Solutions June 2016 - Page 29

information they’re running into, not only online, but almost everywhere they go. Yes, there could be something wrong about it, especially if your son lets Michael’s experience trump 5. Watch Out for Land Mines God’s truth in his mind. It’s These issues can be very good, though, for him to talk personal, sometimes in ways freely about his friend and you don’t know. You can trip what he’s going through. over land mines: unknown You would want to support factors that can make a him in that. Otherwise the seemingly safe discussion conversation might blow up blow up unexpectedly. on you. Suppose you’re talking with your son, Jason. Jason has a good friend named Michael. Jason knows Michael has decided he’s gay. Their classmates know, too. Jason has seen them harassing him over it, both at school and at church. He knows how much it’s hurting Michael. That’s not the only potential land mine in a teen’s life. There’s pressure from school, from media, from other friends and acquaintances, even the irrational pressure of thinking that standing against gay rights is oldfashioned—that it belongs to your generation, not theirs. Into this situation, you drop one of the questions I suggested at the beginning of this article: “Do your friends think of Christians as being anti-gay?” How do you think your son would respond? Chances are, his answer will have more to do with Michael than with what the Bible says—and that’s not entirely wrong. You can defuse these kinds of potential explosions by responding, not reacting or escalating the tension. Just acknowledge the situation for what it is, and keep on listening. Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator for the top conservative daily online news and insight website The Stream. A 36year veteran of ministry leadership with Cru, BreakPoint and Ratio Christi, Gilson holds a Master’s degree in organizational psychology. He’s the author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens. He lives with wife, Sara, in Lebanon, Ohio. They have two college-aged children. Purchase your copy of Critical Conversations at For more advice on talking to your children about homosexuality visit www. criticalconversationsbook. com. SMG Solutions 29