Letter-Freshman Self/Your Experience

Article #50: How To Write About Your Experience With Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions

Letter-Freshman Self/Your ExperienceNote: This post is primarily written from and to a male perspective. It is specifically for men who contend with unwanted sexual attractions and feelings for other men.

Men who experience unwanted SSA generally lock up their true and underlying feelings – feelings that should be addressed, not ignored or covered up. If we don’t allow them to be expressed, they will only leak out in the form of physical, emotional or mental symptoms. We need to recognize our feelings. Express them. Examine them further to see what’s behind them. Learn to accept them. We need to be willing to face our fears and pain and let Jesus comfort us in them. A lot easier said than done – I know.

The first time I complete the following exercises, I was nearly overwhelmed by the outright volume of memories and emotions that flowed out of my heart and mind. The words just wouldn’t come out in the beginning but as I relaxed my anxieties and intentionally wrote down everything in descriptive detail, the mental blockade was breached. For some of you, making an audio or video recording may be a better approach. However, I found the process of writing to be much more fluid and productive. Continue reading

Yarhouse and Burkett

Article #34: Sexual Identity: A Guide to Living in the Time Between the Times (Part 2 of 2)

Yarhouse and Burkett from My Recommended Reading List (Part 9b of 12)

“I am a Christian. I love God. I want my life, my discipleship, my stewardship to glorify and please the Lord. I am beginning to understand (maybe even accept?) that my homosexual desires and inclinations will remain a part of my life. How do I live with same-sex attractions?”

One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. “Sexual Identity: A Guide to Living in the Time Between the Times” by Dr. Mark Yarhouse and Dr. Lori Burkett is the selection for September. To read Part One – click here. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click this link: My List of Recommended Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.

In Part One I highlighted the authors’ goals in writing this book, their target audiences and a brief overview of the first three chapters. The focus of this post is the remainder of book: practical ways to manage our sexual identity and what it means for our families and churches to “serve the image of God in all persons (the emphasis here is mine). And when I say “our”, I’m referring to individuals (such as myself) who (1) experience an ongoing degree of same-sex attraction, (2) want to live faithfully before God and (3) embrace the traditional Christian doctrine about sexuality and sexual behavior i. e. that full sexual expression is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. Continue reading

Yarhouse and Burkett

Article #33: Sexual Identity: A Guide to Living in the Time Between the Times (Part 1 of 2)

Yarhouse and Burkett from My Recommended Reading List (Part 9a of 12)

One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. “Sexual Identity: A Guide to Living in the Time Between the Times” by Dr. Mark Yarhouse and Dr. Lori Burkett is the selection for September. The link to part 2 of my synopsis of this book is found at the end of this post. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click this link: My List of Recommended Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.

“Sexual Identity” is the third title by Dr. Yarhouse to be featured on this blog. It (more than any other on my list) has been most influential in helping me reconcile my sexual identity with my Christian faith. Continue reading

Letter-Freshman Self/Your Experience

Article #42: Letter to My Freshman Self

Darrell:

Letter-Freshman Self/Your ExperienceMy Introductory Comments:

For every student, “back to school” is filled with hope, promise and anxiety. To be an authentic, Christian young adult on a non-religious (or even “Christian”) campus has its challenges. But to be a Christian who contends with same-sex attraction, who has a homosexual orientation or who self-identifies as gay? Everyday can be a series of overwhelming experiences brimming with emotions.

In this poignant repost from Spiritual Friendship, Matt Jones reminds us that we are not alone in our experiences. We are valuable to our faith communities. And we need courage to be proactive and to reach out to the Lord and other trusted individuals. Here are three more links you may find helpful:

Listen To Him: Encouragement For Parents.

As a Christian, How Do I Respond To Someone’s Homosexuality: Part 2.

The Growing Crisis at Christian Colleges (by Misty Irons).

To continue reading this post, click the “View Original” link or the author link below.

Originally posted on Spiritual Friendship:

Dear Freshman Matt,

Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m not going to send you the winning lottery numbers for the next five years. Please. You should have thought about the possibility of receiving letters from your future self before you signed the Community Covenant.

Also, you’re gay.

Surprise!

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Melinda Selmys

Article #32: Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism

Melinda Selmysfrom My Recommended Reading List (Part 8 of 12)

One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. “Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism” by Melinda Selmys is the selection for August. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click the this link: My List of Recommended Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.

Summary of Content

Selmys describes herself as a lesbian feminist atheist turned Catholic home school mother of four (seven children as of August 2013). Reading like a collection of essays, her volume of meditations does not lend itself to the synoptic style of my earlier entries. Her tone is philosophical but quirky. The presentation of the Catholic perspective is practical. Her personal experiences and observations are realistic, honest and at times very frank. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Continue reading

William P. Campbell

Article #31: Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality

William P. Campbellfrom My Recommended Reading List (Part 7 of 12)

One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. “Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality” by William P. Campbell is the selection for July. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click this link: My List of Recommended Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.

Dr. Campbell, a Presbyterian pastor, has been researching, writing and ministering in the area of homosexuality and the church for over twenty-five years. He also serves on the advisory board of OneByOne, a PC USA ministry “that exists to educate and equip churches to minister to those who desire freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction, sexual addiction, and the effects of sexual abuse.”

“Your church and mine can and should provide ministry to those who are conflicted sexually and who ask for help. . . There will always be a need for ministry that meets the needs of people with Christlike compassion, and the more secular our country becomes, the greater will be the need. We must never minimize the teachings of Scripture, however. For in so doing, our ministries will present a distorted images of the God we claim to serve.”

- Dr. William P. Campbell, “Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry”, page 102

Practical, real-life ministry necessitates the rejection of fear, apathy and ignorance. This resource is one of the best that introduces and guides prospective, local churches into a more holistic approach and understanding of ministry in this subject area. While the theme of the book is the optimal balance of grace and truth, the core of the text is built upon ten ministry essentials and six ministry spheres. Continue reading

mixed orientation marriage

Article #41: Mixed Orientation Marriages – Part 1

Darrell:

mixed orientation marriageMy Introductory Comments:

(click the “View Original” link or the author link below to continue reading this post)

Many people who experience same-sex attractions are married to someone of the opposite sex/gender. In my earlier post about Dr. Yarhouse’s book (“Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors and Friends”), I noted that it is rare to see such a sensitive understanding and conversation about mixed-orientation marriage in a Christian lifestyle book about homosexuality. If you are searching for information about mixed-orientation marriage, I recommend the book cited above and this series of posts as helpful starting points. Part 2 – Quality of the Relationship. Part 3 – Sexual Intimacy. Part 4 – Suggestions for Counselors.

This link takes you to an academic paper Dr. Yarhouse co-authored on this subject: Characteristics of Mixed Orientation Couples: An Empirical Study

Originally posted on Limning the Psyche:

Divorce conceptThere has been recent interest in the experience of people in mixed orientation marriages. I thought I’d take a few blog posts to talk about these relationships in a way that is a little more accessible. So, let’s call this a series.

Mixed orientation marriages can be difficult to define. Most of us in the field tend to this of them as marriages in which one partner is a sexual minority by virtue of a homosexual orientation or strong/sustained sexual and emotional attraction to the same sex, while the other partner is heterosexual/straight. In popular language, a gay and straight person are married to one another. (As we will see, this is not always exactly right, as one or both may be bisexual, if we mean by that same-sex attracted but also attracted to the opposite sex in some meaningful capacity.)

What do we know about these marriages? Let me…

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