My beloved wife has been encouraging me, an eighty-four-year-old father, to write my story for many years but sharing this about my son is very difficult for me.

I feel I have been robbed of the love I have for our son, whom I will call David. When he revealed his same-sex attraction to us, I felt that four walls quickly came between us. This was not the son I knew who was always smiling, joyful, and very sensitive to others. I knew he was hurting as much as I was, but we couldn’t seem to bring down these walls to communicate.

I wondered where that compassionate son had gone to. This new person seemed to be so self-centered and ignoring the teachings of God. This was not God’s plan. The very first book of the Bible explains this fact of nature and natural law.

My first reaction: Denial. This can’t be true. My second reaction: Dismay. Why is this happening? Third reaction: Doubt. Was I a good father, a good provider? My parenting was in question. Fourth: Despair. What did I do wrong? Fear was also overtaking me because of the disease that can spread with this lifestyle.

As a father, I worried if he would ever fulfill the mission that God put him on this earth to do. Would his life be short-lived? How would this affect my Judgment day? What about David’s?

In dealing with this issue, I questioned all my reasoning about Natural Law. My wife and I had long discussions about it. I wondered if there was something in David’s DNA or if we should have known about this earlier in his development.

I also questioned myself about working too many hours at the job as I was at the peak of my career. I wondered if I might have neglected our youngest son, David. I was so overcome with shame, disappointment, and sadness for him.

This situation affected the entire family. I tried to get him to go to counseling, but David had already made up his mind. In my search to help our son, and for my own understanding, we did have many professional counseling sessions together, but those meetings did not resolve anything.

I was an only child. I came to see that, as a father, I didn’t take on the leadership for my family as I should. I began to look back on my life and realized I, too, had an experience of a man approaching me. After seeing an opera with a friend, I was invited to attend a party. Thinking I would be meeting the talented entertainers of the opera, I went, surprised to find it was an all-male party. I gracefully excused myself, telling my friend, “This is not my type of party.”

I was so taken aback by this experience and ashamed, thinking someone might think I was gay. I buried this incident so deep and never told my dear wife about it until our son’s decision. In retrospect, if I had talked about this experience to my sons, all four of them, it might have been a warning and prepared them for what they might face in their future. This incident occurred in the 1950s. This same behavior has regularly invaded our children’s lives.

When someone has done something wrong, shame is the first emotion one feels. Then comes fear! I have pondered that our Creator may have put that emotion into our being for our consciences to determine right from wrong.

I now realize that it is Satan confusing us when we doubt our parenting skills and the teachings of Scripture. The Bible should always remain our manual for speaking the truth, and we should not be afraid of speaking honestly with our children.

As concerned parents, we made many trips to our son’s Catholic university to discuss what curriculum and agenda was being taught. The only explanation we received from the administration was that our son would graduate with a degree. They wanted their students to be freethinkers. Unfortunately, parents can’t ask for a refund when we feel our children have been deprived of the education we paid for.

Here are my suggestions to fathers to consider while their boys are still young. Have a plan of how to speak with your children about tough issues: abortion, homosexuality, pornography, or co-habitation. Join men’s groups such as “This Man is You!” or the Knights of Columbus. Plan a yearly trip with sons: camping, float trips, or a golf tournament. Make it a must and let your sons create the trip; even a spiritual retreat is wonderful with your sons. I also believe we should go back to segregated organizations for men and women.

I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. My cognitive health is declining, and our son went overseas for employment. It is harder for me to get my thoughts together to speak with him honestly. We now have walls and distance between us. Why do we think we can’t say, “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me” or talk about the places our paths crossed honestly? It is fear that keeps us down and in despair. I wonder: will we see our children in heaven when we leave this earth? My age is telling me I must turn my son over to the Creator.

My wife tells me that for an only child, I was a terrific father and raised talented, hard-working, Christian men who are also wonderful fathers and great husbands. Now that I am about to leave for a better place called Heaven, I continually pray. Perhaps with the limitations of my disease, I can suffer much to bring our son out of the darkness and into the light. My wife and I are praying constantly for a miracle.

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The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.