Eating my own words in this post, and it doesn’t taste very good. I have a feeling that much of my future will consist of doing this…. realizing the errors in my reasoning and trusting the Lord to take me from glory to glory in the levels of my understanding and in my sensitivity to the compassion of His heart. Day by day, the Lord is bringing me to a deeper understanding of the souls of the people that I desire to help—- and He’s giving me a more real and strong love for them than I have ever had before.
When I look back on my own experience with homosexuality, I see a lot of sexual desire. I remember the constant physical pull toward people of the same gender. That was a very real part of my life, and it’s a very real part of almost every gay person’s life. But in reality, isn’t the physical longing for the pleasure sex brings a part of most people’s lives—regardless of who they are attracted to? I’ve realized, just in the past couple of weeks, that I’ve only been choosing to see “the sex” as I look back on my history with homsosexuality. Consequently, in my mind and in some of my writing, I’ve been defining all homosexuals as some kind of species of sex-hungry, sex-addicted animals.
But what I’ve not been remembering when recollecting my experiences in the “gay life” is the desire that I had—and still have—to be loved, to be shown affection…..to be wanted.
Over the past year, if you had asked me what the gay lifestyle is all about I would have emphatically and unwaveringly stated that being gay is all about sex. In just a few posts back, I stated “The gay lifestyle is driven by sex, not love.” I was wrong. Gay people are not seeking out relations with the same gender purely for the sexual benefits, and neither was I. I have thought and said differently in the past–I was wrong. And I want to make that clear.
Yes, homosexual behavior is an abomination. Yes, God hates homosexual behavior. I’m not downplaying the magnitude of sin in any way. But what I’m saying is that we tend to forget that people who commit homosexual sin are pursuing the ultimate desire we all have, the desire God placed in us—-the desire for love and affection. Yes, their attraction toward the same sex is unnatural and some of them may be extremely promiscuous (as are some heterosexual people) and being indulgent in sexual immorality— but their desire for love and affection is still very real and very much a driving force in their life.
The Lord has used my own thoughts and desires recently to show this to me. There have been instances lately where I have started to feel an emotional pull toward someone of the same sex. Before these recent experiences, I had forgotten that I had ever felt that way before… emotionally drawn toward men (I’m superb at blocking out emotions— so it makes sense to me I would naturally forget certain ones I’ve experienced in the past), but recently, for whatever reasons, I have had an awakening in the cravings of my heart. Not for sex, not for mere physical interaction— but for love and affection.
Wanting to be loved and shown affection is not sinful in itself. It’s good, very good. But we sin in the ways that we go about searching to fulfill that wanting. We were made in the image of God and He himself placed the desires for intimacy and love in the deepest part of our hearts (first and foremost for them to be directed at Him)…. but simultaneously we have all been marred by sin—and it has distorted our desires down into the deepest parts of our hearts. Homosexuality is a distortion of a good, godly desire. It takes faith to believe that, which is why so few do. If you’re one of the few that have these feelings, but through faith trust what God has revealed about these feelings, I want to encourage you to continue to trust God and His wisdom—although you may not fully understand. Continue to believe and follow His will as revealed in His Word—- even when everything in your mind and body is contradicting the truth. Remember you are still in flesh… and remember that your flesh is severely scarred. If your attractions are currently not in line with God’s design— pursue healing and restoration through the renewing of your mind in His Word. Make Him the object of your worship, and see the effects of sin start to untangle in your life. But listen to me (as I say this to myself also)—If your attractions never end up getting in line with God’s design, and if the effects sin has had on you don’t untangle to that point—to the degree that you find someone of the opposite sex that you can’t help but desire— God is more than enough. The longings you have for love and affection can be found in God on an infinitely higher level than they ever could be in a human relationship. Don’t think you have fallen off of God’s grid—He’s aware of you. He’s aware of your longings, He’s aware of your needs… and He genuinely cares. You are loved, desired and even wanted by God. He is the great Comforter— and He will satisfy you in ways that perhaps a married couple could never experience. You may not understand His plan for you right now… and you may not until you are in His presence. But no matter what, remember that He is enough.
I’m not attempting to explain all the reasons people like me are attracted to the same sex… I don’t even think that’s possible on this side of eternity. But I can tell you the main cause of homosexual desires— our sinfulness. Sin is not just what we do, it’s who we are. It’s affected every part of us. We are not what we should be and we desire things we should not. Again, I know it takes faith to believe that… and if you don’t, I pray the Lord will grant you faith and in His lovingkindness lead you to repentance even amidst the mass confusion of your feelings. He did it–and is still doing it– for me. Jesus substituted Himself in our place and died for our sins— bringing upon Himself the condemnation that was headed toward us. He absorbed it all. I don’t fully understand that—all the ins and outs of how that took place— but I believe it. And I trust Him with all of my being. You don’t have to “get it” to come to Him. Just come. Lay it down…including your desire to fully understand everything…and come.
Lastly, I want to encourage Christians to treat the homosexuals around you as what they are— human beings made in the image of God. Yeah, they have corrupt desires. But so do you. Our brokenness may manifest differently from person to person, but the root of it is the same. Our hearts have all been infiltrated by sin— and rather than coming to God for help from the very beginning, we have all at some point rejected Him and fed our sinful desires…. resulting in even deeper corruption of our thoughts and desires. The homosexual may be “far off”… but through a Christian’s compassion and virtue, God could draw them near. Love is the answer, not condemnation.
We need Jesus. We need His love to come invade our hearts and give life to the death we’ve been existing in. All of us.