things for our kids.( too much to list) I encouraged college or the military after HS. I said to them, you will not live off of us forever. LoL I told them….” I would like for you to have a heart for God, a good education, and to not be a menace to society.” Ha…. As far as marriage and the family thing. I suggested to them to wait on that till closer to 30. I also said there are too many marriages that end in divorce for various reasons and so many children are now involved. Too many unhappy married folks. So I said whether you choose to marry or not is up to you….my main message to them is to just be happy and don’t hurt people along the way. Be Nice. :)

    In the end….. the decisions are theirs.

    They will make their own decisions and I also suggested to them to “walk slowly” for you are responsible for your choices and the consequences. I am not bailing you out. Do not make me visit you from jail, I’m not coming. :) I probably would go…sigh…..:) :)

    As parents we advise and give direction despite if our kids want it or not. It is second nature to most parents. For 18 years we have been doing this. It was out JOB. It is hard to “back off.” I am though…slowly but surely.

    I encourage you to continue to be patient with your family and your mom.

    She may not be trying to “win” this for you but “fix” it for you. She will realize she cannot. Thus her pain for you. I bet she feels you have suffered and probably will suffer. Some where in all of this you will have to tell her you are “ok”, you are still her “Jonathon” and your “OK.” It’s not just that your gay, but the pain she feels for you having to walk this path. I cried every night for my son because I could only imagine his struggles and his pain and his confusion at times and I just wanted to take that all away for him. We know how mean people can be, and now you guys have to deal with this as well.

    That is the love of a mother…father too. :) :) :) :)

    My son did reassure me he is not depressed, he has a good support system, it is a small part of who he is, and he has his educational goals. (PhD in psychology/minor in math.)

    .

    Let us know when you graduate!!!! We will all be proud and so will your family.

    You will be proud and entering another chapter in your life that is so much greater than this gay thing.

    No one can take away your education!!!!!

    I know a lot of LGBT folks and now a days it really doesn’t matter. Sure their will always be haters. Ignore them. Some times this stuff takes over our lives. I have to put it on the shelve for a while and get on with other things. My life. My other child. My husband etc. My job.

    So as a second mom…stay in school, respect yourself, respect others, be nice, have some class.

    Don’t be a menace to society. :) :) :)

    “You have to live with you.”

    Continue in your walk in truth and you will have no regrets. :) :) :)

    BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! Happy…Happy…Happy…Happy…:) :) :) :) :)

  • Rose

    This was so beautiful and comforting. Thank you I really needed this.

    A Mother

  • Rose

    This was so beautiful and comforting. Thank you I really needed this.

    A Mother

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so welcome. I’m just about to publish a book that expands on this post, to give a lot more content. I will be notifying readers about it on my blog — I hope you’ll watch for it! God bless your journey.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so welcome. I’m just about to publish a book that expands on this post, to give a lot more content. I will be notifying readers about it on my blog — I hope you’ll watch for it! God bless your journey.

  • Samantha

    :) :) Welcome. Peace to you my brother in Christ.

  • Samantha

    :) :) Welcome. Peace to you my brother in Christ.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Btw, I think virtually every conscientious parent feels bad for not being a better parent! Though it’s false guilt, it seems like part of the package. Thank you, Nathan, for weighing in.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Btw, I think virtually every conscientious parent feels bad for not being a better parent! Though it’s false guilt, it seems like part of the package. Thank you, Nathan, for weighing in.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much, Emily, for expressing your deep heart here. Sigh. If I may, I want to offer you freedom from wondering where you went wrong. We parents ALL do the best we can, and human beings are so multilayered, NONE of us escape our parents’ thumbprints. But to think that you did something that caused her to be gay is false guilt from the enemy. I’ve spoken with parents have struggled long and hard with this, but God has brought them peace that they did not cause their child’s gayness. I pray for that same peace for you. <3 Love and blessings, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much, Emily, for expressing your deep heart here. Sigh. If I may, I want to offer you freedom from wondering where you went wrong. We parents ALL do the best we can, and human beings are so multilayered, NONE of us escape our parents’ thumbprints. But to think that you did something that caused her to be gay is false guilt from the enemy. I’ve spoken with parents have struggled long and hard with this, but God has brought them peace that they did not cause their child’s gayness. I pray for that same peace for you. <3 Love and blessings, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for all that, Samantha. Just one little word about what you said: “I have seen first hand people cutting themselves because of the inner psychological battle this CAN bring on. I have known people who have committed suicide because of this inner psychological battle. It is different for all.” I agree with you on that. But I want to be clear that being LGBTQ is not inherently stressful but is so in context of a culture that disdains LGBTQ. Just as being a woman is not inherently stressful, but living in a misogynistic culture is. Same with interracial marriage. Our goal is to remove the disdain so we are not adding distress from without. (The love of Christ demands that.)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you for all that, Samantha. Just one little word about what you said: “I have seen first hand people cutting themselves because of the inner psychological battle this CAN bring on. I have known people who have committed suicide because of this inner psychological battle. It is different for all.” I agree with you on that. But I want to be clear that being LGBTQ is not inherently stressful but is so in context of a culture that disdains LGBTQ. Just as being a woman is not inherently stressful, but living in a misogynistic culture is. Same with interracial marriage. Our goal is to remove the disdain so we are not adding distress from without. (The love of Christ demands that.)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    This is Rob Cottrell. I know Susan will reply too.

    Do you think she would be willing to read some of the posts here? Like this one… Or others? Susan has written many specifically to people like her.

    If you think she would, let me know and I will give you links to several.

    Also, would she read a book? Again, if so let me know.

    Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    This is Rob Cottrell. I know Susan will reply too.

    Do you think she would be willing to read some of the posts here? Like this one… Or others? Susan has written many specifically to people like her.

    If you think she would, let me know and I will give you links to several.

    Also, would she read a book? Again, if so let me know.

    Bless you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Absolutely! Haven’t the most “well behaved” among us — from the religious leaders on down — proved that? Thanks for sharing!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Absolutely! Haven’t the most “well behaved” among us — from the religious leaders on down — proved that? Thanks for sharing!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You summed up the gospel in a nutshell, my friend! He has done it all. Thank you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You summed up the gospel in a nutshell, my friend! He has done it all. Thank you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello there, I was out-of-pocket yesterday, but I wanted to answer your question — by all means, this is the kind of thing this site is about. I completely appreciate your kind heart in trying to make it easier on everyone involved, by respecting the mom’s wishes not to be affectionate around her, by not wanting her to find out from someone else. It sounds to me as though you’ve been most considerate and done everything in your power to ease the situation.

    I’d like to encourage you to see that her response is beyond your power. I totally get your heart in wanting to fix this, but it is not something you can fix. We are designed as human beings to desire to keep our parents happy, and that’s helpful to us growing up, isn’t it?! But that is not always possible and can keep us bound in an unhealthy relationship. At some point, once you’re an independent adult, you must let go of them, and let them come to grips with the situation — or not — on their own. It can be extremely hard, but only when you admit your powerlessness to make them happy can you maintain your own sanity. Believe me, I know people in their 50s who are still seeking to please parents, and it’s like a well-choreographed dance where the parent maintains control by manipulating that desire to please and so keeps their child dancing (striving). If you two can separate yourselves from her (which it sounds like you did by moving out?), you will leave her to deal with God on her own and let him be God to her instead of looking for it in you. God has a way of shaking up our worlds to know him better, and the best we can do is back up and let him do it.

    Thank you for your wonderful comment/question, and if you would like to talk more specifically, feel free to email me. All the best to you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello there, I was out-of-pocket yesterday, but I wanted to answer your question — by all means, this is the kind of thing this site is about. I completely appreciate your kind heart in trying to make it easier on everyone involved, by respecting the mom’s wishes not to be affectionate around her, by not wanting her to find out from someone else. It sounds to me as though you’ve been most considerate and done everything in your power to ease the situation.

    I’d like to encourage you to see that her response is beyond your power. I totally get your heart in wanting to fix this, but it is not something you can fix. We are designed as human beings to desire to keep our parents happy, and that’s helpful to us growing up, isn’t it?! But that is not always possible and can keep us bound in an unhealthy relationship. At some point, once you’re an independent adult, you must let go of them, and let them come to grips with the situation — or not — on their own. It can be extremely hard, but only when you admit your powerlessness to make them happy can you maintain your own sanity. Believe me, I know people in their 50s who are still seeking to please parents, and it’s like a well-choreographed dance where the parent maintains control by manipulating that desire to please and so keeps their child dancing (striving). If you two can separate yourselves from her (which it sounds like you did by moving out?), you will leave her to deal with God on her own and let him be God to her instead of looking for it in you. God has a way of shaking up our worlds to know him better, and the best we can do is back up and let him do it.

    Thank you for your wonderful comment/question, and if you would like to talk more specifically, feel free to email me. All the best to you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest London, I am SO sorry for the rejection you’re experiencing at your mom’s hand. You cannot possibly fix it, nothing you say will fix it — this I know to be true. Even your dad had to leave, and only God himself will be able to change her, if she’s able to hear him. I’m stunned by the fear that drives religious people when the perfect love that God is casts out fear. It is not God’s voice driving her but fear. All that to say, I’m sorry, please be at peace that you have done everything there is to do to fix it and you cannot — and instead let others be your family. And KNOW in your heart that your mom does NOT speak for God. That is not the tone of his voice! Blessings, brother.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest London, I am SO sorry for the rejection you’re experiencing at your mom’s hand. You cannot possibly fix it, nothing you say will fix it — this I know to be true. Even your dad had to leave, and only God himself will be able to change her, if she’s able to hear him. I’m stunned by the fear that drives religious people when the perfect love that God is casts out fear. It is not God’s voice driving her but fear. All that to say, I’m sorry, please be at peace that you have done everything there is to do to fix it and you cannot — and instead let others be your family. And KNOW in your heart that your mom does NOT speak for God. That is not the tone of his voice! Blessings, brother.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. Yes, it’s a pity how we keep striving for that elusive approval that is never going to come. It’s like being tied up in chains, and I want to help free people from it. I’m SO GLAD you have amazing friends like that. We all need those friends! Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. Yes, it’s a pity how we keep striving for that elusive approval that is never going to come. It’s like being tied up in chains, and I want to help free people from it. I’m SO GLAD you have amazing friends like that. We all need those friends! Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    PharmGrl, this story has remained on my heart. I am praying for an opening for you to talk to the parents, or to the young man. I think back on a suicide from a non-affirming church we used to be involved in, and the gay issue was not even on my radar then, but now I have no doubt that was the situation. Once it’s done, it’s too late. Perhaps you could speak to him through FB, offering to talk to him yourself. The Trevor Project http://www.thetrevorproject.org might be a great resource for you. If I can be of any help in this, please email me. If you are able to talk to the parent at all, perhaps they would read the Robertson’s heart-rending story http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/04/22/what-do-you-do-when-your-son-is-gay/ and see the error of their insistence on their own way. The Robertsons and others in their situation would give anything to be able to take a different path. I pray for God’s leading, and please let me know.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    PharmGrl, this story has remained on my heart. I am praying for an opening for you to talk to the parents, or to the young man. I think back on a suicide from a non-affirming church we used to be involved in, and the gay issue was not even on my radar then, but now I have no doubt that was the situation. Once it’s done, it’s too late. Perhaps you could speak to him through FB, offering to talk to him yourself. The Trevor Project http://www.thetrevorproject.org might be a great resource for you. If I can be of any help in this, please email me. If you are able to talk to the parent at all, perhaps they would read the Robertson’s heart-rending story http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/04/22/what-do-you-do-when-your-son-is-gay/ and see the error of their insistence on their own way. The Robertsons and others in their situation would give anything to be able to take a different path. I pray for God’s leading, and please let me know.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Jonathon. SO good. That is hard but necessary medicine. For those struggling with unpleasable parents, you can ask God to remove false guilt, to show you His complete approval, and give you others to love and accept you. Over time, He can and will fill those empty places and give you peace. Blessings, all of you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Jonathon. SO good. That is hard but necessary medicine. For those struggling with unpleasable parents, you can ask God to remove false guilt, to show you His complete approval, and give you others to love and accept you. Over time, He can and will fill those empty places and give you peace. Blessings, all of you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Geez, Mary, what a dilemma! I am so sorry for your tumultuous journey. I appreciate your continued patience with her parents, and I appreciate their struggle to understand and come to terms with this. But I’m brokenhearted that they would throw away their bond with their daughter (and her beloved) because she won’t comply with their preferences. Our close family friends lost their son Cody at 2:30 this morning. Just last night we visited him in the hospital, and held the family close as they faced the inevitable. They would gladly change places with ANY of these families who reject their LGBTQ kids. Gladly. In my opinion, for a parent to throw away a relationship with their child because they don’t approve of them (for whatever reason) is the height of ingratitude and arrogance.

    You did not mention if you two have a personal relationship with God, but if you do, the first thing I would do is pray and ask for clear leading on how to move forward. Perhaps he will lead you to wait, or perhaps he will lead you to go ahead with the proposal without her parents. I don’t know.

    But I do know this, my sweet friend. Life at the end was very short indeed. And the more freedom you can appropriate the more you can be who you were designed to be. You cannot live to other people, however important those people may be. As you seek to please others, you give away your true self. And in the end, even if you gained their approval, the cost for the pieces of yourself you gave away was far too high. I would encourage you to continue to love them and respect them, knowing they are doing what they are able. And then (though parents may get mad at me for this), do what you must do for your lives. They will come around or they won’t. I hope they do. But you really have no control over that.

    God bless you as you move forward, and I wish you the best. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Geez, Mary, what a dilemma! I am so sorry for your tumultuous journey. I appreciate your continued patience with her parents, and I appreciate their struggle to understand and come to terms with this. But I’m brokenhearted that they would throw away their bond with their daughter (and her beloved) because she won’t comply with their preferences. Our close family friends lost their son Cody at 2:30 this morning. Just last night we visited him in the hospital, and held the family close as they faced the inevitable. They would gladly change places with ANY of these families who reject their LGBTQ kids. Gladly. In my opinion, for a parent to throw away a relationship with their child because they don’t approve of them (for whatever reason) is the height of ingratitude and arrogance.

    You did not mention if you two have a personal relationship with God, but if you do, the first thing I would do is pray and ask for clear leading on how to move forward. Perhaps he will lead you to wait, or perhaps he will lead you to go ahead with the proposal without her parents. I don’t know.

    But I do know this, my sweet friend. Life at the end was very short indeed. And the more freedom you can appropriate the more you can be who you were designed to be. You cannot live to other people, however important those people may be. As you seek to please others, you give away your true self. And in the end, even if you gained their approval, the cost for the pieces of yourself you gave away was far too high. I would encourage you to continue to love them and respect them, knowing they are doing what they are able. And then (though parents may get mad at me for this), do what you must do for your lives. They will come around or they won’t. I hope they do. But you really have no control over that.

    God bless you as you move forward, and I wish you the best. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest Mom, first, I can hear how hard this is for you. Your daughter having a girlfriend is the last thing you would have chosen. I get it. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. But let me help you so you don’t end up without a daughter. I encourage you to try to get hold of your emotions. You must take them to God. I will guarantee this is not about the girl, and if you forbid the relationship, or change her school, you may end up with an angry, depressed, rebellious daughter — and that will end badly. Guaranteed. Parents who “clamp down” on their kids — this could be true if she were dating a boy you don’t like — discover that they have real problems. It’s like cutting one snakehead off Medusa and finding that two more grow back. Your daughter can end up in more serious problems than you will know what to do with, and I promise it’s not the road to go down. I beg of you to search out God for yourself, and encourage her to seek God. (But you CANNOT make her do it.) Don’t just tell her what the bible or church doctrine says — ask her to seek prayerfully for herself. And you do the same for YOU. God is able to soften hearts. People pray for their children not to be gay, but I have never seen that happen. (Read this post about that. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/) But I have seen God change parents‘ hearts. I understand that you believe being gay is a choice, so answer this question: when did you choose to be straight? Do you see what I mean? It’s really not a choice, even though it seems to you like it is. You did NOT go wrong somewhere. Please believe me about that. (Read this post to help you with that. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/) Please pretend I’m able to hug you and tell you this is not something you did, not your fault, not her fault either — it just is. And take comfort in the knowledge that many parents feel this way at first, and then God takes them on a journey of seeing it’s not a terrible thing or a curse or even a sinful choice. It just is. Please ask Him to show you and let Him. God bless you with His peace. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest Mom, first, I can hear how hard this is for you. Your daughter having a girlfriend is the last thing you would have chosen. I get it. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. But let me help you so you don’t end up without a daughter. I encourage you to try to get hold of your emotions. You must take them to God. I will guarantee this is not about the girl, and if you forbid the relationship, or change her school, you may end up with an angry, depressed, rebellious daughter — and that will end badly. Guaranteed. Parents who “clamp down” on their kids — this could be true if she were dating a boy you don’t like — discover that they have real problems. It’s like cutting one snakehead off Medusa and finding that two more grow back. Your daughter can end up in more serious problems than you will know what to do with, and I promise it’s not the road to go down. I beg of you to search out God for yourself, and encourage her to seek God. (But you CANNOT make her do it.) Don’t just tell her what the bible or church doctrine says — ask her to seek prayerfully for herself. And you do the same for YOU. God is able to soften hearts. People pray for their children not to be gay, but I have never seen that happen. (Read this post about that. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/) But I have seen God change parents‘ hearts. I understand that you believe being gay is a choice, so answer this question: when did you choose to be straight? Do you see what I mean? It’s really not a choice, even though it seems to you like it is. You did NOT go wrong somewhere. Please believe me about that. (Read this post to help you with that. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/) Please pretend I’m able to hug you and tell you this is not something you did, not your fault, not her fault either — it just is. And take comfort in the knowledge that many parents feel this way at first, and then God takes them on a journey of seeing it’s not a terrible thing or a curse or even a sinful choice. It just is. Please ask Him to show you and let Him. God bless you with His peace. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hi Linx. I’m glad you wrote. I wonder, do you or J have any person you can talk to where you live? A counselor at school? I’m worried about you both having no one to talk to. If you look up Trevor Project, you might find them helpful to you. Also, It Gets Better. Look at my resources page for help. I hope you can at least find someone to talk to.

    I’m sorry J’s mother said she hates her. No one deserves to hear that from her mom. And I want you to know that God loves you and J both. No conditions to it. People may not accept you but God does. Really. So always know that in your heart. J too. You can message me back and tell me what state you live in. God bless you and J. My readers and I will pray for you both. Love, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hi Linx. I’m glad you wrote. I wonder, do you or J have any person you can talk to where you live? A counselor at school? I’m worried about you both having no one to talk to. If you look up Trevor Project, you might find them helpful to you. Also, It Gets Better. Look at my resources page for help. I hope you can at least find someone to talk to.

    I’m sorry J’s mother said she hates her. No one deserves to hear that from her mom. And I want you to know that God loves you and J both. No conditions to it. People may not accept you but God does. Really. So always know that in your heart. J too. You can message me back and tell me what state you live in. God bless you and J. My readers and I will pray for you both. Love, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh so sorry. So sorry. Sigh.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh so sorry. So sorry. Sigh.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jesus tells us to love the person, and he doesn’t say anything to us about their sin — just our own! :) But I like that you strive to treat others as you want to be treated — it’s hard to go wrong with that. Thanks you so much for your comment. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jesus tells us to love the person, and he doesn’t say anything to us about their sin — just our own! :) But I like that you strive to treat others as you want to be treated — it’s hard to go wrong with that. Thanks you so much for your comment. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes, it can apply to what you’re saying, too. I’m sorry for your loss. The interesting thing about walking with somebody is that it works best if you meet someone where they are instead of waiting for them to show up. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Yes, it can apply to what you’re saying, too. I’m sorry for your loss. The interesting thing about walking with somebody is that it works best if you meet someone where they are instead of waiting for them to show up. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Momcat, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so glad God’s peace has been overwhelming. That’s what I hear time and again from those who seek out his peace, which means laying aside their own agenda. I hope your daughter continues to blossom; she is fortunate to have you as parents. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Momcat, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so glad God’s peace has been overwhelming. That’s what I hear time and again from those who seek out his peace, which means laying aside their own agenda. I hope your daughter continues to blossom; she is fortunate to have you as parents. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Miss G. This is true on every level, and I’ve seen parents draw the line with their kids WHATEVER the issue, and it always ends badly. It never goes well to drop the hammer, it only pushes them away. Parents, please take it from this girl who knows. She’s telling you how it is. Bless you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Miss G. This is true on every level, and I’ve seen parents draw the line with their kids WHATEVER the issue, and it always ends badly. It never goes well to drop the hammer, it only pushes them away. Parents, please take it from this girl who knows. She’s telling you how it is. Bless you. <3

  • Victor Max

    I’m a fifteen year old gay boy who’s parents are trying to change back to straight. When they found out, they thought I was confused and blamed my school and my friends for it. They said what I am is a freak of nature, and I’d go to hell because its a sin. They used to be against me having a girlfriend because it interferes with my studies, but now they go none stop about me getting a girlfriend hoping it would help me become normal. They called me a lot of hurtful things, one of them is a fag and a freak. They said that me being gay would ruin my future. They told me that being gay would lead me to get diseases, do drugs, commit suicide because of the discrimination, and I won’t have a family of my own and I won’t be able to give them grandchildren. The only discrimination i get right now are from my parents. My school and friends knows about it and they supported me a lot because it is who I am. I don’t get bullied because my sexual orientation by anyone but my parents. I tried talking to them about being more open about it and disprove their theories on gays, but because of their narrow minds, they just yelled at me and get my s*** straight because its not a healthy and good lifestyle. And then, they threatened to kick me out if I don’t become normal. Because of the way they treated me, I thought about to commit suicide or running away, but that would just magke them right about gays, so I decided to prove them wrong by working hard and become a successful gay man with a wonderful family. But the thought if suicide still goes through my mind. I just hope that everything would turn out fine eventually.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear friend, I am so sorry for all your having to go through. I really am. You do not deserve it. I wonder if you can find support from a counselor at school or anything? I’m sure you’ve looked into your options. Well, my heart is with you. Please, please do not let the enemy pull you down with thoughts of suicide. Remember, God has SO MUCH MORE than these few years until you leave home. Check out It Gets Better, The Trevor Project, and other resources on my resource page. Don’t try to go this alone, but please hang in there. You’re right that you don’t want to give bullies the satisfaction of being right, and you will have time to prove them wrong about you. I am also going to email you a resource. Much love my friend, and thank you for writing. :) Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear friend, I am so sorry for all your having to go through. I really am. You do not deserve it. I wonder if you can find support from a counselor at school or anything? I’m sure you’ve looked into your options. Well, my heart is with you. Please, please do not let the enemy pull you down with thoughts of suicide. Remember, God has SO MUCH MORE than these few years until you leave home. Check out It Gets Better, The Trevor Project, and other resources on my resource page. Don’t try to go this alone, but please hang in there. You’re right that you don’t want to give bullies the satisfaction of being right, and you will have time to prove them wrong about you. I am also going to email you a resource. Much love my friend, and thank you for writing. :) Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautifully said, Bonnie. You have really grasped what I believe God is teaching the church in general. Thank you, my friend.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautifully said, Bonnie. You have really grasped what I believe God is teaching the church in general. Thank you, my friend.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much, Luka. I’m so sorry that you have struggled with so much for so long. I’ve been having some real revelation about what you’re saying, which I will blog on soon. About real people versus ideology. Or, objectification of people. Very sad. I’m a big fan of Brene Brown who says shame is never the way to peace and healing. I hope you find real peace, my friend. Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much, Luka. I’m so sorry that you have struggled with so much for so long. I’ve been having some real revelation about what you’re saying, which I will blog on soon. About real people versus ideology. Or, objectification of people. Very sad. I’m a big fan of Brene Brown who says shame is never the way to peace and healing. I hope you find real peace, my friend. Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello dear sweet mom. Well, I understand where you stand. I really do. So I’m going to give you some advice: pray. Ask God directly for his heart for you in this. Ask him what he wants your response to be to your daughter. He said that all of the law and the prophets is summed up in “love God, love others.” Ask him to show you what that looks like in this situation. I know you’ll be faithful. God bless your heart, and God bless your daughter and her fiancé. So much love, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello dear sweet mom. Well, I understand where you stand. I really do. So I’m going to give you some advice: pray. Ask God directly for his heart for you in this. Ask him what he wants your response to be to your daughter. He said that all of the law and the prophets is summed up in “love God, love others.” Ask him to show you what that looks like in this situation. I know you’ll be faithful. God bless your heart, and God bless your daughter and her fiancé. So much love, Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. God will not fail you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re welcome. God will not fail you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I am so sorry for your tragic story. Heartbreaking. My condolences to you, as I pray for God’s comfort and peace. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I am so sorry for your tragic story. Heartbreaking. My condolences to you, as I pray for God’s comfort and peace. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Christine, thank you for your beautiful letter. My heart goes out to you with the loss of your husband. My sincerest condolences to you, my friend. And I’m so grateful you are loving and embracing your daughter. What a gift to her… and yourself. How God must have been carrying you all this time for you even to be standing. Please don’t blame yourself for causing any of the issues your daughter may be dealing with. You did the best you could, and you did not cause this in her; as you said, those hard circumstances drive us to know God more clearly than if everything had always been peachy. (And whose life is like that anyway?) As I read your questions, I wonder how God is leading you in this. You said he clearly gave you those three thoughts, which completely resonate to me as what I hear of him doing in family after family. Love her. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. Truth will set you free. How freeing and NON-performance based those three things are, hm? So much of the church teaches us draw lines for behavior, and I don’t really see God doing that. He is about changing hearts. So I encourage you to stick with him and let him guide your heart on your questions. I have no doubt that God will lead you. After all, he has given us a personal counselor to guide us in all truth! We like to draw lines because it feels safer, but there is no safer path than the one God leads you on. You might ask yourself if you’d rather your daughter kiss and snuggle a girl on the couch or be gone all weekend. (I know what I’d prefer.) My sense from Jesus and my own heart is to choose relationship. You cannot come close to guiding your girl the way God can. Let him guide you for her, let him guide her directly, and always choose the relationship. You won’t regret that.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Christine, thank you for your beautiful letter. My heart goes out to you with the loss of your husband. My sincerest condolences to you, my friend. And I’m so grateful you are loving and embracing your daughter. What a gift to her… and yourself. How God must have been carrying you all this time for you even to be standing. Please don’t blame yourself for causing any of the issues your daughter may be dealing with. You did the best you could, and you did not cause this in her; as you said, those hard circumstances drive us to know God more clearly than if everything had always been peachy. (And whose life is like that anyway?) As I read your questions, I wonder how God is leading you in this. You said he clearly gave you those three thoughts, which completely resonate to me as what I hear of him doing in family after family. Love her. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. Truth will set you free. How freeing and NON-performance based those three things are, hm? So much of the church teaches us draw lines for behavior, and I don’t really see God doing that. He is about changing hearts. So I encourage you to stick with him and let him guide your heart on your questions. I have no doubt that God will lead you. After all, he has given us a personal counselor to guide us in all truth! We like to draw lines because it feels safer, but there is no safer path than the one God leads you on. You might ask yourself if you’d rather your daughter kiss and snuggle a girl on the couch or be gone all weekend. (I know what I’d prefer.) My sense from Jesus and my own heart is to choose relationship. You cannot come close to guiding your girl the way God can. Let him guide you for her, let him guide her directly, and always choose the relationship. You won’t regret that.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Charles, that was absolutely beautiful. Every word, right on. Thank you for taking such a deeply thoughtful approach. Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Charles, that was absolutely beautiful. Every word, right on. Thank you for taking such a deeply thoughtful approach. Much love to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Erica! It was a joy to meet you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Erica! It was a joy to meet you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Courtney, you put that beautifully. You expressed my own heart exactly and eloquently, both halves: those verses don’t mean what we’ve been taught they mean. And even if they did, mercy is our job, not condemnation. Like how I reduced your wonderful thoughts to two sentences?? Bless you and thank you so much for sharing!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Courtney, you put that beautifully. You expressed my own heart exactly and eloquently, both halves: those verses don’t mean what we’ve been taught they mean. And even if they did, mercy is our job, not condemnation. Like how I reduced your wonderful thoughts to two sentences?? Bless you and thank you so much for sharing!

  • Survivor Girl

    This is a beautifully articulate, truthful, grace-filled response. WOW!

  • Survivor Girl

    This is a beautifully articulate, truthful, grace-filled response. WOW!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Survivor Girl. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Survivor Girl. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Mae, I’m sorry for the difficulty. Such a pity. The best thing to know is God loves you, and he’s reliable and trustworthy. God bless you, too. :))

  • Sue

    To My Daughter’s Mom,

    what you wrote speaks directly to me. My daughter disclosed to us before last Thanksgiving. She is in her early 20s and had not been in a relationship with anyone, male or female, until she revealed that she had recently broken up with a girl. She says that she is bisexual. I don’t quite understand that. I have been praying without ceasing for God’s grace and peace to deal with this. The strongest emotions that haunt me are sadness, irritation and fear.

    I am sad that I cannot look forward to my only daughter bringing a son-in-law into our family, and grand-children born of her and his loins.

    I am irritated that I will probably have to deal with figuring “how to be”, should she decide to enter into a same-sex marriage and possibly surrogate parenthood.

    I am fearful about revealing this whole thing to my relatives. I come from a culture that is very disdainful of homosexuality.

    I have my good days and bad days. However, even in the best day, I just have this feeling of profound loss.Things will never be the same again. deep down inside, I my heart cries out, “I hate this! This is not what I want!”

    But at the same time, I know intellectually that we don’t get to decide who our children become. I don’t get to decide what I get. I must choose to see everything as a gift from God, and look to Him for the grace and peace to accept whatever comes my way.

    I am so thankful to know that there is at least one other mother out there with whom I can identify.

    Thank you for your words.

  • Sue

    To My Daughter’s Mom,

    what you wrote speaks directly to me. My daughter disclosed to us before last Thanksgiving. She is in her early 20s and had not been in a relationship with anyone, male or female, until she revealed that she had recently broken up with a girl. She says that she is bisexual. I don’t quite understand that. I have been praying without ceasing for God’s grace and peace to deal with this. The strongest emotions that haunt me are sadness, irritation and fear.

    I am sad that I cannot look forward to my only daughter bringing a son-in-law into our family, and grand-children born of her and his loins.

    I am irritated that I will probably have to deal with figuring “how to be”, should she decide to enter into a same-sex marriage and possibly surrogate parenthood.

    I am fearful about revealing this whole thing to my relatives. I come from a culture that is very disdainful of homosexuality.

    I have my good days and bad days. However, even in the best day, I just have this feeling of profound loss.Things will never be the same again. deep down inside, I my heart cries out, “I hate this! This is not what I want!”

    But at the same time, I know intellectually that we don’t get to decide who our children become. I don’t get to decide what I get. I must choose to see everything as a gift from God, and look to Him for the grace and peace to accept whatever comes my way.

    I am so thankful to know that there is at least one other mother out there with whom I can identify.

    Thank you for your words.

  • Sue

    Momcat,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your words.

  • Sue

    Momcat,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your words.

  • Sue

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I can feel God working on me already. I have always been a very critical/judgemental person. Now, readily shut down those kinds of thoughts as soon as they arise.

  • Sue

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I can feel God working on me already. I have always been a very critical/judgemental person. Now, readily shut down those kinds of thoughts as soon as they arise.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, let’s start with Jesus, because frankly, if we get into the OT laws, we’re going to be talking about stoning a child who talks back to a parent or has a tattoo or eats bacon, so we can’t just pull a verse out of Deuteronomy. Besides, Jesus tells us that if we think those things, we’re sinning the same as if we did them. So where would we stop the stoning? Let’s take a peek at how Jesus deals with this issue of fornication. Interestingly, Jesus let the woman go! He did. Now, before you tell me that he told her not to sin anymore, please, read my blog The Woman Forgiven for Adultery http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ Jesus was saying to her, “You don’t have to live like this! I have such a better life for you!” But even if you don’t agree with me on that (and again, I ask you to read my post on this), he did, in fact, let her go. Even if he said not to do it again, that’s still not enforcing the law, is it? Her release was not conditional. How does Jesus respond to real issues in our lives? He offers himself. Always. It’s from within the relationship, free and clear, full acceptance, that we come around in any area of our lives. Paul tells we are no longer under law but under grace, which means the powerful presence of God! It’s a completely different system that exists outside the transgression/punishment system, something that’s hard to grasp — but that’s what Jesus brought, something impossible to grasp! And Paul spent a lot of time redirecting people to Christ, the very thing we should do! Those guys who hung out with him for three years had no idea what he was talking about. Only much later did it make sense. I do believe that hard lines must sometimes be drawn, but they must come in relationship, with people who know us and love us, people who know our lives. Paul was a speaking into communities of people who knew each other. He wasn’t writing a new Deuteronomy or a new Leviticus. Listen, I honestly have been living this way, in the freedom of Christ outside the “legalistic” system for about 12 years, and I am a much better wife, mother, friend, Christian, than I ever would have been otherwise, because I am motivated by the love of Christ, not a rod. There is so much more available by living on the tree of LIFE than the tree of Knowledge! That’s another good post! http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/02/a-tale-of-two-trees-why-we-are-all-asking-the-wrong-question/ Lance, thank you for your question. Best to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Well, let’s start with Jesus, because frankly, if we get into the OT laws, we’re going to be talking about stoning a child who talks back to a parent or has a tattoo or eats bacon, so we can’t just pull a verse out of Deuteronomy. Besides, Jesus tells us that if we think those things, we’re sinning the same as if we did them. So where would we stop the stoning? Let’s take a peek at how Jesus deals with this issue of fornication. Interestingly, Jesus let the woman go! He did. Now, before you tell me that he told her not to sin anymore, please, read my blog The Woman Forgiven for Adultery http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ Jesus was saying to her, “You don’t have to live like this! I have such a better life for you!” But even if you don’t agree with me on that (and again, I ask you to read my post on this), he did, in fact, let her go. Even if he said not to do it again, that’s still not enforcing the law, is it? Her release was not conditional. How does Jesus respond to real issues in our lives? He offers himself. Always. It’s from within the relationship, free and clear, full acceptance, that we come around in any area of our lives. Paul tells we are no longer under law but under grace, which means the powerful presence of God! It’s a completely different system that exists outside the transgression/punishment system, something that’s hard to grasp — but that’s what Jesus brought, something impossible to grasp! And Paul spent a lot of time redirecting people to Christ, the very thing we should do! Those guys who hung out with him for three years had no idea what he was talking about. Only much later did it make sense. I do believe that hard lines must sometimes be drawn, but they must come in relationship, with people who know us and love us, people who know our lives. Paul was a speaking into communities of people who knew each other. He wasn’t writing a new Deuteronomy or a new Leviticus. Listen, I honestly have been living this way, in the freedom of Christ outside the “legalistic” system for about 12 years, and I am a much better wife, mother, friend, Christian, than I ever would have been otherwise, because I am motivated by the love of Christ, not a rod. There is so much more available by living on the tree of LIFE than the tree of Knowledge! That’s another good post! http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/02/a-tale-of-two-trees-why-we-are-all-asking-the-wrong-question/ Lance, thank you for your question. Best to you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Lynn, thank you for your comment. I hope you will consider 3 important elements. 1. LGBTQ people do not experience this as any kind of choice. They repeatedly tell us that this is an orientation they had no experience of choosing and cannot change though they have poured their heart, soul and prayers into trying. This is their lived experience, and to continue to deny what they’re saying is not to love them. They cannot choose otherwise — they have tried with their blood, sweat and tears). In no meaningful way is it not a choice. 2. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality. The Bible did not have the concept of same-sex committed relationships, and the word homosexuality did not appear in the Bible until 1946 http://carm.org/word-homosexual-english-bible-1946. [It does condemn temple prostitution and brutal rape.] 3. Hebrews 10:26ff does not mean that to continue to sin condemns you to hell, even though it may read that way. (Who does not continue to sin?) Hebrews 10 actually means that there is no longer a sacrifice for sin because that system has been torn down, alters are torn down, the veil is torn! Christ brought in a new system, which is his life! If we continue to look for a sacrifice for our sins (our own works), we will not find it. Naturally then, we are left with the experience of a furious God. Aren’t we? The author is saying, “Jesus is the way out of your situation, not ritual sacrifice (or law-keeping).” The sin the author has been talking about is the sin of unbelief. It’s a beautiful study on the new covenant. This link will give you the whole background of it. http://services.media.xenos.org/teachings/heb/ryan/2012/heb10-1.mp3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Lynn, thank you for your comment. I hope you will consider 3 important elements. 1. LGBTQ people do not experience this as any kind of choice. They repeatedly tell us that this is an orientation they had no experience of choosing and cannot change though they have poured their heart, soul and prayers into trying. This is their lived experience, and to continue to deny what they’re saying is not to love them. They cannot choose otherwise — they have tried with their blood, sweat and tears). In no meaningful way is it not a choice. 2. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality. The Bible did not have the concept of same-sex committed relationships, and the word homosexuality did not appear in the Bible until 1946 http://carm.org/word-homosexual-english-bible-1946. [It does condemn temple prostitution and brutal rape.] 3. Hebrews 10:26ff does not mean that to continue to sin condemns you to hell, even though it may read that way. (Who does not continue to sin?) Hebrews 10 actually means that there is no longer a sacrifice for sin because that system has been torn down, alters are torn down, the veil is torn! Christ brought in a new system, which is his life! If we continue to look for a sacrifice for our sins (our own works), we will not find it. Naturally then, we are left with the experience of a furious God. Aren’t we? The author is saying, “Jesus is the way out of your situation, not ritual sacrifice (or law-keeping).” The sin the author has been talking about is the sin of unbelief. It’s a beautiful study on the new covenant. This link will give you the whole background of it. http://services.media.xenos.org/teachings/heb/ryan/2012/heb10-1.mp3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jesus does not constantly say, “Go and sin no more.” He says it twice, and it means more like, “You don’t have to live this way.” He is not offering the woman forgiven for adultery (as I call her) a way of self-improvement, to stop her sinning ways. He’s offering himself, as he did to the woman at the well. Please read this post about about her. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/. Also, read this article that sheds some light on our thoughts about hell. http://tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Jesus does not constantly say, “Go and sin no more.” He says it twice, and it means more like, “You don’t have to live this way.” He is not offering the woman forgiven for adultery (as I call her) a way of self-improvement, to stop her sinning ways. He’s offering himself, as he did to the woman at the well. Please read this post about about her. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/freedhearts/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/. Also, read this article that sheds some light on our thoughts about hell. http://tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear queercatlady, I DO get it about what you’re experiencing and your perspective of the Bible, especially as you’ve been taught it in a toxic way. The only way NOT to see it as toxic is to understand a whole lot more cultural context than we learn at church, and that’s also the only way to read it accurately. So much has been misinterpreted. Jesus was actually a feminist who championed women in a terribly patriarchal and misogynistic culture. But that may be hard to see looking back 2000 years. He actually saved me from so much, so personally, that I see him differently than you do. I’m very sorry about your parents’ response, and of course it hurts. They are not there yet. I hope they get there — by there, I mean truly accepting — but they may need longer than three months, considering how long they were taught a different view. Their response to you has little to do with you. That’s true throughout a lot of our parenting, by the way! Because we’re sorting through our own wounds while our poor kids are saying, “Really?” That’s the way it is, for whatever reason. As much as you can separate yourself from the hurt you’re receiving, that will help you not take it as having to do with you. You know? They’re sorting through stuff, and unfortunately, you’re having to suffer through that. If you’d like to email me, please do.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear queercatlady, I DO get it about what you’re experiencing and your perspective of the Bible, especially as you’ve been taught it in a toxic way. The only way NOT to see it as toxic is to understand a whole lot more cultural context than we learn at church, and that’s also the only way to read it accurately. So much has been misinterpreted. Jesus was actually a feminist who championed women in a terribly patriarchal and misogynistic culture. But that may be hard to see looking back 2000 years. He actually saved me from so much, so personally, that I see him differently than you do. I’m very sorry about your parents’ response, and of course it hurts. They are not there yet. I hope they get there — by there, I mean truly accepting — but they may need longer than three months, considering how long they were taught a different view. Their response to you has little to do with you. That’s true throughout a lot of our parenting, by the way! Because we’re sorting through our own wounds while our poor kids are saying, “Really?” That’s the way it is, for whatever reason. As much as you can separate yourself from the hurt you’re receiving, that will help you not take it as having to do with you. You know? They’re sorting through stuff, and unfortunately, you’re having to suffer through that. If you’d like to email me, please do.

  • Sue

    Dear Kori, I am so with you. My daughter came out to us before Thanksgiving. I am still in reeling. I wish I could rewind life and just snip out that part of the tape. I hate this new reality and the fact that I have no power to change it. I have experienced feelings of anger, sadness, fear, shame, annoyance, helplessness, and on and on…..All I can tell you is take it to the Lord in prayer. In my daily devotions of a few days ago, I read the following words that the writer has Jesus saying to us: “I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.” I encourage yo to hold on to these words and trust God to bring some good out of this.

  • Sue

    Dear Kori, I am so with you. My daughter came out to us before Thanksgiving. I am still in reeling. I wish I could rewind life and just snip out that part of the tape. I hate this new reality and the fact that I have no power to change it. I have experienced feelings of anger, sadness, fear, shame, annoyance, helplessness, and on and on…..All I can tell you is take it to the Lord in prayer. In my daily devotions of a few days ago, I read the following words that the writer has Jesus saying to us: “I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.” I encourage yo to hold on to these words and trust God to bring some good out of this.

  • Sue

    Thank you for sharing your story, Carol.

  • Sue

    Thank you for sharing your story, Carol.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Joseph, I’m emailing you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Joseph, I’m emailing you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Darlin, I wish I could tell you something that would fix this. As much as I tell parents they CANNOT choose for their kids… I say to you, you cannot choose for your parents. They may, or they may not, come around. I’m sorry all this has pushed you away from faith, I really am. That’s the tragic end result. Parents, are you listening? This response of rejecting is NOT appealing and it’s NOT Christ…

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Darlin, I wish I could tell you something that would fix this. As much as I tell parents they CANNOT choose for their kids… I say to you, you cannot choose for your parents. They may, or they may not, come around. I’m sorry all this has pushed you away from faith, I really am. That’s the tragic end result. Parents, are you listening? This response of rejecting is NOT appealing and it’s NOT Christ…

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dave, I appreciate your fervor, I really do. And living in a world with crazy stuff that happens is a full of risk no matter how much we try to reduce it. Taboo does mean forbidden, and unless you send your wife out of the house for the time of her uncleanness, then you know context is everything. You don’t want us to break God’s law, but Christians have repeatedly broken God’s laws about judging. Check Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality for a full explanation, as I won’t repeat all the for the umpteenth time here, but what we’ve been told about homosexuality is false. The Bible says nothing about gay orientation, someone who wants a longterm committed relationship with someone of the same gender, because that was not even a concept in that day. The word homosexuality wasn’t added to the Bible until 1946. These facts alone make our interpretation problematic.

    I think most parents of a gay kid pray God will change them. They’re free to do it. But I get bent out of shape that parents won’t take His no for an answer. Parents have destroyed their children by their rejection. It is not what Jesus asks us to do. Period. You’re worried about the behavior of gays? Refer them to the One who can really lead them in His way, whatever it is. Let His love flow through you so they will be drawn to Him. He is able to lead them. God’s word does not change, but our interpretation of it does, or we’d still be insisting the earth is flat and we should own slaves. You see what I mean? God is perfect. We in our interpretation and implementation are not. I am glad you love your gay friends, and I’m glad you have gay friends. If you want to know how you’re doing with loving, ask them if they feel loved by you. And ask them how you might love them better. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dave, I appreciate your fervor, I really do. And living in a world with crazy stuff that happens is a full of risk no matter how much we try to reduce it. Taboo does mean forbidden, and unless you send your wife out of the house for the time of her uncleanness, then you know context is everything. You don’t want us to break God’s law, but Christians have repeatedly broken God’s laws about judging. Check Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality for a full explanation, as I won’t repeat all the for the umpteenth time here, but what we’ve been told about homosexuality is false. The Bible says nothing about gay orientation, someone who wants a longterm committed relationship with someone of the same gender, because that was not even a concept in that day. The word homosexuality wasn’t added to the Bible until 1946. These facts alone make our interpretation problematic.

    I think most parents of a gay kid pray God will change them. They’re free to do it. But I get bent out of shape that parents won’t take His no for an answer. Parents have destroyed their children by their rejection. It is not what Jesus asks us to do. Period. You’re worried about the behavior of gays? Refer them to the One who can really lead them in His way, whatever it is. Let His love flow through you so they will be drawn to Him. He is able to lead them. God’s word does not change, but our interpretation of it does, or we’d still be insisting the earth is flat and we should own slaves. You see what I mean? God is perfect. We in our interpretation and implementation are not. I am glad you love your gay friends, and I’m glad you have gay friends. If you want to know how you’re doing with loving, ask them if they feel loved by you. And ask them how you might love them better. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s a shame. Really, the fact that our first concern re this is what other’s will think shows that the response to this topic has been way out of whack. Doesn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing, Barbara, and best to you with your daughter.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    It’s a shame. Really, the fact that our first concern re this is what other’s will think shows that the response to this topic has been way out of whack. Doesn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing, Barbara, and best to you with your daughter.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Billy, I am so glad you wrote. So, I hear your thought process, and I know it well. It is the teaching of the church. But let me ask you this: does your Christian life rest on you or on God? If you have sought him with your whole heart — and you sought him enough to go through seminary — then what happened? Do you think it was some secret sin in you that created this situation? Some kind of unknown mistake or negligence on your part? Or is it possible God sees things a different way? Remember that Job’s friends were certain that he had some kind of undisclosed sin, but they were completely wrong… and they were chastised for it. The world doesn’t stack up the way we see it. I know you’re willing to take the responsibility on yourself for this, we’re trained that way as faithful Christians, but Billy, please ask God to show you if he sees this a different way. I ask you to read Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality. He will illuminate your thinking. He has completely studied it all in the original language and context. Also read, Mel White’s What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality http://www.psa91.com/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf, also on my resources page. You owe it to your daughter as well as to yourselves to learn more than the party line on this. It’s not what it’s been handed down to mean. And think about this: I have met scores of parents who regretted their initial response of taking a stand on their child’s homosexuality, taking away phones, grounding and otherwise trying to change their child. But I have never met a single parent who regretted their initial embrace and acceptance of their child. You can always draw lines later, if God tells you to. But you don’t want to make your daughter feel rejected or unaccepted. Make no mistake: those who commit suicide are the ones who don’t feel accepted by family. Even if others reject, family is the make-or-break. So if that’s your concern (and it should be), then accept her, 100%. Don’t try to change her. Instead, give God time to show you his view on this — not your church, not your seminary, but that still small voice that leads you in all truth. Set your learning aside, and seek the teacher himself. He didn’t allow this into your life because you’ve made some grave, unknown mistake. So find out from him what he DOES want to tell you. Also, Billy, even if it were a sin (and I don’t believe the context of scripture supports that), what kind of faith from a loving God would tell you to somehow “change” something as nuanced and layered as someone’s sexuality? How much power do you think he’s giving you? You see what I mean? I know it’s the Christian teaching, to take responsibility for everything, but it leaves us trying to do God’s job! We’re just not up to it, even with seminary training. :) Please stay in touch with me and let me know what happens. I hear your broken heart, and I pray for God to reveal something to you intimately in this journey. Who knows? If God wanted to make some headway and break into the traditional church teaching on this topic — which he seems to be doing everywhere, doesn’t he? — who better to give a gay child than someone with your heart and training? Love to you, brother in Christ. Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Billy, I am so glad you wrote. So, I hear your thought process, and I know it well. It is the teaching of the church. But let me ask you this: does your Christian life rest on you or on God? If you have sought him with your whole heart — and you sought him enough to go through seminary — then what happened? Do you think it was some secret sin in you that created this situation? Some kind of unknown mistake or negligence on your part? Or is it possible God sees things a different way? Remember that Job’s friends were certain that he had some kind of undisclosed sin, but they were completely wrong… and they were chastised for it. The world doesn’t stack up the way we see it. I know you’re willing to take the responsibility on yourself for this, we’re trained that way as faithful Christians, but Billy, please ask God to show you if he sees this a different way. I ask you to read Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality. He will illuminate your thinking. He has completely studied it all in the original language and context. Also read, Mel White’s What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality http://www.psa91.com/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf, also on my resources page. You owe it to your daughter as well as to yourselves to learn more than the party line on this. It’s not what it’s been handed down to mean. And think about this: I have met scores of parents who regretted their initial response of taking a stand on their child’s homosexuality, taking away phones, grounding and otherwise trying to change their child. But I have never met a single parent who regretted their initial embrace and acceptance of their child. You can always draw lines later, if God tells you to. But you don’t want to make your daughter feel rejected or unaccepted. Make no mistake: those who commit suicide are the ones who don’t feel accepted by family. Even if others reject, family is the make-or-break. So if that’s your concern (and it should be), then accept her, 100%. Don’t try to change her. Instead, give God time to show you his view on this — not your church, not your seminary, but that still small voice that leads you in all truth. Set your learning aside, and seek the teacher himself. He didn’t allow this into your life because you’ve made some grave, unknown mistake. So find out from him what he DOES want to tell you. Also, Billy, even if it were a sin (and I don’t believe the context of scripture supports that), what kind of faith from a loving God would tell you to somehow “change” something as nuanced and layered as someone’s sexuality? How much power do you think he’s giving you? You see what I mean? I know it’s the Christian teaching, to take responsibility for everything, but it leaves us trying to do God’s job! We’re just not up to it, even with seminary training. :) Please stay in touch with me and let me know what happens. I hear your broken heart, and I pray for God to reveal something to you intimately in this journey. Who knows? If God wanted to make some headway and break into the traditional church teaching on this topic — which he seems to be doing everywhere, doesn’t he? — who better to give a gay child than someone with your heart and training? Love to you, brother in Christ. Susan

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you. I know it’s hard. Maybe instead of giving up on them, you can trust God to show them. Sorry it’s such a struggle.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you. I know it’s hard. Maybe instead of giving up on them, you can trust God to show them. Sorry it’s such a struggle.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Maria, thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind my observation here, you want your daughter’s respect. Yet, you don’t respect the presence of her girlfriend in her life, which was important enough for her to bring her to her grandmother’s funeral. You don’t respect her desire to get married, not even enough to attend, even though it’s a all-out affair. You don’t respect her desire to get married because you see it as unnecessary since they don’t want children. This is your daughter’s big event, and you have turned it into being all about you. Rather than respecting her enough to hear who she is and what she wants, you’re all about your own opinion. Yet you’re the one who feels disrespected. You want her respect, yet you don’t respect her; that’s not how respect works. Given your rejection of her and the desires she’s expressed, maybe the most respectful thing she can do right now is NOT to be in communication with you and your husband. You say you don’t have control — which is true: you don’t and you shouldn’t — but rather than surrendering into that and letting her be who she is as a grown woman, you’re complaining that she’s not doing things your way. I suggest that if you turn your heart toward her, turn your eyes onto what she wants for her event, and help her get that, you might find that in the end not only that you feel more respected, but you may also find a restored relationship. Wouldn’t that be nice? I think that is well within your power to have if you make the needed changes in you. I hope you will, not only for the wedding, but for your relationship with your daughter and her family. She may have children, and I’m sure you would be very blessed to be in their lives, and very sad not to be. I hope you find your way to peace on this road before you, Sister. Life is extremely short. Choose well! <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Maria, thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind my observation here, you want your daughter’s respect. Yet, you don’t respect the presence of her girlfriend in her life, which was important enough for her to bring her to her grandmother’s funeral. You don’t respect her desire to get married, not even enough to attend, even though it’s a all-out affair. You don’t respect her desire to get married because you see it as unnecessary since they don’t want children. This is your daughter’s big event, and you have turned it into being all about you. Rather than respecting her enough to hear who she is and what she wants, you’re all about your own opinion. Yet you’re the one who feels disrespected. You want her respect, yet you don’t respect her; that’s not how respect works. Given your rejection of her and the desires she’s expressed, maybe the most respectful thing she can do right now is NOT to be in communication with you and your husband. You say you don’t have control — which is true: you don’t and you shouldn’t — but rather than surrendering into that and letting her be who she is as a grown woman, you’re complaining that she’s not doing things your way. I suggest that if you turn your heart toward her, turn your eyes onto what she wants for her event, and help her get that, you might find that in the end not only that you feel more respected, but you may also find a restored relationship. Wouldn’t that be nice? I think that is well within your power to have if you make the needed changes in you. I hope you will, not only for the wedding, but for your relationship with your daughter and her family. She may have children, and I’m sure you would be very blessed to be in their lives, and very sad not to be. I hope you find your way to peace on this road before you, Sister. Life is extremely short. Choose well! <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I understand, too! It’s a challenge to let go of the hopes we already had, and it helps to grieve. Once we can allow God to replace our lost hopes with what HE has in mind, that’s when we’re golden. You accidentally typed, “Resist in my God that he knows what he is doing…” :) I know you meant REST, but I smile because that is exactly what it boils down to: RESIST what God is doing or REST in God. That’s exactly what the journey is all about. Part of why I write this blog is to help shift expectations, so people don’t get so bent out of shape about their son or daughter being gay. The more we can see it as one of the options on the spectrum, the more it can just become something we adjust our expectations for without totally dismantling all our hopes and dreams for our kids. All the rhetoric that “gay is not okay” only makes it that much harder for parents to adjust. Keep up the good work, My Daughters Mom, of letting go and letting God. It’s a process. Bless you and thanks for writing in.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I understand, too! It’s a challenge to let go of the hopes we already had, and it helps to grieve. Once we can allow God to replace our lost hopes with what HE has in mind, that’s when we’re golden. You accidentally typed, “Resist in my God that he knows what he is doing…” :) I know you meant REST, but I smile because that is exactly what it boils down to: RESIST what God is doing or REST in God. That’s exactly what the journey is all about. Part of why I write this blog is to help shift expectations, so people don’t get so bent out of shape about their son or daughter being gay. The more we can see it as one of the options on the spectrum, the more it can just become something we adjust our expectations for without totally dismantling all our hopes and dreams for our kids. All the rhetoric that “gay is not okay” only makes it that much harder for parents to adjust. Keep up the good work, My Daughters Mom, of letting go and letting God. It’s a process. Bless you and thanks for writing in.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so welcome! I’m glad you wrote again. God will tell you whether to continue to reach out to her. I do know this: when we know that someone we love is only accepting us partway, we sometimes have to draw back for our own inner peace. I’ve had to do that just as an ally, much less what your daughter has gone through. I would seriously recommend you continue on this path God is showing you to LET GO LET GOD, let him remove any “cancerous” pieces (of conditional acceptance), and then go into our next encounter with her expressing your complete love and acceptance. It will be a breath of fresh air for her… and for you! Bless you and I’d love to hear how it turns out. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You’re so welcome! I’m glad you wrote again. God will tell you whether to continue to reach out to her. I do know this: when we know that someone we love is only accepting us partway, we sometimes have to draw back for our own inner peace. I’ve had to do that just as an ally, much less what your daughter has gone through. I would seriously recommend you continue on this path God is showing you to LET GO LET GOD, let him remove any “cancerous” pieces (of conditional acceptance), and then go into our next encounter with her expressing your complete love and acceptance. It will be a breath of fresh air for her… and for you! Bless you and I’d love to hear how it turns out. <3

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I keep seeing this “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing” When people say choose, do you mean that their child is choosing to be attracted to people of the same sex or that they are choosing not to be alone? I just find this very hard to swallow.

    My daughter came about about 5 years ago. It wasn’t anything I had ever imagined would happen or anything I would have wanted. But I could see from the difficulty she had in telling us and the things she said that it was no choice she was making. Also, very few of us are called to a life of celibacy. And so many who are fail. I would rather my daughter find a wonderful person who loves her and who she can make a life together with than make an attempt at a solitary life and slip up and fail and lead a life of shame.

    Something I figured out is that how I react, is my choice. And if you are suffering and being made uncomfortable, maybe it is you who are choosing that.

    Maybe it is your chosen lifestyle you need think about.

    Sharon

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I keep seeing this “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing” When people say choose, do you mean that their child is choosing to be attracted to people of the same sex or that they are choosing not to be alone? I just find this very hard to swallow.

    My daughter came about about 5 years ago. It wasn’t anything I had ever imagined would happen or anything I would have wanted. But I could see from the difficulty she had in telling us and the things she said that it was no choice she was making. Also, very few of us are called to a life of celibacy. And so many who are fail. I would rather my daughter find a wonderful person who loves her and who she can make a life together with than make an attempt at a solitary life and slip up and fail and lead a life of shame.

    Something I figured out is that how I react, is my choice. And if you are suffering and being made uncomfortable, maybe it is you who are choosing that.

    Maybe it is your chosen lifestyle you need think about.

    Sharon

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I sure appreciate your response, My Daughters Mom. I can’t speak for sejb, but perhaps she is responding toward so much that has been said about “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing,” words slung around without any thought behind them, what they are implying and the pain they may inflict, not to you personally. I know it is a complete shocker to many parents, and not so much to others. I join you in pray that you can accept it. For all your sakes. <3 Bless you on your road.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I sure appreciate your response, My Daughters Mom. I can’t speak for sejb, but perhaps she is responding toward so much that has been said about “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing,” words slung around without any thought behind them, what they are implying and the pain they may inflict, not to you personally. I know it is a complete shocker to many parents, and not so much to others. I join you in pray that you can accept it. For all your sakes. <3 Bless you on your road.

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I did not find it easy and I do feel for other parents who have to go through this and I do pray for other moms and dads. Really.

    I’m sorry you were offended but I was trying to point out how many parents seem to think that their child is making a choice, and a bad one, but their own feelings are justified. It took me a while and a lot of soul searching before God convicted me that my reaction was a choice, and a destructive one at that.

    I wasn’t singling anyone out and if you look you will see this in many posts.

  • http://gravatar.com/sejb sejb

    I did not find it easy and I do feel for other parents who have to go through this and I do pray for other moms and dads. Really.

    I’m sorry you were offended but I was trying to point out how many parents seem to think that their child is making a choice, and a bad one, but their own feelings are justified. It took me a while and a lot of soul searching before God convicted me that my reaction was a choice, and a destructive one at that.

    I wasn’t singling anyone out and if you look you will see this in many posts.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much. You are right about that. So much has been badly misinterpreted and so much added, that to pull out a couple of verses and condemn a group of people with them is the complete opposite of what God asks us to do. can’t help thinking that like Lucy Ricardo, “we got a lot of ‘splaining to do.”

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you so much. You are right about that. So much has been badly misinterpreted and so much added, that to pull out a couple of verses and condemn a group of people with them is the complete opposite of what God asks us to do. can’t help thinking that like Lucy Ricardo, “we got a lot of ‘splaining to do.”

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello Raynebow. I am very sorry for the pain you have had to endure. No one should have to feel ashamed of who they are. You know that’s what my book is about – helping parents embrace their children and not shame them. That beginning of the book that you read… I ask parents not to do that for all the reasons you mentioned. I want to help and suffering like you’ve gone through. I’m glad you wrote, & I hope your mother comes around.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Hello Raynebow. I am very sorry for the pain you have had to endure. No one should have to feel ashamed of who they are. You know that’s what my book is about – helping parents embrace their children and not shame them. That beginning of the book that you read… I ask parents not to do that for all the reasons you mentioned. I want to help and suffering like you’ve gone through. I’m glad you wrote, & I hope your mother comes around.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Will email.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Will email.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Lawrence, there is no reason to fear for your son’s salvation. Seriously not. Please, please read Brownson or Vines’ upcoming God and the Gay Christian. What we’ve been taught about those verses is not what they say. Cooler heads must prevail on this issue to overcome fear. You know your son didn’t choose this, don’t you? He was little. It bubbled up from within. I’m writing a series of posts, probably to post in a week, to answer a letter I got from another dad in your shoes. Keep an eye open — I hope it will help give you peace. Best to you and your son.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Lawrence, there is no reason to fear for your son’s salvation. Seriously not. Please, please read Brownson or Vines’ upcoming God and the Gay Christian. What we’ve been taught about those verses is not what they say. Cooler heads must prevail on this issue to overcome fear. You know your son didn’t choose this, don’t you? He was little. It bubbled up from within. I’m writing a series of posts, probably to post in a week, to answer a letter I got from another dad in your shoes. Keep an eye open — I hope it will help give you peace. Best to you and your son.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Heather, Jesus will guide your princess. Her dating a girl will not keep her from heaven, I promise, because she’s a whosoever. “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” :) That’s what the Bible says. It’s not about being gay or not. Rest easy, Heather. You let Jesus guide your baby, and let him guide you too. Let him give you the peace that is beyond all understanding. He will. Bless your heart.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Heather, Jesus will guide your princess. Her dating a girl will not keep her from heaven, I promise, because she’s a whosoever. “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” :) That’s what the Bible says. It’s not about being gay or not. Rest easy, Heather. You let Jesus guide your baby, and let him guide you too. Let him give you the peace that is beyond all understanding. He will. Bless your heart.

  • http://sejb.wordpress.com/ sejb

    Hi Heather, I feel for you. I’ve been where you are. My best advice is to pray. Pray for God’s understanding, Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in your and your daughter’s lives. And pray you have ears to listen. Sometimes we ask God for help and the help he sends isn’t what we were expecting and we reject it. Pray that he won’t let you do that. I think you’ve already made a good start, he brought you here! Also pray for protection for your daughter. Protection from our brothers and sisters in Christ who will be cruel to her in Jesus’ name. Pray for her faith be strong even as she is being shown hate.

    My other advice is to remember how much you love your daughter and remember that she is still that same girl you’ve always loved more than your own life. You just know her better now.

    In the meantime, I’m sending a link to one of my favorite videos on the topic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWYtkn_8D-g

    Blessings on you dear mother!

    Sharon

  • http://sejb.wordpress.com/ sejb

    Hi Heather, I feel for you. I’ve been where you are. My best advice is to pray. Pray for God’s understanding, Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in your and your daughter’s lives. And pray you have ears to listen. Sometimes we ask God for help and the help he sends isn’t what we were expecting and we reject it. Pray that he won’t let you do that. I think you’ve already made a good start, he brought you here! Also pray for protection for your daughter. Protection from our brothers and sisters in Christ who will be cruel to her in Jesus’ name. Pray for her faith be strong even as she is being shown hate.

    My other advice is to remember how much you love your daughter and remember that she is still that same girl you’ve always loved more than your own life. You just know her better now.

    In the meantime, I’m sending a link to one of my favorite videos on the topic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWYtkn_8D-g

    Blessings on you dear mother!

    Sharon

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Lol. No, I just appreciate your wonderful advice for Heather. Thank you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Lol. No, I just appreciate your wonderful advice for Heather. Thank you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, sejb.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, sejb.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Nate. You and nativetexasgirl might consider watching Prayers for Bobby, or watching it again. I just watched it again last night, and it really tells the story of what you just said Nate, that they’re scared and want acceptance and love. That’s what we as parents need to provide! Best to both of you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Nate. You and nativetexasgirl might consider watching Prayers for Bobby, or watching it again. I just watched it again last night, and it really tells the story of what you just said Nate, that they’re scared and want acceptance and love. That’s what we as parents need to provide! Best to both of you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh I am so glad to hear it. Love works! Good for you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh I am so glad to hear it. Love works! Good for you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so happy to hear that! No one wants to live crunched in a box.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m so happy to hear that! No one wants to live crunched in a box.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful. Doesn’t Jesus start with acceptance? Our acceptance of him and his acceptance of us? (“But we must repent,” I can hear it now. But repentance is essentially rethinking where I am; it’s realizing my need for Christ, and then choosing him.) LOVE that your son feels accepted now, Nate. That is the core of the astoundingly good news of Christ!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Beautiful. Doesn’t Jesus start with acceptance? Our acceptance of him and his acceptance of us? (“But we must repent,” I can hear it now. But repentance is essentially rethinking where I am; it’s realizing my need for Christ, and then choosing him.) LOVE that your son feels accepted now, Nate. That is the core of the astoundingly good news of Christ!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I love that! Acceptance comes first and foremost.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I love that! Acceptance comes first and foremost.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Bonnie, I have no doubt that God can and does deliver people from wanton sin, as you described. He’s done it for me! Without a doubt God can heal, but in actual lived experience, he does not seem to change homosexuality. The numbers don’t stack up. You say, “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality. Many of them credit the fact that they knew a faithful praying parent was crying out to God for them.” I have not seen that, though I have looked. If you know those stories, I’d like to see them. I do know, personally, many people who have poured their lives into prayer and submission, whose parents have prayed just as fervently, and they are still as gay as they always were. Indeed, the main purveyor of “reparative/reorientation therapy” shut its doors last year because it does not work. For 37 years they tried with all their hearts, but even the “success stories” admitted they were not “cured,” they’d just chosen celibacy. That’s not deliverance from bondage. Instead, I suggest your assumption that homosexuality is a sin is faulty. I know that doesn’t make sense to you when you believe it is, but I strongly recommend Brownson on this or Vines’ soon-to-be-released book. Or simply read Justin Lee’s story in Torn to get an inside view of a journey I’m pretty sure you have not personally walked [link]. Or you can read What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality right here. I love your heart, I love your fervor, but it doesn’t bear out in the real world. So we must back up and reevaluate our interpretation of the passages we have quote without any real understanding. The Pharisees did that and badly misled people they were charged to lead. We owe this demographic more than that. Thank you, Bonnie.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Bonnie, I have no doubt that God can and does deliver people from wanton sin, as you described. He’s done it for me! Without a doubt God can heal, but in actual lived experience, he does not seem to change homosexuality. The numbers don’t stack up. You say, “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality. Many of them credit the fact that they knew a faithful praying parent was crying out to God for them.” I have not seen that, though I have looked. If you know those stories, I’d like to see them. I do know, personally, many people who have poured their lives into prayer and submission, whose parents have prayed just as fervently, and they are still as gay as they always were. Indeed, the main purveyor of “reparative/reorientation therapy” shut its doors last year because it does not work. For 37 years they tried with all their hearts, but even the “success stories” admitted they were not “cured,” they’d just chosen celibacy. That’s not deliverance from bondage. Instead, I suggest your assumption that homosexuality is a sin is faulty. I know that doesn’t make sense to you when you believe it is, but I strongly recommend Brownson on this or Vines’ soon-to-be-released book. Or simply read Justin Lee’s story in Torn to get an inside view of a journey I’m pretty sure you have not personally walked [link]. Or you can read What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality right here. I love your heart, I love your fervor, but it doesn’t bear out in the real world. So we must back up and reevaluate our interpretation of the passages we have quote without any real understanding. The Pharisees did that and badly misled people they were charged to lead. We owe this demographic more than that. Thank you, Bonnie.

  • Survivor Girl

    Hi Anonymous,

    Well, that’s just the thing: We already *have* put words in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, by having umpteen translations of the Scriptures. We put the word “homosexual” in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, as it was not in the original Hebrew and was not added to the KJV until the ’40s. There is quite a bit of scholarship on this.

    One other thing I wanted to say regarding your example is that, while I agree that we can pray for an adulterous spouse to change his/her BEHAVIOR and marvel at the work that God is able to do in his/her heart, I disagree that praying for God to change the core of someone’s sexual attraction (which is neither a choice nor a behavior) is going to get anyone anywhere. Exodus Int’l is the “poster boy” for the failure of reparation therapy. You mention this: “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality.” How do you know this? Because Alan Chambers of the former Exodus would disagree with you. He would also tell you that sexual orientation is 99.9% fixed, so those who are same-gender attracted but who are living straight lives are still same-sex attracted. Can you imagine, as a straight person, being married to a same-sex attracted partner simply because that partner is trying to do what s/he believes God would have him/her do? (That’s bondage). Can you imagine the misery for both of you? Yes, there are same-sex attracted people who are living straight lives, but they will tell you that it is often times fraught with depression and extreme loneliness. I’ve wondered how it would be if I thought God were telling me, a straight woman, that being straight is evil, so I needed to suppress my longings and remain alone and lonely. Would I despair of life? Would I feel like I was living in bondage? You bet I would. And I’d wonder why I was even created in the first place.

    I’m not trying to come off as angry, here – just resolved. I’m a mom who prayed for YEARS for my gay child to be straight. I’m friends with many, many other moms who prayed for YEARS for their gay children to be straight. Our gay children have prayed for YEARS for God to “make them straight.” If God hasn’t answered a single one of those prayers, does that make us bad pray-ers, or does that make God a bad, unconcerned god? I think it’s neither of those. Instead, I think that He is a good God who wants us to love our gay children and to direct our prayers to ask that they will live in relationship with Him as gay people. If He really wanted to change them from gay to straight, He’d have done it, and we’d all be hearing about hundreds of thousands of these miracles every day. To me, the real miracle is that gay people are reaching out to God at all, given the way the Church (as God’s representative) has misinterpreted scripture verses that have everything to do with antiquated purity codes and temple prostitution and nothing to do with sexual orientation. The fact that my son is a follower of Jesus and loves the Church as He does is the *real* miracle to me.

  • Survivor Girl

    Hi Anonymous,

    Well, that’s just the thing: We already *have* put words in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, by having umpteen translations of the Scriptures. We put the word “homosexual” in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, as it was not in the original Hebrew and was not added to the KJV until the ’40s. There is quite a bit of scholarship on this.

    One other thing I wanted to say regarding your example is that, while I agree that we can pray for an adulterous spouse to change his/her BEHAVIOR and marvel at the work that God is able to do in his/her heart, I disagree that praying for God to change the core of someone’s sexual attraction (which is neither a choice nor a behavior) is going to get anyone anywhere. Exodus Int’l is the “poster boy” for the failure of reparation therapy. You mention this: “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality.” How do you know this? Because Alan Chambers of the former Exodus would disagree with you. He would also tell you that sexual orientation is 99.9% fixed, so those who are same-gender attracted but who are living straight lives are still same-sex attracted. Can you imagine, as a straight person, being married to a same-sex attracted partner simply because that partner is trying to do what s/he believes God would have him/her do? (That’s bondage). Can you imagine the misery for both of you? Yes, there are same-sex attracted people who are living straight lives, but they will tell you that it is often times fraught with depression and extreme loneliness. I’ve wondered how it would be if I thought God were telling me, a straight woman, that being straight is evil, so I needed to suppress my longings and remain alone and lonely. Would I despair of life? Would I feel like I was living in bondage? You bet I would. And I’d wonder why I was even created in the first place.

    I’m not trying to come off as angry, here – just resolved. I’m a mom who prayed for YEARS for my gay child to be straight. I’m friends with many, many other moms who prayed for YEARS for their gay children to be straight. Our gay children have prayed for YEARS for God to “make them straight.” If God hasn’t answered a single one of those prayers, does that make us bad pray-ers, or does that make God a bad, unconcerned god? I think it’s neither of those. Instead, I think that He is a good God who wants us to love our gay children and to direct our prayers to ask that they will live in relationship with Him as gay people. If He really wanted to change them from gay to straight, He’d have done it, and we’d all be hearing about hundreds of thousands of these miracles every day. To me, the real miracle is that gay people are reaching out to God at all, given the way the Church (as God’s representative) has misinterpreted scripture verses that have everything to do with antiquated purity codes and temple prostitution and nothing to do with sexual orientation. The fact that my son is a follower of Jesus and loves the Church as He does is the *real* miracle to me.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Laney, what precious and wonderful words. Thank you. Yes, indeed. If we’re to come as little children, it has to be simple, doesn’t it? :) Bless your heart and those two gay men in your life and are fortunate enough to be sister and mom. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Laney, what precious and wonderful words. Thank you. Yes, indeed. If we’re to come as little children, it has to be simple, doesn’t it? :) Bless your heart and those two gay men in your life and are fortunate enough to be sister and mom. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw. So sad you’re going through this. And that thing you keep hearing… that is the Holy Spirit leading you in all truth. Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Aw. So sad you’re going through this. And that thing you keep hearing… that is the Holy Spirit leading you in all truth. Bless you!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Marie, thank you for such sharing your thoughts here – especially as your goal is resolution of your own heart (since your mom’s is unwilling). I am happy you have found your peace. I love the idea of knowing you did all you could do so you have no regrets. My one caution is for readers who may stay because of false guilt. My friend knew God told her that she could not mend her abusive marriage, that it must come to an end, but she stayed 10 years longer because of the guilt of leaving. Do what you must do, readers, but listen to God’s voice telling you when it’s time to leave. Thank you, sweet Marie. You have shown the love of Christ to your mother. Bless you and your wife.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    VERY tough. Been through it myself. I’m SO glad your daughter has you in her corner. I’d rather take the hit than my daughter take it – sounds like you are the same. It’s not easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bless you, sister! And it DOES get easier. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    VERY tough. Been through it myself. I’m SO glad your daughter has you in her corner. I’d rather take the hit than my daughter take it – sounds like you are the same. It’s not easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bless you, sister! And it DOES get easier. <3

  • Susan bridenstine

    i was bullied about being gay so bad in 1983 that i had to change schools, i am straight, boy crazy you would say. Looking back i realize the two girls that bullied me turned out to be gay. I ended up being married with 5 children. Two of my girls are gay but have not experienced the negative effects that i experienced. I was straight and i experienced more evil then my two daughters have ever experienced. How do i reconcile this? It really bothers me,.

  • Susan bridenstine

    i was bullied about being gay so bad in 1983 that i had to change schools, i am straight, boy crazy you would say. Looking back i realize the two girls that bullied me turned out to be gay. I ended up being married with 5 children. Two of my girls are gay but have not experienced the negative effects that i experienced. I was straight and i experienced more evil then my two daughters have ever experienced. How do i reconcile this? It really bothers me,.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I don’t know. I’m so sorry about your experience. Have you tried counseling? If you get the right counselor for you, that can really help free you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I don’t know. I’m so sorry about your experience. Have you tried counseling? If you get the right counselor for you, that can really help free you.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Oh my gosh, my heart aches for you. It’s interesting, but non-affirming Christians have completely bent the Bible to fit their needs! I’m not just being snarky here, and they won’t see it that way unless they let God show it to them, but it’s still true.

    I’m so sorry for your pain, I really am. Idk if meeting your friend will ever be possibility, or how long it would take get there. They are clearly terrified of the whole subject – probably because of the terrifying God they know who stands ready to condemn… not the God Jesus showed us.

    Bless you my friend, and I’m so glad you wrote. Let me know what happens.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest God-fearing Christian: I so resonate with your heart, with your deepest heart-held beliefs on this. I really do. I know that it makes perfect sense to you. So much so that I just went to pray about how to speak here, to your heart. So there are two parts to this issue. 1. Is it a sin? I already know your view on this! But let me give you a few things to think about: the religious leaders who challenged Jesus always had verses to back them up — and He repudiated them. The religious leaders who imprisoned Galileo (for heliocentrism) had Bible verses to back them up — and they were wrong! Even when using verses (sometimes especially then), religious leaders get it wrong. A legalistic interpretation of scripture is NOT the heart of God. Paul makes this clear in Col. 2:20-23. God makes it clear in the Garden of Eden. 2. What is the Christ-honoring response, regardless of whether it’s a sin? Love them! Bring them to Jesus! Don’t judge God’s servant!

    I love your spirit. I entreat you to ask God to show you what you don’t yet understand about this topic. It doesn’t just go away because you don’t give people the idea. I promise. Some very devout Christian homes have found themselves with a gay child, who had never even MET a gay person. Your reasoning makes sense to you, sister, I know it does. But it doesn’t stand up in the real world. Sorry!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    All those sins you listed Jesus tells us are impossible for us to stop! Why do you think he said that merely the THOUGHT is the sin? Because he’s saying, “Stop relying on your own ability! Rely on me! Only in me do you have any hope!” It is Christ in me the hope of glory, not my obedience. If it were a matter of simply submitting, then all those incredibly committed Exodus attendees would now be straight. They were as committed as possible. You’ve got theory; they’ve got life-experience evidence. Ask Jesus if there’s something here that you’re missing, okay? Just take it on as a matter of prayer and see what he shows you.

  • Samantha

    Dear God Fearing Christian,

    You say you are not judging the people, then say that being gay is a sin. Wow, you just judged. We must work together to figure all of this out, not work against each other and pull each other down. As a conservative, standing firm in my faith, Christian, I am a mother of a gay son. I wonder how many LGBT folks are in your church and are afraid to speak or “come out?” I understand what you are saying about praying to God to take away your sinful thoughts, really I do. I also get not hanging around folks who are “falling short” making it easier for you not to fall short. (Isn’t that where Jesus did a lot of his work?) How ever, you are also living in a Christian bubble. The world is a mean place and satin works over time. I feel for your young people when they are grown and come out of the bubble you have kept them in. I sure hope you also taught them how to defend their faith, and I ask, have you taught them to bring others closer to Christ? That is what Jesus tells us to do, Love God, Love others, “Teach them about me.” You just called my son a sin. You just slammed the church door in his face!!! Do you know how much pain parents and relatives of LGBT people experience? No one can imagine the pain unless one truly experiences it. I have now lost friends, Christians, who do not agree with the LGBT people. They are people. Flesh and blood. This is my son. My gift from God. Is that what Jesus wants other Christians to do, turn their back on other people, on his people? How is he, or any Christian who is LGBT, supposed to have support, feel love, figure this out when they are immediately shunned? We all belong in the pews, especially those with greater struggles then yours. I pray your heart will be changed to extend a hand out to LGBT folks and their families so that we all may feel the peace as Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ. Have you taken the time to listen to their side of the story, to hear their heart, their struggles, their psychological warfare? Being LGBT, having those feelings, emotions, attractions is not a choice, it just is. When did you decide to be heterosexual? Now, acting on and following through with the actions feelings , emotions is a choice. How ever, we as Christians still should not judge!! Each person, Christian, carries their own cross to bare to God. You are not living with abandon in him. I pray you will show God’s love more and extend your hand with compassion to any one whom you think is a lost soul, be it LGBT, prostitutes, adulterers, pre-marital sexually active folks, murderers, etc. etc . Forgive me being so real about this issue, but one must be real about the world we live in. We do not have to give up our own convictions to support and love others. Some Christians are so deep in to the Bible they cannot see the forest for the trees. They have missed the complete message Jesus was telling us!!!. LOVE. Be Blessed and say a prayer for us all. :) :) Please note that this is written out of love and respect to you and others who may be reading this. :) :) :) Praying for the truth every day!!!!!!!!

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Samantha, thank you. Thank you for connecting at that level. You said it exactly.

  • Samantha

    Awe, Patrick, you are welcome. God loves you always. Go right ahead and share away…:). I also had one more question/comment/update in all of this. My story was posted earlier/above.. Recently my youngest son graduated HS, a private Christian school, and earned the Christian Character Award. ( yes, I am proud). Now, all of us, as a family, are a Christian conservative family. Church goers. Bible readers. I try to live as a reflection of Jesus, everyday, seven days a week. How did my one son end up gay, a good Christian, and my other son is as heterosexual as can be, a good Christian, and won that award? Keep in mind they were raised the exact same way, same parents, same school, same influences, 19 months apart. If some one says my oldest is choosing this, I ask why? He says he wanted to not have those attractions when it all first began, at an early age. He wanted to be attracted to girls. He wanted to date girls. It just was not natural to him. He was trying to understand it. He prayed for his male attraction not to be so. It just doesn’t make sense??? So now it is with research, prayer, trusting God, LISTENING, and debating and learning out of love to help all involved in this. We must be well rounded and get educated. We must live abandon in truth and in Christ. It is a scary thing, but that is what God wants us to do. I get it now. Ha. :) :) Application, application, application. Are we applying, in our actions, what we want others to see as Christians. Do people see Jesus in you? That is how both my boys were raised. The gay one is just as Christian as the straight one. :) :) ;) sigh…..HE has to seek God and serve him, as he gets the answers from Christ!!! We don’t leave each other when we are “in storms” down here on Earth. We should grow closer together. My son is going after his PhD in psychology and is seeking the answers as well. He wants to help and serve others in this walk!! He is also learning of different religions, and what they believe in all of this. He is also having to learn about those who are not Christian, and how they are to live a good healthy life!!! He brings many of his friends home, and we love them all. His brother loves him just as much as he did before he came out. We will get through this together, and at times, agree to disagree. “This too shall Pass.” “May the peace that you find with Jesus be the peace you bring to others in their storm.” sigh………A great book that helped me open myself to God, to let go, is Max Lucado’s, Cast Of Characters, Lost and Found. You’ll Get through This, is a good book as well. Many times we have to put all of this orientation on the shelf, and live our lives!!!!!! In the end, it is between you and God and no one else. Period. :) :)
    Living abandon in him, Sam

  • Samantha

    I can say as a mom, it takes a lot of time. She may come to you with questions. Take the time to listen and answer. Keep praying for her and with her and God will do his work. I know!!!!!!!

  • Samantha

    Good news!!!!! Are you done with Law school yet?

  • Samantha

    That question is for Jonathon….oops, :) :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I totally agree. Parents hold out for what they want their child to be instead of being grateful for who their child is. At the bottom, it’s completely self-focused. I love all that you wrote — your son is very blessed to have you both!

  • Samantha

    Amen!!!!!

  • Samantha

    Good Job!!! Good luck on your exams. Proud of you!!!!

    You have come a long way. Sigh…:) :) :) My son is entering his Jr. year in college, pursuing his PhD in psychology. Serve Christ and let your passion be your career, the rest will fall in to place. Amen. :) :)

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Wise words from a dad who’s been there and loved well. Thank you, Nate.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Wise words from a dad who’s been there and loved well. Thank you, Nate.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Darling Deborah, I’m going to email you now.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Darling Deborah, I’m going to email you now.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I know, Deborah. I just emailed you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I know, Deborah. I just emailed you. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Sweet Becky, your daughter is well able to live for God and be in heaven, and it has nothing to do with sexual orientation — or anything we do! In John 6:28-29, Jesus says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” It couldn’t be simpler, and thank God for that!

  • Samantha

    Heartbroken,
    I guess you are a Christian? First, let me begin by saying God loves you and your child. God is the redeemer, not man. Do not be afraid. Do not let these next few days, weeks, and months shake you from the path of God. Shake it off.

    There are a myriad of feelings and emotions that will take place. There are people you can talk to. I do not know the age of your child, or any thing about you or your family situation. Having said that, my first thoughts are for you to hug your child and let him/her know that you LOVE them. Period. NO conditions. Let him/her know you will help them, and you must affirm to your child you will LOVE them THROUGH this. Your child is still the child you raised. Your child was brave to tell you and there must be some relationship there for him/her to have told you. Thank goodness you have that relationship. :) :) Great Job. Get back on firm ground here, and find one good friend who will not judge, but will “have the conversation” with you. A good listener. It may be a personal friend, a church friend, or a family member. You only need one good listener to talk it out with. It helps with the process. :) I also recommend professional counsel. A PhD psychologist is one of the best sources to help you and your child talk through this. There are some who specifically have studied and deal with this very issue. Probably Google some in your area and check out their web sites to help you narrow it down. A family M.D. may know some and can refer you as well. You can go to counsel by yourself, and hopefully your child will want to go with you right away or in time. Counseling cannot be forced. The person has to be ready and want to go. DO not be in denial about this. Speak the truth and speak out of love. Seek God every day. Read his word, every day. It may be the Bible or good positive books to help you get through this. I promise as time goes by and in a few months you will already begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pray to God and be specific in your prayers. Cry when you need to, and do not apologize for it. Talk with your child about it as well. Ask questions and LISTEN to the answers. When he/she is open to talk, talk. When he/she is not open to it, don’t push it. We have one mouth and two ears, we should listen more then we speak, ha. :) :) You will disagree at times, and that is okay. Agree to disagree. Write stuff down in a journal if you need to about your child and when you go to counsel have questions and thoughts ready. You must speak the truth or it will not work. You must get it out, talk it out, slowly. You must go through the pain to GET to the other side. Sigh…. You and your child are going to be okay. :) There is nothing that God gives us, that with him, we cannot handle. Rest in his Grace, rest in his Grace. Love, Mercy, and Grace. So, get that Bible, pick yourself up, plant both feet firmly on the ground and walk through this, you can do it. Take care of you and your family!! Do not let Satan win.

    There are gay affirming churches and Susan has a link on this site to that. I think you can Google that as well. She also has many sources listed that can be helpful.

    You as a parent must direct your child in the right direction so he/she will have a healthy mind/psyche.
    As they get older, they become responsible for them selves. They too must form a relationship with Christ and work through this with Christ. We can only do so much, and then we have to give it to God. The child then has to continue to seek God and find their way. Our children are a gift from God, and then we have to give them back to God. Sigh. No one said this was easy. Parenting is NOT for wimps. Ha!

    This is a “part” of “who” your child is, but it is not ALL your child is. See the big picture, not just the tiny spec. :) :)
    Allow God to work, and it can take years, it will come around full circle. I have seen it.
    May the peace you find with Jesus, be the peace you share with others in their storm.

    Take a break from all of this as well too. Put in on the shelf, and go live your life as you normally did before all of this news came about.

    I also stay connected to this web site and Susan has helped me re-visit scripture and re-read things to remind me of different books in the Bible and go, oh yes, I remember that now. :) Keep all positive people, books, web sites around you and walk away from the negative, you will get through this too. Do be careful of some of the sources you come across.
    Seek God and seek the truth. I sure hope this gets you going in the right direction.
    You are not alone. Much love to you and walk slowly my friend.
    In God’s Hands,

  • Samantha

    AAAwwww….not Awe……:) :)

  • sammy

    i feel for ur pain, can we pray together?

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Precious Amy, my heart breaks for you. Tragic indeed, to be rejected by those who are meant to be there for you the most. I am so sorry they are acting this way. Two things to remember: 1. This has nothing to do with you. NOTHING. Proof is that they would respond that way regardless of who their child was, and other parents would respond differently to you in the same situation. So it has absolutely zero to do with you. 2. They are compelled by fear. Fear of judgment, God’s and/or others.’ They enjoy no freedom in Christ in this area. They are just running a program of the messages they’ve heard. It’s exactly like your computer — it runs the program installed in it, period. Jesus never ever meant for us to be that way, hovering around in fear, afraid of stepping out of line lest God whack us. That is NOT the freedom for which Christ set us free! You continue to rest in Christ. He has a bright future and a purpose for you, much more than just to be rejected. Take heart! You’re a beautiful person, and your journey is well underway. Thank you for writing — I’m glad you’re here! <3

  • Valentine Chika

    Am 32yrs Old now, and will be 33yrs by Next February ,having gone through the whole post and all that i have read , i knew of a truth am not alone on this earth and am not passing through this alone… Mine was on 2009 , then my dad has died since 2001 and i told my Mother that am Gay , though she did not take any offense to it but her reaction towards such news wasn’t good at all.

    My Elder Sister called me on phone and call me many names and also said from that day i have seized to be part of the family and that she will never have anything else to do with me or my Study then, i was force to leave the house, travel to Lagos to stay with one of our relation who finally find out that why i run to him was because i was reject by my family due to my sexual preference and before i knew it , he called Police to take me to jail where i stay for one week and no one come to bail me before the Police has to release me to go but because i have no where to go they contact my Uncle to come and take me out from the Station, he took me and was beaten me from the Station till we gets to his house that night.

    He locked me in one of the room and the next morning what he did was to come and unlock the room and two hefty men took me by my hand and they chained me , take me to their church where they said they want to pray and cast out the Demon which has been controlling my life.

    I was forced to stay 4 days without food or water in the name of fasting and praying till the Pastor of the church has to bring me out in the whole congregation and start announcing that am been posses by the Spirit of Homosexual and i have no single strength in me anymore till one day i was alone in that church and the people around went out for evangelism and that was when i use my last strength to run out of there and on my way i was looking so sick that i fainted, someone took me to near by hospital where i later regain myself the next day and they start to ask me question and i answer, the Doctor has to put a call to my Sister Number and she called my Mum who said that she gave birth to me and that what ever i am , that she does not care, that i should knew she loves me so much and immediately i start to gain small strength to move around ,as the doctor order for me to stay till he can be able to put me in a transport that will take more than 8hrs to reach my Village where i come from in Anambra State of Nigeria.

    When my mother saw me, she was so worried and crying that i might die, but later nothing happens to me though the pain it caused me was the Heart Burn (Ulcer) am having due to no food all the while my Uncle Rejects me.

    I lost my mum on October 10th 2012 and all my brothers and Sisters whom said they have nothing to do with me right now were those encouraging me to stay out of trouble and also be careful due to the Law the Senate President passes here in Nigeria on Gay and Lesbians.

    Am still staying at closet and what i have read so far on the comments people posts here truly touch my heart and my simple word of encouragement to them all is that , no one comes out of this world to choose on what he or she will be in Sexual Preference , so we should always remember that the Love we have for God who create us shall never be forgetting for we are made special , even though is not easy to accept by the society or any community, one cannot change to start living fake life which is not yours.

    God bless you all…

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Valentine, I am so sorry to hear about your very difficult experience. I am sorry that people treat people as badly as your family has treated you. I pray for God to show you how much he loves you, exactly as you are, and help you to find peace. I hope you know that God loves you exactly as you are. Exactly. I am very glad you found FreedHearts, very glad you wrote today. God bless you, my friend. Love to you. Susan

  • http://pureforapurpose.com Scott St. Onge

    “If you can’t say in your heart that your child is more important than others’ opinions, then seek the Lord about this and ask Him to restore your priorities.”

    “Your child has the whole rest of the world to navigate; you are uniquely equipped to help bear their burden and so fulfill the law of Christ, as Galatians 6:2 tells us.”

    Excellent!

  • http://pureforapurpose.com Scott St. Onge

    We’ll said, Nate.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are so right on that – I’ve seen examples against that model time and again. Also, plenty of people whose parents WERE absent/overbearing and that person is straight. Just an ounce worth of observation shows the holes. Thank you for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    You are so right on that – I’ve seen examples against that model time and again. Also, plenty of people whose parents WERE absent/overbearing and that person is straight. Just an ounce worth of observation shows the holes. Thank you for writing.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    No, Mike, people who encourage the marginalization of an entire group of people, deny them the civil rights they themselves enjoy, and care not that this mindset results in death and destruction, THOSE are the ones we call haters. If we could truly just live and let live (leaving our disagreements aside), then we would just call them neighbors.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Also, the damage that message is wreaking is proof that it is not Jesus’ heart. He never taught of approved of that kind of abuse of scripture, the law, or power.

  • Samantha

    Edward,

    Then how do you explain ALL the heterosexual men who grew up “with out a dad” or a male father figure? You really need to read more up to date findings, stories, and science research in to all of this.

    Focus on Reconciliation, not Resolution

    by Rick Warren

    “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)

    When you have conflict in your life, focus on reconciliation, not resolution. There’s a big difference in those two words. Reconciliation means re-establishing the relationship. Resolution means resolving every issue.

    Resolution probably isn’t going to happen, because you’re never going to agree on some things. Nobody on this planet agrees with you about everything, so you’re never going to have resolution on all your issues.

    Can you have a loving relationship without agreeing on everything? Of course you can. If you learn to disagree without being disagreeable, that’s called wisdom. If you learn to walk hand-in-hand without having to see eye-to-eye, that’s called wisdom.

    One of the greatest things you can do with your life is be a bridge builder, not a wall builder. You are most like Jesus Christ when you are reconciling people. You are most like Jesus when you’re building bridges, not walls. That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! He’s the great reconciler. God sent Jesus to Earth to reconcile us because we are in conflict with God.

    But you cannot make peace with other people until you make peace with God. And maybe that’s part of the problem — you’re not at peace with yourself because you’re not at peace with God. First you’ve got to make peace with God. Then you get the peace of God.

    That’s the starting point: You need to get peace in your heart by letting the Prince of Peace inside.

    Would you pray this to God in your heart?

    “God, you know the conflict in my life. I’m tired of it, and I want to make peace. I want to have your peace in my life so I can offer peace to others. So I accept your peace today. I open my life to you as best as I know how. Fill my life with love, not anger, and with patience, joy, and peace. Come in and fill every area of my life with your peace, and help me to be a bridge builder and not a wall builder. Help me to take the initiative and not wait on that other person. Help me to find the right time and place, and then help me to have the courage to confess my part of the conflict and to be humble. Instead of attacking the person, help me attack the problem. Help me to consider the other person’s perspective. Help me to speak the truth, fix the problem and not the blame, and to focus on reconciliation instead of resolving all the disagreements. I ask this in your name. Amen.”

    “Today is a great day for a great day.”

    Peace my Brother In Christ.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest Pamela, I’m so sorry for your situation. It has to be extremely difficult. You are right, your parents are bound in fear. They view God as terribly frightening, and unless something foundational dislodges in them, they will not change — part of why it never gets any easier. Just so you know, their picture of God is nothing like the one Jesus painted, when Jesus told people to approach God boldly, to grab with both hands the inexhaustible grace God offers, to climb into God’s lap and rest there. Your parents do not know God this way, and so they are bound in chains.

    I am interested in why the honesty terrifies you. (Feel free to email me more about that, if you like.) As it is, you are gaining nothing from the relationship. Perhaps the fear is that honesty will remove all possibility of reconciliation that you hope for, which every child hopes for with their parents. I see two options: to go there as a façade, which at least gives you and your SO a (relatively safe) experience with your aging parents to carry with you after they’re gone. Or, to seek to be authentic, knowing ahead of time that all hell will break loose and likely end any pretense of relationship. I can’t tell you what to do; you have to search your heart to know which outcome you want to carry with you.

    I believe that if they could embrace you, they would. But unfortunately, because of their understanding of God, they would rather sacrifice you and your brother than incur the wrath they fear from God. It will help you greatly to realize that none of this has anything to do with you or your brother, but everything to do with their faulty belief system… which they learned somewhere, probably very early.

    If you feel compelled from within to share this with them, do so understanding they will almost assuredly throw you permanently out of their lives. (It does not sound to me as though you do feel so compelled.) If on the other hand you can find peace in taking your “friend” to meet your parents, instead of viewing it as being inauthentic, viewing it as the kind way to deal with all concerned, it might be the best route for everyone.

    Thank you for writing, and I wish you the best. <3

  • Vickie H.

    My adult daughter who is 31 years old has not been nor did she consider herself gay. Over the past several years while she was enjoying her career as a professional dancer at different Six Flags amusement parks, Branson MO, Knots Berry Farm and a magicians assistant in Las Vegas. She had been in a 3 year relationship with a nice guy, a fellow performer, it broke up when he cheated. Another 2 year relationship with a marine and broke it off as he was very immature and drinking and partying too much. Then most recently a 2 year relationship with a nice guy that she told me she could see herself marrying and starting a family with. We had even met and spent a couple holidays with his family. She and this fella both are in AA and they mutually broke it off as he was moving away to attend college and start his career. She settled down and opened a dance studio in his home town thinking that was where they would live. She also attends AA with several good friends who happen to be gay and one girl in particular has always been very attentive to our daughter and considered her a good friend. Even telling her own mother. (who by the way just found out that her own daughter felt like a man, instead of a girl) anyway she told her mom that she liked our daughter, but her mother having met our daughter said but she is not gay. and her daughter said she knew that and still wanted to be friends with her. Well she made her feelings know to our daughter and they began dating and in a short 5 months came to CA and were married. We as straight parents are still in shock, as are her grandparents, brother and all her friends gay and straight. As supportive as we are in regards to our daughter we feel she jumped into a life she knew little about. Her friend asked us at Christmas if she could have our daughters hand in marraige and 3 days later were married. they had it planned all along because they live in TX and cannot marry there.

    My husband asked how she would support our daughter and she told him that in several months she was to become an electrician but its been almost 1 year and she is still a server in a restaurant. Our daughter owns a dance studio which she opened 3 years ago and They struggle each week to pay bills and rent. We did pay for the flowers for family and the wedding party, and also paid for the after dinner for their wedding in CA, As her friends family is out in So Cal as well. Well, now our daughter is planning “a dream wedding” in TX with all their TX friends, all the trimmings on their 1 yr anniversary. She expects to us kick in for this one too, making it a large affair with venue, decorations, flowers, catering, cake, dancing and the whole party. Asking friends not for gifts as they already have a house set up, but donations to a cruise for a honeymoon. Can you give me any input on the quickness of this and advice for attending this as she wants her Dad and I there, she wants her father daughter dance and to have him walk her down the aisle,,even though the it’s not legal in TX but the show of having a wedding. Don’t know who is performing the ceremony, as they are already legally married in CA. Please advise, any support and input is greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear Vickie, I can hear the heartache as you write, with your head still spinning. I can see how it makes no sense, does not fit who you have known her to be, the list goes on. I am really sorry for your pain as a family. Here’s the thing I know as a mother, Vickie. We cannot direct our children’s lives. Even when they appear to be making a big mistake, and even when they are making a big mistake! Part of the trouble is that we really truly don’t know what will be the thing that really drives them to dependence on Christ. And when our kids do things that seem totally out of character or not in their best interest, it’s very hard to be at peace. But then, that is our opportunity to depend totally on Christ, isn’t it? I encourage you to embrace her as you would want to be embraced. If you and your husband can go and enjoy the event, please do so. That’s what love does. As for paying for things, I have no idea of your financial situation. If you want to do so, even though you disagree with her, please do. If you do not feel so led, then don’t. This is where there are no clearcut answers, but asking how God would lead you. Sometimes the natural consequences of choices are that other people are not going to support them financially. (For instance, if she had dropped out of the college you had paid for, wasting that money, you might well decline to pay for another college next year.) There is such a thing as enabling. But to participate fully is to say, “We love you,” no matter how baffling the circuitous route appears to you. God has not lost her. God is not concerned about her decisions. God loves and embraces her — that’s the opportunity for those in her life too. Blessings to you and your whole family. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Thank you, Cheryel.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear EG, what a beautiful letter. It breaks my heart! You are so kind the way you describe your family and your wish to please them. That is as it should be, how kids were designed. But the other half of the equation is for parents to let their kids go, to be who God made them to be, not who the parents want them to be. I understand the culture and expectation of you taking care of them in their old age. But God apparently has a different plan for them. The thing about these situations is that it’s not just one party (you) with an expectation to hold up. Their end is to give you life and then let you be who you are. That is hard for them to face. (What if you had died as a child? Or were called to a life of poverty? You see?) YOU cannot be their salvation. God is their salvation. This will be an opportunity for your parents to discover God’s provision for them, which is much greater than that weight on your shoulders. The best part of your letter was the plea to parents. I hope and pray parents hear that plea and trust God and love their kids. God bless and comfort you, EG.

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Bless you, Carol. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    I’m sorry to tell you but there is nothing you could have done differently. It is what it is. Many have gone before you and realized that LGBTQ people crop up in all kinds of homes, including Christian ones who taught against it. I recommend this post, and my book, “Mom, I’m Gay” – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith. I hope you can find your way to love and embrace your daughter, and put her interests above your parents’. They’re already grown. Your girl still desperately needs you. Bless you.

  • Samantha

    People are born LGBT. I have researched this heavily over the last year. An Endocrinologist helped me find the answers. I had just never looked in this direction. You can find an Endocrinologist in your area, and/or go to a medical school book store and get an Endo book and there is an entire chapter dedicated to this very thing. It is hormonal and happens in utero. Androgen, Testosterone, and Estrogen are at play. It is linked to the xq28gene. It is familial, and tends to run along the lines with twins. ( Twins are every other generation in families). I have spoken with many LGBT folks. Two conclusions I have come to so far, 1) most are born this way. 2.) Some have had childhood traumas and thus mistrust the opposite sex, and more issues may be involved……it can be a very deep trauma. A PhD psychologist can help answer the “why” am I having these attractions. Then after that is answered, one can go from there. Counsel cannot be forced and can take a lot of time. If folks are born that way, counsel can be very short. How ever, counsel can help the individual and / or family walk through this.

    The Endocrinologist explained it to me, in that the LGBT folks fall in to a spectrum of being born this way. If a heterosexual male is on the far left, and a heterosexual female is on the far right, all the LGBT folks fall in between. Thus, if a very masculine man comes out as gay he falls in closer to the left side of the spectrum. Bisexuals are in the middle. Transgender folks physically fall towards the male or female side, depending on their physical, actual male/female bodies, how ever, their biological/gene make up goes the other way, male/female. Their bodies do not match their biological attractions that are controlled by genes that finished their orientation assignment in puberty. It is very complicated. It is like folks who have Autism/spectrum. :)

    I will try and attach a link which has most of the information that is in the Endo books. The best resource is an updated, medical, Endocrinology book.

    Your daughter is going to be okay, and so will you. I promise. Many of us have been where you are. It gets better. Keep praying and God will guide your heart and your family. This is God’s plan, not ours. :) :)

    Your response can have a huge impact on the psychological welfare of your child. Just love her and walk through this together!!!!! Keep seeking the truth.

    This web site helped a great deal. Stay connected. God Bless Susan!!!

    If the link below does not work, this is the topic title and what you want to look up in the medical books. We can’t pull up actual entire books on line, unless you buy it. Which one can do. :)

    I hope this helps, after one gets over this hurdle, it’s all much better from here.

    Research Topic;

    Sexual differentiation of the human

    brain: relevance for gender identity,

    transsexualism and sexual orientation

    http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Sexual_Differentiation_of_the_Human_Brain__Relevance_for_Gender_Identity,_Transsexualism_and_Sexual_Orientation.pdf

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dearest Maria, I hear how terribly difficult this is for you. Your heart is in knots, I know. I can hear it. Two things here: 1. If you read back over your comment, you will see how focused it is on you. I grasp your pain, but your concern as expressed here was not for your daughter but for yourself — your shock, your anger, your lack of relationship, your fear, your shattered dreams, your anxiety attack. And that all leads to: 2. God alone can carry you through this. Your daughter is not capable of healing what’s going on in you, no matter what she does or doesn’t do or say. You must take all these cares and place them right in God’s hands, and plead for God’s comfort and peace. Let your daughter go. Let God heal you for a good long while before you turn your attention anywhere else. I can hear that your relationship is fractured, and you do need healing. But as long as your attention is so clearly on you, I do not blame her for staying away. I don’t mean this harshly. I just mean that she must find her own safety, and as long as she has to care for your (your anger, your shattered dreams, your anxiety), she cannot have her own peace. To have to caretake another’s emotion wellbeing is codependence, and it’s healthy for her to stay away (as much as it hurts you). If you can find a good counselor to help you, or a close friend or pastor to talk to, that could help. But ultimately, God alone will be able to really get inside and heal your deepest fears and hurts. I wish you the best and hope you find healing, so eventually you and your daughter can begin to rebuild your broken relationship. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Dear PC, let’s sort a few things out here. First, thank you for writing such a beautiful comment. Second, your heavenly Father made you gay. Nothing you can do will change it. I have talked to men in their late years who went through a life of denial, marrying a woman, to try to keep the peace, and it ate them up inside. That is NOT the life your heavenly Father has for you.Please do not do that to yourself. It is NOT what God is asking. (I’m NOT saying to come out now and risk whatever might befall you while you are still at home — you are wise to wait until you have alternatives.) Third, and this is important, you are NOT responsible of what other people think of your parents. You are not responsible for the twinkle in their eye. Their world, their peace, must be bigger than their son doing what will please them. They will eventually have to face this directly with God. Christians like your parents want to keep everything together so their worldview can stay intact. But their worldview is flawed. When the time does come for you to come out (and DON’T do it before then), they may have the rug pulled out and they may tumble. For quite a while. But YOU did not pull that rug. Hear me, okay? If God wanted their worldview to remain as it is, God would not have given them a gay son! They have misinterpreted the whole point of following Christ. It’s to love, not to remain squinshed into a box. <3 GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN HOW PEOPLE HAVE INTERPRETED THROUGH THE BIBLE. Grab the real, enormous, amazing God who loves you… not the figment God who requires people to lie to themselves to make people happy. Glad you wrote, PC. God is very happy with you exactly as you are. <3

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

    Amy, I hear the fear in your heart… I’ve heard this many times before. I have very good news! I have come to believe with all my heart that God does NOT consider this a sin. Let me show you: these things are also called an abomination: eating pork, eating shellfish, touching a woman on her period. These were for a time, for a purpose, to keep these people separate from the other tribes — but NOT to send people to hell. In addition to that, “man lying with man as with a woman” is about a man taking the role of a woman (which they considered to be a “deformed” man). Those verses refer to abuse of slave boys and temple prostitutes, very different from the relationships we see today. Let God’s perfect love cast out your fear. Click here and read the top link under Go-To Sites for Hurting Parents for better insight. Jesus says we can approach God boldly and say “Daddy”! Ask your daddy to give you revelation about this (Ephesians 1:17). If you will trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, the Lord will direct your path! I know it feels scary, but God is not the author of fear. Much love to you. Susan


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