“What if Your Child was a Homosexual?” Thoughts About Really True Love

I was sincerely asked, from someone who knows that I believe homosexuality is a sin, as expressed in Scripture, “What if your child was a homosexual? Would you change your stance then?”

Here’s my answer and I think it raises an important point we don’t discuss enough:

“No. I love him too much.

The same as I wouldn’t (or can’t) change my stance on other clear, moral issues from Scripture. But to better explain, let me offer a very real example:

My friend had a husband she loved very much. They had a happy family with grown children. Twenty-eight years into marriage she discovered that he was not only having an affair, but had had multiple affairs, for as long as they had been married.  Upon being found out, he begged and pleaded with his wife not to leave him. He truly felt bad and wanted them to stay married, admitting that he had a sexual addiction. He said he “couldn’t help it” and had always struggled with pornography and sexual sins. She stayed a bit longer, feeling compassion and hoping the Lord would change him. He cheated again.

Now she (and I and you) have a choice here. The first is to ignore what the Bible says about immorality and adultery, based on the fact that this husband was “born” with these problem. We have to change our minds about what sin is, instead of acknowledging that being born with a sin nature means there are some things we might always struggle with. We would have to embrace the humanistic idea that “if it feels good it must be right.”

We would also have to ignore that adultery and pornography hurt people, even though that’s the reason God has said they are sins to be avoided. (It’s always ultimately about what’s best for us.)

But we would have to go much further than that. If we establish that adultery and pornography are inherent to his nature, it would be wrong to place any blame on him. In fact, it would be wrong to expect his wife to have a problem with his behavior. (Polysexuality, if it’s a born trait, should be treated like the color of one’s skin.)

He can’t apologize or admit wrong, since there would be no wrong to admit. Nor could he then, or should he, change.

I believe that my friend’s husband did struggle with sexual sin. I also believe that it is his responsibility to acknowledge and wrestle with that sin, going to all extremes to avoid it, just like I believe we must all go to extremes to avoid our own personal struggles with sin.

So would I love my child and have compassion on him if I discovered he struggled with homosexuality? You better believe I would. But I would insist that he take responsibility for his struggle with sin and I would walk with him through it.

But if he asked me to accept his behavior, refusing to admit that he’s wrong, (and getting mad at me for saying he is), I wouldn’t change my position. Anymore than I could tell my friend to “get over it” with a husband committing sin against her and wishing to be excused from it.

If we don’t draw lines in the sand, according to Scripture, about right and wrong, soon, we will be forced to accept every act of fallen humanity, to our detriment, no matter how badly it hurts ourselves, other people or families or societies. We’re very close already.”

As to the question, “How would you treat your son”? I submit this incredible piece entitled, “A Gay Son’s Tribute to His Mother.” I would pray, in any situation dealing with a prodigal, to have the same powerful love and perseverance.



40 Responses to ““What if Your Child was a Homosexual?” Thoughts About Really True Love”

  1. Pretty much exactly what my husband and I have discussed as well. Excellent, succinct thoughts, Kelly. Thank you. :)

  2. ann saylor says:

    Very well written. Great analogy! Full of Biblical and gospel-driven mercy and compassion.

  3. Velvet says:

    Unfortunately, most people are so awash in sin that homosexual behavior is but a blip on the radar. Imagine something so disordered becoming not only acceptable, normalized behavior, but now advocated and celebrated as some sort of higher existence. It wasn’t enough that homosexuals were “just like everyone else”, which they certainly are not, we now must express adulation for their bizarre life choices or be labeled bigots and homophobes. It’s evil, nothing less.

    Same sex attraction is a burden, like any form of lust, and harms the participants, the people who love them, and in the eternal economy costs a great deal. There is a good deal of self loathing that surrounds sexual sin of all kinds – adultery, pornography, etc. This is the nasty trick the devil plays on the fallen world. Looking for love in all the wrong places isn’t just a country song, it’s a theme for the post-modern, Godless world.

  4. Julie says:

    Great answer. Thank you for this.

  5. SA says:

    If one of your kids IS gay, won’t this post make it more likely they”ll hide it from you?

  6. Heather says:

    I apologize, but I’m just not following your logic. Adultery involves lying, cheating, and disrespect. It is hurtful and is not a demonstration of love. God is love. Anything that is not love, is not of God. Addiction involves behaviors that become compulsive and out-of-control. The nature of addiction, like adultery, is based in dishonesty. Dishonesty is hurtful and not a demonstration of love. Both adultery and addiction damage the participants and their loved ones and, often, innocent bystanders. On the other hand, homosexuality does not involve lying, cheating or disrespect, any more than heterosexuality does. I honestly just don’t see the connection. I do see how it hurts homosexuals to compare their sexual orientation to adultery and addiction, but I don’t see how homosexuality hurts other people. I think this is why many Christians view Biblical references to homosexuality, like the references to slavery, as a reflection of the culture of that time.

    • Velvet says:

      Heather, homosexuality is disordered behavior, psycho-socially speaking, and clearly forbidden in several Biblical verses. Same sex attraction is part of our fallen condition, and the people affected by this particular lust deserve our love and encouragement, they are our brothers and sisters yet, but love is not defined as acceptance of all behaviors as our post modern, Godless world would have us believe.

      Homosexual behavior diminishes the sex act to one of simple lust, the same as adultery, consuming pornography, etc. Because it occurs outside the sacrament of licit marriage (one man, one woman, united by God) it cannot be unitive, in the eternal sense (just as with adultery or porn), and for obvious reasons, it cannot be procreative. It does harm to the participants, because it is sin – separation from God.

    • brent says:

      Old Covenant commandments continue to be applicable in the New Covenant different only in appearance not in intention (probably not best usage of language),see Greg Bahnsen’s “Theonomy in Christian Ethics” and “Homosexuality”, and R.J. Rushdoony’s “Institutes of Biblical Law” each work dealing with continuing applicabilty of O.C. law as rule of ethics and moral normality for followers of Jesus Christ under the N.C. Homosexuality like all sin is first and foremost an offense against Yahweh/Jehovah and only secondarily an offense against humanity, thus sins such as witchcraft, bestiality, idolatry, etc. should in a Godly civil order be not only offensive to Christians individually, but should be punishable civilly via corporal and/or capital penalty even though these actions and lifestyles “may” not be “offensive” to another person. Law and Grace are not mutually exclusive or oppositional, in fact they are absolutely complementary. Law is opposed to lawlessness, Grace opposed to Gracelessness(Mt. 7:21-23, Ps. 119, 19.)

  7. SAmAntha says:

    You did not answer the hard question. Will you shun your homosexual child? Will you refuse to allow him to visit your home with his partner? Will you take the risk that shunning the partner will cause your child to drift away from you?

    It is obvious nothing will change your opinion. The real question is, what about your relationship with your child?

    • Velvet says:

      Children deserve loving parents, rather than indulgent audiences for bad behavior. Again, acceptance and love are not the same. If the child persists in bad behavior of any kind, and will not cease in the light of the Truth, then it is the child who has made the choice to separate himself from the family, not the other way around.

      • SAmAntha says:

        We’ll, whoever makes the choice, it leaves you without the child in your life

        • Velvet says:

          There’s no doubt that’s heartbreaking, but being led by emotion is dangerous and defiles the verb of love, another casualty of sin. Children rarely like correction, and many times it hurts parents to administer it, but that doesn’t absolve us of our duty. Being complicit in our childrens sin, particularly when they are grown and making conscious choices to engage in sin – is spiritually dangerous behavior that hurts them in the eternal economy. I cannot imagine participating in consigning my children to eternal separation from God. If that means they are separated from me, I would suffer, they might suffer – but the choice is as clear as it is difficult.

  8. Velvet says:

    homosexuality does not involve lying, cheating or disrespect

    This is erroneous thinking. Homosexual behavior is fornication – intimate physical relationship without licit union. It involves lying to oneself, in particular, cheating by way of attempting to circumvent the Biblical call to chastity, and disrespects the word of God, oneself, and any co-conspirator(s).

    • Well-answered, Velvet. I would also add, to Heather’s comment, that a thing being right or wrong is not contingent on its harm to others.

      There is no justification for asserting the Bible only called homosexuality a sin for that culture. Such careless handling of God’s Word would make it all invalid. (To Heather’s assertion)

      • Heather says:

        Kelly,
        I thought it might be helpful to clarify what I meant when writing that “Many Christians view Biblical references to homosexuality, like the references to slavery, as a reflection of the culture of that time.” When studying the Bible, it is important to consider the culture that the authors were living in. Slavery was an accepted part of life during New Testament times. If it was viewed as wrong, no one in the Bible said as much—even Jesus.

        However, Jesus does mention slavery. In Luke 12:47, Jesus says, “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.” Now, the point of the parable this verse is taken from is about watchfulness and not slavery. But that’s exactly the point. If Jesus felt it important to address slavery as immoral, this would have been a prime opportunity. Why didn’t he say, “Oh, and by the way, it’s wrong for a master to beat his servant with many blows. As a matter of fact, humans should not be masters over other humans.” In Ephesians 6, Paul instructs slaves to obey their master just like they obey Christ. Yet, today we live in a culture that finds slavery unacceptable—Christians included. Even though it isn’t mentioned as immoral in the Bible, and is actually seen as normal in that culture, we somehow decided that slavery is wrong.

        Do you think it’s possible that homosexuality, like slavery, might be one of those cultural issues?

        • No I don’t think those are comparable. The first reason is, homosexuality is explicitly, more than once, forbidden in Scripture. That’s very different than something not forbidden in Scripture that is now unacceptable to our culture.

          There is no other clear, moral command against a practice in Scripture that we (Christians) have accepted. Adultery, murder, theft, drunkenness, slander, idolatry–anything explicitly forbidden in Scripture (with exception to the OT ceremonial laws that were dismissed in the NT) is still forbidden by Christians (or supposed to be) today.

  9. Naomi says:

    Okay okay. But…what if the Bible isn’t the word of God? What if only parts of it are true or good? All the evidence that the Bible is the word of God is IN THE BIBLE, so really, there’s no evidence at all. Which means, I think, that if we want to take what is good from the old law and from the teachings of Jesus, we have to interpret the Bible through the lens of what we have learned in the 2000 years since He walked the earth. The world is round, evolution is real, and our sexuality is mostly innate, just like the color of our skin. Jesus preached love, God gave us brains to use, so why are people so closed off to the many perfectly normal homosexual people in the world? Why should government or anyone else suppress their rights? I hardly ever go to church anymore because I’ve noticed that Christians live neither more lovingly nor more righteously than anyone else. In fact, I think they are judgmental and loveless much of the time. We can see God’s glory in the processes of evolution, the structure of DNA, in the physics of the stars — and to ignore all of that is to prefer life in the darkness. Science is just the facts, there is nothing corrupt about them at all. If the word of God cannot absorb those facts and survive, it isn’t the word of God. But it IS, right?

    • shannon says:

      Do you use this logic when assessing your own salvation? Do you ask if the verses in the Bible about being saved are true? Do you question it all and compare it to hard science? Funny how when people question the truth of the Word of God they never question his love, mercy, grace or their salvation. They only question the things they WANT to question.

      And of course the word of God can “absorb” scientific fact because God MADE science. However, I would argue with you about your scientific facts. Even if you aren’t going to church, you should be reading your bible every day and you’ll see many fallacies in your statements. Sounds like you are “judging” others as much as you think they judge you.

    • It is either all true, or none of it is. (The typical opposition here is to throw out things like, “Oh yeah, if that’s so, why don’t you stone your disobedient children?” The answer to why there ARE OT laws we no longer observe is that Scripture itself has “done away” with the the “law code” of the OT (Hebrews 8:13)

      But unless Scripture indicates otherwise, we observe the rest to be valid for our day.

      “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”

      By your logic, whatever you want to be true is. Therefore, going back to the point in the post, why is adultery wrong? Who makes that call? You are claiming there is no absolute authority. By questioning the validity of any Scripture, you eradicate the validity of it all.

      Christians believe. They have been given eyes to see. And to them, there is more evidence than just what is written in Scripture.

  10. MelissaJoy says:

    Thanks for addressing this, Kelly. I always look forward to your articles as you tackle “issues” many (including I) feel too overwhelmed (where would I start?) to touch!

    My first reaction upon reading your friend’s question was “No. Because I love my child enough not to condone or give-in to something that is destroying him/her.” God says it is a sin. Sin separates us from God. Why would I want my child to be separate from God? For a false sense of comfort here in a temporal body? The *issue* isn’t homosexuality, but rather love, and submission to a sovereign God.

    Good topic for Valentines Day. Do we love for real? Love God enough to believe Him in all things, and love our children enough to stand even when the world tempts them away?
    We don’t throw our children to the wolves, but we don‘t join them either. We can try to rescue them but they do have free will. So we stand steadfast in prayer holding our arms open for the day they come back in, always ready to receive them.

    How safe, stable, or loved would our children really feel if we bent our beliefs with every desire of their flesh?

    I want to know when my days are done that I did everything I could to bring my children to a right relationship with Christ. Period.

    • MelissaJoy,

      “Why would I want my child to be separate from God? For a false sense of comfort here in a temporal body?”

      True love, so beautifully summarized.

      I added a line and a bit to the title, inspired by your comment.

  11. Anonymous for this post says:

    I am a regular reader and semi-regular commenter.

    Firstly let me say that I agree with Kelly.

    Secondly, apart from Christ, I would now be living a lesbian lifestyle. (Instead, I am happily married and a mother). Also, that every so often I suffer temptation to lapse back into perverted desires.

    I am so thankful to God who, if we repent of our sins, is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    What was once an all-out obsession (same-sex attraction) is now an infrequent reminder of God’s grace and mercy toward me, and the strength that is in Christ to actually be FREE from sin.

    I was saved before I ever had the confidence to ‘come out’ (hence the anonymity). About half of my family and friends know of my past in that area, and I don’t hesitate to share my testimony if God has placed it on my heart- but plenty would find it too confronting.

    I think that the lie of the biological inherency of homosexuality is such a snare, and that ‘accepting’ a homosexual as him or herself without encouraging that individual to find forgiveness and walk in freedom is the single most hateful thing to do to that person. That is not love. It is hate. It is literally saying: ‘Enjoy your sins for a season and perish in fire for eternity’.

    As for having a child struggle in that way- hopefully lovingly encouraging your child to repent and seek forgiveness would not cause the relationship to be lost, but one has to ask- would I rather have my child here for this heartbeat that is our earthly existence, or worship God with them for eternity? If you prefer to have that earthly relationship than confront their sin- you are advancing your own desires ahead of the good of your child. It is not love.

    We have family members with an openly gay and unrepentant child. The issue has divided our family, with those who ‘accepted’ her no longer in fellowship or even claiming to be Christians any more. It’s a slippery (and short) slope. If the word of God has no authority, it must be outright rejected.

    And ultimately, we must remember this sober teaching:

    ‘He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.’ Matthew 10:37

    • Oh wow. I am in tears reading. This, “That is not love. It is hate.” What could be more true?

      I’ve been asked the question in the post more than once. Often the questioner is certain that I only hold my position because it’s “easy” since I haven’t confronted it in a close family member. I also had a professor in college tell me, when I wrote a strong piece about abortion, that “if it (unwed pregnancy) happened to me I would feel differently.” It did happen to me, and I didn’t feel differently.

      It’s like you said…let the Word of God is true and all men a liar.

      I would never love my child less. My love for him or her is precisely what would drive me to do as you said, and encourage them toward repentance.

      I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. What hope, what joy and peace it offers. How beautifully spoken.

    • MelissaJoy says:

      Just wanted to say I appreciated you sharing this!

      • tammy says:

        Anonymous, thank you for sharing this testimony. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…such beautiful words that remind me of that precious grace.

    • Kelly L says:

      Thank you for sharing, that is an awesome testimony!

  12. S Adams says:

    I”d never shun one of my kids, no matter what he was doing. My love for my kids is unconditional. My kids (and those they love) are always welcome in my home.

    People who act otherwise may face a lonely old age. I have no desire to be alone with my righteousness!

  13. Ginger says:

    I posted this on FB because I was so touched by the compassion of it. And within minutes found out that one of my best friends from high school is now homosexual. Praying for God to give me the right words to say as I share the gospel with her. I care about her too much to just accept her sinful lifestyle and let her proudly march up to hell’s gates. As has been said before, that is not love.

  14. Natalie says:

    Thank you Kelly, wonderfully expressed in grace and Truth!

  15. Megan says:

    What a blessing to hear biblical truth come from a Christian. Sadly, that is a rare thing anymore! God Bless you and your stand!

  16. Ally says:

    If one of my children are gay I will love them until the day I die. They will be welcome in my home. Their partners? No.
    I will never, ever turn my back on them. Will I be happy? Of course, not. Do I think it is wrong? Yes. But, I would pray and love and care for them with every single ounce of my being – just as I did their entire life. My arms and doors would always be open.

  17. Kelly L says:

    This is a perfect analogy. Of course those who don’t read the Bible and accept its truth won’t agree. But it doesn’t take away the truth.

    My husband seems to have homosexuals drawn to him. He is a bold witness of Christ. He witnesses to them, encourages them to repent, invites them to Christ all with so much love that they continue to call him to talk or meet. We invite individuals to eat with us in our home. Opposing sin is not inherently hateful, God opposes sin and IS love; One must choose to make it so.

    • Jess says:

      I read the article, to be honest she twisted scripture. There are verses in the New Testament that speak on homosexuals. It’s wrong just like adultery and divorce. The Lord did NOT accept a person unconditionally He gave them true life! The woman caught in adultery He didn’t stone her BUT He did look at her and said go and sin no more. One other the Pharisees were sitting around the table and harlot came in and cried at Jesus’ feet and wash them with her hair and pour expensive perfume on Him…. What did He say to them? He said YES her SINS are MANY He didn’t deny her sins or say its ok. He then said she loves much because she is forgiven much…. He is my standard, how The Lord loves by His grace that is how I will love. True love is caring more for the persons’ well being more than being liked or loved in return. I see
      NO where in the bible where The Lord didn’t cause repentance in a sinner when He gave forgiveness. He still works the same way today. He forgave He did not excuse or accept the sin….. He bled and died on the cross taking the full wrath of God because of sin…… Making light of any sin doesn’t help any sinner in the end. I did not grow up in a Christian home I am the chief of all sinners and like the woman who cried at The Lord’s feet I have been forgiven MUCH and I am humbly by His love and forgiveness of my sins. I do not love nearly as much as I am forgiven but one day I will when I see Jesus face to face! The Lord never makes light of sin ever…. In the words of CS Lewis He is NOT a tame lion…. And to be honest I want to love and know the true and living God not someone I have made up in my own mind. He is good and wonderful!!

  18. Jess says:

    Above reply is for Jen B…. Kelly I agree wholly with you!!!

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