From one of the silent voices in the debate about homosexuality
I’m going to assign myself the role of spokesman on behalf of a group of people who have been silent and invisible in this never-ending debate about homosexuality.
We may make up a considerably larger group than those who have ‘come out of the closet’ and openly stated that they are practising homosexuals while at the same time professing their Christian faith. I’m quite sure that we are to be found in every church and every Christian fellowship in this nation, but we’ve become silent and invisible for different reasons.
I am a single adult man, I’m probably perceived as a ‘positive, happy and resourceful guy who has a good life and cares for others.’ That’s probably true to an extent, but it’s not the whole truth. There’s another part of my life that has definitely not been connected with joy or fulfilment. For many years I’ve been full of shame because I have awkward feelings towards my own gender. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by and attracted to handsome men with good bodies. Although I fell in love with girls and afterwards women, my sexual desire has always been triggered by the male body.
This was a deep, shameful secret that I kept to myself for many years. I only told a couple of counsellors and a few close, trusted friends. I was always very tense as to how they would react, but they seemed to take it well, even though they never brought up the subject again.
It would have been very easy to look to well-meaning priests or other Christian leaders for advice and Biblical understanding. They could have eloquently explained away the difficult Bible verses by saying that they are not relevant for our day and age. They may have said that I just had to accept my homosexual feelings and find a man I could live in a loving relationship with. Fortunately, I haven’t allowed room for, nor given any authority to those kind of opinions in my life.
I’m thankful that in the past fifteen years the Lord has led me to a fellowship of people who want to stand with me in the process of moving towards greater freedom and healing in all areas of life. There are no easy solutions or right answers for people who struggle with having feelings for people of the same gender. They need others who will first and foremost be fellow pilgrims along a road that can at times be very narrow and painful to travel. Sometimes it can be tempting to just give up the battle and live out my sexual feelings, feelings that society around me tries to say are quite natural and in fact equal to love between a man and a woman.
The deepest reason for me not giving up, is the love I’ve received from Him who was nailed to a simple cross to remove all sin and unrighteousness, and all the human suffering that can be imagined. Jesus bore my awkward feelings there, to give me freedom to move on as a positive, active man.
Perhaps I’ll never be totally free of these homosexual feelings on earth, but life with my dear Saviour and best friend is worth so much more than these feelings. Because of this ‘thorn in my side’ I’ve realised how totally dependent I am on His grace and help in my life. He has protected my heart from becoming self-pitying and hard, and I think Jesus has used my struggle to give me greater sensitivity and empathy in meeting people who have considerably heavier burdens to bear than mine.
Greetings from a brother who wants to remain anonymous.