Christian Single Experiencing Same-Sex Attraction Feels Stuck

As a Christian single adult who has never had an interest in the opposite sex or marriage, how do you suggest I move forward and live my life? I believe in the importance of marriage and in some ways I'm a perfect candidate – a twenty-something guy with a stable job and an earnest desire to serve the Lord. I've discovered though, to my own dismay, that I'm attracted exclusively to my own sex. I can't tell you how painful this has been for me. I know that homosexuality is a sin, and I feel terribly guilty about not fulfilling my role as a Christian husband and father. I could probably grit my teeth and force myself to marry a woman, but I'm pretty sure that this wouldn't be a good idea. What should I do?

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We want to begin by commending you on your honesty, vulnerability and transparency. It takes a lot of courage to share thoughts and emotions of such an intimately personal nature. Your devotion to the Lord is admirable, as is your determination to follow His will for your life regardless of the implications for your own personal satisfaction or happiness. For all these reasons we’re happy to have this opportunity to come alongside you with the following observations.

First, we’d encourage you to get rid of your guilt. You haven’t done anything wrong, and you have no reason to feel excluded from God’s favor. Yes, marriage is a wonderful thing, and Focus on the Family does believe that it is a crucial part of God’s plan for mankind. At the same time, we’re keenly aware that it isn’t for everybody. Perhaps the first thing you need to understand, then, is that you can still please God and serve Him with your whole being whether or not marriage turns out to be part of your future.

That doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that you’re simply “stuck” with your current feelings about your sexual orientation. We recognize those feelings and have no desire to condemn you for having them. But we also think it’s important to point out that, by God’s grace, change is possible. With that in mind, we’d urge you to explore any resources that may be available to help you work toward re-orientation in the area of your sexuality. There are many trained, certified, and deeply caring Christian counselors who specialize in issues of this nature.

In the meantime, be aware that celibacy – the chaste single life – is a viable and honorable alternative to marriage for a young person in your situation. Many committed Christians who wrestle with same-sex attraction have found that this is the best way they can honor God with their sexuality and dedicate their lives to His service. There’s no question that, for some people, this option has great merit, as we see in numerous places throughout Scripture. But it also comes with its share of challenges and pitfalls and should not be undertaken lightly. As in every area of our walk with the Lord, the key is to stay close to Him, seeking His wisdom and guidance at every turn through sincere faith and diligent prayer.

As you move through this process, you may find it helpful to take a look at David Morrison’s Beyond Gay, an extremely well-written book which presents many helpful perspectives on topics such as intimacy, restoration and chastity. This volume is not available from our ministry, but you can probably find a copy through most online booksellers.

Author Frederica Matthewes-Green makes some very perceptive and compassionate observations about this issue as well. In her book The Illumined Heart: Capture the Vibrant Faith of the Ancient Christians, she writes:

Those who struggle with such passions need our prayers. For some, persistence and prayer will lead to reorientation, while for others, there will be the difficult lifelong discipline of celibacy. As tough as this sounds, it’s not impossible, and it’s not unusual. Christianity has always required celibacy of unmarried heterosexual believers, which all of us were at some point and many of us may be again. This isn’t something we demand of homosexuals without being willing to shoulder the burden ourselves. On the path of celibacy homosexuals will find a crowd of heterosexuals going back two thousand years: never-married Christians, those widowed or divorced, those caring for seriously ill spouses. We know it’s tough, and we know where to find help: Sixteen hundred years ago St. John Chrysostom wrote, “Even if lust makes imperious demands, if you occupy its territory with the fear of God, you have stayed its frenzy.”

If you think it might be helpful to discuss your concerns at greater length, call our Counseling department for a free consultation.

 

Resources

Desires In Conflict: Hope for Men Who Struggle with Sexual Identity

Referrals
Desert Stream Ministries

Restored Hope Network

Articles
Same-Sex Struggles

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