I’m always inspired by the stories of young gay people who come out to their Christian parents and find that, though they may be resistant at the beginning, their parents love them enough to see them through the difficult journey of figuring out how their faith and sexuality fit together. I sometimes find myself wishing that my mom’s reaction had been more in that vein, that she had told me she would stand by me no matter what. That if it came to choosing between me and her faith, that she would choose me. At the same time, it’s a tough spot to be in. I do believe that God should take the highest place in our lives and I believe I would always want her to put God’s desires above her own or my own like a modern day Abraham and Isaac, but I do wish that it was little bit of a harder decision than it seems. I wish that part of her wanted to choose me even if that wasn’t her final decision. I imagine that’s probably a selfish desire; we shouldn’t ever want to be more important than God in another person’s life, but at the same time, it would be a nice feeling.
I was reminded of this topic after listening to a podcast interview with Matt Jones where he talks about his parents’ reaction when he told them he was gay. At first, they were very upset by it and took him to a counseling to help fix him, but I was moved to tears when he describes how, after a particularly intense session, his dad went back to the counselor and said, “If I were gay, and I heard you say those things that you told my son, I would go home and put a gun to my head and that would be on you.” To me, that’s conveys such a strong desire to protect and I wish that I felt that from my parents sometimes. Maybe it’s because I waited so long to tell them and was fully an adult by then and not a child needing comfort. Maybe it’s because I didn’t cry or really show much emotion beyond some nerves. Whatever the case, I wish my mom’s primary concern at that moment hadn’t been for my eternal soul, but for her hurting fearful son sitting in front of her, even if it was just for that one night.
I do want to be clear about something, though. My parents are wonderful people. They love me and they did an awesome job raising me. They instilled me with a healthy sense of self worth and regularly made sacrifices to give me the best life they could. They raised me in the church and modeled a life of strong faith in Christ. In fact, I believe the reason that I am who I am today, the reason I’m (relatively) well adjusted while so many other gay people growing up in Christian homes commit suicide or end up on the streets, is because of the strength and love my parents showed me. They weren’t perfect, but I love my parents with all my heart and couldn’t have asked for more.