Hi, Dr. Meg,
I recently found your podcast, and can already tell you are going to be a great help in my journey as a mom.
My husband and I have 4 children. Our son will be 21 soon and our girls are 18, 15, and 6. We have been doing this parenting thing for a while. About this time you think you have the big things covered, they throw you a curveball and you never saw it coming.
Which brings me to my reason for emailing you. Our oldest daughter will be a senior in high school this year. She recently came to us and told us she is gay.
My husband and I are both Christians and the 3 oldest children are as well. We raised the children in church and are a pretty conservative family.
While we are so happy she felt that she could come and tell us this news and trust us to love and guide her, guiding her is out of my scope right now. So much confusion.
I am reading a lot of material from books that give hope that she can be “delivered” from homosexuality, to ones that state that it is not something to overcome, but should be accepted and embraced. All have been with a Biblical perspective that differed with the author.
My daughter tells us that she has felt this since early childhood. As early as 6 years old. From a medical perspective, but with a Christian viewpoint, do you believe that she was created this way? Is it in her DNA?
I am not altogether sure what I am asking of you here. I am a registered nurse, so I am wrestling with the physical side of this issue and how that weighs on the emotional and spiritual.
I would like your professional opinion if you have time to answer. I pray you can read my heart through the words here. We adore this child and want nothing but goodness for her.
We want to have and maintain a strong relationship with her, but we want to guide her in Truth as well.
Thank you for your time.
Here’s what we know about homosexuality. While there is no proof that it is in a person’s DNA, there are some studies that point to a strong effect of environmental toxins on one’s sexual orientation.
You can read about these studies in Leonard Sax’s book: Why Gender Matters, 2nd edition. It is fascinating.
For instance, male fish in the Potomac River were found to be creating eggs and they surmised that it was because of some BPA that they were ingesting because in polluted parts of the river. In cleaner parts of the river, this wasn’t happening. (I could have gotten the details wrong, but the point is the same.)
Here’s the point. If it is the case that something is physiologically working in a person regarding their sexual orientation, it would be cruel to criticize or shame them. Homosexuality is hard for heterosexuals to understand and is complicated. But–no one–should ever be shamed. Jesus wouldn’t do that.
This issue is indeed a struggle for many Christians. Those who have struggled with same-sex feelings all of their lives cannot be convinced that they are straight.
I have spoken with Christian youth about this and they are very sincere. And–while conservative Christians denounce homosexuality because the OT addresses it, more liberal Christians support it because they can’t find clear evidence in the NT that it is addressed in a straightforward manner.
Here’s what I suggest. First of all, your daughter is an adult.
She knows how you feel about homosexuality. You have little influence in her life regarding this issue, so you need to let it go.
Her sexuality is now between her and God–not you and her.
Second, I strongly believe that as Christians, our job is to first love people to Christ. He didn’t say to convince homosexuals to change, He said before you do anything else, Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and then love your neighbor as yourself.
This means that your first job is to love her. You don’t have to agree with her but don’t argue. That’s a lost cause. Help her build a stronger relationship with the Lord you love and let Him deal with this issue.
Think about this. If you ever were going to have any impact on her behavior, it would never come unless you first loved her as Christ does.
Finally, in addition to what you’ve read, you can check out Holy Sexuality and the Gospel by Christopher Yuan to read a perspective of a gay man who teaches at Moody.
In short, give this all to God. It really is His business, not yours.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes
Meg Meeker, MD is a best-selling author and pediatrician. To find her online parenting courses or listen to her podcast Parenting Great Kids, go to meekerparenting.com. To send in questions of your own, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.