Ask Abbie: Handling gossip and confrontation

Published 10:57 am Saturday, August 10, 2013

by Abbie Long

I recently found out my son is gay when he came home from college and brought a friend who he introduced to me as his partner of one year. I kinda thought he might be gay, but he always dated girls in high-school, so I wasn’t positive. I raised him in a very conservative Christian church and I still attend there. I don’t know what to say or how to handle it when others talk about it behind my back or confront me about it, so I have been avoiding as many social settings as possible. What do you suggest?

Life is a battlefield. It requires an unwavering level of spiritual, mental and emotional confidence to overcome and defeat any opponent laying in wait to inflict harm. The following confidence conditioning exercises are based upon your chosen faith and are intended to help you ensure a methodical and expedient victory, rather than an intense and lengthy campaign, once you step onto the field.

Exercise #1: Investigate your enemy. You will soon discover he is the master of disguise and will assume whatever form necessary to most effectively stifle your potential, suffocate your spirit and rob your peace and joy. He targets his victim’s weakest points to accomplish his goal. He is causing your anxiety about what others think because he knows you are sensitive to their opinions.

The Bible describes anxious feelings such as worry and fear as a natural reaction to a spiritual attack. They not only bind His children’s spirits but also keep them in weakened positions and unable to spread maximum amounts of His light into His world. Now that the identity of your enemy has been confirmed you can reference Philippians 4 for help in selecting the most appropriate weapon to use against him. Take your anxiety to God in prayer and He will grant you strength and peace beyond all understanding. Make your requests known to Him today and believe in His ability to answer. Do so and your light will gradually begin to break through the looming cloud of your opposition.

Exercise #2: Prepare for judgment. Throughout any such confrontation, remember the person passing judgment is in direct violation of God’s Word. Although Isaiah 8 approves judgment of what is right and wrong, Luke 6 disapproves judgment of who is right and wrong. Luke also reveals anyone who passes judgment on another person will be judged by God himself. Pray for strength to trust God to fight your battles against judgment for you and for strength to never return judgment with judgment.

Should you be confronted with a direct question about your son’s sexuality, respond non-emotionally with a smile and either “I am sure he wouldn’t mind if you asked him,” or “Yes, he is gay.” Before your opponent can say another word, implement a diversion tactic. Begin to list your son’s accomplishments and end with a confirming statement of your love for him. Continue with diversion until the attack has subsided. Enjoy your victory!

Exercise #3: Develop your self-control. When the switch attached to your self-control gets turned to the off position, you not only lose the battle against your enemy but also jeopardize the receipt of God’s ultimate blessings over your life and become an unstable source of support for your son. As his mother, your responsibility is to provide him with the consistent wellspring of unconditional love, support, and devotion that only you can provide and which he must have to reign victorious throughout the battlefield of his own life.

If you should find yourself having to frequently replenish your supply quickly, remind yourself you have no responsibility to quench the thirst of your son’s actions, only to quench the thirst of your son himself. In addition, adopt and practice the teachings of 2 Timothy. It states you have been given a spirit not of fear but of love and self-control. Ask God to help you maximize, not compromise, this gift.

As Jesus advanced on His life’s battlefield, he encountered a challenge at the Sea of Galilee. He accepted and conquered it with an unwavering faith-based confidence. Peter also tried to “walk on water.” He accepted this challenge but lost his confidence, became anxious, and began to sink. After implementing your new exercise regimen and once you feel adequately trained, go forth onto your life’s battlefield as Jesus, not Peter, and you too will make it safely to your ship. There is a victory party waiting for you onboard.