by Sod and Eric
Several months ago Eric, my son who battles same sex attractions (SSA), couldn’t sleep. He got out of bed and decided to write down what he thought dads needed to do to help their sons that struggle with same gender attraction. So I sat down and wrote, from a father’s perspective, what I thought sons needed to do to connect with their dads. This is what came out.
Fathers and Father Figures (by Eric)
The importance of fathers and father figures in the healing journey of the homosexual struggler cannot be overstated. The process to health and freedom is greatly increased when a father can become actively involved in helping his son overcome homosexuality. This is a fundamental truth because our earthly fathers were meant to call us out as men and to model true masculinity for us.
Fathers have to be willing to own up to and truthfully name the ways in which they have injured their son. They have to be able to say that to their son and ask for forgiveness. Repent of the ways they have lived out of the false masculine.
STOP trying to “fix” their son and begin allowing God to heal themselves instead.
You can only control yourself and that is the only place you can begin.
If you want your son to truly be healed, he has to completely give his life to Christ. A father cannot make him do this. The only thing you can do is model this yourself and that means completely giving YOUR life to Christ.
Love is key. Love is key. Love is key. Love is key. Love. Is. Key. I cannot understate its importance.
Everything you do in interacting with your son has to flow out of love, a pure love. If you try to love with ulterior motives of trying to fix him or make him change, it will fail. Your son will be able to sense it and pull away, further hardening his heart against you.
Even if you are loving him unconditionally it may take a while for him to work through his perceptions and the ways you made that love conditional in the past before he can truly accept it.
You have to keep loving him regardless of what happens. That means reaching a point where you can love him and show him that love even if he decides to completely accept homosexuality. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
The only way you can love like this is if you completely give your life to Christ. Every part.
Love confounds the enemy because he doesn’t understand it. It is like slowly chipping away at the wall surrounding your son. Eventually you will get through; the wall will collapse. You must never ever give up. If you do, Satan wins. It’s over. And you can’t do this. You cannot love like this. You will fail. You don’t have the strength. Only Jesus can. Only He can change you and help you love like this. It starts with you and your relationship with the Giver of Life.
Sons (by Sodbuster)
What sons can do to connect with their fathers: in a nutshell — pray for your father, forgive him, love him, and ask him to share the journey to healing with you.
When you begin to be real and honest with your SSA struggle, the temptation to blame someone, especially your dad, will be exceptionally strong. Yes, your dad has probably played more of a role than any other single entity in your struggle, but to openly blame him, will not move you one step down the road to healing.
While you may have come to an understanding in your own heart as to what your father failed to do or did do that contributed to your struggle, enumerating those to your father, before his own heart has been softened by your pain or by the Spirits working, will only complicate your relationship with him.
He will have to discover what he did or didn’t do in his own time. Hopefully, as he contemplates his part in your struggle, he will become open to and seek your input. Only after he is ready will your understanding of his role be accepted. As he begins to explore his role, he will most likely be filled with much remorse and guilt that he failed you as a father and as a man, and all the more so if he is a sensitive male.
Your task during the process to this point is to allow the Spirit to work in your own heart, creating within you a willingness to forgive him, an understanding of your father’s own brokenness, an acceptance of him, and a new love for your dad. This will be difficult because you are probably consumed with your own need for those same things. In the strangest twist to this entire process, you may have to become to your dad exactly what you need and want. Ask Jesus to help you.
With time, you and your father can begin to explore your relationship and all the aspects that might have contributed to your struggle. You will find that some of what you felt was generated by your own perception of what he did or didn’t do and not really based in the reality of the moment or of your relationship. As long as those perceptions are viewed as real, your relationship with your father will be crippled by them.
You and your father will have to begin exposing the false concepts of masculinity that have contributed to your struggle and his brokenness. Together, relearn what it means to be a man in a Godly manner vs. the view that enculturated you both.
Search for the common ground you share with your dad. Be it history, art, reading, philosophy, pottery, woodworking, biking, cooking, running, camping, volunteer work, your faith, exploring your own brokenness, whatever, search for common ground as if for lost treasure. You will probably be more ready and able to move towards his likes than he will be towards yours, at least in the beginning. Remember, you have been dealing with all the pain and turmoil of this struggle for years and he has only just begun.
Both you and your father need to understand that forgiveness is not forgetting what happened but simply giving up on the possibility of a better past in exchange for a better future.
Just as much as you need love and forgiveness, so does your dad. You can’t do it too much. Maybe he will still fail to earn your trust, but you need to keep forgiving and loving for your own sake.
You can’t fix your dad or remake him into the man you need any more than he can fix you, and trying to do so will only frustrate you both. Allow God’s Spirit over time to convict, to alter, and change.
When you sense a connection with your dad, let him know. He may have difficulty telling when that happens, and letting him know will help him repeat it.
You may have to gently push your dad to walk with you on this journey. You may sense reluctance on his part, but it is probably due to his misconception of what the whole SSA struggle is about and not because he is unwilling or doesn’t love you.