“MY FRIEND’S A HOMOSEXUAL”

 

“He’s also a Christian. This is the first time he told me. He was maybe afraid that I might reject him as some really weird person. I appreciate him now even more for being vulnerable. He must have trusted me. What counsel can you give me as we walk forward together?”

 

Great question.

DON’T REFER TO HIM AS A HOMOSEXUAL.

Describe him (if you must) as someone who struggles with same-sex attraction. Referring to him this way is kinder than pinning a label on him, even if you think it may fit. Labels can come with baggage, and that one for some Christians is cause for rejection. He’s already had too much of that. And you need not tell anyone. He can do that with whom and when he wants.

 

KNOW THAT HE STRUGGLES.

He lives with a lot of fear, especially if he hasn’t bought into the culture that says same-sex marriage is a gift from God. Good of you to accept him and show him that you can be trusted. Some have maybe violated that trust and treat him as an outcast. He already feels it inside. Go out of your way to love him. You might even ask, “How can I love you?” He may be transparent enough to tell you what he needs.

 

His vulnerability says something about you. Be worthy of his trust. Ask for his permission before you say anything to anyone. Some people don’t know how to handle what you received in a Christ-like way. Jesus loves broken people, and those with same-sex attractions are broken. They need rewiring, and that can take a while. Your genuine love and acceptance is already enhancing the healing process.

 

Christians with same-sex attractions often live with hopelessness. They have told me. They don’t know how they got in, and now they aren’t sure about the way out. Many are fighting what their body and emotions are screaming at them to do. They are in a fearful place, and it is taking longer than they had hoped. Some people already hate them without knowing them. Some care but are afraid at the same time. Your quiet confidence speaks hope to him.

 

HE DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS–NECESSARILY.

Don’t make assumptions, and help others not to. It is often more complex than you realize. Easy answers are bad answers. Don’t pretend like you understand. Tell him you don’t and ask questions as long as he is open to share. You will learn a lot, and it will deepen your love for broken people. You are reflecting the love of the Father “who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

 

HE NEEDS PHYSICAL TOUCH.

Surprise! Whether he has experienced the gay lifestyle or not, he needs to experience more of the straight. Don’t resist hugging him for fear of wrongly arousing him. He needs proper affection, and if you are a hugger, go for it. It will minister grace. He is being treated as the human being that he is rather than a dangerous leper that he isn’t. We’re all broken; some of us just realize it more than others. Loving wounded people brings the Father’s affirmation. Way to go!

2 thoughts on ““MY FRIEND’S A HOMOSEXUAL”

  1. You are brave to address this topic. It is almost impossible to say anything without offending a lot of people – some of whom you probably hold dear! (And I don’t mean just offend folks of same-sex attraction (or any of the variations) either. You will offend lots of “Christians” too.)

    I appreciate all the sensitivity you advise here for all the reasons you suggest. I have several friends “of same sex attraction”, to put the way you advise, and I value their friendship deeply. I in no way want to alienate them. I work hard at showing them my love, and that is partly BECAUSE of the caustic socio/religio/political environment that so easily induces the alienation.

    Even responding here puts me at risk. I pretty much leave this topic alone as much as possible because I don’t want to alienate readers of all kinds from dealing with other issues I hold dear. So, I respect every word you have put on this post. (I think. I hope I read you clearly.)

    But along with all the high risk of alienation comes the other very real risk of just being misunderstood. And the rules of engagement are always changing. What happened to Matthew Shepard is inexcusable. The only “Christians” I know of who MIGHT endorse that would be the Westboro Baptist group. Yet I sense that a LOT of us “Christians” would like to talk openly about our thoughts and feelings but then FEAR getting lumped in with those kinds.

    You see, I understand that at least not all LBGTaa;lhkeoruelru (I will stay with “LBGT” and mean no disrespect for it, but I will not kowtow to the victim rage and offense that comes my way if I fail to put all the other letters on it on account of I either cant keep up with the ever changing rules OR I just really want to short-hand the terminology so as not to type out “people with same-sex attraction” (which also does not capture the whole grouping) every time I want to identify people dealing with that kind of thing. (Wow! Just clarifying that takes my breath away!)

    Anyway, I understand not all LBGT “choose” the orientation they have. I likewise understand that almost all of these folks suffer deeply from either acting on their orientations OR not and then suffer deeply from the reactions of other for acting on them OR not. And your post here navigates the required sensitivity very well, in my estimation. Thank you for it.

    BUT… as you can surely see by my rhetoric to this point, there are other facets complicating things and I haven’t even said yet that I LOVE my LBGT friends but I do NOT approve of the same-sex activities they frequently engage in. And this raises a HOST of other related issues too. Is MY approval the part that is wrong? Is God’s approval the part that REALLY matters, and what if I misunderstand that? Don’t I need good biblical and theological reasons for holding my views? And will I be afforded the opportunity to share and/or explore any or all of that without being lumped in with Westboro???

    But for me, I have been able to navigate my relationships by the grace of God with minimal alienation – IT SEEMS. But only just barely. And certainly when I converse on the internet, I find fire fighting fire!

    But it is church where my problem REALLY is, and it has taken me this long to get to that in this comment. You see I belonged to a church, until last year, that changed its acceptance of HOMOSEXUALITY to affirming/approval as well. You see, I was all cool with us LOVING these people who deal with this problem. I can run interference between Westboro and these folks all day long! And when some of the leadership folks came out to me, I of course showed all the grace there is to show to such folks. I do not view same-sex sex in any of its forms as any worse than any of my sins. Just because I would be repulsed by some of the things my wife might want to try in the bedroom does not mean that I have hate for her or that I want rid of her in the slightest. And that goes the other way too. I struggle with sexual sin of other kinds, but they are sexual in nature too. Just as taboo – at least at church – – at least they used to be… Plus I struggle with greed and honesty and covetousness… I am not above those struggling with same sex attraction. Never said I was. But I believe strongly that the church must be a beacon of light in both the truth of the matter and in the grace shown to those who struggle. But the leadership at my church decided we needed to capitulate instead.

    So, if I had been your friend writing in my question, it would have been:

    My church is homosexual affirming. And they claim this is God’s will. In fact, despite much objection among leaders and laity alike, the church began openly endorsing homosexual relations (within (un)certain limits). What do I do with that?

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