by Kelcie Sheriff
What can I do about my daughter? We can never talk any
more. I feel so angry at her all the time. She Is so
busy with her friends and her new lifestyle, she doesn't
even care about what her dad and I think. She is ruining
her life. And ours. What am I going to do?
call for help by a mother who daughter is struggling
with homosexuality is an expression of her pain and
helplessness. When parents first learn or are told of
their child's homosexual involvement, the jolt is devastating.
The effects of homosexuality in a loved one reach deeply
into the day to day emotional lives of moms and dads
of children involved in homosexual behavior and relationships.
Disbelief and doubting often occurs. "I don't think
he is really gay. It's just a phase." After this,
feelings of fear surface. Finally, What in the world
are we going to do?" is asked.
their children and their community, many parents are
told to accept homosexuality and learn to live with
it. People who have not gone through this are not always
very understanding, though, as to what is at stake for
a parent and what trauma this brings to their life.
It's hard for a parent not to sadly reminisce back to
the days when little Susie was sweet and innocent, wanting
a bedtime story read.
is also difficult not to think about the opportunities
you wanted to give your children that you never had,
like a chance at college and a good job, not to mention
having hopes of them finding a good mate and having
a family. Sorrow, anger and restlessness are all products
of such unhappy news. Because these reactions are natural,
don't let anyone tell you it's not appropriate to feel
also comes up in the midst of these feelings is the
urge to do something: to get the child out of this lifestyle
and back on their feet. As
we ye talked to our kids, told them how we feel about
homosexuality, and tried to figure out a plan to get
them out, frustration has been added to our hurt. There
are some things we just can't do for them. As we well
know, talking and figuring can sometimes make things
worse. The child, adult or otherwise, grows distant
as we unknowingly antagonize him or her. But there are
ways to make our lives more manageable and our relationships
with our children more satisfying.
Love is the reason for our frustration and hurt in our
relationships. It's because we love so much that we
hurt so much. Love is a positive factor, but when it
is manipulative it becomes negative. If a sentence is
started, "You know I love you, but...", who
is going to take heed to the rest? In Dr. Ross Campbell's
book, How to Really Love Your Child, he says, "What
is unconditional love? Unconditional love is loving
a child no matter what. No matter what the child looks
like. No matter what his assets, liabilities, handicaps.
No matter what we expect him to be and, most difficult,
no matter how he acts. This does not mean, of course,
that we always like his behavior. Unconditional love
means we love the child even when at times we may detest
as parents, we can practice unconditional love, our
children will respond more positively to us. Because
they are human beings, they deserve to be loved and,
most importantly, in an unconditional way.
To love unconditionally we must let go. This is needed
in two specific ways. First, we must give up our desires
and attempts at controlling our children's' lives. This
includes setting unrealistic limitations on when and
where they can go (for the child at home), constantly
giving advice with the subtle undertones of "I'm
right and you're crazy," and stifling their normal
independence with our mistrust. Our children know how
we feel: it's not necessary to reiterate it at every
opportunity. We must respect them enough as people to
allow them to make their mistakes and make their own
second area of letting go is difficult because it's
hard to see. To give our children the freedom they need,
we must give up our expectations of them. Whether it
was a fantastic career with a strong wife supporting
him, or grandchildren to sew for, these are our dreams,
not theirs. It's not fair to live for the successes
and hopes fulfilled in our children's' lives. We must
somehow convey to our children that their decisions
are their own and, "Whatever you decide is okay
with me. I still want to be a part of your life because
I love 'YOU, not because I'm pleased with what you do."
Pray. Pray to see God's perspective of our child when
we aren't feeling like loving unconditionally. Pray
for the courage and wisdom of how to let go. "Lord,
show me in what areas I'm controlling and have expectations.
Give me the courage to remove the pressure of my dreams
from my child."
our parents support group, we often pray for God's intervention
in the child's life, that through his creative work
God will confront the issue of homosexuality and bring
our children to truth. Then trust God daily that He
is in control of our son or daughter and it is by his
power that healing will come.
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify
you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and
he will do it."
Thessalonians 5:23,24 NIV
are naturally very angry and very hurt when a child
does something completely against their grain. When
kids are three and four, we have the opportunity and
responsibility to correct and discipline. But with our
adult children it is difficult. We never have to compromise
on our stance that homosexuality is sin. We never have
to feel terrific that our child is involved in homosexual
behavior. We don't have to quit praying. But, in time,
as God gives us grace, we do have to let go of our child
into the care of the heavenly Father. In time, we must
show unconditional love as often as possible.
hope you see the time as now.
1 Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your
Child; Victor Books, Wheaton, IL, 1977.
Metanoia Ministries. All rights reserved. Metanoia is
a non-profit Christian counseling and educational organization
helping men and women who find their homosexuality
is incompatible with their faith in Jesus Christ. Metanoia
proclaims the message of "Hope and Healing for
the Homosexual", and offers counseling. Homosexuals
Anonymous®chapters. other support groups, literature,
tapes, speakers and seminars.
For further information contact:
P.O. Box 33039
Seattle. WA 98133-0039