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Getting out of God’s way in the journey of loving your LGBT-identified child


For many of our children, when we, as Christian parents, hear the news of their acceptance or struggle with an LGBT identity, they already know where we stand. 

They know what we are against. But do they know who we are for? Indeed, it is easy to get caught up in the battle around us and forget they are more than their sin struggles. It is as though we have forgotten that God gave us to each other. Each person wanders off, barricades their heart, and deals with the aftermath of the explosion on their own. That is typical of trauma. We start spinning and eventually find we are a family of individual spinning plates. Each goes their own way. Before too long, we are out of control. We rarely if ever consider that whatever we are going through, God created us to face it together as a family.

As Christian parents, when we step into the spiritual battle in this arena, there is a tendency to believe that if we just insert the correct Scripture verse into our conversation, it will magically turn everything around. Or perhaps if we could just share a redemptive testimony we have heard with our loved one, that will open their eyes and teach them how to walk out their healing. Or if we could tell them one more time that this is wrong, and God has something better for them, they will fall on their face in repentance.

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Having a child embrace an LGBT life and identity will teach us things about ourselves we didn’t know. I never thought I was a controlling person until my daughter shared that she experienced same-sex attraction and was choosing to embrace an LGBT identity. Forgetting this was a spiritual battle and not a physical one, I started controlling everything I could get my hands on.

The means through which I thought would lead my daughter away from LGBT only pushed her further away. She didn’t need a controller. She needed a mom to sit in the pain with her and lovingly help her sort out the confusion, a mother with whom she could share her hurts and struggles and not try to manage her healing but surrender it to the Holy Spirit.

It’s crucial to realize who the Holy Spirit is and what He does, especially in a sensitive area like this one. Being mindful that it is ultimately the LORD who gives sight to the blind (Psalm 146:8), we have to remember that it is the Holy Spirit’s role, not ours, to convict the world of sin (John 16:7-8), guide people into all truth (John 16:13–15), and sanctify people (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

What, then, can we do as parents who love our LGBT-identified kids? 

We love them as God defines love (1 Corinthians 13:4–7), we enjoy being a parent and see our children as gifts (Psalm 127:3), recognizing that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:16-20) while remembering that He works supernaturally through our prayers (Philippians 4:6). 

What would it feel like to just love your child with no expectations of them? No agenda when spending time with them? Just pure, simple parent-child love? The key to doing this is understanding that you are not the one who will open their spiritual eyes. This was a significant struggle for me, as it is for many other parents. If you find yourself here, you aren’t alone. We love our children immensely and want what is best for them. But God’s ways are so much better.

Our job is not to remind them of their sin. God has called us to pray, love, and speak truth when necessary. How we share the truth and the intent of our heart in that sharing is just as important as the truth we want to share or the truth we feel they need to hear. 

Do you want to prove a point or win an argument? Take your words and heart before the Lord first and get His wisdom and insight. Just because truth can be spoken doesn’t mean it needs to come from our mouths every time.

When you have the right heart and the Holy Spirit is prompting you to speak, don’t withhold the truth and let the truth do its job. There are indeed times when the truth needs to be spoken. But unless something new has come up, don’t continue to bring up their sin every time you are with them. But remember, your child is not a problem to fix but a person to love. 

This treasured child staring back at you is the same child God gifted you with however many years ago. Your loved one in front of you has hurts and joys and wants to be seen, heard, included, and loved. 

Maintaining our lane creates the space for God to do what He can do. Your primary goal is to become a conduit through which the Holy Spirit ministers. If your child changes their life because of you, it will not last. But if they change their life because the Holy Spirit draws them, they will be forever transformed.

Melinda Patrick is the author of The Daring Rescue: Joining Jesus Christ In His Pursuit Of Your LGBTQ-Identified Child's Heart, and hosts the award-winning podcast 'The Bridge Between Us: Loving Your LGBTQ-Identified Child Without Compromising Truth'. She currently serves on the board of directors for Restored Hope Network and provides parent support for His Wonderful Works, Inc. Melinda is an international speaker at family conferences, church ministry events, and parent groups and serves to embolden and equip families and the church to love well while not compromising Truth.

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