I am not a theological giant. That may surprise you, (ha!) but I’m not. I struggle with the most basic aspects of that which Jesus teaches and how to apply them to my life and how to accurately convey them to those which Jesus has entrusted me to teach. I trust that God is good and His Word is truth, but let’s be honest, there are some hard things in Scripture, and when you have hurting people looking at you telling you to explain it, it’s a lot of pressure. Thankfully we have God’s Spirit and we don’t have to rely on our own power to twist our mind into pretzels in figuring it out.
I had one of those moments this morning where the Spirit plopped something into my lap while I was studying and praying.
One of the questions, and quite frankly, accusations, I get when talking to people about the issue of same sex attraction is this: Does God expect me (or my friend) to be alone my entire life because I am not attracted to the opposite sex? What kind of a loving God would want that for me (or my friend?)
Short answer: No. God does not intend for you to be alone. God is a God of community. He created us to be in community with others, so, no, you are not intended to be alone. You are being told through Scripture that you are not to be in a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. That much is clear. But since when is not being in a sexual relationship the same as being alone? Our society sexualizes EVERYTHING! Sex is seen as this inevitable step taken in a relationship and that simply isn’t true, it is a lie being fed to us. Multitudes of individuals find fulfillment in relationships that do not have a sexual component.
Harder answer: It’s not about us.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
The message of the gospel is that Jesus loves us so much that He died for us, repaying a debt that we couldn’t possibly pay ourselves. And in return, we love Him so much that we deny ourselves, knowing that any discomfort we experience here is temporary and the cost is well worth the prize.
Now before I get the expected response, “It’s easy for you to say, you don’t struggle with these feelings.”; you are absolutely right, I don’t. I do, however, struggle with denying myself in other ways. For instance, I adore my adult children. I dream of having close relationships with them for our entire lives. They don’t always choose to live according to scripture, and as a believer, I have a responsibility to hold them accountable to that truth…and most of the time I do, but sometimes I choose the easier route of silence, because I’m afraid that if I speak that truth, they will turn away from me and I’ll lose that close relationship that I have with them. But in keeping that silence, I’m putting myself and my desire for relationship above Jesus; because Jesus should be all I need. Jesus ultimately is all any of us need. Scripture tells us this and we need to trust that truth.
Don’t misread me. My heart breaks for those that do experience same sex attraction. The burden seems like it would be almost unbearable, especially in view of scripture’s call to not act on those temptations. And it would be unbearable, on our own. I am so thankful that we have a God that loves us and is willing to lend us His power in order to bear those burdens. His desire is to walk with us through the pain and lead us out the other side stronger, and closer to Him; where we will finally realize that the cost of denying ourselves is more than worth the prize.