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If I Have Gay Children: 4 Promises From a Christian Pastor/Parent

Editor’s Note:This post is meant to create a civil discussion on Christian parenting surrounding this critical issue. We realize it’s controversial, but please use wisdom and only share what is helpful for moving the conversation forward.

Sometimes I wonder if Ill have gay children.

Im not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.

Maybe its because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. Its in my genes and in my tribe.

Maybe its because, as apastor of students, Ive seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside the closet, trying to be part ofthe Church.

Maybe its because, as a Christian, I interact withso many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, its something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, Iwanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now

1) If I have gay children, youll all know it.

My children wont be our familys best kept secret.

I wont talk around them in conversations with others. I wont speak in code or vague language. I wont try to pull the wool over anyones eyes, and I wont try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable. Childhood is difficult enough, and most LGBTkids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatinglyuncomfortable.Im not going to put mine through any more unnecessarydiscomfort,just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.

If my children come out, well beoutas a family.

2) If I have gay children, Ill pray for them.

I wont pray for them to be made normal. Ive lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that quite likelyistheir normal.

I wont pray that God will heal or change or fix them.Iwillpray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are. Ill pray that He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all. Ill pray that they enjoy life;that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and all people.

Above all, Ill pray to God that my children wontallow the unGodlytreatment they might receive from some of His misguided children, to keep themfrom pursuing Him.

3) If Ihave gay children,Ill love them.

I dont mean some token, distant,tolerantlove that stays at a safe arms length. It will beanextravagant, open-hearted,unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing them in the school cafeteria, kissing them in public, kind of love.

I wont love themdespitetheir sexuality, and I wont love thembecauseof it. I will love them; simply because theyre sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful andmine.

If my kids are gay, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about thisworld, but theyll never doubt for a second whether or nottheir Daddy isover-the-moon crazy aboutthem.

4) If I have gay children, most likely, Ihavegay children.

If my kidsaregoingto be gay, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, stitched them together in their mothers womb. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells.

Because of that,there isnt a coming deadline on their sexuality that their mother and I areworking feverishly toward. I dont believe theressome magicalexpiration date approaching, by which time sheand I need to somehow do, or say, or pray just the right things to get them to turn straight, or forever lose themto theother side.

They are today, simply a younger version of who they will be; and today theyre pretty darn great.

Many of you may be offended by all of this, I fully realize. I know this may be especially true ifyou are a religious person with a particular theological stance. Perhaps youfind thewholetopic unsettling.

As youve been reading, youmay havebeen rolling your eyes, clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send to me. You may bepraying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster; I really couldnt care less.

This isnt about you. This is a whole lot bigger thanyou.

Youre not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.

Youre not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.

Youre not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight snuggle sessions.

Youre not the one I taught to ride a bike, and whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches.

Youre not the one whose head I love to smell, and whose face lights-up when I come home at night, and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul.

Youre not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose,and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.

And youre not the one who Ill hopefully be with, when I take my last preciousbreaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, andresting in the knowledge that I loved you well.

If youre aparent, Idont knowhow youll respond if you find out your children are gay, but I pray you consider it.

One day, despite your perceptions of your kids or how youve parented,you may need to respond in real-time, to a frightened, frantic, hurting child; one whose sense of peace, and identity, and acceptance; whose heart and very life, may be placed in your hands in a way you never imagined and youll need to respond.

If that day should ever come for me; if my children should ever come out to me, this is theDad I hope Ill be to them.

* Note: The word gay in this post, is used as an umbrella term, and refers to anyone whoidentifies themselves as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning). Though I certainly realize and respectthe distinctions and differences, itwas simply theword thatwouldquickly and easily communicate within the context of the piece. It was the clearest and best way to address non-hetereosexual individuals in thepost, by using a common term that would resonate with the average reader. Hopefully my heart for the entire diverse LGBTQ community is still clear in the writing.


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