I was raised in a Southern Baptist home by a father and mother who are even today examples of what parents should be. They are both solid Christians who instilled Christian values in my siblings and me and there was never the fear that anyone in our family would ever become “gay”. Of course that is how most of us feel about our lives, that the really bad things happen to other people. At least I don’t remember hearing talk on that subject until I was in high school. When I was a young boy a conversation about homosexuals wasn’t considered suitable in the presence of children or even in mixed company.
The worst words I think I have ever heard in my life were “Daddy, I’m gay”. Those words can send chills down the spine of the strongest man when he hears them from his son. I was devastated by those words. They rang in my ears month after month. What had I done wrong for my son to choose this path for his life? Being a logical person, I decided that he would respond to logic and tried to approach it in that way during the few conversations that we had in those early years of his new lifestyle.
I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to him and at the same time keep our conversations calm. It was a very difficult time for both of us. One thing I knew was that I loved him so much and I wanted him to know that, so I began telling him “I love you” every chance I got. What could I do to reach my son who had taken a path that was both unknown to me and contrary to my beliefs? I realized that I was basically ignorant about the subject, but I wanted to know as much as I could so I could “rescue” my dear son from being gay.
I began reading about the gay lifestyle from a book my pastor encouraged me to read Desires in Conflict. I had been questioning my responsibility in all of this and what I had done or might have done to help precipitate my son’s feelings and actions. I can look back over the years and remember when he was the only boy in the neighborhood so he had to play with the girls. I didn’t always take the time to play with him that I probably should have because I was busy. We did play games together occasionally and I even helped him some with playing on a baseball team. But then his mother and I divorced, and we didn’t get to see each other as much; mostly every other weekend. I hated that situation because I missed my kids so much. Divorce causes more pain than can be imagined most of all hurting the children whom are innocent. Perhaps that is why God says in Malachi 2:16 “I hate divorce”.
I guess most of us think that with knowledge there is power, but that is only true if the knowledge is Truth. The only truth I trust is God’s truth. I had relied on Jesus for so many things in my life and I trusted Him, but what did He want me to do now? Should I preach to my son about the sin of living this kind of life? Should I just accept the gay lifestyle as okay simply because ”these are modern times”? Should I just write off my son and let him go his own way because it seemed there was nothing I could do? I had so many questions, but I already knew the answer. God’s answer to me was from Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The answer was that my Biblical responsibility to my son was to love him, and love him as Christ loves me: unconditionally.
I can say that I do love my son unconditionally and I know that he loves me. Such a simple concept, but what power that action holds. My son and I have a very good relationship and we continue to work on it every time we see each other, talk on the phone, or share E-mails. I can feel his love, and his desire to get closer to me. We have discussed how each of us stand on the subject of the gay lifestyle. I believe that it is against the will of God and is presented as such in the Bible. (Romans 1:21, 26-27)
I know that God loves my son even more that I do, but He won’t make him change. He loves him but He gave to him, and to all of us, a free will to decide what he will do and what he will be. My responsibilities are to love him, pray for him, and respect him whether I agree with his beliefs or not. I am not responsible for his decision to remain gay. His responsibilities are to love me and to respect me and my beliefs whether he agrees with them or not. For now, it is enough to love him and to trust God.