Author Archives: Earl Middleton

How My Son Broke My Scorched Heart & Changed My Life

I left my son in our box seats at Dodger Stadium to go take a private cell phone call, and he broke my heart.

When I returned I couldn’t see him, or our seats, or my jacket, which contained my wallet, and the key to our ride back home. I found him in another section down front with a group of other boys his age. I remember stalking toward him and motioning with gritted teeth, “Get over here!” The wide grin on his face from the joke they must have been sharing dropped to a pout even more puckered now by his new braces. When he finally reached me I yanked him by the collar over to a corner of the stadium concourse and shouted into his face, “I’m doing this here so I don’t have to embarrass you!” as usual, not realizing the damage had already been done.

And that’s when it happened.

Now, I know you must be thinking, what was he going to do? Lecture him? Or even worse, spank him, or beat him? Well, before I could do any of those he looked me in the soul with an eyeful of pain that could gut a gorilla and asked, “Is it over? Daddy, is it over?”

In that moment I could feel his innocence, his helplessness, his total loss of hope. It didn’t matter to him what I was saying to him, it mattered what I was feeling to him. To his eleven year old ears all my words during that entire encounter were like the inscrutable squawking the peanuts characters on television heard when any adult spoke to them. But what he was feeling from me was rage. And disapproval. And disgust. And rejection. The same things I felt from my own father when I was eleven. And the same thing my father must have felt from his. And like me, he just wanted it to be over.

All of that fell into my spirit in that one instance, and my heart crumbled. And the tears rushed to my eyes. And something died in me. Hopefully, for good. And something else was birthed. It was like I was having an out of body experience, standing there watching a grown man bully my son. He suddenly looked so small to me. Not his body that was just beginning to fill out, but his soul. It was like Yahweh had given me soul vision. I could finally see my son’s so clearly. And it was shrinking away from me with each breathe, like a lost man falling off a cliff while reaching up to his last hope for survival.

Boys need discipline and structure from their fathers—I totally get that—but what they want and need even more is gentleness, encouragement, and loving hugs; all fruit of the spirit that aren’t basic issue in our daddy tool kits when they are born, but have to be grown inside of us one day at a time. I’d already raised two girls and thought I was daddy deluxe. I’d preached about this and even written about it in my novels and parental rejection books. But I’d never really understood it until that very moment.

“Behold, therefore, the goodness and the severity of God.”

Parents have a special call on their lives to model both. I had the severity part down cold, it was the goodness thing that escaped me that day at Dodger Stadium, and so many other days before that. The soil of my heart had been scorched from my own childhood, so nothing was really growing in there. What had been passing for spiritual fruit in my life was really just wax. Decorative stuff. With zero nutritional value. Nothing I could feed my son.

I damaged my son’s soul for a jacket, a wallet, and some keys, all material things that could eventually be replaced. I was in the middle of making a bad trade when the Holy Spirit showed me myself. The tight fists balled up around his collar eventually relaxed, then morphed, into a tight, wet hug around his neck; and it didn’t matter anymore how or when we would get home. All that mattered was that finally, we would get there together.

Help for Homosexual Children Rejected by their Christian Parents

Fall is just around the corner. It’s time for school supplies. But for one segment of the student population the item they will need most won’t readily be available at their local office supply store.

I am a Christian parent. To my knowledge none of my children are currently practicing homosexuals. So, to some degree I write more from an understanding culled via study, revelation, and biblical conviction rather than from insights gained in the bowels of experience.

My parents were also Christians parents. And one of their children was, and still is, a practicing homosexual. So, to some degree I do write from insights gained while in the bowels of experience.

What I have seen in my own childhood, and what I see happening in the Church today, as well as some of our schools, is a painful demonization and wounding of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents. I don’t challenge the authenticity of these rejecting parents’ Christianity anymore than I challenge the authenticity of the homosexuality of their children. What I challenge is the hurt, the harm, and the horror of the rejection; and I view the healing of these wounds and wrongs as a significant part of my life mission.

I am a Christian minister. A Christian theologian. A Christian author. A former Christian pastor. And a current Christian champion of healing for prejects, including homosexual prejects. A preject, as I explain in my workbook When My Mother & Father Forsake Me…, is a person who has been emotionally rejected by and physically disconnected from a parent. We are increasingly becoming a nation of fractured families. It is estimated that 100 million Americans experience some level of rejection and disconnection from a parent by the time they reach age 21. Research has shown this kind of rejection to have significant impact on academic performance and school socialization. A growing segment of this preject population is LGBT teens and young adults coming out to their parents as a result of the rise in available support groups and more sympathetic legislation.

My biblical convictions are that homosexuality is a sin and misses the mark of God’s basic and best design for our lives. My biblical convictions also are that Jesus would have and does embrace the homosexual, or anyone deemed by the law to be in a place or lifestyle of sin. Therein lies the tension of redemptive faith. Those seemingly polar convictions beg the question: How does a bible-believing Christian, be it an educator, classmate, or parent, embrace someone who is behaving in a way that God disapproves of and rejects?

Well, I have come to believe that the very question is really a product of bad theology.

Sin matters. Love matters more. The law of love supersedes the law of sin.

God is love. God loves ALL of the creation. Loves it so much that God sent Jesus to model in a corporal and costly way God’s love for all of the creation (Jn 3:16). So, the God of the bible embraces everyone. And that love teaches us to embrace our own kids even when they misbehave. Biblical love demands that we love everyone, not only as a point of legality; but from the heart. Because biblical love is transforming. When a person has a true encounter with the God of love one cannot help but to become love as well, from the inside out, from the heart; because love supersedes the law, and is in fact the only law. As Paul said, owe no man anything but to love; for he that loves has fulfilled the law (Rom 13:8). And if my faith is going to work it must be anchored in and activated by love, for the same Apostle Paul also said that faith works by love (Gal 5:6).

So, I am not called or sent to condemn the homosexual. I am called and sent to love the homosexual. And the pain of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents demands a response. LGBT young people who are highly rejected by their families are likely to attempt suicide as many as 9 times in their lifetime. I cannot turn my head and walk on, like the priest and Levite in Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan. The love of God constrains me to be a good neighbor. The pain of homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents is my pain, and I believe God has a word of help and healing for them that will transform their pain into power. For years I’ve watched my sister suffer this pain. In my heart I believe that by ministering healing to homosexual children rejected by their Christian parents through my books, workshops, and seminars, I am also ministering healing to her…and ultimately, to myself.

As LGBT young people head back to school this fall, I want to equip them with the tools they will need to endure their rejection experiences, overcome the hate, and transform their pain into power. I want to put a copy of When My Mother & Father Forsake Me… in the hands of every LGBT student who needs it, and in so doing, tangibly demonstrate the love of God.

Bullies Are Often Prejects

Has your child ever been bullied?

Have you?

As our children return to school I know firsthand the anxiety many parents feel as they are forced to release their little gentle souls into the potential path of campus bullies.

I was bullied for a short time as a rail thin kid growing up in Brooklyn after moving there from Belize. Even though it was 1969 my colorful, plaid, high water pants and blindingly bright, stripped shirts were still considered weird; almost as weird as my thick accent. That combination just screamed, “Bully me! Call me names! Chase me all the way home!”

Today I am a full-time author-speaker and run, a non-profit dedicated to healing families. I do a lot of work with foster parents and children, and lead Foster & Kinship Care Education workshops in the California Community Colleges system. I also have three children of my own, including a 12 year old boy in the 7th grade.

Between 1969 and now I’ve learned something revelatory about bullying that can make a difference for your child and school this year.

A preject is a parental reject; a person who has been neglected, abused, or abandoned by at least one parent and consequently lives with a cracked, broken, or shattered soul. The preject personality is organized around preject syndrome, the leading characteristic of which is hostility.

Many, many bullies are actually prejects acting out in hostility as an expression of the pain of their parental rejection. The only way to effectively deal with this kind of bully is via adult intervention. (And our preject test, available at, can identify whether or not someone is a preject, and at what level of prejection they might be operating.)

There is no magic phrase or behavioral response (outside of meeting force with force) from the victim of this kind of bullying that will make a difference to the bully or stop the bullying behavior. The preject bully needs an adult who will speak to the parental loss the bully is experiencing, express genuine care and parental concern for the bully, set limits and consequences for the bully’s behavior, and hold the bully accountable.

Hopefully your school’s campus is populated with administrators, teachers, and campus life guardians who can provide this kind of adult intervention. Sadly, with more learning communities forced to battle greater problems with fewer resources, it’s likely that your school’s staff is stretched thin as it is. But every problem is an opportunity for impact.

You can make a difference!

Why not volunteer to be one of those adults who provides a presence on campus once a week specifically to make an impact in the life of a bully. Better still, why not organize a team of adult intervention volunteers to meet the bullying problem head on. Patrol the playground and lunch areas. Keep an eye out for aggressive behavior. It will certainly make your child’s campus a safer place to learn, and just might lead to a defining moment in a young preject bully’s life.

Visit my website ( and my amazon author page ( to learn more.

What Prejects Do

Parental rejection is the active or passive pushing away of a child by a parent. Thanks to culturally induced changes in this generation’s family structures and the ways we are raising our children it’s becoming a subject of interest to a wide spectrum of constituencies, from academicians to screenwriters. A preject is a parental reject, a person who suffers from parental rejection. The term fits our culture’s fascination with shortcuts, nicknames, timesavers, and condensing huge concepts into tiny sound bites. It also hints subtly and subliminally at the process of this rejection, suggesting that the seeds of the behavior were planted and present BEFORE the child was even born; a predetermined or predicted rejection if you will. Most prejects never stood a chance to be fully loved and accepted because they were born into a perfect storm of circumstances that made it impossible for their parents to marshall the skill and care necessary to raise a child with a whole soul. The premise of parental rejection and the preject behavior it inspires is pretty simple: – we are all born with a capacity for the intangible (a soul) – that capacity is most influenced by parental relationships in the growth years – good parenting enhances, and bad parenting damages that capacity Here is a look at what to expect in 7 key categories of life from prejects who have been damaged by bad parenting to varying degrees. If you recognize yourself head on over to and see just how bad the damage is. Don’t worry I also have some suggestions about how to fix the damage: What Prejects do when they are: –Cracked – they start well but can’t/don’t finish; they make premature deliveries in multiple life areas –Broken – they don’t start well; they are self-destructive; they are conflict/drama driven; and neurotic –Shattered – they have no positive organization; they are destructive to others; and psychotic –Healed – they start & finish; they are constructive; and timely; and adjusted Parent relationships when Prejects are: –Cracked – they are in touch but growing distant; they have a hollow, vaguely satisfying feeling –Broken – they are out of touch; have infrequent, strained contact; carry a painful feeling –Shattered – they are out of touch/institutionalized; there is no contact; marked by a hostile feeling –Healed – marked by restored unreconciled relationship; controlled contact; and a hopeful feeling Achievement when Prejects are: –Cracked – diminishing/declining; unfulfilled promise; frustrated ambition –Broken – stunted; nothing significant; loss/lack of ambition –Shattered – failure; loser expectations; anti-achievement & anti-social identity –Healed – marked by later/catch-up achievement; restored ambition; skill acquisition Career Satisfaction when Prejects are: –Cracked – disillusionment –Broken – disenchantment; dissatisfaction –Shattered – disaffected; detached; no expectation for a career or satisfaction Marriage & Family Relationships when Prejects are: –Cracked – entropized; disintegrating; losing meaning & support –Broken – disconnected; burdensome; difficult –Shattered – in disrepair; destructive; dead –Healed – renewal; supportive; affirming; growing potential Parenting practices & outcomes when Prejects are: –Cracked – abandonment of family rituals; rejection of family values in late teens –Broken – no rituals established; no values transmitted –Shattered – ritual pain infliction; destructive parenting; tortured offspring –Healed – creating family rituals; revisiting family values in early adulthood Ability to meaningfully connect with others when Prejects are: –Cracked – growing isolation; narrowing of social circles; introversion; substitutes –Broken – disconnection; extreme loner behavior; imagined communities; keeping people at bay –Shattered – conflict; menace to society; often drives people away –Healed – building community; balance of introversion & extroversion; attracts people If you believe you are a preject and would like more information on what to do to feel better and heal, e-mail me here and take your next step to wholeness. 

The Five G.R.A.C.E. Steps Changed My Life

Before I lead an Overcoming Parental Rejection and Hurts (OPRAH) WORKSHOP I always ask myself, “What actual, concrete outcome can I promise you will have by the end of the encounter, and actually deliver on?” Then I run through the answers in my head: 1. You’ll now the extent of your soul damage (because you can’t really fix a problem until you know exactly what and how bad it is). 2. You’ll know the exact, customized steps to take to forever heal the pain of your parental rejection. 3. You’ll know the exact steps and words to use to fully forgive your rejecting parent forever. 4. You’ll know exactly who God has assigned to give you the parental love you have always wanted and deserved. 5. You’ll know exactly how your life will change after overcoming the effects of parental rejection. I could deliver on none of those promises if I didn’t have my own transformative experience with parental rejection, so I rely heavily on my own life change to help you arrive at yours. That’s why I list exactly HOW my prejection limited my life previously: a) fear (I was afraid of executing my ideas) b) lack of confidence (I had no confidence that I could make my ideas work) c) anger (I was self destructing consistently because I turned my anger inward) d) depression after every failure (this is the natural outcome of inner anger) e) isolation (I refused to be hurt again, which limited my ability to partner in order to achieve) f) poor expectation (from a negative worldview–though masked in word of faith positivity) Then I share my story of self-limitation, of struggle to break through the inner ceiling in my life: I was angry and full of self-destructive rage. Not explosive, but quiet rage, desperation, turned inward. That anger was like a computer virus working in the background of my operating system, slowing me up so that I was way less productive. Clinically depressed. I became overly dependent on a Santa Claus god to rescue me from the mess I consistently found myself in, knowing it was my own doing and yet feeling, accurately, that the deck was always stacked against me. I was full of excuses why I couldn’t make my ideas work, or why it wasn’t worth even attempting them. All of them were just blind essays authored by my fears and my lack of self-confidence. And all of them, including my failures and feelings, drove me further into shame and isolation and away from community. And then I hit ‘Rejection Bottom.’ I was rejected in Florida again, I cried out to God, and received/discovered/became aware of the early, non-commercial version of the 5 GRACE Steps. I did them. I healed. I changed. I honed them. I healed some more. Changed some more. Stumbled. Despaired. Recovered. Grew. Did them again. Healed again. Got rejected again. Did them again. Healed again. Honed them again. Began to teach them again. Wrote about them. Dedicated my life to them. And now stand in a radically different place than I did before I found THE STEPS. It’s easy to say that the the 5 GRACE Steps changed my life. It takes more time and effort, and is more helpful, for me to list exactly HOW self-applying the 5 GRACE Steps in my life erased my limitations immediately: a) They instantly energized me (I was able to release my immobilizing anger and my depression lifted) — I was freed and inspired to ACTION. b) They boosted and grew my confidence (I was able to install and build self esteem; confront and overwhelm my fears by love; and gain clarity) — so I executed my ideas. c) They empowered me to build partnerships (I defeated isolation; risked vulnerability and intimacy; and reaped their benefits) — so I began healing people and communities with what I was now aware I had of value to offer. d) They raised my expectations (I transformed my negative worldview to a realistic one) — so I began to NOTICE opportunities and ideas manifesting. e) They freed me to now chase my dreams and fully commit to the journey. You’re reading this, so you’ve likely had some bad experiences with parental rejection. I want you to know that the same 5 GRACE Steps that worked for me and changed my life will work for you and change your life as well.