I recently wrote some letters – to you, about you – mostly addressing your “someday” relationships. Let me say that I’m praying for these. I never knew how big I had won this prize, but year after year your father blesses me beyond what I imagined. He’s my biggest believer, challenger and supporter. I can’t imagine doing life without him.
And I don’t want you live without such support, challenge and confidence, either. Of course, if it’s the calling to which you find yourself, there’s nothing wrong with singleness. Stay single! Enjoy your freedom! Travel a bit. Cherish deep friendships. You see a different side of life from a lifelong partnership, but we can’t define it as “better” or “worse.”
No, my bigger fear is that you live apart from your lifelong partner because you’re afraid. Afraid of what your father and I will say. Afraid of being forced from the church. Afraid of sin, afraid of labels, afraid of hell.
I want to be very clear about this: there is no one you could love that would cause us – or your God – to stop loving you. In fact, scripture tells us there is no fear in love but perfect love casts off all fear. Although we try our hardest, your parents are guilty of imperfect love – yet God is not.
One of my many places of privilege in this life and world comes having never questioned my attractions, identity or an inclusion in groups of our society. But my story is not the only story. So, dear children, if you find later in life that you tend to be more attracted to someone who shares your gender, I pray fear is not your first reaction. You might be confused or unsure. But your father and I will do our best to make sure fear and shame aren’t part of the equation.
Just to let you know, this might be tough for us. We grew up and live in a culture where the relationships around us tend to be homogeneous in their heterosexual nature. If we appear shaky, blame it on the fact that this is a new experience for us. Even our best intentions could be construed as unsupportive, and we are so very sorry when that hurts.
You don’t disappoint us. Living outside of the way God made you – that’s reason to be disappointed. No, when we don’t know what to say or how to act, it’s because we’re naive, insecure and unprepared. Those are our sins, not yours.
We have enjoyed a beautiful marriage, not because we adhere to the proper penis ratio, but rather it has given us an experience of God’s love and faithfulness. I’ve read the scriptures over and over and over again. Never once do I hear of God choosing a law over love and faithfulness. You might be bashed with verses about “sexual immorality,” but remain clear: living in a committed, faithful relationship reflects God’s nature much more than shouts of shame.
No, those passages address a culture hell-bent on getting what it wants, at the expense of the bodies and souls of other people. Prostitution in the temples, rape culture, and sex as a commodity as opposed to an expression of love – these are the immoral sins our God abhors. Look not too far in our contemporary history and we find a “homosexual lifestyle” linked by name to such a way of life. But we’re finally arriving at a time and place where those terms are divorced and people are finally free to acknowledge different forms of their monogamous love in honest and open ways. Some states even let you make it public, with legal equality. (Wouldn’t it be great if, by the time you read this for real, it was the case for all states? And can we please get on the ball with adoption rights? Because I will want some grandchildren.)
So, my dear child, love, in whatever way that feels truthful to you. Love and faithfulness win every time. And that starts with your parents. We vow to be loving and faithful, no matter what you discover about yourself.
In love and faithfulness,
Mom (& Dad)