The question from my nieces in 2018 that had me puzzled.
I can remember the moment as if it were yesterday...
Me and my Grandma were in the front seat and my two nieces were in the back of the car. Just as we were pulling off to head out, my oldest niece, Kiarrah, was getting frustrated at my youngest niece, Kaylee. As I turned around to see what the fuss was about, Kiarrah shouted to her sister, who was playing with two girl dolls making them kiss, “you can’t do that!”. Kaylee, who was three-years-old at the time, continued to play with the dolls and make kissing noises, She then paused and said, “Yes, I can. See.”, she then goes back to making the sounds and dolls kiss. My older niece looked at me confused and frustrated, “Ti Ti, can two girls fall in love?”. The question shook my spirit, I honestly didn’t know how to answer. Her question was so specific, “can two girls fall in love?”. My niece didn’t ask can two girls like each other, but she said specifically “fall in love”. I thought to myself, “how am I supposed to answer this question?”, I knew what I was taught, but for some reason saying no didn’t feel right. And then, knowing my nieces one of them would've asked why, and if I had answered “no” I wouldn't have been able to give an answer that I believed myself. I didn’t know how two people fell in love at the time.
This question that I received from my seven-year-old niece was back in 2018. I didn’t know enough about love between two people to answer the question honestly. I grew up in a very conservative Christian home. My Dad became a Pastor when I was about thirteen or fourteen. And my parents were and still are heavily involved in the church. So, my whole childhood was basically church. Friends and activities only happened if there was no church. I knew what I was taught, yet, I didn’t know what to say. I just looked at my niece. I seen her innocence. I seen the sincerity in her disposition. I seen the confusion on her mind. I didn’t know what to tell my beautiful seven-year-old niece that could one day grow up and find herself in love with a woman. I wanted to give her an answer that left her comfortable enough to come talk to me if these sorts of feelings were to arise one day. I didn’t want her to think of her Auntie as someone that is closed minded and judgmental, or someone that would begin to lay hands on her out of fear she had a demonic spirit. No, this is my baby asking me a question which she might remember the answer that I gave her later on in life and might think to herself, “well, I remember my Ti Ti said…”. So, this was more than just a question for me.
As I continued to look at my niece, I made the decision to give her a kind of open answer. I gave her an answer based off what I had observed in the LGBTQ+ community, but also what I learned in church. I would observe same-sex couples say they are in love. And who was I to tell someone they are not in love. So, I said to her, “they can, but they are not supposed to”. Kiarrah turned to her sister and said, “see, I told you”. But Kaylee was still making the two dolls kiss and began making the kissing noises louder to annoy her sister. Kiarrah got frustrated and yelled, “no, Kaylee! They’re not supposed to do that!”. My little niece saw her big sister was being serious. Kaylee stopped making the kissing sounds and looked at her big sister and asked, “why?”. Kiarrah shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know?”. I knew the next words that would come out of her mouth would be directed to me. As I looked forward and waited for my niece to speak, I knew I had to give her the answer that I grew up being taught. “Ti Ti?”, Kiarrah calls, “why are they not supposed to?”. Without turning around this time to look at her I said, “because the Bible says they are not supposed to, and we believe and love God”. My nieces then started to ask me more and more questions that I, quite frankly, did not like answering, so I changed the subject quickly and they soon forgot about they’re questions. As I look back now at that moment, I wish I knew then what I know now. But at the time I could only give them what I was taught, and hope that would be enough.
Ever since my nieces and nephews (I also have two nephews) were born I have always wanted to protect them. Even my younger cousins that are also very near and dear to my heart. The way I was taught about Homosexuality made it sound dangerous, not physically but spiritually. And so, I didn’t want any of my babies confused and spiritually hurt. So, I tried to make sure that Homosexuality was far away from them, I didn’t want them tempted and confused, they are all so young. This was an evil that God didn’t like. And so, if God didn’t like it then I didn’t either, and I would do everything I could to protect my innocent and curious children.
But as God took me from my comfort zone, which was where I spent my entire life, God took me on a journey of Love. My journey of Love officially started around this time of last year. God took me under His wing and began to disciple me, leading me to the Love of my life who just so happens to be a woman. He helped me to realize that homosexuality has never been a sin nor condemned (read Is Homosexuality a Sin?), but that He was actually the one bringing some of these unions together. I had never seen this side of God before, so I had to double check and make sure it was Him. I was taught all my life that God hated Homosexuality, and now, suddenly, God is teaching me that He is bringing some of these couples together in Love. My mind was blown! But time and time again, God would prove Himself to me, showing me that it was Him speaking to me.
I had to learn Homosexuality is not what my babies need to be protected from, it’s hate, judgments, and false teaching that they need to be protected from. They need space and freedom from negativity and religion, so that God might gain a relationship with them and show them and guide them into who they truly are. It is not our job to determine the destiny of our children or our loved ones, that is the job of God. If we have truly put our full trust in God and have dedicated our life to Him, then we must have faith and assurance that God will protect them and keep them, but also realizing they have free will.
I know this is only my opinion, but homosexuality doesn’t need to be hidden from children. That’s why those who do grow up primarily being attracted to the same sex, hide. They don’t see any example of the type of love that they are feeling on the inside. And so, they conclude that they are the only one, and they are ashamed and feel alone and broken, not knowing what to do to fix themselves to be like what they see all around them. Not knowing that there are others like them.
Recently, I re-watched an animated short film for kids, and everyone, titled In a Heartbeat. When I watched it the first time, I was disgusted because I was taught Homosexuals choose to be that way. But when I watched it again this time, I was able to understand that the little boy’s heart was falling for the other little boy. He didn’t want to act on the feelings of his heart, but his heart gave him no choice. At the end, the little boy was so embarrassed because his true feelings were seen by the other little boy and classmates, he ended up with a broken heart. But instead of it ending like that, the other little boy found the hidden little boy underneath the trees and sweetly gave him back the other piece of his broken heart. The two sat together as their hearts began to beat. The short film closed out with the hearts showing through their chest and merging into ‘one’. It was innocent and sweet, and its ending is exactly what the Bible describes as what happened between Jonathan and David (read When Two Hearts Become One).
But as I finished the short film and read some of the comments, I remember reading one that basically said people shouldn’t be pressuring children like this. I honestly didn’t understand this comment. Before the LGBTQ+ community came out of the ‘closet’, children were still getting pressured and programmed to believe that love is in the opposite sex, always. This short film was innocent and was not inappropriate in anyway. The film didn’t even end with a kiss, as most animated kids’ movies and shows do. But here we have someone getting offended because a different and rare type of love is being shown to children, who by the way are a lot more loving and understanding than most adults were (watch here). If anyone is doing the pressuring, it’s the hundreds of kid’s movies that only represent one type of Love. Just like sometimes throughout history movies don’t acknowledge the other minorities that we see in real life. I have yet to see a major kid’s movie showing an interracial couple as the main characters coming together in Love.
Love is so big! Yet, we try to confine it and restrict it. Love is trying to show us that everything we see about a person physically is nothing compared to the true being of the person, which is the soul (read Do You Know What You Are?). True love only happens on a spiritual level because we are spiritual beings created by a spiritual Father, God. We can’t be afraid to show all types of Love. The more it’s seen and, in the light, the more hope we have for it to be fully accepted and understood. The more lives that will be saved. The more we can all walk in our true being and know we are fully abiding in Love.
“God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” 1 John 4:16
I now leave it in the hands of God to do His will in and through their lives because only He knows what’s good and perfect and pleasing Romans 12:2.
I Love My Goofballs!