I have a cousin that is living with her partner and has children (another topic). I am strongly against this behavior, but love my cousin. We grew up together. My cousin knows my feelings on the subject and doesn’t try to change my views. I also have children. We don’t see her much because we live in different states, but when we would visit other family members, she would be there. My children only knew of her partner as her “friend.” As my oldest got older, she was able to figure it out. She asked me about it and I was honest. I did explain that it was wrong and why it is wrong. She agreed with me.
However, to answer your concerns:
God does tell us to love. His Son IS/WAS a true christian example of being with sinners all of the time. Hello, we are all sinners!!! Yes, you should stay friends with them. That doesn’t mean you have to approve of their behavior or be with them in a conflicting situation. Remember to cast the stone if you have not sinned. My point is…being around the gay friend/sister/brother or whoever does not mean you approve of the lifestyle… It doesn’t mean to shut off the ties either. If that was the case, we would all be alone right now, in isolation.
The situations should be monitored when it comes to your children, though. If you are at a family gathering and you know their intentions (not having a party to promote the lifestyle), then it may be ok to have your children around. Communication is a great tool. If you explain to your sister/friend your feelings and they care about you too, they will honor your wishes (i.e. not showing sexual affection around you or family or discussing their relationship). I would communicate this to my heterosexual friends/family members too. If you are not sure of the intentions, then maybe you should not attend or visit on such an occassion.
We should not feel guilty being a true christian by being friends with any sinner. It doesn’t mean you are delighting in their sin. You are showing brotherly love. If any situation makes you feel uncomfortable, then you could limit your visits and stay strong through other communications.
It seems that many people may say “stay away from them or cut ties.” That says to me, “you are weak and you will turn away from God” or “You will become confused and change your beliefs.” God also says that it doesn’t matter what goes inside you, it is what comes out of you that makes you corrupt (don’t quote me for exact, but you get the idea).
I hope I didn’t babble, but I had to really dig into my heart with my cousin. She actually sought out my approval and never received it. I know this hurt her so, but I am confident in my beliefs. I did assure her that I loved her and I always will.