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What I Want My Children To Know

There’s been so much discussion and argument and anger on the Internet this week, discussions which I’ve been unable to keep myself from joining. And the only thing I can think about–the thing that makes me speak up–is how much I love my children.

Love is what this all keeps coming back to for me.

Love is not an if-then statement. If love is conditional, then it isn’t love.

I don’t often talk about God or religion or my personal beliefs because they’re just that to me. Personal. But suffice it to say that I fell out of favor with the fundamentalist beliefs by which I was raised a long time ago. I saw far too much judgment and condemnation coming out of the church and not enough love. I still see it, and right now I’m seeing it with renewed fervor and all it’s doing is solidifying my belief that I made the right choice when I decided that particular denomination was no longer one with which I wanted to be associated.

All of this “hate the sin, love the sinner” that I see flying around is judgment, pure and simple. It’s not discernment, as some people want to call it. It’s not looking at the actions or choices of another and saying “that is not for me.” It’s looking at those actions and choices and saying “I am better than you because I do not do that.” 

That’s not showing love, people. At all. And for the record, it’s probably not winning you any new converts or bringing people like me back to the fold, either.

Growing up I carried this intense belief that to disappoint my mother would be the worst thing I could ever possibly do, despite the fact that she never did anything to make me believe that her love was conditional. But still, I sought her approval and before I made any decision, I thought “what would my mother think of me?” I’m 31 years old and I still have a hard time not thinking that.

But I wasn’t gay. I’m not gay. So I never had to worry about that particular brand of “disappointment” and what might happen to our relationship.

And now I’m a parent. I’m on the other side of this now. And I see so many parents who love their children but still hold this “love the sinner, hate the sin” belief and I just can’t see how that exists in the role of being a parent. I can’t rationalize it in my mind or my heart. It doesn’t make sense to me.

So in the midst of all of these conversations swirling about in cyberspace and in grocery store check-out lines and probably pulpits across America this morning, all I can think about are the children of parents who hold beliefs such as those. How very alienating it must feel to believe that love is conditional upon being straight.

Love isn’t love if there’s an “as long as…” attached. It just isn’t. 

Will my children disappoint me in their lives? Probably. They will make choices I wish they hadn’t made and that will disappoint me. But this isn’t really their choices I’m talking about.

I will never be disappointed because of who they are. I will never love them less or differently. I will never make them feel like they can’t be 100% themselves for fear that I’ll disapprove or that the way I feel about them will change.

I know as surely as I know my own name that there is nothing my children could ever do or be that would stop or change my love for them. Nothing. At all. Ever.

For the rest of my life and theirs, I will love them with every drop of blood in my body and every fiber of my being. To stop loving them would be to stop loving myself because they are part of me. Tiny little people that I grew and nurtured and when I look at them I see every single good thing in this world radiating from their faces.

What I want my children to know, more than I want them to know anything else, is that I love them. Full stop. Forever. No matter what.

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Tuesday 24th of December 2013

This was beautiful. I was so very lucky to have a mom(whom I was so happy for you to finally meet, weeks ago), that like you, loves her children(my brother and I) so unconditionally. I can't imagine being any closer to my mother than I am. The world would be that much better if it were raised by mothers like you, and my own.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

You should know of all people, that stopping loving someone because of how they choose to live, is not about belief. I am openly admitting that I have acquaintances that were of the gay, lesbian community. Did that make me love them less? NO. I just think sometimes that those that choose their lifestyle don't know who they are, therefore contributing to their attempt to end their lives, just as one we know is not for me to judge in any way how one should or choose to live. LOVE CONQUERS ALL THINGS! I've loved and let live, those that are different from me and how I believe. I want you to know this and anyone else that is reading.. I WOULD NEVER TURN MY BACK ON ANY OF MY CHILDREN NO MATTER WHAT! My love for them, (you) is greater than any right or wrong in society.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

I think the one you're talking about is a very special case, and I wonder how her life might have turned out differently had she not spent so many years estranged because of his disappointment/refusal to accept/stubbornness. I also don't think it's a lifestyle so much as it's just a life. I don't think it's a choice. (I realize that's not your belief, and I'm okay with that. I'm not trying to change that in stating it here. I'm just saying it for anyone else who happens to read. I don't think being gay or transgendered is a choice people make.)

And I know YOU would never turn your back on us. But, as we've seen in our own family, it happens.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

As I stand here reading All of these post, I shake my head. But before you judge me, let me say this as I stated in an earlier conversation with a dear friend of mine whom is gay. First of all, it is not up to me to judge ANYONE! Gods word tells US ( you and me) to work out our OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling! That's the word people. Do we as individuals agree with everything someone thinks? No, but we must let God judge those that we disagree with. I tried to always teach my daughter to disagree, but disagree, with respect to your elders. That is where this comes in, your sin is not my sin and my sin is not your sin, sin is sin in Gods eyes, but not your sin for me nor my sin for you. God is the judge! Hallelujah, I'm not the judge.....I wouldn't be fair. Thanking God for loving me unconditionally.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

You know, I think the work out our own salvation thing is the kicker. At least for me.

But this post in particular isn't about who's sinning and who's judging. Not really.

I just...I think about what would have happened to our relationship if I were gay, and I think about the kids I've known whose parents have disowned them at 16 years old for being gay. Kids who've tried to commit suicide because their own parents stopped loving them because of who they were, and in my heart I can't imagine that. I can't ever imagine that as a parent, that there could be any part of my kids that would make me stop loving them.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

I love you even more now. How is that possible?


Monday 23rd of December 2013

<3 to you, Susan!


Sunday 22nd of December 2013

This blog post was beautiful! You have said so much of what has been on my mind this week. The judgement is what led me to stop considering myself a Christian, and I will not be heading back any time soon. This is so hard, as my mom recently got baptized as a born-again Christian, and I already see how it is changing her.

Like you, I only want my children to know that they are loved and accepted, no matter what. We can play with semantics all day, but the "hate the sin, love the sinner" comment will always tell the sinner that he is, in the end, hated to some degree.

Thank you for writing such a courageous and real blog post!


Monday 23rd of December 2013

Thank you for the compliment. Yes, that phrase still implies hate, and there's just no room for that in parenting or in life.

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