Dear Sue Ellen,
My daughter just opened up to me about liking girls. I was shocked but grateful that she trusts me. I’m worried about her getting bullied at school and church because she’s pretty active and involved in both. I’m mostly worried more about other adults telling her things that will hurt her feelings. The last thing I want is for her to lose faith because of intolerance and insensitivity from other Christians. What should I do? I want to protect her forever. I know I can’t but I still try? She’s my first born child and only daughter.
In America we have the right to pursue happiness. That means we have the right to our opinions, our religious beliefs and to choose our gender. With that kind of freedom, we also run into controversies. With all the decisions we make, there are consequences. Some consequences are good but some are bad. Even when we make choices that feel right and make us happy we still may be faced with conflicts. It’s called life.
If you go to a church that can’t love your daughter because of who she is, then you need to go to another church. We are all a work in progress and sometimes church folk forget that. It is a sad commentary on churches.
Have you ever noticed in nature how birds will push their babies out of the nest and they either fly away or fall to the ground and die? It is your job as a parent to prepare your daughter for the moment she flies away. You cannot protect her forever, but you can, and must, love your daughter forever, no matter what decisions she makes in her life. When she falls, be there to love her through it; when she achieves great successes, be there to celebrate it. We can only be the master of our own lives. It isn’t healthy for you to think you will forever be in control of your daughter’s destiny. Love, let go.
– Sue Ellen