Continuing from yesterday…
A big issue with gay people who are attending our church is what we should tell them the goal is in this area of their life. Many Christians have said that the goal for gay people should be to help them become straight- that we need to help them learn to like people of the opposite sex and hopefully help them have a family and kids. I don’t think that is a very good approach. Now do I believe that God can change a person this way? Yes. I personally know someone who used to be gay and is now happily married to someone of the opposite sex. Do I think it happens very often? No. I believe that most of the time whatever has caused a person to be gay will be something that they deal with their entire life. It is not fair to them or the person they would be marrying if they were faking it. If they do begin to feel desires toward people of the opposite sex, that’s great, I’m sure they would be thrilled. Most people don’t prefer to be gay. But, that does not need to be the goal for them. In fact, in Scripture, Paul even said that staying single, if possible, is the best way to serve God with your life. So, the goal for them in this area should be purity…no homosexual sex and no heterosexual sex. If they do begin to feel heterosexual desires then they are, of course, free to pursue those relationships (that may result in marriage), but if they never do that’s OK. Heterosexual relationships are not the goal; purity is.
In my last post, Scott asked this question, “Josh, one of the hardest questions I have ever considered is what if a gay couple who had been ‘married’ for 11 years and had 3 children together came to me and said they have been born-again. Should they remain ‘married’?” This question is related to another question I raised, “ What about significant relationships in their life? How do we help them meet the need for relational intimacy (non-sexual) in their life?” Let me try to answer them.
This may be a controversial answer, but here it goes…In the situation above with the gay married couple with kids, I would advise them to stay together with this explanation. First of all, two women or two men raising children is not a sinful thing. It happens fairly often. There are many households where a mother and a grandmother is working together to raise children. I do believe it is not ideal (I think it is best for a child to have a male and female influence in the home), but it is better than the alternative of a single mom never being able to spend time with her kids because she has to work so much. So the thing we have a problem with is not that two women or two men are raising children. The problem we have is that they have a sexual relationship. I would tell them that if they are seeking to follow the way of Christ in their life, the answer is to stop having a sexual relationship. I would encourage them to have separate bedrooms and to commit to living a pure life in this area. I believe in this situation, it is the best solution to a complicated issue. The kids do not suffer their family breaking up and having to live in two different households, and the adults are seeking to please God in this area of their life. Does this arrangement present temptations and problems? Sure. But it is a messy situation and there is not a simple answer. Maybe it would be a huge testimony to their children when they get to be teenagers that their parents loved them so much they they were willing to stay together and that their parents loved God so much that they chose to end their sexual relationship.
On the second question, we really do need to figure out how to help gay people meet the need for relational intimacy (non-sexual) in their life? Community Groups can definitely fill some of those needs, but I think we need to help them develop meaningful non-sexual relationships with people. Close friendships with people of the same sex are by no means sinful, and we need to help them establish non-sexual intimate relationships with close friends. I know this is asking a lot, but I really believe that the Holy Spirit can help them live in purity in this area if they are willing to let Him. The Christian community needs to be the place where they find the support and accountability to do this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this whole issue. I’m still learning and would love any insight you have to offer.