Three months ago our 17-year-old son Gray shared with the family that he is gay and does not hold to our Christian faith. As you can imagine, being a very close Christ-centered family (and also being a pastor), this presented all of us with a new set of realities. As parents and siblings we needed to wrestle with, “How do we honor the beliefs of our faith while also investing in our son and brother whom we deeply love?” And for our son, he needed to discover, “How do I maintain a sense of connection to a family that I deeply love while no longer sharing their faith culture?”
So far we have not solved all those realities, but by God’s grace, we are seeking to do so as a family, and directly from the context of our biblical faith. In light of this, I have dedicated the next four weeks of “The Everyday Missionary Podcast” to sharing how we are seeking to go about this. Pt. 1 will be about the big picture. Pt. 2 will traverse our life with Gray from 12-17 years old. Pt. 3 will be about life since he came out three months ago. The final episode will be an interview with Gray and myself where we discuss the challenges and realities of coming out to your Christian family while still living in the home.
I don’t presume that everyone will agree with everything we share. Nor do I believe I have managed to share everything as clearly as I would like. Yet, our heart is to share our story with others so that perhaps others can learn to better navigate these types of moments “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Part 1: I’m A Pastor And My Son Is Gay, Now What?
3 thoughts on “I’m A Pastor And My Son Is Gay, Now What? Pt.1”
Matt, I’d just like to say as a gay atheist who also broke the news to my family and stopped going to church at age 17 that this post brought me to tears. The compassion, love, maturity, care, and acceptance with which you’re handling this tricky situation is so inspiring. I was socially ostracized from my evangelical community because of these things I couldn’t even control (no matter how much I tried to fight/block/deny them)—but perhaps things could have been different if I’d grown up in a church under your leadership, a true Christ-centered one where people actually try to love unconditionally, rather than pass judgment on others and distance themselves like the Pharisees did. The world needs people like you!
Finally, I wish your family nothing but the best as you work through this difficult time.
Thank you Luke, but its been a journey in which I didn’t handle everything as well as I wish I would have (that’s Pt. 2 & Pt.3) and needed to ask for my son’s forgiveness. My hope is that we as Christians can do much better. Also, I have forwarded your comment to my son who I’m interviewing in Pt. 4. We are both excited to share our story so as to encourage others.