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At The End Of The Day: I May Be A Hypocrite

It was three months ago when my wife and I drafted the “O’Brien Family Statement.” This document took a week to put together and was our coming out letter to those closest to us. Not that we’re gay, but that we have spent the past few years studying, listening, and praying, and that our attitude and heart towards the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) community has drastically shifted from our fundamentalist upbringing.

It was a “heads-up” that we are about to make a movie about this topic.

One of the most emotional sections for me was this:

I am ashamed to admit that I have tried desperately to hide this topic from my [8-year-old] kids because I am afraid their exposure to the concept will somehow lure them to being gay. Not only is that founded in ignorance of homosexuality, it’s teaching my kids that I’d rather them live a ‘safe’ life than be who God created them to be.

Yes, we have three 8-year-old kids (reverse engineered triplets through two separate adoptions). But that’s not the point.

We wrote that in August, 2014.

Then we looked up, it was almost November 2014, and the “gay talk” still had not happened.

We had still been putting it off. I had been a hypocrite – talking big about my love for the LGBT community, but still avoiding the topic with my kids.

Then, this past Saturday morning, in a hotel room, our kids helped us by… asking “what’s ‘gay’ mean?”

At first, we thought our oldest had disobeyed his mom by looking at the screen as his mom typed an email that included that word. (It’s sad how often I assume my kids are doing something wrong).

It turns out he had heard it several times from a friend at school, in a very negative usage.

Man, that hit me. Laying with my eyes still closed from the night before, realizing I had a chance to prepare my son to step up and stop the bullying-through-words that his friend was doing, but he had no idea it was bullying.

So I told them, all five of us under the blankets, that while most people grow up to like people of the opposite gender, some grow up to like the same gender – and that some people don’t like that so they use mean words to talk about it.

I was preparing myself for a two-hour question-and-answer discussion on the topic. (Our oldest usually asks lots of questions).

But the only response was: “What’s so scary about that?” (Tweet This)

That’s it.

A conversation I had been putting off for months ended up being so natural and a great moment for us as parents. And then we went on with our day – enjoying the Florida sun.

The realization that I had been a bit of a hypocrite for the past few months has made me aware that there are probably many areas where I am not fully committed to love – whatever that looks like.

And I want to be fully committed to that love – “to loving like the rules we created don’t apply.” (-Bob Goff)

That’s really the heart behind “At The End Of The Day” – love.

Love because you have been loved.

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