Where do I begin - it's so difficult

To be honest with you, the more I think about this issue, the more hypocritical I feel. My own family unit is a traditional one: mum, dad and two childen. My children are three and six and conversations about the spiritual self occur but certainly not yet about the sexual self. We've got a few good years before we'll cover these things. Now, I know God doesn't separate the body as we do and so I hope I'll bear this in mind when those big questions do come our way.

Since reflecting on all these issues, I have to say though that even though conversations of this nature have not begun in my family yet, my husband and I are probably implicitly teaching a certain line on issues of human sexuality without perhaps realising it. It is quite normal at our children's ages for them to play-act marriage and at six years old have a first crush or at least tell of having a boyfriend for all that that means. Our girls have each gone through phases of saying things like 'I'm going to marry mummy' or 'I'm going to marry daddy' or 'I'm going to marry (name of friend of same gender)', and I have to say our response is to say - 'but you can't marry - each of the above, you have to marry a man and only when you're a grown-up'. We say these things with smiles and a gentle voice and of course don't stop them from play-acting their marriage ceremonies as they see fit.

What does this mean - am I choosing to bring them up with a traditional view of marriage?
Am I therefore disapproving of same-sex relationships - is this because I'm a Christian or just because I'm a mum or what?
Am I protective of my children or more prejudiced than I care to admit. You see I think I'm all for inclusivity and yet I don't want to have to deal with my children's questions if they see two women or two men kissing. What do I say? How do I explain it? I want them to accept people and yet...
I guess i'm just not ready to explain the sexual self whether homosexual or heterosexual yet to my children. It is enough that when a man and a lady love each other, God gives them a baby, at the moment. Perhaps that is all it is about. Perhaps when we do have these discussions with our future teenagers or pre-teenagers we will be able to explain that not everyone chooses to love and live and express themselves sexually with someone of the opposite gender.

In some ways, if it is discovered that there is indeed a gay gene, it will somehow help people like me in our explanations to our children about how diversity comes about. If expressing yourself as a gay person sexually is a choice, then perhaps it is not very different from expressing yourself sexually outside of marriage or with more than one person - it sits outside of the original Adam and Eve ideal wherein the whole earth could become populated. Even as I'm writing this I don't know if I'll reflect back on these musings and despair or want to revise them straight away.

As far as the Church goes in its use of a gay Bishop to proclaim the word of God, I still fail to see why God would not want to use a gay person to take His message to the world. This is, after all, the same God who chose loud-mothed Peter, less than perfect Noah, a young Jewish girl to bear the Christ, Esther of the King's harem a deliverer of the Jewish people. You see, if we are mere vessels, carrying that beautiful message, we are to see the contents and not dwell on the ugliness of the vessel that carries the message, for we all fall short of the glory of God.

The heckler at the Putney sermon surely has to understand the hugeness of the plank in his own eye and work on that before he can remove the splinters from Gene Robinson's.


madeline bassett said...

I have many gay friends. A story I hear from a lot of them is that when they finally plucked up the courage to tell their parents that they were gay, the parents said,'Oh, we've known for ages. Thank you for telling us.It's so nice to be able to share it.' If one of your girls turns out to love someone of the same sex, I'm sure she will find loving, supportive, welcoming parents.

Anonymous said...

Your own children will not "choose" their sexuality. When did you choose yours? One or both may realise they are gay or straight. That is not a question of lifestyle but an awakening of who one is.

Rachel said...

Yes, Madeline, I'm certainly sure that would be the case, which just goes to show you - the relationship between a parent and a child is based on unconditional love, so how much more perfectly our heavenly father must love us - gay or straight - his highly imperfect children - How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Love Rachel

Rachel said...

Don't you ever think it's a choice David. When I was at university, there was a girl who lived in my hall of residence, who had a boyfriend but chose to kiss full on and publicly a friend of hers who was the same gender. I'm not sure how the story ended but the last I heard she was with the chap rather than the girl. She chose to express herself in this way but was actually heterosexual,

Anonymous said...

If it's a simple choice then YOU must have made the decision to marry a man rather than choose to be a lesbian. When did you choose?
Being gay or straight is not related to any one physical act, but how one relates emotionally and spiritually as a full person to the opposite sex.
Most experts now accept that the 'choice' has already been decided in the womb. I have NEVER met a gay person who chose to be gay.

Rachel said...

David, I understand what you're getting at. I didn't DECIDE to marry a man, it was just natural to me to want to marry a man and not a woman.
There is this idea of a spectrum of sexuality though, with heterosexual at one end and homosexual at the other and we're all somewhere on the scale. I don't think in every case, until they identify a gene to prove orientation, that it is quite as black and white as you think. I think sometimes, people might explore where they are on the sexual scale if they are encouraged to do so or are mixing in a circle of people who are similarly exploring their sexuality. Many people have experienced these sorts of things as teenagers.
I hope I'm not too far off the mark here or giving offence to anyone - that is certainly not my intention. These are only my thoughts for the moment on a topic I don't know a huge amount about.
Yours humbly


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