I am a husband, a father, and a pastor. And for as long as I can remember, I have experienced same-sex attractions (SSA). Although I have always been physically and romantically attracted to women, I also have never been without deep emotional and sexual attractions to men.
Many in our culture would like to label people like me “bisexual,” but I believe Jesus has spoken a better word.
“I Feel SSA, Therefore . . . ”
The overarching sexual ethic of our day is “I feel, therefore I am.” We see this clearly in the ongoing conversations around “gender identity.” Proponents of nonbinary “gender categories” suggest that if someone feels contrary to their biological sex, they belong in the category that correlates best with their feelings. In the same way, many in our culture would have people like me think that if you feel homosexual desires, then you are homosexual.
We commonly hear statements like, “You can’t choose whom you love; just be true to yourself.” Or, “Stop hiding your feelings and embrace who you really are.” Such statements mean your sexual desires actually define you. Your desires determine your definition. Your sexual attractions are who you really are at the core of your being.
The Bible, however, does not teach, “I feel, therefore I am,” but rather, “I feel, therefore I need.” As a result of the fall, our hearts are out of order and dark (Romans 1:21).
In short, being human in a fallen world means being attracted to things that are contrary to human flourishing in God, things that oppose God’s good plan for us and lead to death. I feel these attractions to sin, and therefore I need a Savior.
As I have daily battled against same-sex attraction, four particular promises have been bullets of grace in my fight for joy.
Freedom from the Punishment of SSA
Christians struggling with SSA often feel especially ashamed and embarrassed by these attractions. We sense the perversion of our contorted wants and desires, and as a result, we often feel too dirty to be in community with others or to be in communion with God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), you will never experience even a moment of judgment from God over your homosexual desires, or over anything else.
Freedom from the Power of SSA
Often Christians experiencing SSA feel hopeless and helpless to its power. As attractions intensify, temptations deepen, and fantasies — like a mirage of cold water in a desert — look more and more appealing, the desire for a same-sex relationship can be so potent that it seems nearly impossible to overcome.