Saturday, October 24, 2009

When Same-Sex Attraction does not Change

Karen, on her blog Pursue God asked several questions about same sex attraction (SSA) and change. I thought you would appreciate some of my answers.

How do you feel about the fact that your same-sex attraction may not change? I have accepted the idea that I will probably be tempted by SSA for the rest of my life. I feel a definite pain at times, since I know that the Bible and the perfectly loving God (!) who is behind the Bible clearly command me to abstain from the gay sex I crave.

How does that affect the decisions you make for your life? I treat the pain as an opportunity to demonstrate by my obedience in abstaining from gay sex that God is absolutely worth it all!

If you do not affirm homosexuality, what would you say to these ex-ex-gays who have clearly put blood, sweat and tears into trying to do what they believed was right? I certainly feel the pain of the same struggle! Instead of focusing on sex, who you are attracted to, and the pain of saying no, think about God and about how good, loving, full of joy, powerful, and eternal He is. Consider that He is worth more than anything we can ever sacrifice!

If you do affirm homosexuality, what is it about the lack of change in sexual orientation that made you believe homosexuality is okay? I do NOT affirm it.

How does change or lack of change in our life circumstances relate to Christian theology and the Christian life? The lack of change which I have experienced is painful at times. Pursuing joy in God through suffering is a very important part of Christianity. The more I have experienced of how good and completely worthwhile God is, the more I have had the grace to say no to homosexuality and to seek joy in God instead. It has not been a matter of forcing myself to stop sinning, but rather I am so affected by the beauty and joy in God, that I see everything else, including sex, as something far less that I can drop for Him. I can gladly demonstrate by my very life and obedience that he is worth far more than a lifetime of gay sex. He is that good!

“In the pursuit of joy through suffering, we magnify the all-satisfying worth of the Source of our joy. God himself shines as the brightness at the end of our tunnel of pain. If we do not communicate that he is the goal and the ground of our joy in suffering, then the very meaning of our suffering will be lost. The meaning is this: God is gain. God is gain. God is gain.” – John Piper