To the Religious Parent's Whose Child Is Gay

Life has many twists and turns, but being a child who's parents are extremely strict when it comes to religion can seem to be quite difficult when you have to make the decision to come out to them and express your sexuality. I know this because my best friend has had to deal with this almost her whole life and has recently struggled with her parents love for her. Quite a few people in my life are struggling with the decision of having to tell their parents about their lifestyle, so I thought I would write a letter to the parents who may be struggling with their daughter or son being gay.

To the concerned parents reading:

When you became a parent, you knew that you were definitely going to have your ups and downs throughout life with this beautiful child. For many Christian parents, I can definitely agree that it may be hard to hear the words "I'm gay" come out of your own child's mouth. This is the child you cradled and cared for since the day they were born. You start to wonder, "what will the church say?" or "what does this mean for the future of our family?" I know this personally because my best friend and her older sister have dealt with this constant battle their whole life. Their parents, one being extremely religious and the other being a pastor, have struggled for many years with trying to comprehend the whole situation and with learning how to accept their daughters for who they are and who they choose to love.

Now, when a child comes out as openly gay, many parents tend to make it all about themselves and what they did wrong when raising their child. I wanted to first start this out by saying that you have done nothing wrong. This is not something your child did in order to rebel against you or get back at you for something that happened earlier in life. Your expectations for your child may be crushed or ruined, but that may not be the same case for your child's expectations for themselves. Your child more than likely did not tell you when they first started liking the same-sex either because they were still trying to figure everything out themselves. A lot of people going through this situation tend to live with this secret for a very long time before reaching out and truly embracing who they are as a person. All I'm trying to say is that by the time they came to you with this news, they were probably pretty sure of what they were telling you. Please, one thing that many do ask is that you don't try and label this as "just a phase" and push it aside like it's no big deal. Instead of trying to question why and what caused these emotions, try to ask them questions like "how long have you felt this way?" and make sure you let them know how grateful you are for them including you into their world, and let them know that they don't have to go through this alone. I know it may be hard, but no matter what feelings or emotions you may be going through, your child still needs to know that you have unconditional love for them and that you are there for them no matter what life throws their way. They're already going through so many crazy emotions themselves, they don't need to try and handle all of your emotions on top of it as well.

Please also remember that praying and wishing your child straight will not "cure" them of what they have chosen as their lifestyle. Personally, I have seen countless stories of people who prayed and prayed for something to happen where their child would change their ways, but still nothing changed. Remember that it is God's choice on what He chooses to do with someone's life and what He chooses to have them encounter, so praying about it may take your worries away for the day, but it will not change His mind on what He has planned for that specific person's life. The opinion of other people, whether it be your bible group, your friends, your other family members, are not as important as those of your son or daughter, so make sure you put other people's opinions aside and truly focus on what God would want you to focus on and lead in your life.

You are not put on this Earth to change people's lives or their behaviors, you were put on this Earth to spread the Lord's love just as He had done when he was living on this Earth. Let God use this specific example in your life to show you how to love someone unconditionally, especially when it revolves around your child. While we love others, God is working in ways that we can't even imagine. Give your worries to Him, take a deep breath, and just be there for your child. They may be struggling with how they're feeling, but the least they can do is know that their parents will be there for them 100%. Be excited for them and know that they are in love and that they are happy. Many people's children go their whole lives searching for someone to love, while your child has found their purpose in life and loves someone with all their heart.

Remember: your child is perfect, your child loves you, and your child is loved by God and by others. Cast all your burdens on Him and let Him take control of the situation.

Love,

a concerned best friend who only wants to see her best friend's family embrace her with love and cherish her for who she is.

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