The following was written by Christian parents who are an active part of the Strength in Weakness ministry. As you’ll see, this couple has two wonderful children they love very much, one of whom has fully transitioned to female. To respect this family’s need for confidentiality, we have changed their names and any other identifiers. As a Christian organization that offers help to Jesus-followers who live with unwanted, same-sex attractions and parents of LGBTQIA+ children, we have the privilege of encountering courageous people like this time and time again. We believe that there is a way to address these controversial, multifaceted, and emotional issues in a manner that doesn’t lower the traditional Biblical sexual ethic and yet, at the same time, uplifts the love, mercy, and compassion of Christ. We trust you will find that this moving account exudes both attitudes. We thank this mom and dad and their two adult children for allowing their story to be told.
- Guy Hammond; Executive Director, Strength in Weakness Ministries
My name is Anne, and my husband, Ed, and I have been married for over 40 years. I was raised in a strong Christian family in a rural setting and attended a small traditional church. Ed grew up going to church on Sundays but received no Bible teaching in the home. We met in university while attending a local church that had an active campus ministry. After marrying, we moved to a small community where there was a Restoration congregation and Ed was asked to be a part-time youth minister.
As the years passed, we had two children, a boy, Tim, and a girl, Hanna. They were strong, healthy kids and enjoyed playing with their cousins and friends from the families we knew in the church. They were raised to love God, and like many Christian families, we had family devotionals regularly. Over the years both children were part of an active teen and campus ministry and were, in due course, baptized into Christ. We were engaged parents and supported them in the ways we knew how. Holding Proverbs 22:6 close to our hearts, the dream for our kids was that they would love God and serve Him the rest of their lives.
Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
As Tim and Hanna were growing up, they played little league baseball and soccer. They were both good athletes, but Tim did not enjoy competitive team sports like Hanna did, who lettered in three sports in high school. Tim took an interest in the performing arts. He was very good in dance and show choir, where in competition he was awarded “Most Outstanding Performer”.
Tim was a sensitive boy and carried himself with some effeminate mannerisms. Throughout his middle and high school years, Tim was constantly ridiculed and bullied by other boys who called him derogatory names like “gay” and “fag”. In high school, he was also experiencing pressure from peers who had come out as gay and were encouraging him to do the same. During this time, the leadership of our local church and several close friends were encouraging Ed to push our son toward “more masculine” activities such as sports, shop, and the like. This put a lot of pressure on Ed to try to make Tim something that he was not. Ed later learned that this communicated to Tim that he was not "good enough”, that something was wrong with him, and that his parents and friends did not like him. Looking back, we see that regardless of our best intentions, what was communicated was that no one liked him for who he was.
Trying to be a supportive dad and knowing that dance was what Tim was most interested in, Ed encouraged our son to be a strong male presence in dance. Tim eventually received a scholarship to a well-known school of the arts, and we supported his desire to go in that direction but also encouraged him to pursue a degree in dance education so that he could teach dance if things didn’t work out for him to dance professionally. He eventually chose a school with a well-recognized performing arts program. It also had a strong Christian campus ministry for him to belong to, which we were glad about.
After his freshman year in college, Tim mentioned that he thought he might need counselling. We put it down to the pressure and stress of school and living in a large city. Within weeks, though, we got a call that Tim was admitted to a hospital on suicide watch. We were stunned. We drove up and stayed in the city so that we could visit with him every day. Tim was in the hospital for six weeks, and it was during this time that we learned that he had been cutting. It was such a helpless feeling to watch our child be in so much pain.
Jehoshaphat’s prayer: I Chronicles 20:12 “We have no power against this vast army. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you, Lord.”