I’m an Evangelical Parent of Adult LGBTQ Children. Now What?

My theology is squarely orthodox. Now I need fellow Christians to help me work out a sustainable vision of day-to-day life with my children.

For evangelical parents who hold to the church’s long-standing doctrines on gender and sex, waking up to the reality of LGBTQ children in our homes frequently marks the beginning of a difficult journey.

Often blindsided by the development, many parents feel ill-prepared for the work of discernment required to move forward. They hunger for instruction and understanding. Above all, they yearn for relief from the burdensome fear of “getting it wrong” as they navigate uncharted waters requiring many choices, day after day, year after year.

This is the context that produces high turnout for events that try to help Christian parents find responses, beyond fight or flight, to their LGBTQ children—events like last year’s Unconditional Conference hosted by the church of influential pastor Andy Stanley.

The conference was controversial because it featured several speakers who don’t hold orthodox evangelical views on sex and gender. To prominent evangelical critics, the whole affair amounted to “a clear and tragic departure from Biblical Christianity” (Albert Mohler) and a “profound failure of pastoral responsibility” (Sam Allberry).

Similarly, in a more recent dustup, pastor and author Alistair Begg, who holds to the historical doctrine on marriage, saw his popular radio show dropped by a conservative Christian network. It came to light that he’d counseled a woman that she could attend her grandchild’s wedding to a transgender person, though she opposed the union on doctrinal grounds. Writing for First Things, theologian Carl Trueman argued that attending such a wedding is itself a doctrinal drift and “a very high price tag for avoiding …

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