Without fail, a week does not pass without His Way Out Ministries receiving at least one phone call or email expressing, “Well, I sure didn’t think I would ever be faced with this!” The majority of calls and emails come from pastors and parents due to a child’s or congregation member’s confession of same-sex attraction. Homosexuality always seems to be someone else’s problem until it knocks on your front door.
Once the initial impact has subsided a bit, while Christian families know God is the answer, it still takes a long time for them to wrap their mind around how to engage God in what they perceive as needing to be done. Make no mistake, when someone we know confesses their same-sex attraction, many Christians struggle with how to maintain a Christ-like manner and position.
Every individual that awakens to their issue of same-sex attraction has already been through quite a heart-wrenching process and therefore it really doesn’t matter whether the individual has embraced the gay identity or is still combating and resisting temptation as well as seeking freedom from same-sex attraction. Often, very often, parents in particular will respond to the crisis by focusing on their own pain and deep sense of loss forgetting the individual plagued by same-sex attraction has already experienced a huge amount of pain and loss.
Not long ago, a Christian mother contacted His Way Out Ministries and once again offered the expression we have heard so many times during the 22 years of His Way Out Ministries, “I never thought I would be contacting you with a problem of homosexuality in my family.” The mother was understandably shattered. Initially, while the mother did respond and react appropriately standing upon the right Scriptures, the son responded with a very interesting and revealing remark. He said, “Mom, you keep telling me how hard this is for you to hear and deal with. Don’t you realize how hard it has been for me these many, many years, being raised in a Christian home and knowing that once this got out it would kill you? Ultimately, I had to make a decision that I knew nobody would be happy with. Please consider and realize that I have my own demons to fight.”
At Friends and Family Care Group, we acknowledge that picking up the pieces of life after receiving disturbing news is a challenging and difficult task.
Within our Care Group meetings…
- We purpose to see the need to face the reality of what has happened, let go of the person, often just at a time when we feel we need to hang on harder, accept responsibility for our own actions as they relate to the situation, and grow spiritually through it all.
- We seek to understand and face the complexity of emotions, actions and questions that most people have upon learning of a child’s, friend’s, co-worker’s or fellow brother or sister in Christ have upon learning of the issue of same-sex attraction.
- We challenge each other to make godly choices for spiritual growth in our lives as well as the issues facing the family, Church, and community at large.
- We encourage everyone to allow God to use them in the lives of their children, friends, family and church members with regard to the issue of same-sex attraction and related issues.
- We distinguish carefully between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior.
- We encourage faith that God is able and willing to bring wholeness to the homosexual person.
As faithful followers of Christ Jesus, we must never affirm homosexual practice. But we can at least affirm the fact that the individual struggling with same-sex attraction has tried to be honest with us and has taken quite a risk in telling us, knowing it is not what we wanted to hear.
For everyone of us, one of the great crossroads in life is trying to come to terms with choices children, friends, and family members are making that are no longer within our control. Often, we feel helpless to stop what is happening, and it is often a very frustrating, if not frightening position in which to find ourselves. Ultimately, our choices about how we are going to react are sometimes all we have left.
Even if God were to answer the question “why” He has allowed this or that to happen in our families and friendships, this would not change the fact that it has happened. We must face reality, and understand that life, at least in some respects, just may never be quite the same again.
However, looking through the eyes of faith, it will become much better, as we learn the lessons the Lord has for us in “this situation.” To that end, in light of our acceptance of this reality, we can ask, “What now, Lord?” rather than, “Why?”
Friends and Family Care Group meets on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:00am to 11:00am at the His Way Out Ministries office.
Craig and Karen Fulwyler
Friends and Family Care Group
His Way Out Ministries