Justifying Love- Should Christian Parents Have to Defend Their Love for Their Transgender Child?


The worst possible experience in life is to lose a child. My heart is broken for the parents of Josh Alcorn, the transgendered youth who committed suicide last week. He left a note stating, “I have decided I’ve had enough,” not being able to reconcile living any longer with depression and disapproval of his transgender status by his parents. I am continually heartbroken for young people who get to such a place in life that they can no longer see a way to keep living.

Second to the tragedy of this young person taking his own life is the guilt his parents face, and will daily face, as they experience the blame from society for their son’s suicide.

I know little to nothing about daily life in this family, but I have experienced families in my professional work who are unable to get past a moral decision their child has made. Parents that are confused, self-blaming, angry, and desperate concerning their children’s actions can do harmful things. Hurt people cause hurt to other people. This is one of the hardest things to remember when helping others.

Parents unwittingly contribute to the despair their children feel at times. They still deserve the benefit of the doubt that they love their child and are doing what they feel is right. I have witnessed families in which the parents did not have their child’s best interest at heart, but this is largely not the case.

Carla and Don Alcorn are victims of the culture’s demand that love for someone requires complete and total acceptance of his or her choices and lifestyle. It’s a tragic and toxic lie.

Parents have a responsibility to instill values in their children. As a society, we are killing our kids by leaving it up to them to figure out right from wrong, good from evil. They are not equipped for that. I trust the Alcorn’s did so to the best of their ability. Sound spiritual counsel would have helped them walk alongside their son while maintaining the integrity of their values.

The one thing that seems to have been right was that these parents loved their son, which is exactly the thing that is in question by a culture that condones the transgender lifestyle to the fullest extent, at all costs.

The transgender and homosexual community have embraced Josh as their own and are raising a call to awareness and understanding for transgendered youths. Unfortunately, and in spite of the failings of counseling to “convert” homosexual and transgendered individuals, the message is that change is not possible and should not be sought.

It is completely false that change is impossible. The focus is on how it is impossible to change one’s sexuality. But that is not what is at issue. Conforming to the life of Jesus Christ is the issue.

Instead of telling young people to follow their feelings, how about we tell them to take their feelings to the Lord and see what He makes of them? Not prayer to change some imperfection (which we are are all plagued with in some form), but conversation with the One who is able to help us through every issue of life?

So a child losses his life trapped in a lie, and his parents will be the victims of a lie told by the same culture that told the first one- the lie that they couldn’t have loved their son without accepting him as a female.

I do hope the church world will wake up to the idea that Jesus can save people all by Himself, if we will just show Him to people in need, like Josh. We must wake up to the fact that we should assure parents that they have no reason to feel shame. They have every reason to pray for their sons and daughters until they are ready and willing to pray for themselves. And I hope all of us wake up and speak truth in a world full of lies that steal, kill, and destroy lives.

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2 thoughts on “Justifying Love- Should Christian Parents Have to Defend Their Love for Their Transgender Child?”

    1. Thanks, Sherry. I can’t say I’d do much differently than these parents, though hopefully I would keep in mind the spiritual nature of the issue, that it can’t be “fixed” with counseling. Loving parents do so many things out of desperation but calling their love into question isn’t right.

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