Love Them Anyway
This post is from my I Don't Want Them to Go to Hell devotional, which helps the friends and families of LGBTQI+ folx process the news when their loved one comes out to them. Click here to read more about the devotional, and see a sample.
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
(Mark 3:31-35 NIV)
Mary must have been pretty freaked out by this point. Her beloved son was traveling the countryside, violating laws, angering the religious experts, and hanging out with people society found undesirable.
Put yourself in her shoes. She watched her son doing all sorts of things which she thought put him in danger. She arrived to try to protect her son, but he rejected her attempts at protection. She probably assumed she knew what was best for Jesus. After all; she was his mother. She probably had thoughts like “Can you please just not be so flamboyant,” hoping he would hide who he was for even just a little bit longer so he’d be safe.
But we don’t see her complaining in response to Jesus’ words. She supported him despite being scared about what might happen.
One reason is that she knew who he was, deep down inside. Just like you know the son, daughter, sibling, or friend who’s come out as gay or gender non-binary.
Obviously your LGBTQ loved one is not Jesus. None of us are. But we can still learn from Mary’s response. She didn’t try to stop him from living fully as the person God the Father sent him to be. She may not have understood it all, but she didn’t have to. All she had to do was love Jesus and support him the ways she could.
That’s all you have to do as well. It may be impossible for you to understand how your loved one feels, or the decisions they make about how to live their life. But you don’t have to. All you have to do is extend your love to them. God will cover the rest, and it’s quite possible that it will be more beautiful than you could ever have imagined.
Just as it was for Mary.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.