Five years ago, Redditor RegBarc ”came out” to his father. Shortly afterwards, his dad disowned him in a handwritten letter which RegBarc shared with the world on Tuesday, adding the comment: “This is how hate sounds.”
This is a difficult but necessary letter to write.
I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past.
Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all.
I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house.
You’ve made your choice, though wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle.
If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand.
Have a good birthday and good life.
No present exchanges will be accepted.
Good bye, Dad
As I find it hard to believe that a true Christian would ever write such a letter, I’ve drafted a letter that I hope a Christian father would write (although I’m sure we all hope we’ll never have to write it).
My dear James,
I’d rather say this man-to-man and face-to face, and I hope I will have a chance to do so soon. However, to avoid misunderstanding, and to ensure that you have something in black and white you can keep and refer to, I want to make sure you know one thing: I love you, and I always will. I do not hate you, and I never will.
Our relationship will probably change a bit as a result of your chosen lifestyle, but my love for you will never change. I will continue to seek your very best, as I have always done. In fact, I will probably, by prayer and other practical means, seek your good as I’ve never done before.
Maybe you’ve been afraid that I will reject you and throw you out of my life. I want you to know that you will always be welcome in our family home. Text, email, phone regularly. I certainly will. We’d especially love you to come home for birthdays and for other special occasions. I hope we can continue to go fishing together and to share other areas of our lives.
Your male friend may also visit our home with you, but we will need to discuss certain boundaries. For example, I can’t allow you to share a room or a bed together when you are here, and I will not allow open displays of affection for one another, especially in front of the other children. If you stay with us, you will attend family devotions, and if you are with us on a Sunday, you will come to church with us to hear the Gospel.
Perhaps these boundaries are not going to be easy for you to accept, but please try to understand that I have a duty to God to lead my home in a God-glorifying manner. Psalm 101 commands me to prevent sinful behavior in my home. While extremely anxious to preserve a relationship with you, I am especially concerned that your siblings are not influenced into thinking your lifestyle is fine with God or us.
I know that you don’t like me calling your lifestyle and sexual practices a sin. However, remember I’ve always told you that I myself am a great sinner, but I have an even greater Savior. I hope the day will come when you will seek that great Savior for yourself. He can wash us snow-white clean. He is also able to deliver us from the bondage of our lusts and from everlasting damnation.
I will not bring up your sin and the Gospel every time we meet, but I do want you to know where I stand right up front, and also that I’m willing to speak with you about the Gospel of Christ anytime you wish.
I hope you will not call this message hate. This is how love sounds.
I will always be your Dad. And you will always be my son.
As I will never stop loving you, I will never stop praying for you.
With all my love,
Dad (Ps. 103:13).
Anything you’d say differently? Anything you’d add?