Recently a Christian woman spoke to me about her grief over her son’s choice of the homosexual life. What could I say to comfort and encourage her? Several days later I read the cry of another mother in the same predicament. It was posted on former-lesbian Charlene E. Cothran’s website, www.venusmagazine.org , and was followed by some sweet, wise words of counsel from Charlene herself. I wish I had read this exchange before that Christian mother spoke to me. I publish it now for her, and for any other Christian mother or father who knows the hurt of a child caught up in homosexuality.
The mother’s account
My son was struggling with how to tell us he was gay. He had become distant and unhappy. On the way home from a weekend trip I asked him what was bothering him. I could tell he wanted to talk but then didn’t, so I told him what I thought it was, his sexuality. That opened up the door for him to talk and I could tell he was relieved to have his secret out in the open.
He grew up as a Christian and recommitted his childhood commitment as an adult. He has prayed countless nights God would remove these desires, but He didn’t. Now, Charlene, he is in New York City and has decided if his sexuality is normal and not a sin, then God’s word has to be flawed. He told me on our last trip in an Astoria restaurant that he didn’t think Jesus was the way.
I know this is caused by his need to reconcile the way he feels with the truth he had known all of his life. I pray every day God will change his heart. I don’t know what to do as a mother. I feel a tremendous need to protect my son, but I don’t know how. He’s not a little boy any longer and he lives in a world where everything wrong is now right.
I first heard about you and your magazine when I was sitting in a Sunday School room on a Tuesday afternoon going through a bible study about David. We were watching a video led by Priscilla Shirer and she told us about your story. My heart immediately thought there is hope. Please help me. Tell me what to do, what to say. Do you have any contacts in the New York area that could help him? If I were just talking about a lifestyle that would cause my son pain I could deal with the consequences of his decision, but now I feel I am talking about his soul.
My heart is broken. Please pray about this. If God is not leading you to help then it wouldn’t be the right thing if you did, but God has impressed on my heart to send this email. Please help if you can.
I received your letter this morning and feel the pain you are carrying. I want to share a word of encouragement with you. It is no accident that you came upon my story. God is saying to you to rest in Him. Hope is present, even in this very moment. Know that God is in control of the situation. My own mother nearly gave up all hope as she looked at me for the last time and said, ‘I don’t believe I will ever see you again.’ That [was] the last time I saw her alive. But God answered her prayers even after she had gone to heaven. I now stand as the evidence that a mother’s prayers are precious to God. God is telling me to let you know He hears you and your son cannot escape the loving protection of our God even as he strays. He will return to the cross of Jesus Christ and proclaim that Jesus is the one and only true and living God. We will pray that this happens sooner rather than later.
You mentioned that your son prayed for God to take the gay [desires] away but He didn’t. This is an error in understanding how God operates. We must submit ourselves to His Word. Once we’re done praying, we must do the Word of God. The Word living in us is what makes change happen. The prayer for complete repentance is heard instantly because that person is giving their complete selves over to God for His use. That’s what happened in me. I was instantly delivered. I was not praying for God [to] simply remove the lesbianism (so that I could then go on with my sinful ways, but now doing it with men). Do you understand? I prayed for God to forgive me of all my sins and promised Him that I would serve Him completely, no sex with anyone outside of marriage. I submit my every thought to Him. The enemy of my soul would try to tear apart my testimony if he could but I daily cast down every thought unlike God. If your son had not made that level of commitment, how could he expect to see change from God? Obedience brings change. Not just prayer.
What I want to say to you is keep loving your son. Keep in close contact with him. This is going to be somewhat painful for you because your son will want to share all kinds of new experiences with you, hoping for you to be happy for him. It’s perfectly OK for you to let him know that you love him, however you cannot support his choices. Be kind and loving to his friends. They may never have met anyone who is a true believer. God will use you in the most unexpected ways to minister to them at times. Then one day, when God has prepared the ground of his heart, your son will hear the voice of Lord say “come home my son.” Until then, we will keep him covered in prayer. Pray Psalm 91 that God will protect your son while he wanders.
As far as help in New York, I no longer refer to psychological agencies offering reparative therapy. I believe that a person must make Jesus their LORD in order for change to happen. Then once Christ has been firmly established, therapy is a wonderful addition to a Christian’s walk, but it should never take 1st place or centre stage in the life of a believer or anyone’s life for that matter. What I would look for is support for yourself in a parent group in [your area]. Many parents have experienced the same and are willing to share with you in a group setting. If you can’t find one, start one. …
Note: Charlene E. Cothranis an African-American woman who proudly lived and advocated a lesbian lifestyle for 29 years before becoming a Christian several years ago. An edited version of her testimony, “Ways to get out of the gay life”, was published in the last issue of Life News and may be read on the Life Ministries website.