For the past few years I’ve found myself especially aware of the challenges experienced by those who deal with same-sex attraction.
Something Gary Thomas wrote in an article published in 2009, “Sexual Compassion,” gave me fresh insight into this painful struggle the first time I read it. Gary was talking with one of his friends, a guy named Mark who, though he was a Christian, still wrestled with his sexual orientation.
As we shared our individual struggles, one reality became painfully clear. My desire for sexual purity would soon be aided by God’s best remedy: I was about a year away from marrying my wife. Mark knew he might never be able to marry; his struggle for sexual purity could mean abstinence for his entire adult life.
That’s heavy, isn’t it? Gary goes on, reiterating that while we must speak the truth about sexual purity, we must do so in love:
We feel for the young man who is drawn sexually to other men, but that doesn’t mean we serve him by pretending God accepts same-sex expression. We will pray for his healing, we will walk with him as he allows God to heal his sexual nature, we will try to create a community of healthy, God-honoring relationships, but we must not, we cannot, endorse same-sex activity.
Yet through it all we must avoid proclaiming the prohibitions as if we don’t care. It is wrong not to care. It is less than Christian to be hard-hearted toward a brother or sister in a difficult state of sexual frustration.
How cold we must seem sometimes when we act as if sexual purity is not that big of a deal. The sexual drive is a major deal, and as one who has been sexually active in marriage for over two decades, I have no right to dismiss the very painful struggle behind God’s command for those in frustrating circumstances who can’t at the moment express or enjoy themselves sexually.
It can be difficult to balance an empathy toward those in sexually difficult situations with the knowledge that I should encourage faithful obedience to the Lord’s will. It’d be easy, and be less confrontative, to merely affirm an unbiblical sexual desire. But I can’t: I must speak the truth … from a heart of love.
If you’re interested in building an informed compassion for those who deal with same-sex attraction, check out a few of the relevant articles I solicited and published while editor of Boundless:
Great post. I attend Whitworth University, where this issue is near the center of upcoming controversies on how the school, as a Christian institution, should handle issues of orientation.
Glad to see you’re still writing, I’ll be following this blog with interest.
Very good one, Ted. That is where I think the folks–male and female alike–who deal (or like us, have dealt) with protracted singleness, can relate.
The church is the most God-awful place to be single. While most of the angst tends to come from opposite-sex-attracted folks who have found difficulty in finding a mate, this is all the more true for the Christian who suffers from SSA.
Emergency Prayer meeting tonight at 9:00 PM EST.
“The Prayer of the Solemn Assembly” John McTernan
“Massive weather destruction is bearing down on America. This includes incredible dust storms in the West, massive fires in California and Colorado, record breaking heat throughout the Southern section of the country, record drought in the West and the formation of a Derecho, which could spinoff tornadoes, stretching from Iowa to the East Coast.
****I believe this destructive weather is directly connected to June being made official “Gay Month” by the president, and then him exporting this sin all over the world.****
I walk in the fear of the Lord, and invite all others who so walk, to join me and others tonight in intercessory prayer for God’s mercy in face of His righteous judgments.
May the God of Israel protect you and your family.”