His Garden of Grace
Just My Thoughts
What do I say to speak into the most divisive issue of our age?
When I was younger, it was abortion.
Today, it is gay rights.
And I have gay children that I love with all my heart.
But that does not change the truth.
And the truth, to me boils down to this:
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Just because you can refute scripture, and justify the issue, doesn't make it the best thing.
Maybe it makes it ok, but it doesn't make it the best choice.
Here's what I mean.
Once upon a time, during a difficult time in my marriage where it had grown cold, I was very attracted to another man- Not my husband. He was handsome, funny, a great spiritual leader and very charismatic. He had no idea I was attracted to him. But I found myself dressing extra cute when he was around. And he was around a lot, because he was doing some construction in our home. He and his family were also friends of our family, so they were also around a lot because of that. I found myself joking around with him and one day it hit me: I was flirting with him! I prayed God would take away the attraction, but it just got stronger. So one day, I knew I had to do something to protect our marriage. Our marriage wasn't perfect, but I could not do that to my husband. So that night, I gathered all my strength and told my husband.
I said, "Honey, I don't want to hurt you, but I don't know what to do. I am extremely attracted to this person, and I can't change that. So I need your help. Would you please not leave me alone in the house with him and make sure we don't have them over too much. I love you and I don't want to have this come between us. And would you pray for me?"
We talked about it for a while, and I realized that I had not sinned....yet. But I needed him to know the truth, and that I had this weakness in my flesh, so that he could help me through it.
James 5:16 says: Confess your sins (and I think, weaknesses too) one to another, and pray for each other, that you may be healed.
If I would not have confessed my attraction to this man to my husband, who loves me, who knows where it would have led? I could have continued down this road, focusing on what I did not have, instead of trying to stay true to my husband, and ended up acting on my bent, which was to help myself get this man. I had a choice. I did not have a choice about my attraction. I had a choice about my actions. I chose what was BEST. Best for my family, my husband, and for me, too. Not just 'good enough', or what my feelings were telling me would be good. It was hard. But it was right. What I should do.
The funny thing was, that as soon as I acknowledged the attraction, and determined not to live by my feelings, it lost its hold on me. That is not to say I was no longer attracted. I was. But I did not obsess about it anymore. It was no longer an issue, because I made a decision. And the stronger my resolution was, the less the attraction owned me. I mastered it.
Now before you accuse me of being unkind and unloving, and that "I just don't understand", let me say, "Yes, you are right. I don't understand. I have never had a SSA (same sex attraction)."
But I do understand lust. And selfishness. And pride. And idolatry. I really get that one. Because I do all those things when I try to fulfill my needs outside the will of God. And homosexuality is no worse than my sin. It is all the same.
Here is where the difference lies:
I am trying to fight against my sinful nature. I don't want to justify my addictions, my habits, or my behavior that is outside God's best for me. I have a problem, and I am it. Anytime I try to fill my needs myself, outside the will of God, I leave no space for God, and put myself and my needs before Him.
"You shall have no other gods before me." Ex.20:3 I become my own god. Idolatry. Ouch.
But I believe those who choose to live in a homosexual relationship, monogamous or not, have given up the fight. And want everyone else to agree with them to justify it.
It would be easier.
Just to accept it, and get on with life, right?
And I do believe you can be gay and Christian.
We don't lose our salvation because we sin. Even if it is habitual, perpetual sin.
But is it best?
I think not.
We cannot give up, or give in.
Because if we, who claim the name of Christ, do not choose to live by example, above our circumstances and show the world that "Christ is enough", who will???
As I face the last portion of my life, I have come to realize that
Life is too short to live for our selfish wants and desires. For our "happiness".
"The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things. Who can know it?" Jer. 17:9.
We cannot trust our own hearts' desires.
We HAVE to choose HIM- His ways, His truth. Whether we like it or not.
Or whether it makes us happy or not.
Cause it makes Him happy.
And I don't think God really cares much about our happiness. If he did, then he would certainly release all the people imprisoned and tortured for their faith on a daily basis. But he doesn't. And maybe, this SSA is not unlike being imprisoned for the sake of Christ. Joined with him in his suffering like our brothers and sisters across the ages. A way for Christ to show himself in ways unimaginable. To bring us joy unspeakable because we choose Him above ourselves.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
There is much more I could say on this subject. But for now, this is my voice into this debate. You don't have to agree. It is very ok with me if you do not. But don't blast me as unloving or a homophobe because I am giving my take on this very heated and polarizing subject. I just cannot keep silent on this. It breaks my heart, and is very close to my heart, as this is at the very core of my beliefs. It is not a peripheral issue that I can just attribute to personal preference. It is foundational, because it involves my view of God, sin, and the view of myself and my sin in light of his love for me.
Leslie, my friend!
Thank you for sharing from your heart! What a powerful message & testimony that I can identify with. My sister goes between gay & straight...she can't seem to make up her mind. Meanwhile, she has 2 children by 2 different fathers...neither of whom she is committed to. She admits she doesn't love either of the fathers.
She IS a child of God. He has stamped His image on her heart. Because of this, I believe that is why she is at war with herself.
We continue to pray that God, in His mercy, will not let her go & will fully claim her heart again. We also pray for her children, that God will redeem them for Himself despite their confusing situation.
Thanks again for bearing your soul with this post! I'll continue to pray for them that God will reclaim their hearts for Himself too!!
Thank you, KarlaRae. I read this when you posted it, but failed to leave a follow up, I think. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The war within must be excruciating. I will pray for your sister, too. That God's relentless love will break through her hard heart and melt it like wax. And that she will learn how wide, how deep and how life changing the love of God is. And that He is crazy about her. I think if they only realized that the love they are seeking cannot be found in a human. It can only be found in God's son, Jesus, who took on human form and became a man for our benefit. If they only realized He is everything. And all that matters. And that He is the only one that can fill all the empty spaces. I will pray she realizes this soon. Thank you for your encouraging words. Love you! Leslie