A Review of How Do You Like Me Now? When a Child, Parent, Spouse, or Sibling Says They're Gay
Because we live in an era when sexual guardrails are low and experimentation is high, more people than ever are likely to conclude that they're gay. This means more families than ever face the prospect of a loved one coming out to them as gay. How should they respond?
In Such Were Some of You, a film produced by David Kyle Foster of Mastering Life Ministries, 29 former homosexuals candidly shared their stories. They told how they were drawn into homosexuality, what the gay lifestyle was really like for them, and how they came to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and find restorative healing in him.
Now Foster has followed up Such Were Some of You with How Do You Like Me Now? When a Child, Parent, Spouse, or Sibling Says They're Gay. His goal with this film is to help families respond in biblically faithful, helpful ways when a loved one comes out as gay.
Joe Dallas, author of When Homosexuality Hits Home and himself a former homosexual, serves loosely as host, moderating the reflections of family members who've walked this unwanted journey. "Parents often scramble for an answer so that they can wrap their mind around the problem," he says. They may try to come up with the "right words" to say, or to apply logic, reason, or Scripture to change their son's or daughter's mind. As a general rule, these tactics will fall flat.
By the time a youth has decided to make this disclosure to Christian parents, he is probably well-equipped and prepared for predictable reactions. Dallas says it's more advisable for parents first to fully listen—to make it clear that even though their position on the matter is different, they really do want to hear what their son or daughter has to say—what he has experienced, how he feels, what he thinks. Inside, the teen is likely asking, "Will Mom and Dad accept me as I am, or will they reject me?", and the matter often becomes a test of the strength of the relationship. It's best if parents affirm their love for their child and make it a high priority to maintain the relationship.
Although it will be difficult, this approach can be taken without surrendering the scriptural perspective on homosexuality. People are often told that if they don't embrace the homosexuality, then they don't love the person, but this is false. Maturity in relationships requires accepting that there will be disagreements. There may be stages of shock, denial, and anger, but a guiding question should be, "How are we going to sustain our relationship despite this new difference between us?"
A similar approach applies to other relationships. Steve told his brother Jerry he didn't understand same-sex attraction, "but we're just gonna be brothers." They continued to just "be brothers" until Jerry died from AIDS, and Steve is grateful they had the intact relationship when Jerry got sick. The dynamics will understandably be more complex when it comes to a spouse or a parent, but How Do You Like Me Now? offers sound, biblical counsel for those situations as well.
Outcomes will never be guaranteed, Dallas says, but we can know that it is God who heals and restores. He is the one who invented families, and all our hopes and dreams for our loved ones must be surrendered to him. Given our rapidly shifting culture, How Do You Like Me Now? is highly recommended viewing for everyone. •Terrell Clemmons is a freelance writer and blogger on apologetics and matters of faith. This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #38, fall 2016 Copyright © 2019 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo38/when-homosexuality-comes-home