This post is specifically written from and to a male’s perspective.
One of my favorite sayings is, “some people just require and need more understanding than others.” God created each of us. He loves us, has plans for our lives and wants to help us (Psalm 12:15; Psalm 139:13 – 16; Jeremiah 1:4, 5).
In my work in religious education, ministry and mental health fields, God has blessed me to personally interact, work with and minister to a variety of people across the United States. Most of the work was with the disadvantaged, the lonely, the alienated and the downtrodden. Everyday life was a struggle socially, economically, physically and emotionally. The needs were many. Yet when they let me share in their lives, almost all said that they needed to know that someone cared for them. Each person needed . . .
- Genuine affirmation as a person of worth and value
- Genuine compassion
- Genuine understanding
- Genuine love
No matter how different or unique a person, these are among the same things every person wants and needs. To you, I want to offer you the same.
Due to a variety of personal and professional experiences during the last 20 years, I have increasingly felt the Lord place upon my heart a burden to reach out to those who experience unwanted same-sex attractions. If you are reading this, I believe God has given me this opportunity and a responsibility to encourage you, comfort you and offer you hope. Since I was a teenager I’ve experienced both emotional and sexual attraction towards other men.
As a Christian and because of the love of God, my heart pains and aches for you.
- It doesn’t matter if you are a committed Christian or not.
- It doesn’t matter if you are in the closet (on the down low).
- It doesn’t matter if you are celibate but self-identify “gay”.
- It doesn’t matter if you are involved in gay or bisexual relationship (sexual or not).
I want to speak to you personally (in a credible and loving way) no matter what circumstances you may be in. Realize that support is available to you and that options exist. Your burdens can be shared. I had (and still have) many of the same feelings. You have my understanding and empathy.
But above all else, I want to reassure you that God does love you and value you very deeply. Never let anyone (including yourself) tell you or make you feel any differently. Every person has a special place in His heart. You and your life is precious to Him.
As anyone else, you should be treated with human kindness, respect, dignity and concern. True Christians cannot hate or dismiss their fellow human beings but rather engage them with a helping hand. Those who experience gay feelings or attractions should not be treated as some kind of outcasts, unfit to share in the fellowship of the church or enjoy God’s love. In the journey through life, we all have so much more in common than differences.
You have bills to pay, family issues, challenges at work and health concerns like me and everyone else. Every person, including you, should be loved as a person of worth, a proper recipient of God’s invitation (1 Timothy 2:3, 4 and 2 Peter 3:10).
You may have not had many people to talk to about this issue because of fear of rejection or being discovered. Like me, you may sit quietly in the church pew every Sunday – not involved in gay subculture nor involved in a gay relationship. Or maybe you have rejected religion altogether because of the pain or lack of understanding. Or may be you’re experimenting – trying to figure out your needs, feelings and identity.
I know and feel your hurt as you experience the internal chaos of conflicting desires. Most of what you hear or observe is negativity, condemnation, lack of understanding and polarizing arguments. In politics. In church. At school. At work. In the media. At home. But you feel the crushing burden more than most people. All the noise and confusion is about you. You feel it everyday. To you it’s not theory, a fantasy, an issue or a headline. It is your life. It’s personal.
- You may have said, “I didn’t choose these emotional and sexual feelings and desires.”
- You may have wondered if you were born this way because you probably had these feelings for as long as you remember.
- You may have hidden in silence with feelings of loneliness and shame.
- You’ve probably prayed that God would just make you straight but nothing has changed.
- You’ve may have wondered, “Where is God?” and “Does He even care?”
But God does care. Even when we feel as if He has abandoned us or can’t hear us. Yet we still get angry. We still get depressed. We still cry and beg and cry night after night after night. I know. It’s scary. It hurts. It still hurts.
Then you fall in love with another guy (probably a friend). You may have a yearning to lust after men. You might have a desire to be romantically intimate with another guy. You may want his approval, companionship or friendship. You may dream about having sex with another guy. You may even try fooling around with someone. Whatever your circumstances, God can empower us and the love of supportive people is available. It will take a LOT of hard work and discipline. It is a lifelong process.
“Once gay, always gay” is very strong in our culture. And yet it is not true. It is okay if you do not want to accept a gay identity and live life as an out and proud gay man. You are not “anti-gay”, “homophobic”, “self-hating” or “repressed” if you decide it is not right for you.
- You may be burned out over promiscuous or extreme living.
- Or you may be tired of the guilt, shame, depression and emptiness.
- Or you may want to marry someday.
- Or maybe the matters of your faith are too important.
There is much hope for you, if you choose it.
But the pull of popular culture is very strong. There is tremendous pressure to ignore sin and value judgments in our society. It (and in many cases, professional experts) will tell you that you must act on your feelings in order to feel whole. They will tell you that the church or your family will reject you (sadly, too true in too many cases). They will tell that you will find completion in the gay community where the male attention and acceptance you crave is available.
We don’t know what causes a homosexual orientation or gay feelings. There seems to be many factors that contribute and interact with each other. For every person like us, the outcome is different. But I don’t think it matters. The innermost and deepest needs you (me and all people) have are only and truly fulfilled in God through Christ. Same-sex sexual behavior is something God has rejected. But He has not rejected you as an individual.
God has not rejected you as an individual.
If you are not a Christian, God wants to be your perfect Father and Savior. He offers you wholeness, forgiveness, love, peace and salvation through Christ (no matter your circumstances and disposition). A saving and obedient relationship with Jesus is essential and central to a fulfilling and abundant life. We all need His forgiveness and salvation.
There is so much more to this topic and to Christianity that what I have described here. And I don’t expect one to instantly change their outlook on life, their values and their priorities. But I do hope and pray that you have been moved to consider seriously about what God wants for you and your life (if you haven’t done so already).
He doesn’t just want to redeem your sexuality. God wants every aspect of your life. Give it all to Him. Pursue the forgiveness, wholeness and holiness that Jesus offers.
From my heart, I wish and pray the best for you.
A recommend reading from my Resource Page:
An Alternative Script For Same-Sex Attraction (Nick Roen)
In my own journey with same-sex attractions, there have been dark places where I was insecure in God’s love and care for me. If you have felt the same, what (or who) has been a source of reassurance, hope or encouragement for you? Your comments are welcomed below.
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2012.
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