“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?”
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!