I have noticed something when I talk to other Christians about being gay and the struggle that gay Christians face. The assumption — sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit — is that the issue is primarily about sex.
This comes across in terms of talking about how one handles the issue, options for Christians dealing with the issue, and even what the Bible says about the issue.
But being gay is not just about (nor primarily) about sex.
It has taken me a long time of personal reflection (and counseling) to begin to fully understand and appreciate this. I am also realizing how important it is to understand — both for me personally and also for Christians who are trying to help other Christians navigate the issue.
Being gay is much more than sex. Even if I never had sex (or never again had sex), I would still be fully gay.
It is about who I am attracted to… emotionally as well as physically.
It is about who makes makes my heart skip a beat or my head to turn…
It is about who I feel safe with and real with and authentic with…
It is about all the intangibles of relationships that we have few words to describe, but know in our hearts.
Just as being heterosexual is not just about sex, the same is true for gay people.
What is the implication of this?
For a committed follower of Jesus Christ like myself, it means that being chaste or celibate does not solve the “problem” or eliminate the “issue”. It means it is a lot more complicated than “behavior modification” or “just don’t do that”.
I am committed to honoring God with my sexuality. I also think that means that where I am in life I should not be sexually active (and for the record, that is what I would counsel any single Christian to do).
But let’s not pretend that is the whole issue… there is a lot more to it than that.
I don’t know all the implications of this yet, but I know there are implications. And I know that for heterosexual Christians — or Christians with opposite-sex attraction (OSA) — it is helpful to understand that this is not merely or primarily an issue of physical sex as it is about the heart. And so I encourage you to be mindful and compassionate as to how you care for and handle your brother’s and sister’s hearts…
I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this…