Would God Want Me to Participate in My Adult Child’s Transgender Wedding?

Question from a reader:

I need prayer or perhaps an attitude adjustment.  My adult daughter, who identifies as a man, has a wedding coming up and then a reception at my home. Also, I need clarity of thought. I’m caught in a whirlwind of dizzying opinions and prejudice. 

I wonder what the Pharisees must have thought when Jesus would willfully eat with the unclean sinners?  Jesus, the Son of Man, touched lepers, healed on the sabbath, and broke traditions every chance He got. He healed a man with two thousand demons! “Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones” (Mark 5:5 NIVUK). Would Jesus have denied healing to my child because she identifies as a man? 

I was listening to a message Randy shared—something about keeping our priorities to salvation when entering the political arena or cultural division. The core gospel.  Too often we are dying on a political hill and forgetting the words of Jesus. The bar is set very high to love our neighbors and very low to hate.

I’m trying to keep my eyes on Jesus. Praying I can see with Jesus’s eyes. My embarrassment and shame stick to me like a stench. I forgot that Jesus doesn’t expect anyone to FIX themselves BEFORE they give their lives to Him. Am I wrong? Changing people is the Holy Spirit’s specialty.

I am broken and weak. I don’t want to do this, and my body is rebelling with sleepless nights and other physical symptoms.

Answer from Eternal Perspective Ministries staff:

Our hearts go out to you, and the heartbreak you are experiencing on so many levels. You’ve been facing so many different emotions; it makes sense that your body is reflecting that inner turmoil. We can only imagine how difficult this has been for you and your family. Your prayer to see through Jesus’s eyes is a good one.

You wrote, “Changing people is the Holy Spirit's specialty.” That is so true. Certainly, our first and foremost prayer for our neighbors and loved ones who don’t know Jesus and are living broken lives is that they will come to know Jesus as their Savior, and have a restored relationship with God. Years ago one of our former staff members wrote this blog about praying for her prodigal son, and some of what she shares may be helpful.

We write this with love, and with no sense of judgment towards you or towards your daughter. We shared your message with Randy and our honest question for you is, have you considered that participating in the wedding and reception may not be ultimately the most loving thing for your daughter in light of God’s truth? That could be where your inner angst is coming from. You may feel trapped—like you have no choice but to participate, and it is certainly understandable that you want to have a relationship with your daughter and be a part of her life moving forward.

Of course, God can redeem your daughter, and of course, Jesus ate with sinners. But that’s different than celebrating a union that is outside of His designed order, a celebration of something that is not reality and is sinful. “Speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) reads easy in Scripture; but wow, it can be so very difficult, especially in situations like these.

You wrote, “Too often we are dying on a political hill and forgetting the words of Jesus. The bar is set very high to love our neighbors and very low to hate.” It is indeed high, and what makes it so hard is that what God says is loving our neighbors and sharing the truth in love, with humility, may not look or feel like love to them. It may appear to be prejudice or hate. There can be such a high cost to living in light of God’s grace and truth.

Randy writes, “We can love people without denying their sin. If we truly love them we will NOT deny their sin but help them find the remedy to their sin. We will stand next to them as fellow-sinners, and tell them Jesus died for us all. It’s the old description of true evangelism: one beggar telling another beggar where to find food. They may or may not respond to Jesus. That’s not up to us, and it’s not a condition for whether we love them. But we can love them nonetheless and tell them what Jesus did for us, and help them however we can, and pray that one day they will embrace the One they long for, who Augustine called ‘the End of all our desires.’” (See Randy’s book The Grace and Truth Paradox.)

Though it’s a slightly different situation, see Randy’s thoughts here. You might also want to read this article.

We pray that God’s Spirit will guide and direct you. Please know we wish you and your family all God’s best. We hope this passage from Colossians is an encouragement to you:

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)

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