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Counsel to a Christian Daughter

by Inge Anderson

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A visitor to our web site sent us the following note:

I am 19 and I have known of my father being gay for a little over ten years. I have just recently become a Christian, and now I am having a more difficult time with the idea of my father  living with another man.

I now greatly understand the sin that is being committed in his life. Because of what God has done for me I want to better understand him and why he has chosen this type of lifestyle. I also am trying to figure out how to talk to and interact with him without offending him.

I love my dad...always have...always will...but I need to understand this. I don't want to turn into those people that I have been taught to hate...homophobics. I don't want to lose him and I am willing to do what ever it takes to keep him but I am not going to compromise God for him. Please help in any way that you can.

I am so happy that you have accepted Christ into your life, and I commend you for wanting to understand your father. Love brings with it a desire for understanding, and the fact that you now want to "better understand him" shows that you now love him more than ever. That's what God's love does for us.

I believe you have to learn to tune out the attitudes of other Christians that have learned to focus on sin rather than Christ the Savior. You know the kind -- the ones that say things like "God hates fags" or something similar in more 'polite' terms. Focus on Jesus Christ and what He taught -- beginning with the gospels, then into the other writings of the New Testament, followed by the writings of the Old Testament. Remember particularly John 3:16, which tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. And Paul wrote in Romans 5:8 that God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Consider what this says about God: He was willing to die for us while we were yet sinners!! It shows demonstrates that God loves us unconditionally.

When Christ walked on this earth, he ministered to people's felt needs, demonstrating that He respected them and loved them. He didn't point out their sins -- except to the religious people who felt they were superior to sinners such as prostitutes (like the church views homosexuals today) and tax collectors. Sinners were drawn to His presence by His love -- a love that demonstrated the character of God. (John writes that "God is love." 1 John 4:8) And in His presence, sinners were convicted of their need of a Savior without His pointing out their sins. Paul corroborates the basis of repentance when he writes that "the goodness of God leads you to repentance." (Romans 2:4)

Immerse yourself in Christ and His teachings so that you will know that God loves you and that He loves your father a whole lot more than you possibly could. When you know this in your heart, you won't find it difficult to interact with him without offending him. You can best 'witness' to your father by being a more loving daughter as a Christian than you were before -- because you will be a character witness for God, the God who is Love. I believe that to 'witness' for Christ is to tell of what He means to us in our lives, what He has done for us. (Witnesses tell of what they have experienced, not of what they have read in the papers.) It also means to be a 'character witness' -- to tell of what you know of the trustworthy character of the person for whom you are witnessing. That's true in today's court of law, and it's also true of Christian witnessing. Whoever gets a good glimpse of God -- His love and His goodness -- will be drawn to Him. And Christ is the only door to salvation; there is no other door that's labeled "Good Conduct."

Let's face it -- if you told your father that he is sinning through homosexual sex and he listened to you and actually stopped it (highly unlikely) -- would that save him? Would he be saved by celibacy or heterosexual sex? You know the answer. More heterosexuals are going to hell than gay people, because there's more of them. So I don't believe that God has given you the job to tell your father that he's sinning. He does expect you to be His witness -- witness of His loving character. If/when your father gets to know Christ for himself, Christ is perfectly able to tell him how to order his life in the intimate details. That's what His Holy Spirit does.

I hope that this helps somewhat. We also have a support list for friends and family of lesbians and gays. You are welcome to join and share on that list. If you will write and share or ask questions, you will get responses. There are even a couple of strong Christian men with a gay orientation on that list. You could ask them questions you might not want to ask your father directly. It may help you to withstand some of the negative attitudes against gay people sometimes found in Christian churches.

And do pray for your father. Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to his heart -- that he will be drawn to Jesus, the loving Savior. God hears and answers prayer. He respects our individual freedom, so he won't force your father to become a Christian. As you pray, He will draw him gently, surely -- unless your father actively resists. But with you demonstrating the love of Jesus in your life, I suspect that your father will find it much easier to believe that God loves him.

I would also recommend that you explore our web site a little further to help you absorb the principle that God's Love is to be the focus of our witness. And  you may learn to understand your father better by reading some of the stories and essays on the site. See particularly my essays, Calling Sin by Its Right Name, What is an Abomination to God?, Sins of Sodom, and Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin? I believe they will help you sort out human prejudices from biblical truth.

You don't have to "compromise God" for your father. God loves him even more than you do!

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