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Holiday, Do’s and Don’ts: A Family Matter

Usually, when homosexuality becomes known in a family, the greater attention and focus is normally placed on the individual that has announced his or her being gay. However, when homosexuality comes a knocking on your personal front door, it affects much more than just him or her. Immediately, the crisis becomes a family matter with the family having to work through the blow of learning of a child’s homosexuality.

For Christian parents becoming aware of a child’s homosexuality, it becomes very tempting to respond with “How can you be homosexual? You’re a Christian!” Parents become immediately flooded with questions such as: What will people think? What did I do wrong? or How are we are going to deal with this?

Without a doubt, it is just as difficult for the individual to disclose their battle with same-gender attraction as it is for the family to hear. In the majority of cases, the individual struggling with same-gender attraction has been in an intense battle for a very long time especially if the individual is an adult. The very moment the admission comes out of the individual’s mouth, all of the anxiety, turmoil, fear, shame, anger, disillusionment and more, is immediately transferred to the parents (family).

Parents naturally want to protect their children and rightfully feel a huge amount of responsibility for their lives. As a result, it is absolutely imperative that Christian parents establish boundaries when facing and dealing with a child’s acceptance and practice of homosexuality. In their book Boundaries, Dr’s. Henry Cloud and John Townsend describe boundaries as “what defines what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.”

Without a doubt, parents experience a huge amount of loss when they find out about a child’s homosexuality. Almost immediately, grief, despair, disillusionment and fear surface launching parents into a process where they ultimately must give themselves permission to grieve and not pretend that nothing is wrong or that their world has been turned upside-down.

Every year, I receive numerous inquires for guidance from parents wanting to know what are some of the do’s and don’ts when the holidays are fast approaching. During the holiday season, parents in particular become overwhelmed with the various looming scenarios related to a gay identified child coming home for Christmas and bringing “a friend.” The line(s) between acceptance and approval, love and condoning a sinful behavior can often become a bit blurry and challenging during the holiday season.

Anita Worthen discusses the issue of inviting a child’s partner for the holidays in her book Someone I Love is Gay. “Your child’s partner is not the enemy. He or she is someone God loves – just as he loves your son or daughter.” However, that doesn’t mean you welcome the couple into your home as if nothing was wrong. Ignoring the obvious has a name – denial.

A good rule of thumb in ultimately coming to a decision of how to handle the situation is to ask, “How would I handle it if my child wanted to bring home an opposite-sex partner?” I believe the majority of Christian families would probably invite that person into their home, but clearly define the appropriate boundary line of separate sleeping arrangements. However, if parents are completely uncomfortable with the entire gay scenario, being honest is the very best policy for all involved. Because each family is unique, each family has to find a way to handle the various situations that will undoubtedly surface. There isn’t one universal answer that works for everyone.

Frankly, there aren’t any easy, pat answers for a family working through the awareness of a child’s homosexuality. There are no magic cures, no shortcuts. However, God is more than able and willing to bring the entire family into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him since the family, by God’s own design, was designed to be a support system and a place of love and safety. Ultimately, only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling presence of His Spirit, will any individual or family be enabled to overcome homosexuality and the many related issues.

Being a very practical individual, I encourage all parents (families) to consider that the crisis does not rest solely with the homosexual child. Within the mix of the various and numerous contributing factors to any individual struggling with same-gender attraction are family and relational issues the enabled the situation. Therefore, I believe parents, the family, need to be willing to (1) educate themselves on the homosexual behavior, (2) seek spiritual guidance for themselves, certainly their feelings and emotions, (3) be patient in embracing the reality that healing is a process and (4) release the child into the God’s care. Admittedly, the last point is much easier said than done.

However, it is when we let go of a child, a friend, or a spouse that we do stop taking responsibility for them but we do not stop fulfilling our responsibilities to them. Homosexuality is not just about an issue. This is about people – people that God loves and people for whom Jesus died.

When homosexuality surfaces in a family, it isn’t just a child struggling with same-gender attraction; it is a family issue and needs to be healed within the family.

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

Recommended Reading

Someone I Love is Gay by Anita Worthen and Bob Davies
This book gives easy to understand answers to the family members surrounding the homosexual. Many real-life examples are cited to help families understand and respond to their homosexual loved one in a compassionate way.

101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley
In this book you will find answers to the most often asked questions about homosexuality from an expert on the subject – and a former homosexual himself.

When Homosexuality Hits Home by Joe Dallas
In this straightforward book, Christian author and counselor Joe Dallas offers practical, step-by-step advice on how to deal with the many conflicts and emotions experienced by parents, grandparents, siblings, and extended family members when they learn of a loved one’s homosexuality.

Category Archive for additional Recommended Reading hiswayout.com/category/recommended-reading

Believing in Him and You,
Pastor Phillip Lee

Saturday, October 7, 2017
For ‘Ladies’ Only

For ‘Ladies’ Only offers a safe environment to talk about real issues ladies have and are sometimes too ashamed or afraid to talk about. Come and receive Biblical guidance, prayer and encouragement for your healing journey.

For ‘Ladies’ Only meets on the first Saturday of each month from 9:00am to 11:00am at His Way Out Ministries, Bakersfield Office.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Friends and Family

Friends and Family offers a relaxed, informal meeting available to anyone seeking to understand the complexities of homosexuality and become more effective in reaching those combating same-sex attraction.

Friends and Family meets on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9:00am to 11:00am at His Way Out Ministries, Bakersfield Office.

Caribbean Ministry

His Way Out Ministries remains heavily networked with and working in ministry partnership with the Caribbean destinations of Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

We care deeply about men and women with the unwanted brokenness of same-sex attraction and it is our collective goal and privilege to share with The Caribbean the transforming power of God’s love and forgiveness without compromising the truth. We offer the message that there is freedom from homosexuality through the unconditional love and grace of Jesus Christ.

His Way Out Ministries is pleased to share with you we now have a target date of November 1, 2017 to open an office in Port of Spain, the capital of the two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Our Caribbean Office will be on the church campus of St. Augustine Evangelical Bible Church/Christ-Centered Counseling Centre.

Over the years, St. Augustine Evangelical Bible Church, has graciously provided His Way Out Ministries many ministry opportunities to share God’s truth regarding homosexuality with their congregation and, as a result, we have enjoyed a solid ministry relationship for quite some time.

Our office location will be in so many ways the ideal location placing us almost right in the middle between the University of the West Indies and InterSchool/InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. While we remain in planning-mode for our new office, many of the necessary and important details are coming together very well and we are excited about this new door of ministry our Lord has opened to us and enabled. On September 19, 2017, Pastor Phillip Lee will be returning to Trinidad and Tobago to fine-tune office details and to meet with various pastors and Christian organizations that have expressed their desire to partner with His Way Out Ministries in reaching Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean for Christ Jesus.

His Way Out Ministries, Trinidad and Tobago
Christ-Centered Counseling Centre

Dedicated to raising awareness, educating, encouraging and equipping The Body of Christ throughout the Caribbean to minister to those who struggle with same-sex attraction.

  • Is based upon our concern regarding the issue of homosexuality and we seek to minister to those within the Church and Islands throughout the Caribbean, with the truth of Scripture, the power of testimony and the dialog of issues.
  • Is committed to effectively and compassionately communicating God’s heart concerning sexual brokenness and wholeness, while disputing the unchangeable nature of sexual orientation.
  • Affirms that all persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggle for sexual wholeness, and we commit ourselves to that end. Our position rests on the Authority of Scripture versus the interpretations of some of the social sciences.
  • All ministry services are centered on the biblical foundations of compassion, integrity, and dependence on God.
  • Believes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the healing power of the Holy Spirit, often mediated by extended and competent ministry, prayer, and a caring Christian community, the sexually broken can experience transformation towards wholeness.

All of us at His Way Out Ministries truly covet your prayers. You make it possible for His Way Out Ministries to reach around the world with a message of hope in Christ Jesus.

Web Site and Facebook
Daily, His Way Out Ministries posts ministry updates, articles, events, pictures and a host of other information either to our web site or to Facebook. If you would like to receive automatic postings to our web site via Email, simply enter your Email address in the “Subscribe” box on the upper right. It couldn’t be more convenient! To receive Facebook postings, please send a “Friend Request” to HWOM.Phillip.Lee

Saturday at 7:00AM
KERI Radio 1410 AM, Bakersfield, CA

The His Way Out Ministries Radio Broadcast airs each Saturday morning at 7:00AM Pacific Time on KERI Channel 1410AM in Bakersfield, California immediately following Focus on the Family. Outside of Bakersfield you can listen online to the KERI Live Stream.

Recent guests include: (Left) Pastor Brandon Holthaus, Rock Harbor Church, (Center) Pastor Pete Baker, Fairfax Assembly of God, (Right) Pastor Roger Spradlin, Valley Baptist Church

Podcasts are available on our website where you can listen or download for future listening and reference. Simply select the Audio Podcasts Category link for a listing.

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