August 19, 2019
A distraught young woman came into my office needing advice and some direction. She believed that since she was in a lesbian relationship and I was a Christian, I would condemn her for her behavior. She assumed I would be like a parent, but instead, I asked her for more details.
I asked her explicitly how the physical parts of her relationship were going. She looked confused.
I asked her if she felt safe with this person. She said yes. I asked her if touch was wonderful. She said, “Yes.”
I asked her if being close was intoxicating. She said, “Oh yes!” She was confused as to where I was going with this, as it was the opposite direction of where she had expected me to go.
I then asked her why she was here — why did she feel guilt and shame? She declared it was because she knew, despite her feelings, that her behavior was wrong.
I asked her again how she expected me to help her. She was stuck. She knew that a lesbian relationship was not God’s designed place for this kind of sexual expression. Sexual touch is a delicate balance.
The reality is that the touch of a person who has been deemed safe can invigorate and feel good as the dopamine release increases.However, the same kind of look and touch by another person destroys our soul, crushes us, and is harmful.
God designed our sexuality with purpose (the three P’s). It is also meant to be stewarded and has consequences. This young woman knew what she needed to do. She knew her heart’s desire.
The other big question though, for her was, “Who am I?” What are the labels we use today? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. The last time I looked, Facebook had added 52+ options for gender.
We are all looking for similar things — to be known, to be loved, to be accepted, to belong, and to be somebody. Anyone that helps us answer these longings becomes our savior.This is a dangerous role for any human to play.
I helped this young woman in my office understand that what she felt was normal.
I helped her see that her desire for love, intimacy, security, and to be known, were good, God-given, and beautiful.
I helped her see that touch is amazing, especially when received from someone you consider safe.
I also helped her see that she had value and did not have to be driven by whatever made her feel good in the moment, but could be guided by a biblical sexual ethic. If she had had an ETHOS grounded in Scripture, it is much easier to resist the temporary high of attraction. The wounds from her family of origin were tremendous. Her wounds from men were heartbreaking. These were overcome with counseling. But her identity, by choice, is in Christ, and who He created her to be. Today, she is single and is a faithful servant in ministry.
Approximately fourteen years ago I had been counseling for several years in churches and in private practice when I entered the academic world as a professor. I was now working with more college age students than I had previously and saw that most of them believed that “love” — feelings and emotions — trump truth — both God’s revealed truth and biology.
In years past, the church reacted to sexual choices that were outside of God’s design with criticism and anger, not redemption and compassion. A lot has changed over the years. One of the consequences, though, of the church’s growth in compassion and understanding has been that young adults now increasingly believe that everyone should make up their own mind as to what makes them happy and embrace it — whatever it is.
The sexual ethic of Christians is the weakest it has ever been in recent history as the call to love our neighbor was not accompanied by teaching on healthy sexuality in our homes and churches.
I want us, as parents, to equip our children so that they can address these complicated issues with compassion, biblical truth, and a servant’s heart. My hope is that we will raise a generation that knows that the gospel is for everyone— just as they are.
The power of the gospel is that it transforms.
We were never meant to stay where we were when Christ saved us.
We are meant to be challenged, to do hard things, and to give up idols and even some relationships we may desire — for the sake of the gospel.
We must die to ourselves in order to live. This is critical. This is compelling. Thank God for grace!
A Brief History
A quote commonly attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer (although the source is actually unknown) says,
“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
The reality is that there have always been men and women that were same-sex attracted, and others that were asexual, throughout history. We have always had men and women that questioned their sexuality. The difference today is that this is all being done in a much more public manner in the U.S. and in many other countries. There is also a trend to classify the words of anyone that speaks out against the behaviors of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. Queer/Questioning+) community as hate speech and illegal. I want to equip you, as a parent, to understand more of these issues and then you can lead your sons and daughters in an understanding of a biblical sexual ethic, and how to respond to others in a way that honors Christ.
In recent years, bullying has been highlighted — rightly so — as a problem among children and teenagers, but with a bent toward protecting LGBTQ students. I want you to think about this. Is this wrong? NO! No one should be bullied. However, there is a twist. While it may have started with protecting and normalizing LGBTQ students, it has morphed into embracing and encouraging these behaviors. This is a critical shift.
There are only two options today for a church:
to embrace and encourage or
to be considered haters.
How did we get here? There have been strategic shifts in our culture and the language used. An example of this was the push in the 1990s of the idea that we are all “born this way.”
The reality is that a few weeks after gay marriage was legalized the shift in the conversation was to gender fluidity. That is where we are now—you choose. You aren’t, in fact, “born this way.” Let your child born today decide if they want to be a boy or girl. Who are we to tell them? This is a terrifying stance with grave consequences.
Many churches have been pushed into a corner and in order to avoid the label of “hate group” have defaulted to embracing and affirming sexual behaviors that Scripture warns against. There is no middle ground left.
Queer theology says that you are made in the image of God — your identity matters. You should embrace what you feel, since God does not make mistakes. Your desires are made by God and of God, so they must be good and acted upon. Everything is about you — not God or His Son. There is no discipleship or dying to self. Marriage is mocked and families are divided.
I fear for our young people, whether they are Christian or not. They have a battle before them to reclaim a view of masculinity and femininity as God designed—not one that says girl = pink, boy = blue, or that girls bake and boys are athletes. NO!
A biblical view of masculinity and femininity has both sexes honoring and complementing the other, supporting the other. Each person embraces their complete self — faults and all — for the glory of God.
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