I often meet many Christian parents who tell me stories of their kids, who grew up in the church and they taught them the Gospel. Many of them in their youth or junior high years, or even high school years, made a profession of faith. As they got older, they identified as gay and they walked away from their faith. These are really heartbreaking stories. Parents want to know…how do we respond well? I think ultimately, we need to recognize that sexuality is never really the main issue. Actually, it is never really the main issue. It is definitely something that God is concerned about, but it’s not the core issue, and the core issue always comes down to faith.
The reality is, for me, my biggest sin was not being in a same-sex relationship, it was not believing in Christ. That’s what separated me from God, and I think we need to realize that these kind of behaviors or the way our kids are living is just a symptom of that deeper issue of walking away from God, not believing in God, and not allowing God to continually transform us on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not just a one-time thing, I believe in God and then that’s it. It’s continual renewal. I love what Jesus said to his disciples. He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me.” It’s about this daily renewal.
I think as parents, one of the hardest lessons that my parents had to learn a long time ago when I first came out to them (as gay) and they believed in Christ. What they had to learn first was they can’t change me. Parents are not God. Probably the best thing and the hardest thing as well is to continually show how God is renewing us. Parents, if you are denying yourself, picking up your cross daily…our kids need to see that.
Another thing that I want to say to parents as well is even in the midst of all this grief that your kids are walking away, whether it’s related to anything, not even regarding to sexuality, I want you to know that it’s not your fault. You could have been a perfect parent and your kids still could have rebelled. Adam and Eve, they were in a perfect environment, the Garden of Eden. They had a perfect heavenly father and they still rebelled, and oftentimes we think that we could do better.
The reality is, parents, you’re not God and you can’t change a heart. Only God can do that. Because ultimately, the real core responsibility of a Christian parent is not necessarily to produce godly children. The biggest responsibility for Christian parents is simply to be godly parents. That’s something that you can control. You can point your kids to Christ, but you can’t make them follow Jesus.
I would say follow Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let your faith be reflected in your daily lives, and let your kids see that. I think that is the best thing, and to be honest, that is what drew me to Christ as I ran from God and I saw the radical transformation in my parents life on a daily basis. That is what made the Gospel real for me.