Raj has a tenuous relationship with his mother. She is trying to love him, but her church is so adamant against gays, she has so much fear and so little capacity to discuss it.
Their relationship has settled into being somewhat comfortable, and Raj really wants to share his heart and what God is doing, but mom seems to lash out at him whenever he expresses that.
“Sometimes when Mom and I are talking,” Raj told me, “I will tell her what God has been saying to me — completely unrelated to the gay issue — but she stops me, to say I’m just wrong, that I don’t hear God. I can’t win these things. She doesn’t understand why it hurts.”
I know it hurts. When God deposits a truth directly into your heart, it is a precious thing.
What do you do in that situation? What do you do if God is doing things in your life and your heart and people are unsafe and just unwilling to hear?
Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
What bold images! I love that Jesus had no problem expressing his thoughts – even if they would probably be called “unchristian” ones today!
If you have the kind of relationship with Jesus that God gives intimacies to your heart, those pearls of wisdom are treasures to you. They were given for you. Especially for you.
It makes perfect sense to want to share them with someone you love. But if it is someone with whom your relationship is tenuous, someone with whom you are deepening or reestablishing heart-intimacy, it may not be the best choice. Don’t use your pearls.
You run the risk that they will not get it at all and then tear you to pieces. For simply sharing your heart. For having the courage to say God still is in relationship with you and would guide and lead you, would give you something precious.
If someone is not okay with your orientation, then God giving you treasures disturbs them deeply.
How could God talk gently to someone they have already judged and deemed unworthy?
They may not hear and understand and accept and respond as you wish. They may take your pearls and trample them under their feet. Don’t let them do that.
They were from God’s heart to your heart. And they may need to stay just in your heart for awhile.
They are safe there.
The work God is doing in your life, the intimacies God gives to you are precious. They were just for you. They are available to encourage and affirm. Treasure them.
[To read more from Susan Cottrell, visit www.FreedHearts.org]
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. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.