How do I love my homosexual son/daughter?

If your son/ daughter tells you that they have embraced a homosexual identity, they are probably asking you to accept it as well. This may be your greatest challenge. You may never accept homosexuality as being normal or desirable; however, it is important that you accept your child and the fact that to them, their same-sex sexual attractions are too real to be ignored.1

Be honest. By being open and disclosing their feelings to you, your son/ daughter is entrusting you with very personal and difficult information. Few homosexual people expect their parents to just shrug off the news and almost all expect some negative reaction. Tell them honestly and calmly how you feel – possibly hurt, angry, frightened, disillusioned – without beating around the bush about your own beliefs. Judging or condemning their actions will only alienate them, so avoid accusations like, “You’re going to bring shame to our family”.

Take time to listen. Listening does not mean approval. Listen to their explanation on how they reached this decision, assure them of your love, then follow up with actions that are consistent with what you have verbally communicated.

Avail yourself to them. If your son or daughter is asking you for help (“I think I may be homosexual and I don’t want to be. What can I do?”), affirm them for having the integrity to face this tough challenge and the courage to deal with it honestly.

Pray. Even if you see no apparent possibility for repentance or change on his/her part, your unceasing prayers can work better than relentless words.

Note: A person’s identity is typically not fully developed or discovered until young adulthood. While you should accept that your teenager is experiencing same-sex attraction, do not assume your teenager is perfectly certain of their sexual identity despite their insistence, especially if you’ve never discussed general sexuality with them. Humbly offer to explore the issue together and look for ways to gently and sensitively direct them to the truth.

 

Endnotes
1. Joe Dallas, Desires in Conflict: Hope for Men Who Struggle with Sexual Identity (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2003)