As long as I can remember, my mother — and especially my father — have been the kind of Christians who practice what they preach. They were honest in what they said, and I knew I could depend on them to keep their promises. Both of them really gave themselves to do everything they knew to care for me, my brother, and my sister.

I saw in my parents a real love for Christ and a love for us children.

The photo above was taken after 30 years of marriage, and they obviously still loved each other. They had some difficult times, but their love was deeply felt, demonstrated by action and representing a genuine lifetime commitment.

Before I go on, I know that many of you will be thinking that I am describing a perfect Christian childhood and leaving out all my parents’ faults and other problems. I will definitely mention those things later.

But my main point now is to make it clear that a guy can have the “right kind” of Christian upbringing, no abuse, and good bonding experiences with his father — yet still develop an attraction to other guys.

Unfortunately, many parents wrongly think they should somehow take responsibility for raising a child badly and “making them gay.” I am a prime example of someone who was parented well, yet still developed same-sex attractions (SSA). The way a child is raised will definitely have an effect on how he responds to SSA, but it will not necessarily determine if he has SSA.

I remember my father showing me love that I could feel while also being a benevolent authority figure, explaining to me why he was telling me to do something and disciplining me when I needed it. Like his parents before him, he had a very heartfelt relationship with God. He would often sing songs of worship to God when working around the house or driving. Whenever there was a crisis, he would stop and pray, taking the situation to God instead of worrying.

Several times I remember God very specifically answering my father’s prayers! Once he had lost his job in a bad economy and asked God to provide one locally so he wouldn’t need to move and uproot the family. Before his severance pay even stopped, a different part of his old company called him back and he was working again under a different boss.

Another time — long before the days of GPS — I was in his car with my father when he ran out of gas. He stopped the car and prayed to find a nearby gas station. He then coasted in neutral down a hill — and to his and my surprise, there was a gas station, just at the bottom of the hill!

There are many examples of God clearly at work in my father’s life, and I could go on and on about them, but all I need to say is this:

I saw that my father had a very real relationship with God that was uncommon, powerful, and very much full of joy. I knew I wanted to be close to God the way Dad was!

Can you think of how your parents’ good qualities positively affected you? How has your father impacted your spiritual journey?

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