As a Christian parent, confronting the idea that your child is homosexual can be quite the challenge. How does one approach such a circumstance with grace and love, while also knowing full well what the Bible says about same-sex attraction?
Rory Feek was confronted with precisely this circumstance two years ago when his daughter Hopie opened up to him about being a lesbian. The 27-year-old told Rory that she was in love with her girlfriend Wendy and even wanted to marry her.
Hopie had revealed the news shortly after the death of Rory’s wife, Joey, and she was petrified that her dad would reject or disown her. Worst of all, she was scared he would no longer love her.
Admittedly, Rory’s initial reaction was to “balk,” according to TODAY, who interviewed the Christian country music star on the subject this month.
“My first reaction was not the best one because it was such a challenge to my faith,” he told TODAY. “I didn’t really know how to react.”
“I really didn’t know the answer to that,” he continued. “You know, I’m afraid that I, at first thought, was ‘I don’t know,’” he said. “What happens when your daughter says, ‘I’d like to marry my friend Wendy at the farm?’ And she’s waited her whole life, her whole life for this moment.”
He raised his daughter in a Christian home and had taught her all the Biblical values of purity and marriage being between one man and one woman. How would he teach his 4-year-old daughter Indiana what this means? What would Joey do? What would Jesus do? His mind raced with questions.
While his initial reaction was certainly not one of love, Rory knew that was his only choice. It’s what Joey would do. It’s what Jesus would do. Love.
“You go from one thing you think you can’t handle, that you end up learning so much from, to another thing that you didn’t see coming that you’re gonna learn so much from,” said Rory. “I’m learning how to love her even when our faith and our choices don’t line up exactly.”
Though he’s received backlash from Christians who are outraged with his choice to support and love Hopie and Wendy wholeheartedly, Rory feels he’s made the right decision.
“It’s a challenging situation,” he added. “But if it shows up at your house, you might look at it differently. The biggest thing that it’s shown me is that if I were going to be more Christlike, wouldn’t it be this? Wouldn’t I love greater?”
He’s even agreed to allow Hopie and Wendy to have their wedding at the farm, as Hopie always dreamed, and Indiana will be their flower girl.
The country singer says the best part of this journey for him is seeing Hopie realize that his love for her is unconditional:
“What’s been really fun is seeing my daughter realize that I love her. I love her no matter what. I could’ve got that wrong.”