Dealing with the Gay family member at Christmas


#1

My wife and I are dealing with a child (22) who has been a professed homosexual for about four years. We have always loved them and supported them as a person and been respectful toward their significant other when they came in to our home. They know what our feelings about it but this year will be different in that they want to visit for the Christmas holiday period and want to stay in their own room as a regular “couple”. There are already tears flowing and some pretty bitter statements made about how I look at this and even though I have reiterated our love for our child there are some very hurt feelings on their part. Now we are not sure they will even come as it was asked that they have seperate rooms while here since we do not “approve” of this lifestyle. We have told them it is their choice and they must deal with God on that issue and we pray for them constantly. Now the old issues are thrown back at us about Christians and their hypocritical lives , divorce, etc etc. As we have told them , we are constantly trying to become better Christians and followers of Christ and it is an ongoing pursuit but this doesnt seem to even phase the issue with them. So , we do not know what to do. Try and keep our connection with this child by accepting this condition or do we stand our ground on our principles and risk losing them forever. There are few other Christian influences in their lives and I am worried . Any suggestions ? Even our pastor has been confused on what the best course of action is.


#2

First, it's your home and you and your wife get to lay down the rules about ANY two people - gay or straight - who are unmarried and wanting to share a room as a couple. If someone has an issue with that, I'm sure there are nice hotels nearby that they could go to, right? ;)

Second, just continue to love and pray for this child. If he/she is having an issue with your beliefs, that is THEIR issue, not yours. You are not doing anything wrong by standing by your beliefs. Just continue to let this child know how much you love them no matter what, and that it's a shame they cannot see or accept that for what it is, but the bottom line is that it's your home and they need to be respectful when they are in it. I know it's a tough situation. :(

I will pray for all involved!


#3

First, welcome to the Forums. I admire non-Catholics who come here seeking views that may help determine what to do.

Second, As a father and grandfather -oldest GK is 19 - I can appreciate the quandry you are in trying to adhere to the standards of our shared Christain Faith and STILL provide the love and support our children need no matter how old they are.

When our daughters were in their early teens some 30 years ago and rightly wanting to exercise more control over the decisions they wanted to make, I set a standard. I told them they already knew what I allowed IN MY HOUSE and what I did not allow. No offensive language, clothes, or music (my house, my call). No drugs. No boyfriend sleepovers.

I also told them that when they became adults they were free to do as they pleased, just NOT IN MY HOUSE. Nor should they expect me to approve behavior I reject. I told them I would always love them, but, if they were acting in ways that I could not approve, such behavior would not be welcomed in my house.

It is one thing for our children to invite friends to dinner. It is quite another for them to expect us to allow behaviors or debates in our house that we cannot accept. The Commmandment is “Honor thy father and mother.” Adult children are not free to insult their parents in their parent’s house.

Fortunately, neither of our daughters had issues that presented a challenge. I would like to think that had they challenged me, that I would have stood by my standards and found ways to love them without in any way compromising my Christain values.

Sometimes we are called to tough love. We are always called to pray for their well being. Their ultimate well being is eternity in Heaven.


#4

[quote="Bassmanjr1, post:1, topic:306449"]
My wife and I are dealing with a child (22) who has been a professed homosexual for about four years. We have always loved them and supported them as a person and been respectful toward their significant other when they came in to our home. They know what our feelings about it but this year will be different in that they want to visit for the Christmas holiday period and want to stay in their own room as a regular "couple". There are already tears flowing and some pretty bitter statements made about how I look at this and even though I have reiterated our love for our child there are some very hurt feelings on their part. Now we are not sure they will even come as it was asked that they have seperate rooms while here since we do not "approve" of this lifestyle. We have told them it is their choice and they must deal with God on that issue and we pray for them constantly. Now the old issues are thrown back at us about Christians and their hypocritical lives , divorce, etc etc. As we have told them , we are constantly trying to become better Christians and followers of Christ and it is an ongoing pursuit but this doesnt seem to even phase the issue with them. So , we do not know what to do. Try and keep our connection with this child by accepting this condition or do we stand our ground on our principles and risk losing them forever. There are few other Christian influences in their lives and I am worried . Any suggestions ? Even our pastor has been confused on what the best course of action is.

[/quote]

This is, as always, a very hard situation to handle. This is one tack you could take.

You could start out by telling them that you have always been (fill in the blank for your denomination) and you have always had a set of core beliefs. Say that this has never changed, but just the same your love for your children has never changed.

Then you need to tell them that even though you love them dearly, you can't let their change -- that is, their change to become homosexual -- to push aside the religion you have always known and loved. Ask them, in respect for you and your beliefs that you have always held, to just abstain for the time they are staying with you for your own peace of mind.

By doing this you will be taking the focus off of them and their homosexuality and put it on you and *your *religion. This way they will know that you are making this decision not based on discrimination but because of your religious belief.


#5

I, for one, applaud how you’ve handled it thus far. If I were ever in your situation I’d hope to handle it as you have.
That being said, it seems to me you ought expect a little “give” on your son’s part. Seems like there’s been a lot of one-sided tolerance, coming from your side.


#6

Dittos to the posts of Delaine and GratefulFred.

Motel rooms are reasonably priced. I can usually find one for around $49. This young person does have a job/income, right?


#7

[quote="Bassmanjr1, post:1, topic:306449"]
My wife and I are dealing with a child (22) who has been a professed homosexual for about four years. We have always loved them and supported them as a person and been respectful toward their significant other when they came in to our home. They know what our feelings about it but this year will be different in that they want to visit for the Christmas holiday period and want to stay in their own room as a regular "couple". There are already tears flowing and some pretty bitter statements made about how I look at this and even though I have reiterated our love for our child there are some very hurt feelings on their part. Now we are not sure they will even come as it was asked that they have seperate rooms while here since we do not "approve" of this lifestyle. We have told them it is their choice and they must deal with God on that issue and we pray for them constantly. Now the old issues are thrown back at us about Christians and their hypocritical lives , divorce, etc etc. As we have told them , we are constantly trying to become better Christians and followers of Christ and it is an ongoing pursuit but this doesnt seem to even phase the issue with them. So , we do not know what to do. Try and keep our connection with this child by accepting this condition or do we stand our ground on our principles and risk losing them forever. There are few other Christian influences in their lives and I am worried . Any suggestions ? Even our pastor has been confused on what the best course of action is.

[/quote]

Recognizing our own imperfections is good. Nobody leads a perfect life. Even the Pope goes to Confession. Yes, Christians in general have become more like the world, especially at it regards disordered sexual practices - gay or straight.

Being lumped into the 'you're just like your fellow Christian hypocrites' or 'most Christians are hypocrites' ignores you and your wife as individual Christians. It also ignores the fact that whatever denomination you are, it took a long, gradual and carefully laid plan to convince Christians that sex was more important than listening to what the Bible tells us. So many things gradually became "legal" and millions of dollars were spent to make sure graphic pornography and disrespect for the church became today's 'standards.'

Imagine mothers and fathers in the 1970s trying to convince their Hippie, "We Got Freedom" kids to stop living in sin, and being told: "We're grown adults and we'll do what we want." Then imagine "No-Fault Divorce" in the 1980s. I actually saw a number of ads that read: "No kids? $75 and you're out. Call 800-DIVORCE."

This was all part of a gradual chipping away of our Christian values which we should uphold.

So parents began to give up. They decided not to force their children, but they prayed for them. And I pray that the day comes when modesty, chastity and self-control return as it was a lot more common in the past. No, not perfect, but a lot better.

I can't tell you what to do. However, a gay couple that knows you believe this to be wrong should understand your right to hold your view and limit what they can do in your house.

Too many gay men have been brainwashed to believe that "hate" is all that motivates those who oppose the way they want to live. Souls are at stake, and, once again, no one is perfect, but that should stop none of us from doing what God tells us to do, even if we sometimes fail. For Catholics, we should not be enablers in all this, or, as in your case, stand your ground and limit things. This is not a one-way street issue.

Hope this helps,
Ed


#8

It’s called, “respect for your parents.” Your adult child needs a thump on the head for making this about something else - and accuse you of being hateful. That’s some nerve. Maybe the partner will actually remind your child that it’s amazingly disrespectful to demand something that goes against the host’s religious beliefs when staying in the home. We can hope that’s the case. If not, oh, well. You are not in the wrong to draw a line.

I like the previous poster’s idea to make it about your religion and not their partnership.

:thumbsup:


#9

I agree. This is the best way to handle the situation. The key is consistency. If you would allow an unmarried straight couple to share a room, then it you are setting up a double standard that is hard to defend against the gay couple.


#10

Yes I agree with all that has been said , good advice - if it doesn’t work I would let them stay I the same room and trust them that no funny business is going on and say that you trust them and although you don’t approve of their lifestyle ou are giving them the opportunity to show that you respect their views and they respect your home ?


#11

[quote="coachdennis, post:9, topic:306449"]
I agree. This is the best way to handle the situation. The key is consistency. If you would allow an unmarried straight couple to share a room, then it you are setting up a double standard that is hard to defend against the gay couple.

[/quote]

And that's the key. If the standard is the same for all, then there is no "hate", it's just the rules.


#12

What I would say has already been said. I just want to give you encouragement and strength. By holding to your convictions “I love you but this is my house and my faith”, you are demonstrating a Christian who is not like those they list (divorce etc). Keep your faith and your love for your children.

PAX


#13

Hmmm, I see a potential problem here though with some of the responses. It seems as if the focus here is on an unmarried couple sharing a room. But while this is true, consider this-if they were to get married, would it suddenly become okay to share a room?

Being in a relationship that is a mockery of marriage and sleeping together is actually worse. But if you tell them that the problem is them being an unmarried couple, you'll have a lot of explaining to do when you have to explain that the REAL problem is that they're a homosexual couple.

I think it might be a good idea if you make it clear that them being a homosexual couple is your issue-deal with this particular issue now instead of having it cause problems later.


#14

You can visit the Courage Apostolate for help for gays and their relatives from a Catholic perspective. Their website is : couragerc.net/


#15

who refers to a family member as “the”


#16

I agree with your decision 100%. It’s hard to do, but necessary. You can’t condone their sexual conduct, or you’re condoning sinning.


#17

I’m just going to copy and paste my answer from a similar thread that is currently active in the Family Life section. Not all of it is applicable to you because you and your wife seem to be on the same page, but it addresses a lot that I don’t feel like retyping. Here it is:

  1. Trying to dictate to your wife the kind of relationship that you guys will have with her daughter and her daughter’s partner is brutish. That is her daughter and she has the most invested in this, so you really need to start listening to her and considering her feelings more than you need to worry about a ‘slippery slope’.

  2. I agree with everyone else, they should get a hotel room. I actually think that adult children should always get a hotel room when they visit though (when they are out of college and really on their own). Adults need space and privacy and visits usually go a lot smoother if everyone has their own corners to retreat to at the end of a long day. (And no one wants 8 people sharing 1 bathroom!)

  3. You and your wife are going to need to go to counseling to make sure that communication is good between you and that you are both emotionally ready for any fallouts that could occur. It is a very real possibility that while she may agree to sleep in separate rooms or not show any affection that she will over time find people that do fully accept her and the family that she wants to build and drift away from you and your wife. That’s normal.

Think of it this way. When my fiance and I visit his parents we get a hotel room. They don’t want us to sleep in the same room and they try to keep us from being alone together at all, so most of our important conversations at their place happen via text because we get no privacy. We’ve been living together for quite some time now, but we humor this because his family is sweet and we know that in a couple of months when we are married they will stop trying to make it clear to us that our relationship doesn’t completely count and start recognizing that we are every bit as much of a family as they are. But lets say that for some reason there wasn’t a way that we could get them to acknowledge that our relationship was real and that we were starting a family. Even if we didn’t hold any anger or resentment over their attitudes there is a good chance that over time we would start spending more and more time with my family, we might start doing holidays with close friends instead of traveling to see them, our kids would be far closer to my parents and siblings than his. (If they were around his family much at all. I probably wouldn’t have my kids around people who didn’t regard us as a real and complete family). These are things that you and your wife need to be ready for. And you need to be ready for the fact that when she looks ahead and sees the possibility that she may not have the relationship with her future grandkids that she had hoped for, she may fight you harder.


#18

Do you really want to spend Christmas bickering with your family and risk losing your child forever?

Yesterday, my family and I laid to rest our Grandma, we are all cradle Catholics, even though some have drifted away from the Church and now call themselves Atheist, including one of my brother’s and i’m a Catholic revert. My brother and I don’t see eye to eye on pretty much anything when it comes to religion or politics, but you know what, we put our differences aside and we had a blast together.

Said brother and I prepared Thanksgiving Day dinner for my family so that my Mom wouldn’t have to worry about it as our Grandma passed away in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving (this was already planned ahead of time to give my Mom a break). We laughed, we joked and both put our livers on life support with the beer we consumed :stuck_out_tongue:

My point is, in a matter of weeks, it’s going to be Christmas, cann’t you put your differences aside,and enjoy each other’s company?

That’s what makes it fun! I come from a large family and my Mom & Step-dad would be disappointed and hurt if myself or any of my siblings and their spouse & kids decided to go off and get a hotel room when we are all home. Sure it makes it hard to find a place to sleep, but give me a pillow, blanket, and a recliner and i’m good :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

If possible, emphasize over and over and over how much you love your child.

Stand firm. If you don’t care more for your child’s immortal soul than their earthly joy, what kind of parent are you.


#20

The church does not really view homosexuality as a sin or anything bad anymore, so as long as they are not married then it is not a problem. Marriage between two men (or women) is what the church really frowns upon.


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