“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
I love my kids. All five of them. I can’t even put into words how much I love them.
I was designed that way. So were you, if you’re a parent. To be on the outs with them would crush me.
Many of my LGBTQ readers have parents who have rejected them. Shunned them. Kicked them out of the house. Sometimes the parents even have the audacity to call it “tough love.”
Wrong. It’s not love at all.
I thought it might help you to read just a few of the perks of truly loving your gay child! 🙂
God designed you to love. To love your child fits with that design.
Not to love goes against your design. It’s like a foreign object – like a bean a child sticks up her nose –you don’t know what damage that un-love will do in you.
To love makes you feel good. Love does good things to your mental, spiritual, health.
Not to love hurts your hearts and your spirit – it adds stress.
To love makes you look good. It shows you to be kind and compassionate, even with those you disagree with.
Not to love makes you look hard and judgmental, as if you don’t understand the gift of grace that is given to you.
A parent’s primary job is to love and protect their child. Not to love and protect is to fail as a parent.
To love someone you disagree with takes maturity and other-centeredness, the marks of a true Christian.
Not to love them shows immaturity and ingratitude for what God has done – not theirs, yours. Your response to your gay child says nothing about them, but plenty about you. It does absolutely nothing positive for God.
Not to love them is to dis-unify your family. You can’t say they’re the one tearing the family apart – they’re just being them. Those who reject them are tearing the family apart.
You will want a close relationship with them as you age. You will be there sooner than you think, and to have rejected the child who could have been a friend to you, even a helper to you, as you reflect back on your life together – well, it’s shortsighted.
Jesus said to. “Love God, love others… All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”
Remember this: to love someone is a choice!
If you don’t unconditionally love, accept and affirm your child, no one can chose that but you.
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 FreedHeartsand Jesus Blog columns.