My desire is to pull us beyond the question of “sin and no sin” and to the place of “now what?” What if someone you love tells you he or she is gay or lesbian? Where do you go with that? I’ve been writing on viewing this through a different lens, opening the possibility that it is not the slam-dunk we are taught, based on intensive study on both sides. I know some of you who are wrestling with this.
But many of you have no room for doubt that this is a sin, period. Now what? If you have been shocked by a son or daughter or cousin or sister or friend who has revealed he is gay, where do you go from there? I have seen the heartache parents have gone through. The years of talk about the wedding and the grandchildren, and all that you had in mind, now lies in a crumpled heap. To grieve the loss of your images is healthy and expected. But that is not the same as trying to change them.
We seemed to have the idea as Christians that we are supposed to address, convict and excise each other’s sin. When were we instructed that — and when has it ever worked? We can hear from gays, lesbians, college dropouts, pregnant young women, drummers, who have been shut out of their family until they change their ways. This is not biblical. And this is not Jesus’ heart. Let’s instead imagine this.
Your son Nick has told you he’s gay. You are sitting across from him telling him everything you can think of and Jesus walks in the room. Jesus says, “Would you like me to talk to him?” You turn to Him and say, “No, no, I got this.” How ludicrous would that be? Let’s say Jesus does sit across from Nick. His interaction will likely look quite different from yours (wouldn’t it?). Perhaps Jesus is just saying, “Hey, Nick, what’s going on in your life?” He’s engaging with him, but you are impatient. Finally you say, “Jesus, you are just not moving quickly enough. You’ve talked to him for three months now and I haven’t heard you tell him this is wrong, he’s wrong, and he has to stop it.” Jesus looks at you with that beautiful smile I always imagine on Him as He talks to His beloved and headstrong children! He says, “My child, trust Me. Let Nick be, and you trust Me.”
You wait another few months, maybe a year, but Nick is not changing. You come back to Jesus. “Perhaps I should talk to him again,” you find yourself saying, boldly. “If he’s not going to listen to You, maybe he’ll listen to me!” You hear how preposterous this is, but you can’t help it.
Jesus smiles again. “You think that if He won’t listen to me, he will listen to you?” You don’t talk. “And who says he’s not listening to Me?” You’re dumbfounded. This is not what you expected to hear. Or wanted to hear. He speaks again. “I want you to continue to come to Me, My sweet. Walk through this with Me. But leave Nick alone about it. He listening to Me more than you know.”
This is not an easy road, mostly because no one — least of all Christians — expects their child to be gay. It isn’t in our thought process. But the damage caused by requiring change, or secrecy, or celibacy is told in countless tragic stories.
If you have discovered that a loved one or you yourself has same-sex attraction, love them, love yourself, and bring it all to Jesus. Trust Him to do what He will do. Let Him take you wherever He wants to take you. And let Him bring you that peace that is beyond understanding. My thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with you.