A few weeks ago my church began a new group, Loving Your LGBTQ Children Well. I’m one of the co-leaders along with three parents of LGBTQ kids. We hoped for 12-18 parents. 58 showed up! Only God.
The group understands that our church holds to the historical, biblical understanding that marriage was designed by God to be between males and females and that all sex outside of that definition of marriage is sin.
As these parents began loosening up and sharing their stories, one after another confessed the guilt they felt for being disappointed with God. These are wonderful Christian parents who really do want to have a loving relationship with their kids but other family members and friends have made their journey far more difficult. They’ve been accused of being controlling, not controlling enough, allowing their kids to attend public schools or questioning if their children had been sexually abused. This road was hard and lonely enough without people they previously trusted blaming them for their children’s attractions.
Many recalled periods of their life, when they had been profoundly disappointed with God for giving them this burden. Me too. As far as I know, we don’t have any LGBTQ children or grandchildren, but I have to confess times when I thought I didn’t deserve some treatment God, or someone was dishing out to me. “Why God? Why if you say you love me are you not sparing me from pain I didn’t cause?”
I assured these parents that God has big shoulders. Job questioned God’s goodness. David was harassed by his enemies for years, while David tried to do the right thing. He even dared rail against God for this perceived injustice.
“Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, ‘How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?’” 2 Samuel 6:8, 9
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” Psalm 13:1, 2
“I say to God my Rock, why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, Where is your God?” Psalm 42:9, 10
Here’s the answer you’re not going to like. We don’t always know why God allows, or even causes us to suffer. And asking the “why?” question is okay if in the end we confess the sinfulness of our frustration and thank God for his love for us and to us, without fully understanding why. That’s the nature of faith. Belief in and obedience to God in spite of our not always knowing knowing why.