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My Parents Won't Accept Me

This article is the result of a letter to a dear man who requested counseling about the fact that his father will not accept his homosexuality, even after 30 years. His father has told him that he can't be Christian if he is gay. Since this is such a universal problem for us all, I decided to print my response to him, in the hopes that it may help others.

First, there is no way that you are going to change your father's mind about homosexuality. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, so stop trying. Instead, accept that he doesn't accept you, as hard as that is, and then change YOU. I'm not talking about changing your orientation of course. I'm talking about changing your attitude about needing your father's acceptance. We all want to be accepted by our parents, but sometimes that just doesn't happen, so we need to live our lives in the reality of today, not in the hope that someone else will change in the future.

It is my hope that the Holy Spirit will change your Dad, but I don't expect, after 30 years, that it will be the reality. Therefore, pray first that God will give you wisdom every time you interact with your Dad, in everything you say, and everything you do. Do not deny your homosexuality in any way, and do not allow your Dad to judge your Christianity either. That is between you and God, and nobody can rob you of it, no matter what they believe. You have the belief in yourself, and that's what matters.

So while I'm sure that you will continue to pray that God will change your Dad, pray first that God will change YOU to come to an acceptance that things can't always be the way you want them to be.

I would suggest - and only you will know if this is possible - that you may want to ask your Dad to visit my website - the Think We're Wrong? page and bookmark it in case the Holy Spirit moves him to read it sometime in the future.

If your Dad does not have a computer, you may want to print my article called Jesus Loves Me. This I Know For The Bible Tells Me So, or a longer letter from my straight, retired Baptist minister friend, Bruce Lowe, called A Letter To Louise - A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality may be more effective since it is coming from a "straight pastor". Also, there is contact information for Bruce, and he LOVES to talk to people about it, so your Dad would have an open invitation if he ever wanted to discuss it with a knowledgeable STRAIGHT Bible scholar.

Having said all that, I do NOT want you to try to talk your Dad into it!!!! I am absolutely convicted that the Holy Spirit works much better when we don't try to do His job. When I got saved, I was absolutely convicted NOT to try to convince my husband that he should be saved, even though I thought it was the only hope for our marriage. I never brought up the subject. I just waited until he would ask a question, and then I'd answer it. He saw such a drastic change in me, that he decided he wanted it for himself, and eight months later, he accepted Christ as his Saviour! It was the change in my actions that convinced him - not anything I said. In fact it was the fact that I DIDN'T say anything, unless he asked me first.

So don't try to convince your Dad of anything. He won't hear what you're saying anyway, so why increase the tension. You have already made it very clear to him that you're gay and that you're Christian. If he doesn't think that's possible, then that's his issue - not yours.

Give it over to God and totally let go, knowing that God can perform miracles, but whether your Dad ever accepts you or not, God has always loved and accepted you!

Work on your relationship with your Dad from a positive perspective instead of at the point of tension. Work on the good things, and leave the rest up to God. Apologize for treating him the way you did, and clear the air. Don't expect an apology from him. Love him anyway. Treat him with respect, kindness and love whether you think he deserves it or not. Deserving it is not the criteria. The commandment is to love, in all circumstances, and as I say so often - Love is actions, not just words, although it's nice to say the words too. Perhaps after you apologize to your Dad, you might tell him that you love him.

I'm sorry for your plight. You are certainly not unique. Most of us have experienced this rejection from our parents. I was just talking to my gay brother George about it last night at supper, about how he and my Mom were so close, and yet she never accepted his homosexuality. It was heart-breaking for him. It was heart-breaking for me that she never accepted me either, but I wasn't as close to her as he was, so perhaps I didn't need her acceptance as much as he did. So you are not alone. Most of us have been where you are.

If you take nothing else out of this L-O-N-G letter, the bottom line is this:

Leave it with God.
Change YOU.
DON'T try to change your Dad.

 

by Mary Pearson
Aug 7, 2005