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A Happy Childhood

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2020 2:00 am

A Happy Childhood

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 17, 2020 2:00 am

Becket Cook, author of "A Change of Affection," remembers what it was like growing up as the youngest of eight kids in an affluent family in Dallas. Cook recalls when his same-sex attraction first started, and talks about his pursuit of same-sex relationships in high school and college. Cook tells how his Christian parents reacted when he finally came out to his family, and advises parents on what to do and what not to do when their son or daughter comes out as being gay.

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As a teenager growing up in Texas.

Beckett began experiencing an unwelcome desire. Ice started to sense that I was attracted to the same sex and that was kind of an sensation because it was very much frowned upon, and so I kind of had to leave this double life and had to keep this a deep dark secret so I was very social and very popular in school and an elementary school and high school, but I had this like secret life.

This is family life today.

Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine. You can find us How did Beckett cook process. This unwelcome desire. He was experiencing how to handle all that will find out from him today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to the thanks for joining us.

One of the verses of Scripture up and think about this as I was thing about our conversation today, a verse like come back to that.

I really love this is from first Peter chapter 2 where Peter describes who we are in Christ, he says your chosen race, a royal priesthood holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. I was think about that because were in the hero a darkness to light story inspiring. Still that passage is the epitome of what happens in a person's life from darkness to light. It isn't a little bit. It's absolute old life, new life in yes the story today is inspiring.

In that regard.

Beckett cook is joining us on family life to a welcome packet.

Thank you for having I read your story of your conversion online. Nothing was on the Gospel coalition website and I was like this is an amazing story.

Everybody's conversions an amazing story because all of us dead in our trespasses and sins made alive in Christ. Yours was a unique journey because it involved you been engaged in Hollywood and the entertainment industry living four years as a gay man.

And then at a providential and I was this a chance encounter, but a providential encounter at a coffee shop where you heard the gospel for the first time.

Let's go back to you growing up as a kid in Dallas. One of 88 kids I grew up in a large Catholic family and we were very devout Catholics, and I went to Catholic schools my whole life.

But at a very early age I ice started to sense that I was attracted to the same sex early. How early probably six seventh-grade really baby and that was kind of an sensation because it was very much frowned upon, and so I kind of had to leave this double life and had to keep this a deep dark secret so I was very social and very popular in school and in elementary school and high school, but I had this like secret life, and told anyone about it. I told actually a childhood friend that I had known since we were babies. Basically, our mothers were best friend. So he was aware of it but they didn't really get to come to the next level until high school when I befriended someone who became my best friend in high school and one night we were out and we basically came out to each other at this club in Dallas and there were gay people there. There were stray people there. There were transgender people there and so my best friend and I came out to each other and that's when I really felt like okay now I can really confide in somebody and we just explore gay culture. Together we went to gay bars everywhere. I was 15 years old going to gay bars and I know how we got in. He was for your parents had no idea know because I was the youngest of eight and there and little did they know I was going to these clubs and bars and I just remember going to the Star club. For example, or to a gay bar for the first time and just feeling like wow like these are my people. These people get who I am. They have the same feelings I have, and it was this huge like eye-opening experience I had you started acting out on us on what you want, so that started at 12 or 13 yes started in like probably seventh-grade.

I was acting out that you'd had an experience where you had been sexually abused. Yes, I think I was in fifth grade I spent the night at a friends house and I'd spent the night at his house before several times but this one particular night I was asleep in the guest room and in the middle of the night I woke up and his father was molesting me.

I remember it being very scary as I thought that if he saw that I was awake he was going to stab me with a knife that was like the first thought. And so he ended up leaving the room and he came back and then I was, sitting up in bed and he made up some weird excuse and then left the room. I didn't tell my parents, which I wish I had done. My dad was a lawyer and he would've would've gone after the start, but I didn't tell him because I knew that if I did, there would be so much discussion of shame and stigma. If it got out. I never thought that the it was that big of a deal to me. I mean it was that night, but I just thought afterwards I thought well that happened and is not really can have an impact on my life now is man you look back and think about you.

Now I look back on like wow that had a huge impact on my life and it really damaged me in so many ways just emotionally and what sexual abuse does, I think, in almost all cases, is it makes you very promiscuous and I was very promiscuous so I think that sexual abuse has that effect on people to sell interesting when I hear this because his mom my mom's heart gets worried and thinks no slumber party like me now you can invest the thing.

It's like you cannot you can't trust anyone because I yeah slumber parties are to interests because you never know. Make it happen. If your dad today. Your kids would notice on the part never and it's it is interesting and knows we are raising our three boys.

She was that mom like when I let him sleep over and I was tired in Atlanta because I have sexual abuse my background and so I'm thinking it's not just some weird Al it's people that you now leaning, smiling, and I you felt like you need to trust people and I was nave. There really was again my wife was right again. Finally I night but it's so hard you know that his parents because you don't live all the other kids are going to the slumber party on your kid can't and how do you explain that to whoever even your toilet is currently mad yeah me. I think I'm ridiculous. And it probably would still say you a little careless about that, so that by the same token, the fact that your 15 and sneaking out to gay bars and staying up till all hours of the night till five in the morning so okay so lights know. I remember one night I was out at the start club till five in the morning.

This is like my senior year of high school junior and I came home and I snuck in the front door and my dad was coming downstairs to get ready to go to work and he just looked at me didn't say a word and is like walk to, you know, the kitchen and I walked to my bedroom and we never said a word about you talk with your parents about that yesterday. Yeah, my parents are physically with Christ. Right now they died in 2015, six months apart, but about eight years ago seven years ago I had dinner with my dad and he'd already they'd already known my my brother. That's closest in age to me. He knew about this whole thing back when it happened.

I told him so. He told my whole family when I moved to LA and I came out like he told my family about that night and so I just I set my dad down and I said your dad.

I want to explain to you what happened that night and I told him every detail of the story I told him exactly what happened and I said dad if I'd told you at the time but would you have done and it he goes, I would've given him two choices. You turn himself in or And let that make you feel when he said that well I that's the thing that's one of the things I feared the another thing, if you're telling them at the time was I was afraid my dad was going to like completely lose it and go kill this guy and then my dad go to prison, but he would be raised without a father, and then I would be I would be responsible so that that's why it's like I said he told them he basically he admitted that that would've happened thank you what you thought you you had planned to go to medical school and/or law school right yes I was premed in college, but after I graduated, which was a shame I did. I realize I didn't want to be a physician.

So in the meantime, I applied to law school in dental school because I would have the premed required for for dental school and I got into Baylor dental school in Dallas and I got into SMU Law school and then is it that I moved to Tokyo for year because I was totally freaked out after Kai was like mama go do with my life. I don't want to be a doctor. I don't want to be done because I don't want to be a lawyer one either.

So I moved to Japan with my best friend and from college and we lived in Tokyo but then I ended up scrapping all of that, the lawyer dentist thing my dad was a lawyer so he was super bummed out when I told him I had my class. I was enrolled in law school and my class live about first semester process and I said dad I'm moving to LA I'm not going to law school and he was as kind of like, but again it was just like what ever do whatever you want and I just loaded up my car and moved to LA the next day is this pattern in your life of this idea had this idea in at the last minute.

I mean, was that something you normally did you like I know what I'm going to do, and this was no I mean in my pattern my life growing up was I was always just super focused on school and they know I was very social but I was always like I loved doing my homework.

I loved getting good grades like I was very focused on that I wasn't, like all over the place, which is interesting. You are also dating girls in high school I went study with three different girls and I remember one girl in particular were really close. Still, one night we were making out and she just like Beckett UK because I think she was kind of surprised that I didn't try to make more moves on her and she was like her UK and as I know now what he talking about and I denied it tonight and I did a girls but it was mostly for just kind of the social purposes of it and and in that moment where she is saying you can tell me. Didn't you want to tell somebody well, I'd already had my best friend in high school that I was you know I was telling so I didn't really need to tell her and I knew that it was embarrassing. You know, was embarrassing to tell her because we were sure so I didn't. Did you not want to tell the world that at some level I did know I did not because I'm in high school and somewhat in college. I felt like my same-sex attraction was sort of like a phase. I was going through. I never really sought as a permanent thing of my life I was taught all eventually get married to woman ever to have family like but it wasn't until after Tokyo, I my roommates friend from Texas came to visit us for week and we ended up falling in love and then that was the first time I was really in a relationship with a guy and after that happened. That's when I felt like I came out to everyone to match my family, my friends, and no turning back. Each time there is no turning back there. It was like I finally felt like okay this is definitely who I am. This is immutable.

This is never going to change and I don't even want to change that point though. Are you like celebrating this a you like excited. This is who I am is there any fear that 1992, so as not likely early there still a stigma still a stigma that the middle or the end of the whole AIDS, so it was very it was a scary time because you did it was very dangerous but I don't know I was. I guess I was so in love. Quote unquote that I just didn't care. I was just like this is who I am. Take it or leave it, and my parents reaction was so brilliant.

They were so kind of cool about it. Not in a they. My parents believed it was a sin. They were very much opposed to it in my seat all my siblings were Christians and they they believed it was a send to, but my mother cried when I got back from Tokyo. She started crying in the kitchen and I said mom what's wrong and she's like Beckett I heard your homosexual in Buffalo and I was like mom it's okay it's like this is who I am. It's not a big deal.

Don't worry, I'm fine and then she can calm down after that and was super loving and amazing my whole life.

After that, I mean she is and always was. But in my dad. I do know how he was correct. I drove up the driveway one day and he came up and he drove right in after me and he came up to me as I came back so I heard your homosexual and I you are you mad at me about anything I did I do anything wrong. As a father. Are you mad at me about Lino not protecting you from your brother Peter like Quito beating you. Are you guys fighting all the time and I remember saying it was like it's not your fault. This is just who I am and they weren't like supportive of my being gay, but there was me and they would loves me. Their reaction was really nice from your perspective today as a guy who has come to faith in Christ who looks back on this and identifies the as Sam who is living so abruptly today. Talk to parents who have a 22-year-old who comes home from college and says hey mom dad to town. I got to talk to you and they wondered for a while if there's something going on another son or daughter is coming out what your coaching to those parents well it's I going to visit my book about what there's all section on what to do or what not to do.

But this is a thing when a child comes out to their parents. It's one of the most important moments in that person's life and he did something you never forget you never forget that moment when you come out so I always say everyone needs to have grace and be calm like don't fly off the handle.

Don't freak out. See, this is a problem is when you're growing up gay you have years and years to wrestle with it into kind of come to terms with it and so when you come out you expect your parents to just be like automatically on the same page and a lot of people don't give their parents the grace to like morning green even go through all that and so kids need to give their parents grace and parents just need to go into a closet and cry, but that the parents reaction is so important for parents to have. Just like a loving kind of reaction to it rather than fly off the handle and go into some sort of rage and and start quoting Bible verses like that is not helpful in that situation.

The only thing that in my opinion is helpful is prepared to just listen and to just love their child unconditionally.

Regardless of what's going on in the parent who's concerned that if that's what I demonstrate. The child is going to think that I'm okay with their game snow. I mean, because I knew my I mean, I knew my parents were okay with it. They made it clear, and I think parents should make that obviously if if that's not clear they need to make that clear.

First, you can't badger or bludgeon your child into the kingdom of God. That's not to work like you can't beat them over that with the Bible and say you know will look at the Scripture look at like if they my parents had done that with me. There's nothing they could have done to stop me from being the prodigal.

There's absolutely nothing. I was on this trajectory and nothing they could have said or done would've changed Beckett that's really wise because I've had parents call me and say my child just came out. I need you to meet with them and talk them out of this right puts me in a spot because in saying I don't think that I'm the one I'd be happy to sit down and talk to them and tell them that Jesus loves Dan tell them who they are in Christ and that I don't think I'm going to be the one that just flicked in one session. Together they can say all I guess I'm not gay. I was moving in with the boyfriend from that I met in Tokyo.

I was going to move in with him and my I think some of my siblings were going to stage an intervention and try to stop before it was because I was moved to Austin from Dallas and I just remember thinking like whites like you can't stop me from moving.

Thankfully, they didn't try to do that that because that would've been really hurtful and painful for everyone involved and and I mean I can all tell a story my sister-in-law who was kind of the epitome of what I see as a Christian who gets it.

She knew that I knew that she believed it was a sin. I mean it was it was unequivocal, but she always hung out with me. She wanted every time I would come back to Dallas from LA she would want to get together for coffee and I would talk about guys she would talk about God, but she never pulled her Bible out in like container, said Beckett. You know you're still sinning right right.

She did two things she loved me unconditionally for years and years and years and she prayed for me without ceasing shipwright acts 2618 over me and and it's kind of cuts off in the middle of the verse, but 18 verse 18 says to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me and that person answered yes. I'm thinking of the number parents. I've talked to the number you guys have talked to to try to maintain a Christlike loving demeanor when emotionally you've just gotten punched in the gut. Maybe one of the most challenging assignments any parent ever faces and this is where we've got to in that moment cry out to God to respond as Jesus responded to the woman caught in adultery. I don't condemn you and pray for the day when you can say go and sin no more them in the right moment state they already know your kids know they know what you believe.

You don't have to reinforce that it's not like that's a surprise to them yet and I don't want to minimize what parents are going through because I talk about this in my book as it is a punch in the gut. I mean it is harsh and I I've I mean I'm not a parent I can imagine being a Christian parent and having a child come out to you and because, like, like all your hopes and dreams yes or anything like it's not really yeah your book is so helpful because it provides not only your story, but the kind of insight that were talking about here. I think a lot of parents love people don't want to read your book. It's called a change of affection again man's incredible story of redemption. We got copies of Beckett's book in our family left a resource center you can order your copy when you go or you can call one 800 FL today to get a copy of Beckett Cook's book a change of affection.

Again, our website is family life to or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today to order your copy. You know these kinds of dialogues. This kind of interaction that we have each day on family life today. Our goal is to help effectively develop godly marriages and families. We believe godly marriages and families are key to the survival of a culture we can change the world through godly marriages and families that's our conviction here at family life to an you as a listener make this possible. When you support the ministry of family life to a financially where Lister supported today's program happened because some of your fellow blisters made this conversation available to all of us would like to ask you if your regular Lister.

Will you invest in the ongoing work of family life to so that others can be impacted by what they hear on this program.

If you can help with the donation today. We would love to send you as a thank you gift a copy of a book I've written recently called love like you mean it takes a deep look at first Corinthians 13 and applies that biblical portrait of love to a marriage relationship so that our marriages can have the kind of love for one another that the Bible describes again the book love like you mean it is our thank you gift to you. When you make a donation today go to family life to to donate or call one 800 FL today and request a copy of the book when you donate and thank you for standing with us.

Thank you for your support on behalf of your fellow blisters. Thank you for making future programs. Possible through your donations today and we hope you can join us again tomorrow to hear about a conversation that took place in a coffee shop that was revolutionary. Beckett Cook's life. He explains how that conversation happened and what the results were only joins us tomorrow. Hope you can join us as well. Thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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