As a Christian parent, hearing those words from your child, “I’m gay,” can be devastating. It can feel like a tsunami, a tornado, and a category 5 hurricane hitting you all at once. Your mind begins swirling around thinking, “Where did I go wrong, did I not raise them in the ways of the Lord?” I will share with you some helpful tips to guide you along this treacherous journey.
Helpful tips to start the healing process:
- Do not overact to your child’s statement of being gay. Overreacting can take the form of belittling, condemning, telling your child they must leave your home immediately, and quoting Bible scriptures to them (this will only push them further away; they already feel condemned by most of the Christian community).There is a time and a place to discuss what God’s Word says.
- Listen to your child. Ask open-ended questions, such as, “Tell me about how you believe when this started?” Our children are bombarded by movies, TV, music, and the culture around them, that says it is “okay to be gay.” Just take the lyrics from Lady GaGa’s song, “You were born that way.” Our children are being raised in a culture that is much like Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible.
- Begin interceding for your child, and pray and fast as the Lord directs you. There is a demonic spirit behind homosexuality, and it is broken by prayer and fasting. It is a stronghold that does not come down easily, but the power of the Blood of Jesus can dismantle any stronghold of the enemy. Never stop fighting for your child. It is spiritual warfare, and you must take your position to take back what the enemy has stolen. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy that they will always be that way or they were born that way. Equip yourself for the battle by knowing the truth of God’s Word.
- You will go through a grieving process; this is normal. Knowing the stages of grief is helpful (denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance). The stages come in no particular order and you may feel like you are on a serious roller coaster ride of emotions. You may experience seasons of loneliness. You may feel like not interacting with the other parents who seem to have “good, Christian” children. Being around them can open up “sores” and remind you of your pain. Be gentle with yourself during this time. Do what you can do, but find at least one person to share the struggle with. Talk with someone. Tell God exactly how you feel. Write it out. Journal it. Let God become your friend during this time.
- As the Lord opens the door of opportunity to speak truth to your child, be ready! But always speak truth in love. We still want to show our children Christ’s love. Remember, we are all sinners saved by God’s grace. Love your child right where they are at. Spend time with them, but never compromise your beliefs. Never give up on them! Read the story of the prodigal son, Luke 15: 11-32.
- You may have to make some tough decisions down the road. Implementing tough love, is tough, but remembering it is ultimately for their good.
Let your child know that you love them. Never give up praying and believing for them, even when it looks like they will not turn from their choices. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to endure this difficult time.