Is there something wrong with you if you have same-sex attractions? Does it mean you are in sin or under God’s judgment? Or could it be, as some are claiming today, that God has blessed you with these attractions?
Here are five simple truths about same-sex attractions:
1. Your attractions do not define you. Despite the fact that much is made today of “being gay” or having a gay identity, the reality is that your romantic attractions and sexual desires do not define who you are as a person.
More importantly, if you have surrendered your life to the Lord and are living in obedience to Him, your primary identity is found in being a son or daughter of God.
Many believers struggle when they put gay before Christian in terms of their identity rather than putting Christian (or child of God) first.
2. It is not a sin to be same-sex attracted. While it is true that there really are former homosexuals (meaning, people who went from homosexual to heterosexual through divine intervention or counseling or discipleship—I hear from them on a regular basis, and I know some of them personally), it is also true that there are believers who have renounced homosexual practice but who are still same-sex attracted, and they are living holy, blessed lives.
As a former lesbian once pointed out, God never said, “Be thou heterosexual because I the Lord thy God am heterosexual.” He said, “Be thou holy, because I the Lord thy God am holy.”
In helping those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions, we need to remind them that holiness, not heterosexuality, is the first and primary goal, encouraging them to renounce sinful practices and relationships and to reject sinful thoughts while recognizing that temptation can still be a real possibility.
3. Having same-sex attractions does not mean your moral character is bad. Just as it is misguided to define yourself based on your attractions and desires, it is also misguided to define your essential moral character based on your attractions and desires. Put another way, people with same-sex attractions might be some of the nicest, kindest, most morally upright people you know.
We are often imprecise in our terminology, saying that “Homosexuality is sinful” (as opposed to the correct statement, namely that “Homosexual practice is sinful”), because of which it is easy for us to jump to the wrong conclusion that anyone with same-sex attractions is especially sinful.
The fact is that your moral character is not measured by whether your attractions are same-sex or opposite-sex. Rather, your moral character is measured by how you live your life before God and your fellow human beings, which includes how you deal with your attractions and desires.
Do you cultivate and act on things that are wrong in God’s sight, or do you say yes to Him and no to those things? Do you genuinely seek to love your neighbor as yourself, produce the fruit of the Spirit and live in purity? That is what measures your morality.
4. If you are same-sex attracted, you are still created in the image of God. The reality is that every human being is created in the image of God, regardless of who they are, and every human being is fallen and in need of redemption.
The whole human race is broken in God’s sight, the whole human race is in a state of rebellion against God (outside of His gracious intervention to save us and transform us), and so the whole human race suffers from fatal, damnable flaws.
As fallen human beings, we are proud, greedy, lustful, selfish, dishonest, covetous, duplicitous—just to name a few of our carnal characteristics. That’s why we need a Savior to forgive us and to transform us.
At the same time, as God’s creation and the expression of His image on the earth, we have many noble qualities, but they are flawed because of the fall.
Same-sex attractions, while clearly contrary to God’s design for the human race and while certainly not a gift from Him, are just another aspect of our fallen, broken state, one of a thousand different aspects of our weak, human condition, putting all of us in the same boat in one way or another.
We are all created in His image, we are fallen and broken (in part through our biology and in part through our upbringing and choices—which is not to say people are “born gay”), and we are all loved by Him and offered new life in Jesus.
5. Jesus shed the same blood for every human being, whether same-sex or opposite-sex attracted. There is no discrimination or favoritism at the foot of the cross. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins if we put our trust in Him, regardless of what sins we have committed.
In the same way, His call to all of us is the same: “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB).
As I recently told a same-sex attracted person, “Put your entire emphasis on getting into right relationship with the Lord, knowing His love and walking in obedience to Him, rather than wondering if you’ll have to be celibate for the rest of your life. You will find Him to be more than enough and to be there to guide you step by step, one day at a time.”
Please write to us with any prayer needs so we can stand with you on your journey.
Michael Brown is author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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