So Violet asks, “I was wondering if you have a post that explicitly addresses how you believe a Christian who experiences same sex attractions should live their lives in terms of romance. I’d be interested to know if you think they should attempt a heterosexual marriage or just remain celibate….”
First let me tell a story. Several years ago I tried to take care of a man at the end of his life, racist, bigoted, sexually immoral to the point of believing that all marriage was a sham, intimacy with women was a pipe dream, his only worth and value was in his own sexuality, his conquests of women, of which there had been many. He had an extensive collection of art, all nudes of women, but he also had an intense rage and frustration towards women as a whole, because we allegedly had all failed to love him the way he thought he deserved to be loved. We were all sluts and whores and the usual names. He just could not understand why no one loved him and he could not recognize that he was just so unlovable. I myself had to resist the urge to step on his oxygen tube on more than one occasion.
He drank a lot however, and in his more maudlin moments he would confess all his sins to me, express his deep regrets about his wasted life and wind up sobbing on my shoulder. He just ached for something he couldn’t even identify, something he had tried to fulfill sexually. He had everything, great wealth, many women, a couple of daughters (who avoided him as much as possible,) and I suppose he once had good looks too, charisma, charm when he wasn’t so sick. He had acquired everything The World had to offer and yet he had nothing at all, nothing but endless regret and this all-consuming rage and torment about a life so wasted. He felt as if he had sold himself short.
It broke my heart and I eventually quit and left the man to his dying. I learned a few things however, from a man no less, about what happens to us when our entire identity comes from our own sexuality. About what a huge deception that really is, about how we’re all desperately seeking intimacy, love, connection with others, and yet when our own sexuality is all we believe we have to offer, that is how we are condemned to perceive others, too. So, what we seek, we actually destroy. If you yourself are nothing more than a flat, two-dimensional sexual creature, that is how you will perceive others too. You have edited love, intimacy, our higher selves, right out of that equation, the very things you crave.
A handshake used to be a man’s word, but today we believe that sex itself means nothing at all. We’ve changed the entire narrative without even seeing what we’ve lost.
We are not our sexuality, it is not our identity, it is only a small part of who we are, a tool given for pleasure perhaps, but also to build loyalty, devotion, intimacy in marriage not just with each other, but with our Creator, too. Men, women, gays, believers and non believers, doesn’t matter, that is what we all seek, love, our Source. It’s built into us, one might even say we were designed that way. That is the problem with sexuality, it is a powerful urge and yet so easily distorted, exploited, perverted, a tool we can even use to deceive our own selves with.
It’s really rare to find anybody who believes their sexuality is their very identity, the sole source of their worth and value, that doesn’t actually hate their own selves on some level and the other gender. Prostitutes rarely love themselves and they sure don’t love men, although they are paid to act as if they do. They tend to turn to the anesthesia of addiction rather quickly however, to numb themselves out from the pain they are experiencing. Our spirits never lie to us. Men are really not much different, all these players and cads who go through dozen of women and yet never find what they are really seeking. We’ve written great songs about it, “Wasting away in Margaritaville” comes to mind. A great song about seeking anesthesia, confused about what ails us.
So how do we make prostitutes and players feel better? We should just legalize it all, promote it, and pour approval all over them and then all will be well? But will it really? At the end of your life, will your spirit be fooled by those deceptions? Does the truth of who and what you are change when people express their approval?
Believe it or not Violet, I don’t worry about gays too much because they are a much smaller part of the population. I worry far more about heterosexuals, the way we now present women in pornographic ways, as flat two-dimensional sexual commodities selling products, about how we encourage men to perceive us as such. I worry about college girls hooking up and having sex with men they don’t even like for reasons they can’t even fathom, so confused about what the heck consent is, they think there needs to be a law. I worry about a culture with marriage rates that have declined to less than 50 percent. I worry about people who now believe our sexuality is our very I-dentity, who pursue pride rather than humility. I worry about the sexual abuse of children and the pedophiles who are already claiming that is just their identity, that pedophilia is just “love of children” and should now be recognized as a lifestyle choice, too.
Worry is perhaps the wrong word, I grieve over these things, things I am powerless to do anything about but watch unfold.
There are several skeletons in the gay closet that we aren’t supposed to talk about, a frequent history of child sexual abuse and/or problematic relationships with our parents. Suicide is rampant in the gay community, as is addiction, promiscuity, rape, assorted sexual rage. Domestic violence rates are nearly five times as high as in heterosexual couples. Even the most loving gay families raising children, seldom recognize how their child has been deprived of a biological relationship with an absent parent. There are numerous issues within the gay community that people often do not wish see, especially when we are so busy talking about love and rainbows.
I actually know several young people who now believe they are gay, because being gay is now perceived as being cool, as an act of rebellion. They are so not gay, but they experiment, they play with those identities, they try them on for size. They are as sexually confused as we all are, but now the ways of the world lead and guide them. They are gay for status points, gay converts people always said could never happen. Sure it could happen, sexuality is a surprisingly flexible thing. What we find desirable, attractive, is more about culture then biology. How many marriages have ended because someone suddenly decided they were gay? How many people have left gay relationships and gone on to get married because they realize they weren’t gay at all? Human sexuality is not as written in stone as we all like to believe.
Violet’s question is somewhat amusing, she wants a laundry list to mock, something cut and dry, perhaps a recipe for gay conversion or how to repress human sexuality. A switch we can just flip on or off with instructions. Unfortunately it’s a complex issue with multiple layers of deception and not easily resolved. I did have a chuckle here however, “I’d be interested to know if you think they should attempt a heterosexual marriage or just remain celibate….”
Said absolutely every Christian ever. Is that not the same precise question heterosexuals have often been called to ask themselves? What makes gays so different? Since biblical times, that is precisely what we have been called to do, no matter how miserably we fail or how often or how many of us fall short. Marriage or celibacy, those have always been the options. Sometimes I wonder if God didn’t deliberately put that there just so we would see how imperfect and flawed we are, how incapable of controlling our own urges, and how powerful our desire to do things our own way, and therefore how desperately we really do need a savior, a redeemer. And we all do, especially those who perceive themselves as perfect and un-flawed. Sexual sin is not a new thing, nor are any of us free of it, nor is God shocked by it.
There are those like Violet who seem to believe that gender is so fluid it is nothing more than a social construct, while sexual orientation and sexual desire is so rigid, it is written into our very DNA and we are born with it.
Some of us however suspect the precise opposite is true. Completely outside of the context of faith, gender is actually something we are born with, while human sexuality is nothing more than a social construct.
When we are constructing things like our own sexuality or perhaps civilization and culture, it’s always wise to check and see if perhaps we might be attempting to tear down some load bearing walls during our redesign plans, least the whole thing come crumbling down on top of us.