All parents want to protect their children from any kind of pain and suffering. In fact, it’s our job to teach them about things that can put them in harm’s way. But more importantly, as Christian parents we are called to teach them about the things that can harm them spiritually. One of the enemy’s favorite ways to attack young people these days is through same-sex attraction, which he hopes will lead to a homosexual lifestyle and separation from God.
As a little boy, he loved to play and do things that all little boys liked to do but his personality was gentler, not so rough and tough. He grew up in the church, accepted Christ, and was active in the youth ministry. He had a musical gift and played in the church orchestra and the school band. He was very loving, kind, considerate and independent. Some of his physical mannerisms were feminine which caused others to pick on him or label him as different. But, he was our child and we loved him.
On several occasions, while using the computer, there would be “pop-ups” pertaining to homosexuality. Being somewhat computer illiterate at that time, it didn’t occur to us that previous accessed websites triggered those pop-ups. The computer was in our son’s room and the door kept closed most often, believing he was doing homework. However, entering the room, you could see websites being closed or minimized. Many warning signs were ignored out of fear and not wanting to believe our son was interested in same-sex. After learning how to access the browser history it was evident that our fear was now a reality.
As parents, there were many emotions. They varied from disbelief, shame, sadness, anger, denial, and grief. How could this be happening? We are a “normal” family. We are involved in church. How do we protect our child? How will we keep this a secret? How do we have a conversation with him about this? What did we do wrong as parents? We prayed asking God for guidance regarding what we had discovered about our son.
Immediately we talked with him about the content found on the computer. There was no denying he had been to those sites, but he did deny that he was attracted to the same sex. We accepted what he said and there wasn’t much dialog following but we couldn’t ignore what had happened. Everywhere he went, everything he did, and the friends he associated with brought questions about his lifestyle.
Later, in college, it became evident that he was living a same-sex lifestyle. The emotions mentioned earlier, became more intensified. Not wanting anyone to know, we carried the burden alone and without God’s help it would have been unbearable. We couldn’t fix it or make it go away, but God gave us understanding, not of the lifestyle, but how to love our son through these circumstances.
Even though he had been in church all his life and had been taught about temptation and sexual sin God opened a door for Biblical dialog. Instead of pointing out his sin, we let him know that he is not alone in sin. We are all tempted, we all sin and have to confess our sins to God, asking for His mercy and forgiveness.
In time, we talked with a few trusted friends. Their love and prayers meant so much. Through one of those friends we learned of a lady who had lived a same-sex lifestyle for most of her life but had surrendered her life to Christ and was happily married. Not only that, but she was willing to share what she had been through with others. With a dear friend, who was willing to walk this road with us, we met her and she shared her darkest moments, conviction, confession and her new walk with Christ. Hearing her story, gave us hope!
During our meeting with her, she shared the Ricky Chelette video Why? Understanding Homosexuality and Gender Development in Males with us. It was like the video was written about our son, there were so many similarities. He talked about the different stages in a child’s life and what they need from each parent and how important it is to spend time with your children individually, supporting their interest, hobbies and activities. The best part though was when he revealed that he too was living outside of God’s will in a same-sex relationship and was changed when he turned his life over to God. Again, another validation that this lifestyle can be overcome.
Twenty years ago, people were not as open and accepting of the gay lifestyle as they are now. Unfortunately, our society today is very embracing, making it much easier for our children to experience homosexuality and gender change. Not all little boys who are feminine or all little girls who are tom-boys grow up desiring a same-sex relationship. But if you have a child with those tendencies first start by praying for God’s protection in their relationships. Don’t wait until you see signs of same-sex attractions, be prepared to address this lifestyle before it occurs. Seek guidance and support from Christians who have experience in this area or families who may be going through the same trials.
We know that Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. But it doesn’t seem real until it hits your family or home. As parents we certainly want to have a good relationship with our kids, but God called us to be their parents, not their friends, and it is our job as parents to set the rules and or boundaries for them. Know who their friends are. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to monitor their social media, phones and computers. Make time to pray with and over your children, lead them in reading the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as a parent.