My Loved One is Gay! What to do When You Get This News
Lynda Allison Doty
You just got the news. You are devastated. Shock sets in. Denial. Pain. Fear. Betrayal. Anger. You have run the gamut of emotions, now what?
First of all, be calm! Although it might seem that God has lost control, He has not. Nothing takes God by surprise, and He knew about this long before you did. So do your best to remain calm. Turn your eyes upon Him! When you first learn that a loved one is homosexual, that is not the time to try to deal with your own feelings of insecurity and fear. Try to focus on what he or she needs from you at this particular moment. This will set the trend for some time to come, and you want the communication lines kept open.
Count to ten, walk around the block, do what you have to do but do not vent your anger. Remember, whatever you’re feeling is normal for you. Don’t be critical of your feelings of anger and helplessness and wanting to strike out. You are experiencing a true loss, and can expect to go through the usual stages of grief, shock and disbelief, denial, anger, pain, depression. Try to flow with it, accepting that it is normal under the circumstances. You have just been dealt an awful blow.
Don’t preach and lecture. They have already told themselves anything you might tell them. They have already struggled and fought and had countless conversations inside their heads. You can’t add anything new at this point. By the time you discover your loved one is gay, he or she has already lived through all the torments. They don’t need your lectures and certainly not your harshness.
Give your person unconditional love. Instantly, your beloved husband or wife or child has become a stranger to you. But they are still your loved one. Love them with no strings attached. Your love is vital-at this point it is truly their lifeline back to God. Don’t let them feel that you are rejecting them when they need you most. Acceptance is not the same as approval. You accept the person, but this does not mean you are accepting homosexuality. God hates the sin; it is an abomination to Him. But always, He loves the homosexual. Someone asked me recently if this wasn’t somehow a contradiction, or hypocritical. I asked this person, do you stop loving the alcoholic (her husband, in this case) because he is alcoholic? No, she replied. She loved him. But she sure hated the alcoholism. There you go.
Later, after you have assured them of your love and support, and when you are calm, you might talk to them about it. But don’t beat them over the head with Bible verses and information. Don’t preach. Just gently, with love and compassion, remind them that homosexuality is a sin; it is a lifestyle that grieves God. Let them know that you love them and that you will always be there for them. But you must let them know, too, that you cannot condone the sin. Show your love, but do not sympathize. Sympathy-feeling sorry for them-tends to invite excuses. More lies.
Give them hope! Hold out an alternative for them. Let them know that the love and the power of Jesus Christ can redeem and recreate them. Try to hook up with an ex-gay ministry, such as Beacon Ministries, so you can provide something concrete for them; a phone number, a brochure, a tape, a website.
Settle In for the Ride
So far, so good. But unfortunately, surviving the first crisis is just the beginning for you. Once you learn the truth once you have regained your composure and have begun to look to Jesus for help once you have communicated your love and support once you have placed a spark of hope in their soul you are then in for the long journey! The homosexual lifestyle is one filled with instability, broken promises, lies, and shattered hearts. Don’t be shocked when you learn your loved one is lying to you. Remember: this is a sin birthed in deception and it will permeate their lives.
You can provide a listening ear, a place of warmth, security and wholesomeness that sin will never be able to offer your loved one. But you yourself must have a strong emotional support system. Confide in your pastor or one or two close friends. Check to see if there is a local Christian support group for spouses or parents of gays. There is real strength in learning that you are not alone in this! Satan’s tool, as always, is to isolate you, make you feel you are the only one in the world going through this.
You are not alone! God is with you and for you. He has provided you with a network support system somewhere. Seek it out and use it.
In those times when the anger and sorrow seem overwhelming, try to remember not to take it personally. Try to look at their homosexuality as a fact. This is just the way it is; it is not something intended to hurt you. It is not a statement of your failure, or your worth. Homosexuality is a complicated thing. There is not one single factor that causes it, but a whole array of contributing factors. Parents, especially, are vulnerable at this point. Guilt often overwhelms. Cuddle up to Jesus, and refuse to listen to the lies of the devil. Self-condemnation is not going to do any good, so let go of it. You must give it all to God. There probably were mistakes made. There probably were things you did you wish you could take back But those mistakes alone did not create this condition. Also, if God knows everything the beginning and the ending (which He does) then He knew in advance the mistakes you were going to make. And He made provision for them in advance! God works even our mistakes out for good! Cling to this promise (Romans 8:28)! Repent, and refuse to listen to the accusations of the enemy.
Special Kind of Prayer
Praying for your homosexual can be like a roller coaster ride. There will be times when you feel so dry. You have prayed every prayer there is to pray. You have asked everything of God you can think of. It is at this point that parents and wives, especially, can be tricked into feeling false guilt by the enemy. I had a friend who described this kind of prayer like breathing out and breathing in… ebb and flow….
God and Mama, passing the burden back and forth Mama working on it with prayer, then God working on it. Back and forth. Breathe in and breathe out. Burdens were never meant to be carried 24/7.
One of the hard prayers that we must pray is that, if our loved one is hiding sin, he will be caught. It must be revealed, brought out of the darkness so he can repent. The homosexual confusion usually lies dormant inside the person. God cannot allow sin into heaven; so He allows it to come out now so that the person can be cleansed and healed and made whole. As long as he is going to church and everything looks all right on the surface, how would you know to pray about this particular problem? Thank God that it is out in the open, and ask Him for direction in how to pray.
I was listening to a song the other night that said, “Fight until you can’t fight any longer. Then get up and fight some more.” This is the theme song for the person with a gay loved one. There will be times you feel like giving up. These are the times you must hang on with all your might. Hang onto God. It is then that He will most certainly fight this battle for you. Stand still, Mama, and see the salvation of the Lord! Stand still, Wife, and watch God work! He is still on the throne. He is still in control. The battle is not yours, but the Lord’s. Never give up! My husband always teaches that, if you give up and stop praying, it is very possible that the very next prayer you would have prayed would have been the one that brought the answer. Keep on praying!
There will be times when circumstances scream, “It’s no use! He’s gone off the deep end this time!” Those are the times, dear one, to rest in God. Mark 11:22 tells us to “Have faith in God.” Not in our prayers, not in our fasting, not in our loved one’s great personality but simply, have faith in God. There will be times you feel like you are hanging on by your fingernails and ready to slip. But He is faithful. He is always there. Sometimes it is not until we have absolutely come to the end of ourselves that God can be assured He will get the glory for it. It is not until we have done everything we know to do to get our loved one saved and we have failed. Then, when it finally happens, we will know it was truly God.
Sis. Doty is an ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church International. She holds several degrees and has authored 16 books.
The above article, “My Loved One is Gay! What to do When You Get this News” was written by Lynda Allison Doty. The article was excerpted from The Beacon magazine Vol. 2 Iss. 3 (pages 1-2).
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.