Options For Same-Sex Attracted

Christian

Previously, we distinguished between the person who “claims to be a Christian” but continues sinning and the person who, because he/she is a Christian, seeks to live a godly life. This topic focuses on the latter – the person who trusts Jesus and seeks to serve Him but who is attracted to people of the same sex. What options does that person have?

Continuing to sin is not an option

The option he/she doesn’t have is to continue sinning thinking or claiming that that is OK (see Is there any such things as a “gay Christian”?)

Celibacy

One obvious choice is to be celibate. The homosexual Christian cannot do what scripture says is wrong and, if he/she loves Jesus, will want to not sin even if the temptation is strong. It is surprising how often this option is condemned and ridiculed. Some people cannot believe that the church would require such a thing. Clearly it is not an easy choice. One feels for the person not able to express his/her sexuality but it seems unthinkable only in the context of a sex-saturated society that has elevated sexual fulfilment to a human right. Denying someone that right is indefensible, they protest. However, it is not as draconian as it is portrayed to be. It certainly isn’t a “punishment” uniquely dished out to homosexuals. Christianity has always expected those who are not married to be sexually pure. The married man whose wife is, for whatever reason, not able to provide sexually is not free to find satisfaction elsewhere. He has vowed to love her only ‘in sickness and in health’. In any case, while he is married, sex with someone else would be adultery. Married people are not free to have multiple partners even though their might have natural lusts that tempt them to be unfaithful. God expects sexual restraint from all Christians because He designed sex to be an expression of love between a married man and woman. Some are called by God to a life of celibacy and God enables them for that (Matthew 19:8-12). Despite the protests of others, many homosexuals have committed themselves to celibacy because they want to honour the God who has loved and forgiven them, and they live perfectly happy lives.

Heterosexual marriage

Likewise, many, despite an attraction to people of the same sex, have found someone of the opposite sex whom they have loved and who has loved them, and they have discovered a satisfying sexual relationship. It may not be possible for all but it is possible for some and it does happen. None of this is intended to say that it is easy. Clearly there are feelings and temptations that may make it a struggle. But dealing with sin is never easy. It requires self-denial and discipline and the grace of God.

Friendships

Friendships are often overlooked. Not every relationship has to be sexual. Friendships can be deeply profound and satisfying. Homosexuals are not condemned to loveless lives. There is love that does not need to be sexual to be meaningful.

Related pages

Related Resources

Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community, by Corey Widmer, The Gospel Coalition. Churches that call gay Christians to live celibate lives need to provide the type of radical community that helps make that possible.
© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
Main sections Main sections

Options For Same-Sex

Attracted Christian

Previously, we distinguished between the person who “claims to be a Christian” but continues sinning and the person who, because he/she is a Christian, seeks to live a godly life. This topic focuses on the latter – the person who trusts Jesus and seeks to serve Him but who is attracted to people of the same sex. What options does that person have?

Continuing to sin is not an option

The option he/she doesn’t have is to continue sinning thinking or claiming that that is OK (see Is there any such things as a “gay Christian”?)

Celibacy

One obvious choice is to be celibate. The homosexual Christian cannot do what scripture says is wrong and, if he/she loves Jesus, will want to not sin even if the temptation is strong. It is surprising how often this option is condemned and ridiculed. Some people cannot believe that the church would require such a thing. Clearly it is not an easy choice. One feels for the person not able to express his/her sexuality but it seems unthinkable only in the context of a sex- saturated society that has elevated sexual fulfilment to a human right. Denying someone that right is indefensible, they protest. However, it is not as draconian as it is portrayed to be. It certainly isn’t a “punishment” uniquely dished out to homosexuals. Christianity has always expected those who are not married to be sexually pure. The married man whose wife is, for whatever reason, not able to provide sexually is not free to find satisfaction elsewhere. He has vowed to love her only ‘in sickness and in health’. In any case, while he is married, sex with someone else would be adultery. Married people are not free to have multiple partners even though their might have natural lusts that tempt them to be unfaithful. God expects sexual restraint from all Christians because He designed sex to be an expression of love between a married man and woman. Some are called by God to a life of celibacy and God enables them for that (Matthew 19:8-12). Despite the protests of others, many homosexuals have committed themselves to celibacy because they want to honour the God who has loved and forgiven them, and they live perfectly happy lives.

Heterosexual marriage

Likewise, many, despite an attraction to people of the same sex, have found someone of the opposite sex whom they have loved and who has loved them, and they have discovered a satisfying sexual relationship. It may not be possible for all but it is possible for some and it does happen. None of this is intended to say that it is easy. Clearly there are feelings and temptations that may make it a struggle. But dealing with sin is never easy. It requires self-denial and discipline and the grace of God.

Friendships

Friendships are often overlooked. Not every relationship has to be sexual. Friendships can be deeply profound and satisfying. Homosexuals are not condemned to loveless lives. There is love that does not need to be sexual to be meaningful.

Related pages

Related Resources

Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community, by Corey Widmer, The Gospel Coalition. Churches that call gay Christians to live celibate lives need to provide the type of radical community that helps make that possible.
© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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