Say explicitly that you love that child, no matter what, and mean it. Your relationship wasn’t formed by the child’s performance, and that won’t start now.
If your loved one is a Christian, spend time over the years discipling him or her about what following Christ looks like. Jesus isn’t shocked by his or her temptations, and will not leave him or her alone to fight them.
The path toward chastity and fidelity to Christ is a difficult one, and your child or grandchild will need you and the church and the great cloud of witnesses to cheer him or her on as they walk a path that can be lonely in a world that too often defines sex and sexuality as ultimate in life.
If your loved one isn’t a Christian, express your love, keep the relationship going and be a gracious gospel witness.
God never promises us that our children or grandchildren will all walk the way of Christ. Every wandering son or daughter needs to know that if the moment of crisis comes in his or her life, there’s a house waiting with a fatted-calf party ready to go, welcoming the wanderer home.
One of the reasons this is so hard for some parents and grandparents is because somehow we assume this issue to be merely a “culture war” issue, and not a gospel issue. As such, parents are often perplexed as to how to deal with this in their families because they think this is about them.
They wonder if others will judge them, as though they did something to “cause” this.
That’s ridiculous, and it leads people ultimately either to reject biblical teaching to keep their kids or reject their kids (and their gospel witness to them) for the sake of appearing to keep the biblical teaching.
At the root of all of that is pride, and I don’t mean that in the sense of “gay pride” but in the sense of carnal self-seeking. That’s a temptation for all parents, not just for those of gay children. We’re tempted to see our children as reflections of ourselves, and we’re tempted then to keep up our image.
Crucify that temptation.
God calls us to holiness and to encourage one another to holiness. The Bible is clear that this means fleeing from sexual immorality, and that includes same-sex sexual activity (1 Cor. 6). God also calls parents to love their children.
Be clear about your convictions, and at the same time don’t exile your child from your life. If we sacrifice grace for truth or truth for grace, we’re sub-Christian.