Many years from now, do you want your child to respect you? Do you want them to cherish your words and wisdom? I hope you do.
I challenge parents to imagine their relationship with their child on a timeline.
Let’s imagine you are 50 years old and your newly-out child is 25. With advances in medicine, it’s not unrealistic to imagine that you could live ‘til 100. That means you have 50 more years of relationship with your child. 50 years!
Sadly, many parents will sacrifice the next 50 years of relationship for the short-term, compulsive need to fix their child, shame their child, or reject their child so as to “let them know where we stand.” This is a disastrous mistake.
I have gay friends in their 30s who are completely estranged from their Christian parents because of how their parents reacted to their teenage coming-out conversation. What a tragedy! This is why this principle matters so much.
I plead with parents to take a long-term relational perspective. They do that by de-escalating emotional conversations, working to find common ground, and being insanely committed to loving their children, no matter what. I want parents to have a healthy, thriving 50-year relationship with their child, so that they can maintain respect with their child. This should be the goal of every Christian parent, regardless of their theology.
Work to preserve a long-term relationship with your child.
Register here for the Parent Summit happening in Atlanta next month!