Delaying Marriage and Same Sex Attraction

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It still shocks me a bit when friends confess same sex attraction.

What shocks me is not that they have same sex attraction, but that they have convinced themselves that I will be shocked at their confession. The truth is SSA is more pervasive within the church than most people know, or want to know. I don’t know the official percentages, but I know the personal ones—the myriad of girls & guys who through the years have offered their trembling secret to me. My home isn’t a half-way house, a place to get fixed up and moved on, but it sure has offered more than one cup of tea and listening ear to those struggling with SSA.

The confessions only seem to be on the rise, so tonight I have a few observations I’d like to make:

The longer marriage is delayed into the 30s and later, the more I have women especially coming and confessing SSA or the existence of a SS relationship in which they have engaged.

I don’t know how solid this hypothesis is, but I’d like to suggest that within the church right now we have the 30+ year old women who were pulled into the Passion & Purity, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Courtship, True Love Waits church culture of the 90s. We were taught to guard our hearts against those dirty-minded boys who only wanted sex, or worse, to snatch up little parts of our hearts and scatter them about, or we were taught that our romances must have the *weight and certainty that Jim Elliot brought to his relationship with Elisabeth.

We locked down those hearts real good, yo.

In the lack of healthy male/female relationships, we perfected our female engagement. We did not create soul-ties with boys. We denied our sexuality because sexuality was bad. We filled our basic physical need for human touch and engagement with other females—not in a sexual way, but an asexual way, wholly innocent.

Healthy physical touch is a beautiful thing (you will never hear me say otherwise—I’m a firm believer in firm handshakes and even firmer hugs). The problem comes when we learn only to engage asexually. The further we grow into adulthood unmarried, that asexuality has a good chance of turning into a deeper comfort. Nearly every girl I know within the church who has engaged in a SS relationship did not begin with homosexual feelings, but reacted with it after being hurt in a heterosexual relationship OR being refused the opportunity to engage in a heterosexual relationship. I am not saying this is the case across the board, and I know many women who have experienced SSA since their childhood—I am only saying from my observation within the church, this seems to be a common thread.

Why?

Because we are soulish beings who have been sold the story of a soul-mate, and who better to fulfill the needs of a soul than a creature who gets me like I get me?

Very transparently, I don’t know very many girls in my demographic (33, single, Christian) who generally prefer or feel the same level of comfort with men as they do with women. We prefer women. “Well, of course you prefer women,” you might argue, “You should! The last thing we need is a bunch of women going around pursuing deep comfort with guys!”

But that’s exactly what I am going to argue for.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not advocate for gender specific friendships only. I do believe guys and girls can be friends, and I also believe they should pursue marriage if they start to really enjoy their friendship. What a great thing that is! Gospel centered marriages built on a deep friendship first, and attraction second? I cannot think of a better scenario.

I honestly believe that some of the reasons we are seeing a rise in SSA (not simply a biological attraction to the same gender, but an emotional one before the sexual one) within the church particularly, is due to a lack of healthy male/female friendship and a prolonged delay of marriage.

It might be a long-shot and I welcome discussion on this, as long as it’s helpful and not hurtful. This is a sensitive topic with widely varied levels. I say that because someone who has engaged for 20+ years in homosexual behavior and holds a deep, unwavering attraction to the same gender is not the sort of person to which I’m referring. I am primarily talking about the girls and guys who delayed marriage (for whatever reason), are paying the price of that extended loneliness, void, and lack of life-partner today, and expressing it sexually, emotionally and otherwise in SS relationships.

Thoughts? If you’re single and 30+, I’d especially love your thoughts. Feel free to comment anonymously and know that I will delete without hesitation any cruel or untoward comments.

*I love Jim & Elisabeth’s story, but it isn’t mine, and it isn’t yours. It’s a description, not a prescription. 

Related post on homosexuality: What God Has Joined Together

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48 responses to Delaying Marriage and Same Sex Attraction

  1. I know for myself one of the things I struggle with most is I was taught that physical contact with a woman was usually inappropriate, ie the Christian Side Hug. Get in get out, leave room for the Holy Spirit. That in mind, I look back at my childhood and see a sincere lack of physical affection from those in my life, both friends and family. And what do I desire most now? Physical affection. I’m 25 and have been single for the last 10 years and all I want on a bad day is to be held by a woman. Call it mommy issues, whatever, but I deeply desire to be held. Touched. There have been moments where I’ve joked with my friends that maybe I’d have more success if I turned gay. But that would still suck as that’s not what I’m really looking for.

    That being said, I think you’re on to something. I’ve had conversations with other friends and have noticed a similar trend…

  2. Kathy Verbiest Baldock February 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Some one pointed out your blog to me.

    I am a straight Evangelical Christian who has been doing advocacy work in the LGBT community for almost a decade.

    I would be VERY careful with the assumptions and lines you draw between a situation you observe and cause. I know thousands of gay people. Not once have I heard your considered observation as the “cause ” of their sexual orientation.

    It was quite easy for me to imagine the paradigm you begin with reading the words “same sex attraction.” That is becoming code for sexual orientation in Christian circles. If you were to sit and listen to those who are gay, you would find, almost without exception, that there were indictions between 5 and 8 that they knew they were “different.” Long before any sexual thoughts, purity rings and instruction to not touch, they knew.

    i see that you live in the DFW area. I strongly suggest, if you are interested in a more authentic view of the topic of faith and sexual orientation, that you visit one of two LGBT Christian churches where I personally know the pastors and many congregants. New Covenant with Pastor Michael Turnbull or Grace Fellowship in Christ Jesus with Pastor Tony Hoult.

    I can see several comments on you FB wall encouraging you that you are “spot on” and the like. Before you wander down that path where you may have wrongly, very wrongly connected cause and effect ala “Freakanomics”, I would suggest you get to know LGBT Christians and ask them about their awareness of being gay and then about their walk with the LORD.

    Rather than speculate, it may be time to listen.

  3. Lore, i really do think that you’re “on to something” here. And having read quite a lot of your blog posts, and seeing what you post on fb, etc., i know that you analyze, and hold up to scripture, and ponder, before posting anything. I’m 31, single, and my primary receiving love language is touch. There is most definitely that occasional longing and ache to be loved and held by a wonderful and gentle man. Having been a nanny for many years, and helping mothers with their little ones, for me, the cuddles and hugs and holding of babies has definitely helped stave off (is “stave” the right word?) a desperation for marriage. I know part of this is because i’ve had the privilege and opportunity to see married couples up close and personal while living in their homes and know that it’s not always some idyllic lovey-dovey, nighttime-cuddles-every-day kind of relationship. Yes, there is definitely that companionship if you find the right one, and the comfort of being held by someone who loves you deeply—Nathaniel (in comment below), definitely hear ya! But, at this time, because i get some of that physical affection, and have a more realistic view of marriage, it helps me in this delay of marriage (if it comes at all). Or, maybe i’ve just turned cynical. ;) But, truly, i don’t believe so.

    All that to say, that i can understand how many women can get to the point of seeking a ss relationship. I, too, was raised in the “courtship/guard your heart/only close female friends” mentality. It’s really only been in the last 8 years or so, that light has dawned, God has brought people and teaching and books across my path to help rectify this extremist teaching. (Tho, i don’t know if i’ll ever meet a handsome guy in a Christian setting, and my first thought not be, “Oh, is he the one?!” Haha!) I agree with you that a large part of the solution is to have a more whole community mindset, having healthy relationships with guys and girls. It truly is the most biblical, all being part of the body of Christ, sharing our strengths and weaknesses.

    (p.s. In this line: “and I know many women who have experience SSA since their childhood,” did you mean to write “experienced”? Sorry, i really don’t mean to be a grammar nazi, or whatever.)

  4. Wow. I could NOT agree more. Watching girls even friends of mine who are very touchy feeling with their female friends because it’s seen and viewed as okay but honestly it’s still a perverted side to want to physically be close or cuddle with another girl if there is still an OUNCE of lust involved it’s still sin! Just covered up by the innocence of two girls who claim to be just friends. The whole “Slapping each other butts” has always gotten on my nerves, it’s not okay nor is it appropriate. We have taken the teaching of pushing men away and putting those desires in the dark and have instead replaced it with an innocent flirtation with women of the sage sex.
    Very well written, and finally someone who can explain the way that i have been feeling and thinking for years. Even when girls do flirt with one another in front of men to get attention because it appeals to the sexual side of a man, is still considered sin.
    Thank you for writing this!

  5. Kathy,

    I don’t think she is speculating; she has been listening. In the paragraph that opens with “Healthy physical touch is a beautiful thing” she states that “Nearly every girl I know within the church who has engaged in a SS relationship did not begin with homosexual feelings, but reacted with it after being hurt in a heterosexual relationship OR being refused the opportunity to engage in a heterosexual relationship.”

    I think that says she has been listening and has noticed a correlation between multiple factors. She is now submitting her observations to the world for peer review.

  6. Kathy Verbiest Baldock February 5, 2014 at 11:57 am

    And I am suggesting to be very careful about correlation of factors that seem related. Again the “freakanomics” factor — two things that seems related may not be. Best to go to the source and ask. Having never heard this as a “cause” from any of the people I am associated with, I am dubious as to the validity.

    This is just an opinion, yet one based in LOTS of experience, relationship and listening.

    I suggest to any of you — go visit you LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ and listen rather than speculate. find churches here http://www.gaychurch.org

  7. Kathy, thanks for chiming in. Grateful for many different thoughts on this subject. I am simply offering my perspective as I’ve experienced it. Obviously we have experienced two different things. I do have many LGBT brothers and sisters and have spent *many* hours listening, and continue to do so. This is, as I clarified multiple times in my post, a common theme I’ve noticed. That we have had different experiences doesn’t surprise me, as we are different people with different ministries. Thanks again.

  8. Kathy Verbiest Baldock February 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    You are welcome. If you choose to go visit your LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ in services, please do let me know and I will make the introductions. I will also be at GFICJ in May for a conference that you are welcome to join us for a service and meal.

    You can find me at http://www.canyonwalkerconnections.com

  9. I know you don’t like me and I understand and accept that.

    Please Please reconsider God’s Word on these matters and be a light unto Salvation instead of a stumbling block for untold numbers of men, women and children.

  10. not mommy issues: natural human instincts.

  11. The whole push away from dating stems from a gnostic view that has been infiltrating the church for decades. It’s the whole idea that the physical is bad (our body, or “flesh”) and the spiritual is good. It’s a separation from natural and supernatural. But almost every time the word “flesh” is used in scripture, it is talking about our sinful nature that died with Christ, not our bodies. Furthermore, God created this earth and said it was good. Life itself is a miracle. There is no separation, just two sides of one coin. Our sexuality is a good thing, not to be denied at every turn, just channeled in the right ways.

    Denying ourselves just intensifies our natural urges until we just can’t take it. That’s why I love Jewish culture (at least the way they used to be). people got married young. I’m not saying we should just marry whoever… I’m just saying there’s not point in denying yourself when what you want is right in front of you. When you know, you know.

    I’m 26 and I have been married for a year and a half. I’m all for young marriage, and I’ll tell you that it’s not what everyone told me it would be. Everyone and their mother told me the first year of my marriage would be the hardest. Everyone told me it would be hard work and a daily choice to love. It’s not. And this first year has been full of peace and happiness. Dustin is my best friend and we love living together. We were really good friends before we even thought about dating. Our friendship is what makes it so awesome because once the super-hyped-up-romance wore off a little, now we just really enjoy talking and we have similar interests and enjoy spending time doing the things we love. (and we have lots of cuddle time. It’s the best!)

    It’s difficult for Christians to find a place where one can be open about sexual things without being smothered by condemnation or judgment, even in contemporary charismatic settings. I make jokes about being married here at my christian college, and all my single friends are always so scandalized. I don’t know if this whole “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” push really nudged many people towards SSA, though i suppose it could have played a part. I think gnosticism is the real problem. If I believe I am innately evil, that’s how I’m going to act. It’s inevitable. I’m either trying to deny myself at all times, and eventually give in to the urges, or I give up altogether and let loose.

    Here’s a great explanation about how gnosticism has affected the church by John Crowder. He says it plainly and bluntly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cedJVyTk2Wo&list=PLEE4D89D5173A151C&feature=share&index=9

    It’s a four part series. His section on how gnosticism has affected our views on sex is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX9V1iEJ9MU&feature=share&list=PLEE4D89D5173A151C&index=7

  12. most importantly, I think what makes my marriage awesome is Christ Himself. He’s at the center. When I’m in deepest worship, I am most in love with my husband. Christ’s love just pours over me and spills onto my husband, and the same goes for him. After a time spent focused on the Lord, He always looks at me with so much love in his eyes. And he holds me more gently. It’s like Christ’s love is embodied in my husband. Sometimes I see Christ’s love for me more than I see my own husband. When you have intimacy with Christ, marriage is so deep and fulfilling. I love the way God works!

  13. You are exactly right–this is what happened to my dear friend. She was basically raised asexual by an extremely overprotective mother and never learned how to connect with guys in a healthy way. She’s attracted to both, but chooses to identify herself as gay b/c it’s just easier to connect with women for her.

  14. As a single male over 30, I cannot speak for the female perspective, but I also don’t know if I can agree with the hypothesis that delaying marriage can sometimes trigger SSA. I have always been a firm believer of gender specific relationships for singles, and as I’ve grown older and have discussed sexuality more with other guys in the same demographic (single, late 20’s early 30’s), what I have encountered is not a pattern of loneliness triggering SSA. Rather, it seems that the church has done a disservice by woefully addressing sexuality. Particularly in the way described in this post, as needing to kiss dating goodbye during teenage years because all boys want to do is have sex and girls should protect their hearts. That’s a simpleton caricature that represses what is naturally developing and unfolding it, and instead of trying to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube, the church should be guiding said proverbial toothpaste to make sure it’s being used properly. (I apologize for the crude analogy. They all break down at some point.)
    Not only has heterosexual sexuality been mishandled by the church, but I also am finding out that, for as prevalent as SSA is within the church, it has been so demonized that it’s pushed a lot of people away from the church. And the few that do stay in the church are not loved properly. I do wish there were more honest discussion like these to begin to address something as complex as fallen human sexuality.

  15. Hi Lore,
    I appreciate the insight and engagement on this topic. There may be something to this for girls/women who were raised in the church, grew up with the false men vs. women environmental culture that that a fundamentalist mindset produces.
    However, as someone who was not raised as a Christian or in the church with the artificial environment that you described, I have never had a hard time being close friends, in deep emotional relationships with men.
    Yet, from the age of 17 until I was 30, I was a devout lesbian.
    Until I met Christ in Bible study, I was sexually active with women and had many many male friends – plenty of opportunities to date men, and several proposals from men along the way. But since I was only sexual with women, marrying a man was not something I ever wanted or imagined -ever.

    So, since that time – 19 years – I have been a born again Christian who endeavors to walk uprightly and, again, I still find it way,way easier for me to connect with and relate to men in the church. But this is where I find that I have to practice self-denial – I have to trust that what Christ wants for me is be in the Women’s Bible studies, and to serve in women’s ministry, to develop healthy friendships with women in the church. And that has been incredibly, incredibly hard. Difficult. Apart from Christ — impossible. I have had some lovely women’s ministry women come alongside me over the years and guide me, but apart from Spirit change through the Word and dependence on Christ, I would not be able to say that I actually do have some amazing Christian female friends in my life today and that I see them through Christ eyes, without a shred of the old SSA stuff, because we are sisters in Christ.

    Sorry, that is long. My main point is that while women who have basically been raised in the church and have been hetrosexual all their lives and maybe later in life lean toward a SSA interest, are not the same as people come into the church after identifying as lifelong gay/lesbians. Very different things, imo.

  16. I was a 30s single in the late 90s and early 00s and tried dating in the evangelical church circles. I recall all that “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” fad. Seemed to do more harm than good in my experience. So many Christian guys I know were frustrated with the legalism and unrealistic expectations that such books introduced to singles. While many of my friends had their heart in the right places, everyone suffered from analysis paralysis. I finally gave up on dating within the American evangelical circles and to live by the Spirit in the freedom of Christ and married a woman from an Eastern Orthodox background who lived a life of the Spirit rather than read about, talk, and over analyze dating. We have been married for 10 years, and ironically, I introduced her to an evangelical protestant church, which we are both active. I pray that this generation of singles in their 30s may trust more in the Spirit for both freedom and conviction in dating rather than be under the burdens of singles books, seminars, and overanalysis.

  17. The traditional christian church is always so focused on controlling sex. Its madness. If there so happens to be a god, he put a very innate and powerful desire in people (men and women) to have lots and lots of sex. And you know what? He probably couldnt care less who’s having it with who.

  18. It would be interesting to see what role these women’s fathers plays in their lives. The father/daughter relationship is key for meeting the need for male attention and teaches her to distinguish good men from bad boys. Be aware of this in who you marry ladies, he is going to shape your little girl for better or worse.

  19. i’m thirty-seven, never married and haven’t been on a date in three years {wow, that sounds truly pathetic! LOL}. the last two men i dated {one of whom i was in love with, almost married and was a pastor} were secretly gay and after recovering from the devastating impact that had on me {especially the man i almost married} i sheepishly tried to put my feet back in the dating pool only to discover i was in that pool all by myself. i literally can’t seem to find a single, godly man anywhere…and i’m certainly not sitting around waiting for him to fall in my lap. my interests are varied and i’m around lots of different people all the time but the single godly guy is frustratingly elusive.

    all of that to say {and there’s so much more i could say}, i can see how some heterosexual girls end up in ss relationships as long-term loneliness and heartache is very difficult. this is certainly not going to endear me to some by saying this {as i believe ss relationships to be sinful based on my understanding of God’s word – doesn’t mean i hate anyone because i absolutely don’t} but i can see how the Enemy would use that vulnerability and loneliness to lead some {who have never before had ss attraction} down that path.

    my attempt to talk about this is awkward…it’s really hard to even broach the subject without offending someone, even if that isn’t the intent. i appreciate your willingness to address this.

  20. stevie tellatruth February 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    You’re definitely onto something. But you’re making the problem worse by suggesting friendship before attraction. It. Doesn’t. Work. That. Way! That’s the same folly taught by Joshua Harris. That whole culture of ‘spiritualized singleness’ has reaped some devastating consequences we’re only now beginning to see

  21. I agree with you Stevie…but I also have several female friends who started out with no romantic attraction towards a particular guy who, once they really got to know him, ended up developing a very strong attraction towards him. Maybe it’s different for guys? I’ve had several guys tell me they would never pursue a friendship with a girl they weren’t already attracted to…and that’s the case for most guys (their words, not mine).

  22. Nathaniel, I’ve been single for the last 22 years and all I want on any given day is to be held by a man :-) You may not have had physical affection as a child but I agree with Susan, wanting to be held and touched and loved on is absolutely natural for anyone. And yes, I too have had similar conversations with other single friends along the same lines as this article.

    One of the commentators mentioned knowing thousands of gay people and “Not once have I heard your considered observation as the “cause ” of their sexual orientation.” That obviously doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who do end up gravitating towards ss relationships for the reasons this article suggests. I imagine it’s not something many would admit to, especially if they have never had any sort of ss attraction in their lives and especially if they consider that to be wrong. I appreciate this article being written for those such people.

  23. stevie tellatruth February 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Daisy, I’d bet there were many factors and variables to why your friends chose guys they weren’t immediately attracted to, such as maybe your friends had limited options, or maybe those guys just needed to stay persistent. Attraction, though, is hardly a choice; friendship is.

    My point is the 21st century church needs to quit denying the basics of male/female sexual dynamics as if they don’t exist, teach guys and girls how to interact with each other, and bring back early marriage as the norm for young people.

  24. I just wanted to say thank you Kathy & Lore. It’s nice and refreshing to hear open dialogue and various viewpoints!

  25. Lore, thanks for writing a compelling article that thinks differently about a complex subject. It seems that our culture is dealing with many issues that could be solved by again finding the original paths laid out in Scripture. We keep trying to fix them through ascetiscism, gnosticism and legalism. Those methods aren’t going to work.

  26. Kathy, let me get this right…you advocate for people who have named the name of Christ, but refuse to leave the lifestyle? Are you working with them to leave the lifestyle? I noticed you mentioned that most LGBt’s had feelings in this area at a young age? So what’s the real point? People begin to follow fleshly desires at a young age apart from the morality that God says is right (see 10 commandments) yep, …and proves we are all rebels, in many areas, including sexual, some just struggle more in different areas. The Bible clearly states that to be reconciled to God we must repent, and be willing to turn from sin, any, and all. So to have a “Christian” church’s labeled LBGT, how does this promote the cleansing power of the blood of Christ that was shed to pay for all sin??? A person may have a loving, caring, attitude toward people, but if that attitude “enables”, sympathizes, one to remain a rebel to God..then they truly hate that person!

  27. Stevie, it can actually work that way. My own experience was that of a fairly close friendship leading me to realise that I really cared for a woman. Sexual attraction followed some time after. And I wasn’t trying to be especially ‘spiritual’ about it.

    So try not to react against a rigid formula by proposing the opposite rigid formula.

  28. Kathy Verbiest Baldock February 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Tom — I suggest you start here with this video series. From your first sentence we are not using words that mean the same to each of us. I sense from your language and sentence structures that you may not really want answers, but would like to make accusations. Perhaps I am wrong.

    Watch this if you care for answers. I have engaged in the conversation for a decade and am going to assume this is not an exploration on your part, but a condemnation. I am not interesting in that level of exchange.

    After you watch, please do engage me on my blog or youtube. I don’t invest in boulder-throwing. http://www.youtube.com/user/canyonwlkr/videos?tag_id=UCDcI0dMGSWha4UuYqfC_J0g.3.bridgeless-canyon&view=46&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

  29. Kathy Baldock, Please stop leading men, women and children away from Christ!

  30. Alright Lore, my two cents from a
    perspective of being nearly 28, single, lived in Texas, passionate lover and follower of Him, and grown up in the church most of my life, but now in one of the most conservatively “religious”‘countries in the world where men and women do not interact with each other and women are cloaked from head to toe in black and the only interaction they get with the opposite sex is family members and the random clerk or salesperson they may “have to” interact with or when they sneak around in spite of the threat of being severely punished (beating or killed)… Homosexuality is rampant here. These women (and men) crave deep, intimate relationships and have no real outlet for learning how to healthily interact with the opposite sex, learning to honor and respect each other with dignity and worth, and not someone to consume for their own gain. Their only confidant is a woman who understands her for sure and is safe for her too. So I see young girls on campus holding hands, making out, trolling for other women and then I see the boy crazed ones, and just mention the word boy and the giggling and screaming begins. We had a fire one time and they all ran outside and when they saw the firemen– who for firemen weren’t even good looking (and I find Arab men attractive ok!)– started screaming and hollering and fainting and going bezerk as if they had never seen a man in their life! This place is more extreme, I get that, but honestly, we in the west are not any different at the core. I think it’s just a clearer picture here of what happens when you don’t learn how to interact with the opposite sex in a healthy, appropriate, God-honoring way. I would also argue sexual immorality is much more heightened here as a result– but that might stray to a different discussion than this thread is intended for.

    Caroline

  31. Great article! I had a lot of guy friends growing up, and always thought they were a lot more fun than the girls (who tended towards mean – and I went to an all-girl school for 2 years, so I saw a lot of mean). Fortunately, I never had anyone tell me being friends with guys was bad. I have kept this same philosophy with my kids, and my daughter married a young man who she’d known for 8 years, and dated for 5, from a group of great mixed gender kids she hung out with. My son, likewise, has a number of girl friends. While I did have my daughter read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, it was more for the aspect of guarding her heart and purity, not that the sexes should be segregated, etc. Life without men would be extremely boring, in my opinion!

  32. Doug, I’m not sure why you have concluded that Kathy Baldock is “leading men, women and children away from Christ,” when her entire ministry is focused on spreading God’s love to the thousands of our brothers and sisters who have been badly damaged by the church, being told they are an abomination, that God can only truly love them if they deny who they are and live a lie, that they are a danger to children and a contaminant to the body of Christ. Kathy spreads the truth that God loves and welcomes us all, “just as I am”, and that He longs for relationship with us all. Rather than zero in on the few verses in the Bible that I am sure are ready to be whipped out in a moment’s notice to condemn those who are non-gender or orientation conforming, let’s let our hearts and words be ruled by the verses that tell us to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves, to not judge lest we be judged, to remove the plank from our own eye before trying to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. Over and over, Jesus’ message was that our job is to love as God loves us, and leave the judging to Him. As the Christian mother of a Christian lesbian daughter, I have spent several years praying, reading and engaging people on this topic, and God, not Satan, has led me to an understanding that God always calls us to love. Our job is not to stand in judgment of our fellow Christians, since none of us is in a position to do so. Our job is to love people, and let God convict where God sees a need for conviction. You might be surprised to see that God does not convict people just for being gay or falling in love. That has been man’s party.

  33. Hahahah—oddly enough, BECAUSE I had so many guy friends, and because I played guitar with so much physical energy and enthusiasm, I was often accused of being a lesbian. (For the record, I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years, and am heavy-pregnant with my fourth daughter.) Heck, even when I auditioned for the church worship team two years ago, the worship pastor’s FIRST response was, “You don’t play like a girl.” He meant it as a compliment. So many people told me, “You play guitar like an angry lesbian,” through college, but I’d never even heard of Melissa Etheridge or Anni DiFranco until a hundred people compared me to them. It was so confusing and sad. I would always counter with, “I’m not an angry lesbian–I love my man, and my favorite guitar player is Jennifer Knapp.”

    ……!!!!

    About a year after JK disappeared, a friend in the music business told me she was a lesbian too. It *terrified* me to think that I might be dipping my toe into sexually-insecure waters!! “Oh my gosh, is something WRONG with me??” became the line that the enemy used over and over and over again to convince me not to invest in my music. (There were many, many other factors too, but this is certainly one of them.) I think the sad truth is that anyone who doesn’t fit a societal mold is going to be looked at side-ways, in a “What’s wrong with you?” sort of way. Don’t get married by a certain time? There must be something wrong with you. Get married too young? There must be something wrong with you. Play guitar with more energy than a mouse, and have a deep voice for a woman? There must be something wrong with you. I truly don’t think it’s “delayed marriage” or “lack of guy friends” that accounts for the rise in SSA. I think it’s the quick nature of people in the church to label perfectly harmless behavior (such as being a guitar playing girl, getting married late, or having a short haircut) as *sexually deviant* simply because it’s unusual.

    People who are born outside of the mold personality-wise are raised up for a *reason,* to be used by God in a specific way. My gentle, quiet husband will soon have four daughters, and I’m SO GLAD he’s sensitive and loving. My slightly-feminine guy friend works with mentally handicapped men in a very nurturing way, and in a way that women couldn’t. My aggressive, strong female friend is raising a teenage stepson who has a mentally ill–and dangerous– biological mother.

    So, I”m glad this discussion is happening, but I think attributing it to delayed marriage is sketchy at best. <3

  34. AMEN!!! I think those of us who are trying so hard to have a godly marriage and family are carrying heavy, heavy burdens from well-meaning authors who tell us the “right” way to be a godly spouse and parent. Well, those authors can’t lift a finger to help, dangit. <3

  35. I definitely share your concern about where the “Passion & Purity, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Courtship, True Love Waits church culture of the 90s” has led the church in terms of our understanding of sex, dating, and marriage! But suggesting that Christians should be marrying younger is very dangerous advice, with its own share of dangerous consequences.

    For every story about a person in his/her early 30s struggling with being single, there are many many more stories about people who married in their early 20s and saw their marriages fall apart. My husband and I were both previously married—my first marriage was at 22 and his was at 20—and we feel strongly that we entered disastrously unhealthy marriages precisely because we hadn’t taken enough time to develop as individuals, and figure out who we were. (In fact, my husband’s first wife left the marriage after 5 years and the birth of their child because she is gay—something she wasn’t able to embrace as a 20-year-old Christian who knew that her family and church expected her to marry a man.)

    It is not the church’s job to tell anyone when they can or should get married, how long they can be single, if/when they have children, etc. etc. The church’s only job is to help people grow in their relationships with God, so that they can trust in his guidance, wisdom and love as they deal with the twists and turns of life and make these important decisions for themselves.

  36. God indeed loves you, me and every man, woman and child was has ever or will ever walk the face of His earth.

    He does not condone that which He says is sin. Any sin.

  37. But the other part of my point is that judging others is not our job, and rebuking someone for loving “sinners” is also not our job. We as Christians love to point to others and condemn their actions, publicly calling them out for their “sins” and thus inferring that we are better followers of Christ because we don’t do whatever that thing is and we loudly condemn that thing over there. Jesus had some very harsh words for that kind of behavior. Publicly chastising Kathy for “leading people away from Christ” just because her understanding of a few verses in the Bible is different from yours (a view which many devout Christians are beginning to understand and embrace) is not loving, it is judging. Actually, if you are at all familiar with Kathy’s ministry, it is through people like her that many church orphans are finding their way back to Christ, realizing that it was not Him to rejected them in the first place, only a group of fallible humans.

  38. I am sure you know all the scriptures in both the old and new testaments where God forbids homosexuality.

    It is decision time. Follow God and His Word or follow the false teachings of man. The choice is yours.

  39. stevie tellatruth February 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    James, I’m not talking about a formula, I’m talking nature as God designed it. And it is rigid. Your case worked for you and others but usually its boy sees girl, boy likes what he sees, approaches girl, wins girl over, marries girl. Not a lot of in between time for “realizing” you were attracted. No disrespect but that sounds very rom-com like.

  40. I am well aware of the verses that you are referring to and that you feel have only one possible interpretation. I will not get into a text-proofing argument with you. I will only refer back to my previous statement that judging is not our job, it is God’s. And God is a big boy, He can handle His own battles. He doesn’t need us to do it for Him. We will point hearts to God by loving them, not by publicly rebuking and shaming them.

  41. Tell me where in scripture we are told not to judge.

  42. I can’t agree with this enough–my in-laws’ local paper had an article that equated late-marriage as a sin equal to homosexuality, and literally said that people who wait to get married are sinning. The idea that people waiting to get married, in and of itself, is somehow wrong or sinful, is spreading among conservative evangelicals. This is simply too much control over individuals, and can lead to disastrous consequences.

  43. Really?

  44. Hey y’all, I’m at a conference this weekend and not able to moderate comments very well, so I’m going to close this thread for them. Thanks so much for all your thoughts, I’m grateful for them.

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