Answering ‘Why?’

by Theresa M. Shaltanis

God has blessed us with a son who is a hard worker, talented, and compassionate. He is also gay, and he has questioned why God made him this way. I told him I don’t know the answer, but that God doesn’t make “junk,” and that I will always love him. I have also told him I think he’s going down the wrong road. This has caused friction. I don’t know what to do or what support I have.

Learning that a son or daughter is homosexual stirs up many emotions for parents. They may wonder why, despite their love and good intentions, things didn’t work out as they had hoped. Many find communication with their child can be productive, drawing him or her closer. But communication can deteriorate if it is laden with criticism and judgment. Christ calls us as parents to hold up all the truth of God’s Word to our children and to continue to love them—including children who experience same-sex attraction.

Jesus set a powerful example of how to relate to those experiencing sexual brokenness of any kind. He spoke freely and clearly with the woman at the well regarding her adultery (John 4). He was direct about her sin, and He was clear about the life-giving, healing water He alone offers.

Unfortunately, some in the Christian community do not respond with compassion and care toward fellow believers who struggle with their sexuality. As a result, those struggling may feel ostracized.

Scripture is clear in its condemnation of sexual impropriety of any kind outside the husband-wife marriage bond; it is equally clear that God cares for all who seek Him. Jesus faced and overcame temptation, and He is ready to help those who are likewise tempted.

While your son may never get an answer to the “why” of his situation, he can know that his Savior cares for him amidst his strife, and is faithful to His promise of daily renewal in Baptism.

Talk with your pastor and develop a care plan for you and your son. You might find help from A Plan for Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families, a publication produced by the LCMS Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families. Two Christian organizations that provide help to those struggling with homosexuality and their families are Love Won Out and Exodus International.

Finally, know that the Holy Spirit can work through you to call your son to continual re-examination and growth in his relationship with God. I pray that your congregation will give both of you compassionate care and support as you navigate these difficult waters.

Questions for “Family Counselor” come from readers and, after steps are taken to assure confidentiality, from contacts made with Lutheran Hour Ministries. Send your questions to “Family Counselor,” The Lutheran Witness, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295. Please include your name and address. 

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