This Guest Post originally appeared on my old blog, written by an old and wonderful friend, from the church I used to attend but still have a strong affiliation and relationship with. This post is ostensibly about the challenging questions of identity that issues of sexuality bring bubbling to the surface – but it is really about so much more. I hope it resonates and provokes you.
Do you want to change your sexual orientation?
I think that on this topic Christians can tend to reflect our secular cultures’ obsession with all matters sexual. This is combined with an underlying suspicion of those who have feelings different from the majority and the belief, often unspoken, that a satisfactory sex life, in a married heterosexual context, is important for everyone. But this is not everyone’s journey and why should it be? God uses our life experiences in a broken world to increase our dependency on Him and to give us a clearer sense of who we really are in Christ. His ambition for us is in stark contrast to the identities the world seeks to fix upon us such as “gay” or “homosexual” or “lesbian”.
My own response is a definite YES I want to change. I want to focus on changing my orientation towards God, towards myself and towards others.
Re-orientating myself towards God?
I need to remind myself that God is for me and not against me. In the midst of the pain that sometimes accompanies my same-sex attraction I can be assured that God has committed Himself to loving me. Through faith in Christ’s work I am forgiven and have new life. This is the greatest re-orientation any person can experience. He does not differentiate between me and other Christians because of my attraction towards men.
Re-orientating myself towards a more Biblical understanding of who I am in Christ.
At the cross Christ dealt with my shame and sin. I am now covered in a white robe of righteousness. I have received the Spirit of sonship and am now a child of God. My status is changed and I am accepted in Christ and a new creation. There is now no condemnation for me. These massive truths set me in a glorious unassailable place. My identity is absolutely and irrevocably tied to Christ’s. Does this mean that I am to beat myself up on a daily basis for my same-sex attraction? Absolutely not. If Christ does not do so then why should I? My Christian growth is to be focussed on living out in practice the reality of my true identity in Christ. I’m no different from any believer.
Re-orientating myself towards God’s family.
I am convinced of the need to re-orientate my understanding of the role God’s family, the church, can play in my Christian growth. God says that I am to love my brothers and sisters (and by implication they are to love me!). We are to bear one another’s burdens and to encourage one another. God does not intend us to carry our pain on our own.
So what about my sexual orientation? Well quite honestly it’s not the biggest issue. It may change to an extent, completely or not at all. In our sex obsessed world and its interest in orientation I think we need to stand back and look at the bigger picture and take God’s perspective.