My 16-year-old son's more interested in the arts than in athletics, seems to have no interest in girls, and doesn't have many male friends at school or church. With all the publicity about homosexuality today, we can't help but worry our son could be gay. What should we do?
You just described my husband, Steve, as a 16-year-old. He was First Chair in band, never dated, and spent more time working and studying than hanging out with the guys. Today we have a healthy 16-year marriage and three wonderful children. So just because your son doesn't resemble the stereotypical high-school boy doesn't mean he's gay.
Two common threads exist among those who struggle with homosexual tendencies. First, does your son exhibit any signs of childhood molestation or incest? If you suspect this is the case, seek help from a local Christian counselor.
Then look at the father/son (and for girls, the mother/daughter) relationship. Does your son feel accepted by his father? Is your husband a jock who rejects or even ridicules your son's interest in the arts? Perhaps your son's father isn't even in the picture, either by divorce, absence, death, or passivity.
The father holds the key to affirming a boy's manhood. Without that blessing, a gaping hole is left in a young man's life. Fortunately, a healing substitute often can be found in a strong father figure. If not, some young men attempt to "cannibalize" other men through homosexual actions to fill that void.
I know from personal friendships it's possible for someone who struggles with homosexual temptation or who has embraced that lifestyle to find freedom and strength to change. The answer is first found in receiving redemption through Jesus Christ. From there I recommend logging onto www.exodus-international.org or www.lovewonout.com for further information and direction.
A Swearing Spouse
What should I say to my eight-year-old son when he hears his father, a self-professing Christian, take the Lord's name in vain? I've tried to call my spouse privately on this offenseto no avail.
Enlist your son's help to pray for his father. To guard against undermining your husband's authority or your son's respect for him, ask him to pray for you at the same time. Maybe your son lied or was unkind to his sister during the day. Use this as an opportunity to suggest at bedtime, "Let's pray together to ask Jesus to help you overcome this sin in your life."
Then ask him to pray for you about one of your besetting sins. Be vulnerable; confess an area of weakness such as overeating or anger. Agree to hold each other up in prayer.