What The Christian Pastor Promises To Do If His Children Are Gay

What The Christian Pastor Promises To Do If His Children Are Gay

Originally published on gaystarnews.com

A Christian pastor in North Carolina has been amazed by the reaction to one of his recent blog postings, in which he wrote about what his reaction would be if any of his children grew up and told him that they were gay

John Pavlovitz [pictured here with his family] is an 18-year local church ministry veteran. He is currently the pastor of a house church community called North Wake House Church, and also a volunteer at North Raleigh Community Church.

He is married to wife, Jennifer, and has two young children, Noah and Selah. He’s also a keen blogger, and a blog that he posted a short while back, entitled ‘If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent’ has gone viral and prompted thousands of comments.

The reason? Because he believes he would treat his LGBTI children with exactly the same love and support as if they were straight, and would pray that they weren’t the victims of ignorance or hatred.

‘I was prepared for some people to applaud it, and for others to condemn it,’ he said afterwards. ‘That’s what happens whenever you put an opinion out there. I was fully prepared for the waves of both support and hostility that accompany any vantage point, especially on a controversial topic like this.

‘What I was not prepared for in any way, were the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me personally to thank me for bringing some healing and hope to their families; for giving them a message they rarely get from Christian leaders.

‘Many parents, children, and siblings have confided in me – some for the first time anywhere – telling of the pain, and bullying, and shunning they’re received from churches, pastors, and church members. They have shared with me their stories of exclusion, isolation, of unanswered prayers, of destructive therapies, of suicide attempts, and of being actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.

‘This is why I do what I do; to let people who’ve been damaged or excluded, feel seen, known, and loved.’

Read Pavlovitz’s post below, and check out his blog at johnpavlovitz.com.

If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children.

I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.

Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.

Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church.

Maybe it’s because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…

1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.

My children won’t be our family’s best-kept secret.

I won’t talk around them in conversations with others. I won’t speak in code or vague language. I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I won’t try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable.

Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.

If my children come out, we’ll be out as a family.

2) If I have gay children, I’ll pray for them.

I won’t pray for them to be made ‘normal’. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children are gay, that is their normal.

I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are.

I’ll pray the He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all. I’ll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and humanity.

Above all, I’ll pray to God that my children won’t allow the ungodly treatment they might receive from some of His misguided children, to keep them from pursuing Him.

3) If I have gay children, I’ll love them.

I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length. It will be an extravagant, open hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-them-in-the-school cafeteria, kind of love.

I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them; simply because they’re sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine.

If my kids are gay, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about this world, but they’ll never doubt for a second whether or not their Daddy is over-the-moon crazy about them.

4) If I have gay children, most likely; I have gay children.

If my kids are going to be gay, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that He, ‘stitched them together in their mother’s womb’. The incredibly intricate stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells.

Because of that, there isn’t a coming deadline on their sexuality that their mother and I are working feverishly toward. I don’t believe there’s some magical expiration date approaching, by which time she and I need to somehow do, or say, or pray just the right things to get them to ‘turn straight’, or forever lose them to the other side.

They are today simply a younger version of who they will be; and today they’re pretty darn great.

Many of you may be offended by all of this, I fully realize. I know this may be especially true if you are a religious person; one who finds the whole topic disgusting.

As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, or clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send me, or praying for me to repent, or preparing to Unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic… but with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster; I really couldn’t care less.

This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you.

You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.

You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.

You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight snuggle sessions.

You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, and whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held, while getting stitches.

You’re not the one whose head I love to smell, and whose face lights-up when I come home at night, and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul.

You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.

And you’re not the one who I’ll hopefully be with, when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well.

If you’re a parent, I don’t know how you’ll respond if you find out your children are gay, but I pray you consider it.

One day, despite your perceptions of your kids or how you’ve parented, you may need to respond in real-time, to a frightened, frantic, hurting child; one whose sense of peace, and identity, and acceptance; whose very heart, may be placed in your hands in a way you never imagined… and you’ll need to respond.

If that day should ever come for me; if my children should ever come out to me, this is the Dad I hope I’ll be to them.

*

Wow! Just… Wow!

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43 Comments

  1. Ruby
    October 14, 06:31 Reply

    This is DEEP!
    I wonder when some Parents in Nigeria will get to this Level…
    I guess that will be 10 generations from now if not 20

    • ROb Smith
      March 31, 19:45 Reply

      First people who may disagree with you are not ignorant or stupid as your comment intends to imply. If you want a reverse dose then consider the fact that heterosexuals at least understand how human anatomy was designed to fit together. Second, just because a person calls him or herself a Christian, or even “pastor” is meaningless. What defines a true disciple is adherence to the teachings of the master, which in this case is Christ and His appointed spokesmen – apostles. Third – THE defining mark of the false prophet, and false teacher, is telling others “peace” when there is no peace. And there is no peace with God when we willfully refuse to repent. Ask the men of Sodom.

  2. Rapu'm
    October 14, 06:32 Reply

    “I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them; simply because they’re sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine.”

    Oh, this is just so lovely. So honest. So loving. So kind. And here is a man who means what he’s saying, who is not condescending, who’s not saying, “I love the sinner but hate the sin” (whatever that means), and who’s not playing politics with the thing. If your children are gay, then they have been blessed with the best father ever and you in turn have been blest with special children.

    • Absalom
      October 14, 06:47 Reply

      Rapu’m, you stole my comment! #IHateYou!

      Those exact words hit me where it mattered. I can’t forget them for a long time to come. #Music!

      • Rapu'm
        October 14, 06:53 Reply

        Yeah. Those words are really wonderful.

  3. Obatala
    October 14, 06:36 Reply

    Ask a Nigerian parent what they will do in similar situation.
    1 prayers
    2 Deliverance
    3 Slow and painful murder

    • king
      October 14, 06:54 Reply

      That’s not true for all.nigetian parents NOW!!! Speak from a side of knowledge pls

  4. #TeamKizito
    October 14, 06:39 Reply

    Obatala, not all “Nigerian Parents” are like that. Note.

    • king
      October 14, 06:55 Reply

      Thanks Kizito at least I KNOW AM NOT!

      • pinkpanthertb
        October 14, 07:02 Reply

        Because you are already intimately familiar with that sexuality. So of course you won’t condemn if your kids come out to you.
        And even though Obatala may have generalized a tad too much, I totally get his point. Either of those scenarios he pointed out are mostly what we hear about the reactions of Nigerian families to their gay children.

  5. king
    October 14, 06:52 Reply

    Wow!!!! Now this is a father!!! The part that got me was,
    “I won’t love them despite their sexuality, and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them; simply because they’re sweet, and funny, and caring, and smart, and kind, and stubborn, and flawed, and original, and beautiful… and mine.
    If my kids are gay, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about this world, but they’ll never doubt for a second whether or not their Daddy is over-the-moon crazy about them.” Wow wow wow wow! I duff my hat to this original papa!!!

  6. Dennis Macauley
    October 14, 07:36 Reply

    Yea wateva!

    I’m sure y’all know how I feel about this!

    Neeeeeeeeeext

    • pinkpanthertb
      October 14, 07:43 Reply

      Wait, about what exactly? Come back here and tell us your beef with a father declaring his love for his children, no matter their sexuality.

      • Dennis Macauley
        October 14, 08:54 Reply

        Now my point (which stems from my opinion) is rooted in something I have observed. When families “accept” gay kids and all, they tend to give you the impression of “be glad we accept and love you”. So in proving their love and acceptance, they go overboard and begin to make a fuss about it that it becomes patronizing.
        So I am not jumping on his bus! No thankyou very much!

        *argue in your toilet*

    • Max
      October 14, 09:36 Reply

      @Dennis, cmon don’t be a cynic…

    • Khaleesi
      October 14, 11:10 Reply

      awwww Dennis, let go of the hurtt and bitterness you’ve bottled up inside …. it’ll eat you up from the inside out … come here babes ***big wet kiss on cheek, attempts to move to lips, hears Mrs M’s footsteps, runs to hide under the bed****

  7. lluvmua
    October 14, 08:04 Reply

    @ruby u mean 50 generations from now? Lol! Such nice and supportive parentss

  8. trystham
    October 14, 08:45 Reply

    I cried at 2. Genetic makeup or not, God never gives ppl like him gay kids in the end. His life would have bin a model for others.

  9. o'hara
    October 14, 08:54 Reply

    Easier said than done.
    Rubbish article.

  10. Metrosexual
    October 14, 09:12 Reply

    I read this article….and I didn’t know when I started getting all teary-eyed (maybe cos’ I was listening to Sam Smith’s Stay With Me)…., but this article got to me, cause I could feel the love of the pastor, even in his words… Up until now, I still think IGNORANCE should be added to the six deadly sins… If only we (especially people in this side of the world)…would let go, and accept we the queer folks..just as we are… So help us God

  11. Max
    October 14, 09:33 Reply

    Omg…. This is the best piece of the month…coming from a parent/pastor…I’m gonna share this on my fb…can you pls send me the link to the original article @ pinky…

    If all parents were like this, I wouldn’t have to introduce my bf as a friend to my parents…

  12. Samaurai
    October 14, 09:59 Reply

    It is not in the saying. It is in the doing.
    Let’s wait till his kids come out as gay to him to see what he will do.
    The eloquence of doing outranks that of saying.

    • Dom
      October 14, 11:17 Reply

      Some folks will always let their warped personality come through even in the purest in the purest of things.

  13. Khaleesi
    October 14, 10:32 Reply

    this is such a moving article, my eyes kept filling with tears, does such love as this really exist? certainly not in Nigeria, the combination of ignorance, a bigoted and cherry-picked religion and ‘culture’ which is bent and twisted to suit selfish purposes have effectively ensured that a story such as this can never be whispered in our country …
    This is a true man of God in who’s church I would gladly worship … God bless you Sir!!

  14. Dom
    October 14, 11:15 Reply

    In other news, Nigerian pastors are busy flying private jets and competing for world’s richest man of God.

  15. Constant
    October 14, 11:40 Reply

    I wish ma dad could be like that… *punches himself to reality* Nice Words @least here’s someone with Super Sense

  16. gad
    October 14, 13:25 Reply

    May God continue 2 bless this man and confirm Himself in His ministry.He addressed the homophobics, the gays and most importantly those who removed themselves from the Love of God in Christ due to the reactions of people against gays.Let this article be a reference for all who are hurting,confused,struggling and to care givers/counselors as we come to terms with who we are and in building up our young.

  17. Obatala
    October 14, 16:17 Reply

    Dear king
    I agree, not all parents will crucify their kids for being gay, however, in a society like ours, such is the exception and not the norm.
    my parents for one are a good examples.
    my mom has already started organising prayers for the “errant gay loving pope”
    in her opinion, he should be drawn and quartered for “moving the ancient landmarks”
    my dad is another case. in his opinion, all gays should come for deliverance at his church headquarters. I know the deliverance entails a massive dose of olive oil and fasting. I have undergone it myself. trust me its uncool. the funny thing is that they are both highly educated individuals with a PhD each. imagine what the average illiterate will feel about the issue.
    in fact I was in a bus yesterday and the “preacher” went on and on about the great calamity that was soon to befall Nigeria for being even remotely accommodating to gays.

    • king
      October 14, 21:02 Reply

      I feel you o my sweet Obatala but I am sort of a new father and am sure that it’s so much love that propels str8t fathers to go the length they can to prevent their wards to go “astray” however much love and knowledge don’t really go together so I agree with Gad when he said we gat to use this write-up and paste it out for people especially in naija to read and learn and maybe just maybe be more tolerant of alternative lifestyles..eh not the bad ones oooo but. the good ones ooo hehehehe like ours!!! Lol!

  18. JustJames
    October 14, 21:02 Reply

    Well I do wish my mum was a hundred percent like the pastor. But one thing she has never stopped showing me is love.. It may be imperfect but I know her heart is in the right place.

  19. Mr Kassy
    December 13, 13:49 Reply

    This article is just exactly what I was telling myself earlier,if my son(s) turn out to be gay of which I must know;I will love them beyond love itself.A stranger may even think that I am talking to my wife whenever I call them on phone.I will train them with the fear of God,knowing fully well that he created them in his own image and likeness.And I may even inadvertently love them more than the straight kids.They will lack nothing as far as breath is still in me.I will support them till I die. M

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