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The gay community has made extensive strides into dismantling our worldview. If you’re over forty years old, you must index forward, understanding that your children have different influences than what you had, and there is a high chance they will embrace some of what the culture believes. Perhaps the biggest one is about sexuality.
Part of this sexually confused pandemic is the acceptance of the gay lifestyle as normal, and the indoctrination begins as toddlers. Whatever the predominant worldview is in a culture, the higher the likelihood that people will not oppose it.
If you say something repeatedly, many will accept it as truth. When you have politicians, media, and evangelistic advocacy groups pushing their ungodly doctrines on you, it makes sense why what used to be evil is now good.
I’m not against a gay image-bearer. I’m against the gay lifestyle, which is not an anomaly about my belief system. I have more than 1,000 articles on our website, and most of them speak out against sinful behavior.
You won’t find me hating on anyone, which is a distinction about our ministry, though it should be a distinction with all Christians. I do not know a person who loves every imaginable lifestyle. If you talk to the “love everyone crowd” long enough and peel back the onion far enough, you will find a lifestyle they don’t like.
It’s a false accusation to say that you hate a person because you don’t like what they do. If you do hate someone who believes differently from you, there is something wrong with the hater. If your child is gay, one of the most vital things you can communicate to them is your love for them, along with your disagreement over their lifestyle.
If your child is gay and they want you to attend their wedding, you must walk the line between love for the person and disagreement with their lifestyle. You want a righteous love for the person: you believe in God’s imperative to live a holy life, and you can love the individual as a fellow image-bearer.
Some people promote their holiness in a mean-spirited way. The parent of a gay child will do this for several reasons. They are hurt and disappointed. Part of their disappointment is in themselves as they “replay the tape” to see what they could have done differently. You don’t want to fall into this trap.
There are other emotions too, like, “What will others think about me?” Because of all these emotional thoughts, it will be hard to focus on the most vital need, which is clarity from the Lord about how to navigate this situation. Here are a few things for you to consider if your child wants you to attend their wedding or you’re walking someone through this dilemma.
1–Be One Flesh
The husband and wife must agree about what you need to do. Perhaps you don’t know at this point how to respond to your child. Regardless, you both must commit that you’re going to walk this path together, as a unified front. What you don’t want to do is add another problem to the primary one. This season is not the time to fight a “two-front war.”
2–Release Your Child
With your emotions under the Spirit’s control and you are “one” with your spouse, you are in the position to lead your child through your decision. I’m assuming your child knows that you love them. Though you don’t want to stop communicating that critical message, you want to let them know where you are while releasing them to make their decision.
3–Don’t Be Legalistic
Guard against falling into the legalistic trap, which is a perspective that thinks what you decide will determine the outcome. It’s the person who negotiates in their minds, “If I do go, they will not hate me,” or, “If I don’t go, they will never speak to me again.” Make your decisions because you fear God, not because you’re afraid of your child’s reaction.
Another aspect of the legalism monster is thinking that going or not going will determine if the child will repent. Repentance is a gift from God, not something that you can manipulate by your actions. Your responses do matter, but, ultimately, it’s God who grants repentance, so be free to make the right decision, not one that has a pinch of manipulation in it.
5–Don’t Take Polls
Guard against anecdotal evidence. The temptation will be to take a poll—what did someone else do, and how did it turn out for them? This approach to problem-solving is another angle on legalism. You don’t want to base your decision on the outcome of another story, which is why our decision-making article is so critical; you must be “in faith” in God alone, not what happened with someone else.
The Bible does not prohibit you explicitly from going or not going. You have purposeful freedom, but you won’t make that decision in a vacuum. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a long “sit down” with the other children—if there are any—so that they are clear on why you decided while releasing them to be free in what they choose.
7–Fight for Unity
You don’t want a “hairline crack” in the family on this matter. Being transparent with them will guard against a potential future division. Loving folks who are different from you is one of the most powerful aspects of the gospel. You see Jesus doing this throughout the four Gospels. He never compromised the truth, but He knew how to communicate a righteous love.
8–Prepping for the Future
One of the reasons you want to make sure your child knows your love for them is that this relationship will probably go bust in the future. And should it, like the prodigal, your child needs to know who they can come to for help. Sometimes we have to accept a deferred hope. Play the long game because you’re probably not going to see satisfying changes today.
9–The Battle and the War
You won’t lose your child ultimately. You may for a season but not forever. They will be back, just not according to your current desire or timetable. In one sense, it’s like parenting toddlers; you overlook some stuff because you’re working for another day. Live in that hope.
10–God Is Good
Let me put it out there since you already know it: there are no guarantees about your child or your relationship with them. But I want you to juxtapose that potential reality with “God is good,” and I don’t mean it like a mantra. It’s real, and it has to be transforming you practically, especially when your children are making foolish decisions.
When talking to a person who’s making an unwise decision, you want to do it alone. Perhaps you can do it with your spouse, assuming your spouse is mature enough to be part of the solution. When folks are part of a group, they are not as transparent because they cave to group-think. These conversations need to happen in the best contexts, which are private ones.
12–It’s an Addiction
Keep in mind that any lifestyle that is outside God’s approval is an addiction. If you think of your child like an addict, it may modulate your mind and emotions from reacting too strongly, harshly, and regrettably. Being gay is a behavior that speaks to a deeper soul problem. Christians can be so opposed to the practice that they forget there are more in-depth issues.
Regret will hit you in several ways. For example, you may reflect on your past parenting practices and feel sadness. You could think about how your spouse was not an effective helper and get angry. In the future, perhaps you will wonder if you made the right decision because the outcome you had hoped for has not happened yet. Make your decisions in faith and be a good sovereigntist—God is good, and He has this problem in view. Rest in Him regardless.
14–Understand Their Gospel
One final key is trying to understand your child’s gospel—their story, how they got to where they are, and why they believe what they believe. People love talking about themselves. Use it to your advantage. The temptation could be to make your points, which means you won’t understand them.
There are reasons your child is this way. You must set aside any attempt to “stand for righteousness” that keeps you from missing the actual diagnosis of your child’s soul. There is always a reason why they believe what they believe, and if you draw it out of them in a non-combative way, you will make headway.
The Bible does not say if you should or not attend a gay wedding. I trust these fourteen thoughts will serve you as you make your decision.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).