How To Fight Same-Sex Attraction
The Church must prepare itself to answer the many questions that same-sex attraction and homosexuality present. A friend of mine sent me his thoughts on how he has dealt with these issues in his own life. He says:
“The issue of homosexuality is one that has recently become a front-line war zone in our culture. Both sides of the issue have offered their opinions about how same-sex marriage will affect our society, as well as the other various issues surrounding homosexuality. However, there has not been much response from the Church on how to help our brothers and sisters who are struggling with same-sex attractions. Therefore, I offer four truths that I have learned on my journey of dealing with same-sex attractions. These are some of the truths and practices that I have found to be most helpful in battling temptation.
God is Glorious
As you read the Scriptures one theme rings out as the overarching purpose in all that happens: God is glorious and does all things for his glory. I’m listing this one first because I believe it is the most important. Having a vision of God’s glory is what fuels me in this battle. When I spend time beholding the beauty and majesty of God, seeing his love for me declared on the cross, then I am left in awe and driven to worship. The one who is all glorious is worthy of all praise. And the praise that I give to God is through the life that I live. The cross demands of me a life of humble obedience, but when you realize the One you are living for is glorious, you realize he is worth it. Understanding this glorious truth, I am able to say that more than I desire my same-sex attractions to be removed, I desire God’s glory. The beauty of the Gospel is that God is redeeming me and in some way he will use my battle with same-sex attraction for his glory. If you are going to battle sin in your life then you must have a vision of God’s glory.
Eternity is Coming
Same-sex attraction can be an overwhelming issue to deal with at times. It is easy to get caught up asking the “Why?” questions and become morbidly introspective, and that is why having an eternal perspective is important. When this battle begins to feel like it’s consuming my life I remind myself that this life is short and that the end is coming. Not only is it encouraging to be reminded that I won’t always have to battle against sinful desires, but thinking about eternity also reminds me of what is most important. An eternal perspective reminds me to focus my energy on knowing Christ and making him known. Let the hard times press you deeper into Christ and let them drive you to long for his return.
God is Sovereign
In understanding why I have same-sex attraction, the most comforting thing to me has been a deeper understanding and trust in the sovereignty of God. My struggle with same-sex attraction did not take God by surprise; it was not unexpected or unplanned. And while that doesn’t answer the question of why he’s allowed it, it does remind me that he’s aware of it and that he is in control. God knows the anger, frustration, and sadness I have felt because of this struggle. And in the midst of it all he gives me his presence to comfort me and to lead me through it. I know that God desires what is best for me and I know that he is sovereign; therefore I can trust him with this battle knowing he is using it for my good.
Community is Essential
Being in community where I can be open and transparent has been one of the most healing experiences. When God commands us to love one another and to bear one another’s burdens that includes the deep and personal struggles in our hearts. God has graciously provided brothers in my life on whom I can call during my time of need. When my faith is weak they are there to remind me of the gospel and of God’s faithfulness. When I am falling into sin they are there to rebuke me and help me to overcome. Through the church’s response to my struggle I have experienced the love and grace of God. Dealing with sin in your life is a community project; therefore, it is essential to be part of a local body of believers who can speak truth into your life.
While the things that I have shared may seem more theological than practical, I assure you that they are indeed very practical. The only reason that I am able to daily deny myself and pursue righteousness is because of the truths I have listed here. I strive to be obedient to Christ because he alone is the one who can redeem me and he alone is the one who can satisfy. I was an enemy of God, and did nothing to deserve his grace or affection, yet Christ willingly came to bear God’s wrath for my sins so that I might be restored to fellowship with him. The joy found in following Christ surpasses all that this world has to offer. I choose to continue pursuing Christ and saying no to my same-sex desires because he is worth it.”
I deeply appreciate the honesty and candor in this post. Most of all, I admire the God-centered, Gospel-focused approach to battling sin and temptation that so often gets neglected in these discussions. Please feel free to weigh in with any comments or thoughts.