OK, I’m going there.
I don’t often use this forum to comment on the hot topics of the day. I’ve discovered that when topics are as fresh and popular as Sunday’s Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer, it’s hard for anything but the shrill voices on each extreme to be heard.
But I’m giving it a try today. Here’s why.
I know people like Bruce Jenner.*
I have spent many hours sitting, talking and crying with people who struggle with various gender and sexual issues.
I’ve also sat with their loved ones. Parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. I’ve seen the pain and confusion in their eyes as they struggle to adapt.
What does it mean as a Christian to love a child, parent or spouse who has just told you they are gay? Or that they’ve felt trapped in the wrong body all their lives? (No, those are not the same thing.)
And who can help me negotiate what to do next?
What Do I Do Now?
There are two sets of voices that dominate these issues. I know, because Facebook and Twitter has been filled with both since the interview last Sunday night.
On the one side are people saying Bruce Jenner is a hero. On the other, that he’s a sad, sinful pervert.
If you’re struggling with feelings of sexual identity, which side would you go to?
But those aren’t the only voices out there. They just seem like it because they’re the loudest.
In the huge middle are real people. Not reality TV stars. Just people who are trying to make their way through an already challenging life that’s been upended in a way they never expected.
If you’re a Christian and your spouse has just told you they’re gay or transgender, where do you turn? To those yelling “hero!” or to those yelling “pervert!”?
What they want is someone who isn’t yelling. But that’s often hard to find.
So they go nowhere. They stuff it down and don’t deal with it at all.
They don’t want to hear how awesome this is. Their world has been rocked to its core. But they don’t want to sit through a tirade about how their parent, child or spouse is a pervert, either.
They want know how to keep loving their family member the way Jesus loves them. That’s all. Continue reading