Speaking Hope to Homosexuals

With so-called "gay marriage" once again in the news, here's and article from the Fall 2010 issue of Higher Things magazine that will give you some wisdom and help in speaking the truth in love to someone you know that may be struggling with homosexuality.

The scariestmoment of my life was the day my 11th grade composition teacher asked me to stay after school.“I’m concerned”he said.“You seem unhappy. Is something bothering you?”My heart stopped.Did he know? “No,”I lied,“everything’s fine.”“Are you sure?”he pressed“Is there anything you need to talk about?”It was hard to breathe.“No,really, there’s nothing at all,”I answered.After an uncomfortable silence he said,“Well,OK, you can go. But remember if anything bothers you, you can talk to me.”“Sure,”I said,“I’ll remember.”

How could I tell a teacher that I was homosexual? I didn’t want to be. I wasn't born homosexual. But I didn’t choose it either. I had tearfully begged God to change. But nothing had changed. I was sexually attracted to other boys.

How could I tell anyone that it hurt whenever my father said he was proud of me because I thought that if he knew he would be ashamed? How could I tell anyone that my worst fear was my mother crying if she found out? How could I tell anyone how lonely I was, how scared and how ashamed?

Today states are passing laws allowing gay marriage. Schools host days of silence promoting gay pride.Many TV shows have a stereotypical gay character.Yet, high school and college students who face homosexual temptation are just as afraid of telling their parents and their pastors as I was when I was 17.One person they are more likely to tell, however, is a friend.That means that by the time you graduate, chances are good that at least one friend will tell you he or she is gay.What can you do? What can you say?

You can lovingly share both Law and Gospel.

The Law
DON’T be dishonest.The Bible says homosexual behavior is sin.Tell your friend you hope and pray he will not give in to temptation. Pretending homosexual behavior is okay may make him feel good but it is not kindness to shut the door to Jesus’forgiveness by hiding the truth.At the same time,remember your friend may have often felt rejected.Arguing with him will make him feel that Jesus is just another person who hates gays.Tell him calmly and firmly that the Bible says homosexual behavior is sin.

DO let your friend know you are in this together because you are a sinner,too.Many kids who struggle with homosexual feelings think that Christians believe themselves to be better than everyone else. It may surprise him to learn that Christians admit they are sinners.Tell him he is not alone—we all share the problem of guilt and temptation.

The Gospel
DON’T make false promises.The Bible never says that God will take away our struggles this side of the grave, or that God will change your friend if he has enough faith. Some people who face homosexual feelings will change and be able to marry someone of the opposite sex.Many others will not.There’s no guarantee.

DO point your friend to God’s love in the Cross.Tell him Christ forgives each and every repentant sinner. Even if your friend seems unrepentant,tell him Christ wants to forgive him. Sometimes kids who struggle with homosexuality appear rebellious because they’ve given up hope that God can love them. Let him know Jesus is a friend of sinners, and that he doesn't have to“like girls”in order for Christ to love him.The Cross paid for it all. It is not your job to change your friend.You are called to point him to the forgiveness of Jesus.

Be a Friend
DON’T be afraid to ask questions.Ask what he is afraid of, if he is lonely or what hurts him about peoples’ reactions.Questions let him know you really are interested in being his friend.

DO treat him as you did before.He’s still your friend. Loneliness is one of the biggest fears.Joking, laughing together and hanging out will let him know you care— that he has a place where he belongs. Remember how Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. Show him the friendship of Christ.

As for me,well, I’m still scared and lonely sometimes. God hasn’t miraculously changed my desires (though He’s always given me the power to resist). But that’s okay because I have something better than sex and someone who is there when I’m lonely.

I can stand in front of the altar and say“I am a poor miserable sinner.”It feels good to know that God knows the real me and that He responds,“For the sake of My Son, you are forgiven.”

I have His Word and His promises given to me in baptism and communion. I come back to these things again and again because they make me hungry for God’s love. It is a good hunger,full of anticipation. Sometimes I feel like a starving kid who can’t even imagine what a thanksgiving feast will taste like but can smell it cooking and knows it’s coming soon.What joy that is!

I am sad for those who do not know God’s love. I understand their needs. I know their desperation. I know that their loneliness can be like physical pain. But you have so much more to offer your friend in God’s Law and Gospel than the world can ever give. It is so much better to hunger for God's love than to find false happiness in the gay lifestyle.

Created: May 29th, 2012