I’m writing through tears. I’ve just watched the episode of Grey’s Anatomy that aired September 24th. The opening story is about two young girls who everyone in the ER believes have just been hit by a train. Everyone is in a panic, frantically running around, trying to do all that they can to help. One girl is in critical condition; the other is awake, with severe injuries, but lucid and talking with the team. The story moves forward and we, the viewer, are then alarmed to discover that this was not an accident. The two teen girls are in love and have decided to jump in front of a train, promising to be together, dead or alive. Life has gotten so hard for them in school and at home, they believe this is their only option. Everyone is shocked. I started to weep. 

My column is written from a Christian perspective, about faith at work, business and anything else I feel like writing on. It’s obvious to any reader what my convictions and beliefs are regarding homosexuality. When I’m asked to discuss the same sex agenda, I oftentimes say that rather than discussing agendas, I’d rather talk to people, and have conversations. Sadly most people who want to talk about agendas don’t want to have a conversation, they just want to point fingers, judge and condemn.

Just because my convictions are conservative and I believe that God created marriage for a man and a woman, it does not mean that I condone the kind of ridiculous, abusive and controlling behavior I saw accurately demonstrated on this episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The parents, in an attempt to help, were taking control, going to change their daughter, on their terms, by separating the girls, and demanding that the situation change. NOW.

While I am not a homosexual, I remember being in a similar situation with my parents. The shaming and abuse I incurred when my mother found out that I had a child out of wedlock was so horrific it would haunt me for many, many years. Shaming me, calling me a whore, telling me what I was ‘allowed to do’ and not allowed to do, because I had sinned. She would remind me of this, and how I had failed her, for many years, even after I got married and was a mother of several children. At the age of 51 I can still feel the feelings I had as a young woman. I felt abandoned, hurt and orphaned. I remember feeling like I didn’t want to live, because my own parents threatened to disown me. I remember so clearly making a decision to take care of my son, do my very best, and to turn a situation that was not ideal into something that would work. Sadly, my family did not offer as much support. One of my relatives even threatened to take my child away from me at one point. I’m grateful for the power of forgiveness and all I can say is, “Look at me now!”

But the story that unfolded on Grey’s is way too common and way too wrong. This article is not about condoning or supporting homosexuality. It is an attempt to shake some common sense into faith based parents who discover that their children are going in a way that they do not approve of, or agree with. As a parent myself, I have a son who we loved through alcohol abuse, self hate, and other painful events. So I’m not just giving my opinion, I’m sharing what it’s like to be shamed and even bullied by your own parents, and what it’s like to raise a child who has gone in a way that you feel is destructive. I do not in any way compare abusing alcohol and being a homosexual teen as equal. But I am seeking to challenge the ignoramus habit of parents who abuse their children, in an attempt to help them.

When I saw the father in the episode yell at the extremely religious mother, “I don’t care if she’s gay I care if she’s loved!” I knew I had to write this article. 

I’m not a perfect parent. I haven’t done everything perfect. But as I watched this episode I was reminded what it was like to be bullied by the church, shamed by my parents and battling in my own swirl of self hate and suicidal thoughts.

Love covers a multitude of sins. 

Remember, this is not an article on whether or not I believe in homosexuality or whether having a child outside of marriage is sin. It’s an article on how we as parents who are Christians (or not) can love our children through the challenges they face, and not be the one they fear. We must become the one they trust and feel safe with. Learning to be this kind of parent didn’t happen to me until my sons were older. It also required my own personal healing and journey of forgiveness. So I know it can be hard. But I also know, it is RIGHT.

We can all agree on one thing: abuse does not rectify anything. Control, shaming and bullying does not create obedient or powerful children. As a matter of fact, it provokes rebellion and eventually, addictive behavior, hiding and even worse challenges than we might initially be facing.

When our children make a decision to go in a direction that we are opposed to, remember that they aren’t mini-adults. They are kids. Even if they’re teens, they simply are not wired for many of the everyday stresses they are facing. They need our love, support and promise of safety for the best outcomes. In the midst of what feels like betrayal, rebellion and a horrific mess as a parent, we can CHOOSE to not lose our head, or our children.

Let’s learn to think first.

We teach our children to think first, don’t we? We do our best to train them to make wise decisions, and to not be misled by their emotions. Isn’t it time we did the same? If our children go in a direction that we feel is not in their best interest, or is morally wrong, shaming them and bullying them is not going to change things. Love will. But this is a hard journey and life to walk. If we already know they’ll end up doing what they want to anyways (which they will), is it possible to be the parent that can love, support and be there for them, even if we disagree? 

One thing that absolutely angers me is when faith based believers reject, ridicule, joke, shame and mock homosexuals. How is this the love of God in action? It’s not. It’s an emotional response from people who don’t know what to do when people do things that they are morally opposed to. Is it possible to love someone who is going in a direction that we feel is morally wrong? It should be. This is what Jesus did.

Jesus sat with sinners. He disturbed the Pharisees so much by doing this, they hated him for it and eventually, hung Him on a cross! He had dinner with whores, alcoholics, sodomites, homosexuals and more. WHY would He do this? Because of love. He didn’t expect them to change their life as a condition for His love. How is it that Jesus, a part of the godhead, did this? Because love covers. Love protects. Love restores. It doesn’t shame.

Have tough conversations with your teens. Make it clear what your boundaries and expectations are. But understand as well, that teens will do what they want to do. Is it worth losing them, risking a scene as shown in Grey’s Anatomy, facing possible suicide or worse, to get our way? Or can we become the one who still loves, endures, encourages and empowers? This would change alot of what we see today. Why are we so inclined to hurt the ones we love the most? Maybe it’s because we’re terrified inside, don’t have all of the answers and we’re living in fear, reacting to everything that threatens us.

Are you willing to love God, to be misunderstood by others (including even your Pastor) to love your child into their future? Who knows where they’ll end up. Maybe they’ll continue in their chosen lifestyle. Maybe they won’t. We might never know if we keep bullying, shaming and abusing when we face difficult life issues.

This one thing I do know, my son felt safe enough to tell me the truth about everything when he trusted me to love him no matter what he did. Jesus offered me the same love, and it’s what led to my healing from such traumatic events of my past.

I run a big risk writing an article of this kind. Some Christians will quote scriptures and tell me I’m a heretic. They’ll demand I have gone astray, and should allow parents to raise their own children. But there will be some who choose to love, and they’ll love unto life and not shame or bullying. This is not an article about homosexuality. It’s a story about love. Things have changed in our world. We don’t have to change our convictions or our beliefs, but we’ll have to learn how to love through these challenges if we’re going to make it. We’re facing homosexuality, transgender lifestyle, and other things we’ve never faced before. Remember, love. Always.

I urge you. LOVE your children. Be there for them. Be the safe place they need. Working through the rest of the details will be much easier once this is established. Not only does faith work at work, and it works at home, too.

With love,

Sandi Krakowski