In the last few months, there have been big changes to my family. But then again, maybe they aren’t so big.
We are a Christian household. We raised our children in church. My husband was a youth leader, I was a women’s group leader, not to mention the countless Christmas Choirs, Youth Group events, and volunteer hours spent being an integral part of a Christian Church, the kids included. We did “everything right” in terms of “training up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:7 ESV)
The first shock we got was when my daughter, then sixteen years old, told us she didn’t believe in God and the Bible anymore. That made me sad for her. But she’s establishing her own beliefs, she’s doing what she’s supposed to do…she’s growing up.
The next shock we got was when her younger brother “outed” her, and she confirmed that she is bisexual. I’ll admit, I had trouble with this one. It went against everything I wanted and believed for my child. But, again, she’s establishing her own identity, and it’s not up to me to choose for her what she feels. It’s part of growing up.
I’ve had several months to get used to the idea, and the more I search my heart, the more I realize that, though it may not be what I was taught, above all, Jesus said to “love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus didn’t judge and neither should I. There are going to be lots of decisions my children make that I may not agree with. Who they date is just a drop in the bucket. What makes this decision any different than any other? The difference is how I respond to it.
Many of you probably saw the video of the Dad’s giving out hugs at the Pittsburgh Pride Parade. If you get a chance, watch the video. As a parent, it will tug at your heart.
I couldn’t imagine any decision that my children make that would separate me from them. There was one person that the Dad in the video hugged that was nearly fifty years old. He said that his parents hadn’t talked to him in nearly thirty years. I couldn’t imagine missing out on thirty years of my child’s life because I chose not to love them. That’s just wrong, and definitely not what Jesus would want me to do.
Jesus loved EVERYBODY. And that means EVERYBODY. He didn’t ask questions about their lifestyle. He didn’t take a personal inventory of every person BEFORE he sat with them. He just wanted them to know they were loved, and I should too, especially when it’s my own child.
When you dream for that baby in your arms, chances are you don’t picture the times that they will rebel. You don’t picture them going in a different direction than you are raising them. But if we’ve done our job right, isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? Raise them to be their OWN person, no matter who that person is.
Do I still have my beliefs? Yes. Do I love my daughter any less because of MY beliefs? HECK NO! If anything, my daughter is reminding me that parental love IS unconditional…completely unconditional.
*Please keep your comments kind. Hate will be deleted. I have my daughter’s permission to post this and she wants to see the comments. Please keep that in mind. If you can’t say something nice, then kindly move along and keep your opinions to yourself this time. Thanks for your cooperation.
Printed in Women’s On-Line Christian Magazine “Just Between Us”