Seeking to make homes, schools, and churches safe for all LGBT+ youth, one of our four primary goals is to increase family acceptance. We have created multiple resources over the years (such as Guiding Families), held Family Care Seminars across the country, and walked alongside parents and families when their loved ones came out.
The week before Thanksgiving is a time that we as Christian family members can prepare our hearts to love our loved ones as Christ has loved us. Mark your calendars for Family Acceptance Week!
Family Acceptance is Key
LGBT+ youth face high risks of victimization and rejection (even in 2018!) that can fuel depression, anxiety, suicide, and even homelessness. Family rejection has continually proven to play a large role in these risks. A new study published in the Journal of Social Work and Christianity last year revealed that 81% of LGBT+ youth raised in evangelical families feared being viewed as disgusting by their families, 57% feared being disowned, and 9% (nearly 1 out of 10) were actually kicked out.
We seek to eliminate family rejection of LGBT+ loved ones in this generation. In order to do this, we encourage every parent to love their LGBT+ child. No one has to give you permission to love your children — God calls you to love them. There can be love and acceptance even across differences of belief. Christ never required unity in belief as the basis for his willingness to extend love and compassion, and neither should we.
Let’s Promote Family Acceptance This Holiday Season
This week we begin to enter the holiday season as Thanksgiving slowly approaches. The holidays are a time when families come together. They have also long been known as a time of coming out for LGBT+ people. This can be a time of love but for some LGBT+ young people a simple disclosure can turn into a time of rejection. We want to focus this time on encouraging family acceptance.
In order to eliminate family rejection of LGBT+ loved ones in this generation, we are designating the week before Thanksgiving as Family Acceptance Week. May we prepare our hearts to love LGBT+ loved ones as Christ has loved us.
During this week, we invite you to share your story of family acceptance. What has the journey toward acceptance looked like for your family? How have you and your loved one reconciled, even after you’ve made relational mistakes? How did your parents show love when you came out? As a parent, is their a step you need to take toward reconciling with your LGBT+ child? We want to hear and anonymously share your story, so that othe families of LGBT+ loved ones will be encouraged to move toward family acceptance.
Share your story on your social media using #FamilyAcceptanceWeek. Make your post public for even greater impact. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your anonymous story so that others can be blessed!
Ultimately family acceptance is achieved when every pastor, every parent, and all who care take action steps toward loving LGBT+ family members. To learn more, we have created an entire care plan in our newest book, Guiding Families.
Josh has an M.A. in Biblical Literature, and his greatest passion is help people grow in their relationship with Jesus.
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