Been around for a long time, like anger, jealousy, and other inappropriate behavior. It is a skewed identity. It happens. No easy answer as to why. Don’t be too quick to think up a cause or a solution.
It doesn’t feel good to be in the minority and to be afraid that people are going to “find out.” They may have carried this for a long time and have been silently suffering. If they have shared their struggle with you, they must trust you. Don’t violate that trust. You have the opportunity to show love and to hopefully help create an environment of acceptance in your church community.
The two most important pictures in our life: how we view God the Father and how we view ourselves. Satan’s goal is tampering with those two, and he starts early. Things were going well in Genesis 1 and 2. Then in 3 enter the snake. He managed to put doubt in the heart of Eve. She bought the lie and bit the apple. That also tampered with the relationship between Adam and Eve big-time. Blame and irresponsibility overrode admission of guilt. Sin messes with our identity. For a hundred different reasons it can impact how we view the opposite sex–and our own sexuality. Redemption is a process of recovering who we are in God and who God is in us. Understanding of ourselves and our fellow pilgrims goes a long way in helping us all heal.
Here are some things to help us understand our friends who struggle with same-sex attraction:
THINGS TO KNOW
.They didn’t choose to be that way. It happened to them.
.They don’t feel proud of the way they are; they feel victimized.
.They want help–and understanding helps.
.They have already died a thousand deaths. Watch your words and actions. They often feel judged for being alive. You can help reduce the condemnation.
THINGS TO DO
.Listen, love and look out. Careful with the Bible verses. If you at least try to understand, you are helping them heal.
.It is becoming much more common as society as a whole accepts same-sex attraction and marriage as a viable alternative. That is really sad. Our part is to accept the person and not the practice. That calls for sensitivity.
.Don’t concentrate on their issue. They are followers of Jesus as you are. Affirm their gifting, their character, their love of God. If your friend is made to feel that all you see is their issue, they won’t feel like being with you.
.Be vulnerable. You have problems. Don’t make it all about them. The people Jesus had the hardest time with was the Pharisees–legalistic, condescending, judgmental, argumentative, out of touch, and unable to see their own darkness. Vulnerability releases grace. It enables people to be who they are, not hide out.
.Get informed. Google some causes and potential solutions.
So am I soft on homosexuality? Not for a moment. But I care for those trapped in a false identity and wanting to break free. Let’s give them the kind of safe community where they can be healed and not shamed. “Love never fails!”