Have you ever been sucker punched?
A sucker punch is a devastating blow that comes totally unexpected to the recipient. It leaves them reeling, dazed and confused.
Many parents have experienced the “sucker punch” from their children; not physically, but emotionally. For instance, your child approaches you and asks if they can talk to you about something. The seriousness of their demeanor sends up red flags and you’re suddenly feeling a flock of butterflies stirring in your gut. Then the blow is landed, “Mom and Dad, I think I am gay”. All at once the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. What do you do? What do you say? How do you react? Will your response be giving into the urge to throw a sucker punch back at your child or will you pause, measure your words and look to God for wisdom?
We have learned from personal experience that the way parents respond to their loved ones in times like these, and in the journey that is sure to follow is paramount. It is crucial in maintaining the relationship you have with them, and in supporting them through the path they will have to take in finding their way back from areas of darkness they may have drifted into. An important thing to remember is that the Father God loves your child even more that you do and that He has a perfect plan for them. The gifts and callings that were placed in them are still there and we need to keep our eyes planted on the end result and not on the current circumstances.
Even though this news dealt a devastating blow to your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, you cannot allow yourself to remain on the ground. You must get up, dust yourself off and seek God like never before. Your child may have been dealing with these feelings for years so expecting a ‘quick fix’ might be unreasonable. So: get wisdom, walk in love, and at the same time, never compromise the truth of God’s Word.
One thing that we will want to convey to our children is that we will always love them and that we will never give up on them. Chances are that they may be harboring feelings of guilt and shame and even regret for disappointing the ones they love. It is important for them to receive the message that where they are at this particular time and place is not where they need to stay. They have not wandered too far away from where they once were and the road back is not an impossible one. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening)”.
We want to leave you with these words from Casting Crowns’ song, Just Be Held:
Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find ME
And where you are I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place.
By Tim and Janet Distel