Here Come the Brides! How My Devout Christian Mom Feels About My Lesbian Wedding
The “Here Come the Brides!” series follows my adventures with Casey to the aisle. Here’s what’s happened so far:
Today’s post is the second half of an interview with my devout Christian mom about how it feels to have a gay kid getting married.
A long-time reader asked a great question on a previous post in the Brides series—he wanted to know how my mom felt about my coming out (answered Tuesday) and my upcoming nuptials (answered today). My mom, Julie, is a devout Christian—most everything I know about living out the gospel, I’ve learned by watching her.
My mom knows firsthand that marriage is both an incredible gift and a hell of a commitment. I’ve seen her and my dad lean the full weight of their marriage on God, and I’ve seen the resulting joy and strength of their union. I’m grateful to be taking the lessons of her example with me into my marriage with Casey. I hope you’ll be blessed by her thoughts here today.
ETA: It would be easy to assume from my last post (How My Devout Christian Mom Feels About Having a Gay Kid) that my coming out and engagement to a woman have just been natural for my mom to take in. I mean, we’re from New England and we’re cradle Episcopalians—you’d think that would say it all. But it doesn’t.
People and emotions are complex, and loving your gay kid unconditionally doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrapping yourself in a rainbow flag and tossing glitter about, singing the joyous news from the hilltops like a PFLAG Maria von Trapp. (Although that would be awesome.)
I think the fact that it hasn’t been easy for my mom to understand and yet she’s so incredibly accepting and supportive is an enormous encouragement. Because let’s be honest—even the most progressive folks aren’t usually hoping their kid will be LGBTQ. It can be confusing. It can be hard. But it can be beautiful. And I think my mom’s story gives parents and kids alike a lot of hope that even if life doesn’t turn out the way you expect, you can still find so much joy in embracing it.
Special thanks to my dear friend Justin Shumaker for writing these interview questions!
What do you see when you see Tamára and Casey together? In your mind, what makes Casey a good lifelong match for the daughter you love?
First of all, I have to admit that, having never even known that anything other than heterosexual relationships existed until I was in high school (yes, I am that naïve), never knowing a homosexual couple until I was an adult, and being thoroughly heterosexual myself, I still feel a little awkward around same-sex couples. I struggle with understanding how one could be attracted to a person of the same sex. My heart, intellect, and theology tell me that God does not make mistakes, and that each human being was designed just as God intended, and is treasured by Him. I therefore accept their relationship as good and true and sacred. My upbringing and exposure have limited and colored my vision. But I strive to overcome that shortsightedness, and to adopt an open, compassionate, Godly, and loving perspective.
That being said, here’s what I see: two beautiful, Jesus-loving people who love, respect, honor, and serve one another with kindness, dignity, and compassion. I see two human beings who seek God’s will, and who work to create a home where love, acceptance, respect, and honor prevail. I see two fierce momma bears who want the best for the children in their care, even if that means withholding from them material things if those interfere with the children’s spiritual or moral well-being. I see two women who really want to “hear,” “see” and accept their children and each other as they truly are, without judgement or condemnation. I see two people committed to building a solid, faith-filled, peaceful, nurturing, and purpose-filled life together. I see partners who recognize, honor, and delight in the unique gifts that their mate has, and who applaud and encourage each other’s accomplishments and potential.
Casey and Tamára are a good match for each other because they love each other exactly as each is – all the good stuff along with all the messy stuff. They see but don’t condemn nor exploit the darkness, fear, vulnerability and pain that exist in each other. They are willing to sacrifice for one another. They encourage and support one another. They are patient and kind with each other. And they know how to find joy and delight in simple, every-day things together. Those are the things that make relationships strong, meaningful, and enduring.
When you think about Tamára and Casey’s upcoming wedding, what makes you smile the most?
So many things make me smile: the Victorian house, where the reception will be held, that is so similar to the house we lived in when Tamára was a little girl; the romantic, vintage touches they plan to incorporate into the decor; the lovely gazebo where they will declare their vows; the loving family and friends that will be there to support them.
Yet, even if that were all stripped away, I would still smile. Because the thing that gives me the most joy is that two souls have found rest, trust, and love with each other. My child feels safe, loved, and treasured. With or without the Victorian setting and the gazebo – they will have the their commitment to each other acknowledged in the spiritual way that is meaningful to them, and they will be entitled to the legal rights and benefits all married couples should enjoy.