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QUESTION: What Can The Family Do?

Some months ago, I received this question on our church website, where I answered it at the time. This question is one that many parents have had. I also have struggled with the answer to this question (not about the same issue, but the same basic question): What can the family do when a loved child who knows better insists on rejecting parental teaching?

What does the Bible say about same sex relationships?  What if the person is young and has been influenced to think this is what she is.  She knows this lifestyle is a sin for she has always been taught Scripture.  She is restless and does not sleep well, yet she has not turned her back on this lifestyle.  One counselor/prayer warrior said after meeting with her that the spirit was so strong that she could not pray it away.  How can one person make such a judgment?  I felt hopeless, then I realized that the Bible says that there is noting too hard for God.  What can the family do?  Please pray for our daughter.

Thank you for your question.

It is always painful when our children reject the teaching parents give them. It is hard for us, emotionally, to realize we are not the only teachers our children have. Particularly in this world we live in now, there are many voices urging them to turn from the counsel of wisdom found in God’s Word.

Proverbs 9 pictures two women – Wisdom and Folly – that vie for the attention of all. Each of them says, “Let all who are simple come in here.” Each offers sustenance to any who will come. Unfortunately, those who listen to Folly find themselves in the way of death, not life.

The first Psalm begins, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” When those we love accept this walk and way and seat, it is difficult for us to reach them. In fact, Proverbs 9 warns us, “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (vv 7-8).

This is why it is so difficult to talk to people committed to a life of sinful folly. Many times, the result is insult, abuse, and hatred.

So what can we do?

The next chapter of Proverbs gives us some important advice: “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs” (10:12). When he says that love covers all wrongs, he does not mean that our love can cause forgiveness by God; he does mean that love can finally melt the heart of even a person who hates rebuke and abuses those who admonish her.

If you have taught your daughter the way of the Lord, maybe it is time to back off the questioning, the rebuking, and the censoring. Tell her you love her, no matter what. After all, God does. He loves her unconditionally. His is the love that must draw her to Him. Who better can show her God’s love than you, her parent? God does not even try to command her to come to Him before she loves Him; neither should you.

Does this mean you approve her chosen life-style? No more than God’s love means He approves of the choices we make – but He loves us in spite of our choices. Will her choices give you heartbreak? Yes, they will – as your letter indicates they already have. But it is your love for her that breaks your heart! If you did not love her, her choices would be distasteful – but they would not affect you so severely.

God, the heavenly Father, invites her to return to Him; he watches for her return; but He will not force her against her will. This is also how you, her earthly father, must be toward her. Remember the father in Jesus’ story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Do your best to emulate Him. I am sure you will make mistakes along the way. You will say things to her you later regret. Do not be afraid to apologize for your mistakes. Never apologize for the truth of God’s Word, but we all sometimes need to apologize for the way we present it – myself included.

I am sorry I cannot give you an answer that will make all of the hurt and pain go away. I have suffered similar pain as a rejected parent. Just remember that God’s love causes Him pain as well. Yet, without love how can there be joy?

I hope these few words will be of some comfort to you and give you some insights, small as they may be, into how to relate to your daughter. I have not addressed her lifestyle, for I sensed that your chief question was  “What can the family do?”

Do not listen to the negative judgment of the counselor who said, “the spirit is so strong she cannot pray it away.” (Whose spirit is meant here, any way? The counselor’s spirit? Your daughter’s spirit? Or some demon thought to be possessing your daughter?)

As you correctly observed, nothing is too hard for the Lord. So keep loving your daughter and praying to God. Take comfort in Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Yes, members of that church had been living the same life-style as your daughter – yet Paul says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” What changed them? It was God’s love and power in the gospel, His power to save all who believe.


2 Responses

  1. I’m certain someone more knowledge and wise than I have pointed out the following to you: The debate goes on about whether homosexuals are made or born. The Bible does not address this issue but it does address the homosexual activity just as it addresses heterosexual activity. Any sex outside marriage is sinful. Many have found they are willing and able to be “eunichs” for the sake of God. Perhaps this young woman could learn to direct her need for giving and loving to caring for less fortunate people, expecially children. Giving ones-self to God is not always easy but He is able to help, and He has the power to make changes in those who are willing to be changed. Loving, prayer, and patience is needed no matter what your children do outside of their “raising”.
    May God bring peace to this family.

    • As I understood the situation from the question, the girl is not willing to leave the sinful lifestyle she has chosen. JS

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