Christians Struggling With Same-Sex Attraction

Last week I did a brief review of this helpful book, Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry (LINK). Here is one section of that book worth mentioning.  The following counsel is also applicable for Christians struggling with any sexual sin; Allberry notes that since we live in a fallen world, it will happen that Christians struggle with various sexual sins.  But that doesn’t mean we have to give up!  So what does a Christian do if he/she is struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA)?

1) Pray.  It is important to know that SSA is an issue we can talk to our heavenly Father about.  The subject is not off-limits in prayer.  This means a) We can talk to God about any confusion and distress we might be feeling, b) We can talk to God about our temptations since Christ has been tempted in every way just as we are, though he didn’t sin (Heb. 4:15), c) We can talk to God about our sins.  It is right for such sins to weigh heavily on our hearts, but we must rejoice that they are not unforgivable.  Christ died no less for sins such as these (1 John 1:9).

2) Think about SSA in the right way.  Some Christians who struggle with SSA feel deeply and spiritually unclean; some feel as if they are ‘damaged goods’ who are beyond repair and very displeasing to God.  This brings us to the gospel.  We could never be acceptable to God on the basis of our own merits.  It has never been about us having intrinsic worth or natural spiritual cleanliness.  Quite the opposite.  It is only ‘in Christ’ that anyone is righteous in God’s sight (2 Cor. 5:21).  In Christ we are presented holy and blameless in God’s sight (Col. 1:22).  Therefore, SSA does not disqualify people from being loved by God and washed by Jesus’ blood.

SSA feelings should not define you.  It’s easy to let these feelings take over and begin to think they represent the sum total of your identity.  We live in a culture where sexuality is virtually equated with identity: ‘You are your sexuality.’  However, we should not let SSA define our lives; we should not let it become the lens through which we view our whole life.  Christ has given us new life; we once were defined by our sin (1 Cor. 6:11) but now we find identity in Christ.  Furthermore, SSA feelings wax and wane, so we need not think SSA is a life long orientation.

3) Seek the support of others.  This is very difficult because SSA makes us feel guilty and full of shame.  Sometimes we think we will let our Christian friends down if we share this struggle. But we are never letting anyone down when we share a struggle.  All of us are weak!  No Christian is designed to struggle alone – and we all have sins with which we struggle.  We should bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 5:2).  Find a mature Christian and seek his or her help.

Note: I’ve edited and summarized the three points above to keep the discussion brief.  However, I do recommend the entire section – and book: Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry.

shane lems

Advertisements

3 comments on “Christians Struggling With Same-Sex Attraction

  1. Monty Ledford says:

    This is very fine; one of the unfortunate side effects of public advocacy of rights to alternative sexuality is that those who hold to a biblical view can get drawn in to tunnel-vision from the opposite end; the lust or desire for the same sex is the defining thing about a person. Of course, homosexual lust is bad, but it is not more sinful than heterosexual(to use a common term) lust, and we all probably have enough of that on our plate

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve used the term “SSA” in my own journey, but in a culture which talks about gay as orientation and not necessarily practice, I hope that people will give the people who come to their churches the space to describe their journey in a way that is helpful and is certainly not anti-biblical.

Comments are closed.