Dear Abby says “Listen to your heart”

Dear Abby says “Listen to your heart”

A 26 year old mother of an 8 year old daughter, having just ended a 5 year relationship with a man, is attracted to a lesbian friend of hers, and the attraction has become sexual in nature. She thinks it is mutual. Her problem is her daughter. She writes; “I don’t know how she would handle it if I were to date a woman instead of a man. I am also afraid of how my family would react.”

Jeanne Phillips, who is now Dear Abby, begins her reply with, “I am reluctant to advise you to spend the rest of your life living a lie in order to avoid upsetting your family, because I don’t think it would be healthy for you.”

Phillips assumes the mother is lesbian rather than being on the rebound or confused about her sexuality. She makes a leap too

far, at least. A same-sex attraction does not necessarily point to full blown homosexuality. “Living a lie”, hmmm, a rather disingenuous conclusion perhaps?

Then the counsel not to be concerned about family, just assuming that the 8 year old will be just fine with it all. Pretty far reaching evaluation. I wonder if Phillips is not simply pandering to the current approval of gayness and fearful that any other kind of advice might be met with a lot of criticism maybe even demands she step down. Can you imagine her telling the mother to re-examine her position and to consider the consequences for her daughter? In our culture, few would be brave enough to do so.

Dear Abby, oh so very dear, concludes her most gracious reply with: “My advice is to listen to your heart, and you won’t go wrong.”

There it is, basically saying that by so doing you are on the right path. Go gay, since obviously you are one, and your daughter, other family members, will all just simply adjust without problem. Ignore everyone but yourself. Fulfill your desires. It is all about you.

The heart, surely trust worthy, especially when the heart in this case is informed and fueled by hormones, perhaps an emptiness due to the recent ending of a relationship, and perhaps other emotional and physical issues that Abby has no way of knowing anything about. Verges on mal-practice, maybe?

How trustworthy is the “heart?” I know mine and have followed it and thereby have gotten myself in more trouble than I want to think about. An ancient prophet said: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (This is found in Jeremiah 17:9)

Trust the heart today generally means trust your feelings. Feelings – mine are subject to so many factors it is worthless for me to even start a list. I am all over the board but I have found that I need to be careful and considerate in my appraisals. If I did not have Scripture to consult, which by the way captures the wisdom of the ages as well as that of the Creator, I would be at the mercy, and a flimsy mercy at that, of the dominate and fluctuating values of the culture around me.

Of course, Jeanne Phillips could not bring up the Bible or she would be hounded out of a job. The uproar that would descend upon her would make her a household name for perhaps two or three days. And she would be looking for a job.

Kent Philpott

July 15, 2013

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