This post has been sitting in my draft box for a while now. I have written this, re-written it, and re-re-written things. Each effort seems muddled, and what I’m trying to say isn’t coming out the way I want. So, in an effort to just get the words out I want to say, I’m going to just type and see what happens.
I have same-sex attractions. And if you know my story, read this blog, or have been a friend for some time, this isn’t a shocker to you.
I am not attracted to women … except Emily, whom I am madly in love with and have been for the past 13 years (we’ve been married 12-yrs). I can’t explain why she is the only woman I’m attracted to, other than to say I thank God for this (and so does she by the way).
I’ve been attracted to men ever since I could remember. Though I tried dating girls for a short time, it just didn’t feel right. I knew we could be friends, but nothing more – ever. And I lived with this reality until I met Emily. With her, God gave me the ability to love a woman who is perfect for me; we are truly best friends. I would be lost without her, and I also know that no one will replace her. Meaning this, no other woman will lead me astray, and if (God forbid) something happened to my wife, I would not get remarried. Why? Because I don’t see myself getting remarried, and because I’m not attracted to any other woman but my wife. That may be hard for some to understand, but that’s the reality I live with – one that my wife and I fully accept.
When I was a gay teen & young adult, I loved being gay. I wanted to tell everyone … and for the most part, I did. When I became a Christian, I hated my same-sex attractions. I didn’t want anyone to know – ever.
In the 1990′s being gay was uncool. People freaked out over gay people, especially within church communities. Unlike today, where the majority of the country is willing to befriend, love, take-in, and celebrate with gays and lesbians, in the 90′s the majority of the country lived in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” bubble. This made being a Christian with same-sex attractions extremely rough, lonely, and too often a reason to give up on God all together.
Each night (and at times every hour), I would ask God to make me straight and give me straight attractions and temptations. In my mind, I thought having straight sexual temptations was far better than gay ones. (Wrong thinking, I know, but I was desperate at times.) My prayers, like so many other prayers offered by gay Christians, went unanswered by God.
Now, I will say some things have changed, and I’m grateful for these changes. However, my attractions remained – even after I got married to a woman.
In the last two years, my thoughts about my same-sex attractions have been progressing. And in some ways, so has my theology about God.
I have come to place where I no longer hate my same-sex attractions. I’m actually beginning to thank God for them. Why? The main reason is that within my attractions I have found Jesus Christ. I can’t help but wonder, if I didn’t have these attractions, would I have accepted Christ and be where I am today? Probably not, if I’m honest. No other issue, trial, or struggle has caused me to seek after, wrestle with, question, and long for God more, than my having same-sex attractions.
For me, to not thank God for leading me to Himself through these attractions is refusing to see the bigger picture of who God is and His will for my life. We all come to Jesus in our own ways and through our own journeys, which God orchestrates in His way, for His ultimate glory and purpose. I can’t explain why He allows certain things to happen, why some roads are harder than others, and how that is all decided / falls together. However, I do know that God is in control, that He works from His unconditional and undying love for each of us, and that He is a Father, Savior, and Sustainer unlike any other. God has used my story to reach hundreds of people, here and overseas. He has used me to help parents with a gay child, families with gay relatives, gay men and women, church leaders, Christians and non-Christians, etc. I am completely blown away at how God has taken what I once deemed unusable and horrible, and made it to be something extremely usual and beautiful.
I also thank God for my attractions because I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes. He is a Creator who breathes and speaks things into existence because He wants them in existence. He doesn’t make something and then go, “Oops. I messed up.” Each living thing has a specific and global purpose. Each thing is treasured by God (even cats, though I hate cats. A lot!). Whether we think things should be different or not doesn’t really matter; we aren’t the ones who created the thing (person) we’re judging. God did; and He is the one who has the final say on what is good and what is bad.
I also thank God, because my same-sex attractions adds to my uniqueness. And goodness knows, churches need more flair within its community
My same-sex attractions do not define me. I am a son of God, and an heir with Christ (Galatians 4:6-7), and no one (NO ONE) can discredit this or re-label me.
My same-sex attractions also do not make me less of a man. I am the man God created me to be, and each day I am becoming more like Him – by His grace.
My same-sex attractions do not put my marriage or ministry in jeopardy. (Some people reading, truly need to hear this!) I am not attracted to every man who walks by. More, I have no desire to act upon my attractions – not now and not ever – again by His grace. Though temptations may come, by God’s grace, they also are dismissed. It’s a committed choice I made to God and myself a long time ago, and a choice I continue to walk in. By His grace, and only His grace, do I have the strength to walk in such a way (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, my life verse).
I have found Jesus to be the greatest fulfillment of all I need and desire. Nothing from my past, or in this present moment, do I yearn for more than Jesus Christ and the glory due Him.
Did it take me a long time to get to this point of seeing my gay attractions as a blessing from God? Yes! But the journey was worth it, and I truly do love the end point I’ve reached. I don’t make my sexuality the topic of conversation, but I don’t shy away from the questions either. It’s a part of who I am: the man God created, the husband Emily married, and the father my kids have. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Thank You, Father. For I am Your masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).