A single friend, who’s attracted to girls, came to me recently. She’s a Christian and believes that Christ loves and accepts her as she is. She also believes that the Bible prohibits a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. I prayed with her and we talked together about what the Bible says and about the struggles she is facing.
Another single friend, who’s attracted to boys, also asked my advice. She’s a Christian and believes that Christ loves and accepts her as she is. She also believes that (outside of marriage), the Bible prohibits a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite gender. I prayed with her and we talked together about what the Bible says and about the struggles she is facing.
Both conversations were difficult. And in both cases I questioned what I’d said. It goes against the views of many of my friends and family. It wasn’t the easy thing to say and it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. It feels judgmental and uncomfortable. So – why bother? Why not say ‘live and let live?’ Or ‘find your own path?’ Why not keep my mouth shut?
Arguments for staying silent: You’re just a smug married, telling others how to live. Pointing the way down a path you’ve never walked. Mouthing off on something you know nothing about.
Or this: How dare you lecture about issues of identity when your own sense of it is so screwed up? How dare you speak for God when other Christians disagree?
I hear these arguments, loud and clear.
And if it were just my personal opinion, then I’d keep it to myself. But I don’t believe it is.
I don’t know what’s best for me or other people. But God does and I believe that He has the right to tell me how to live. I believe that the Bible is true; and it doesn’t change. I believe that God is loving and He works for my good. And I believe that I love others best by pointing them to this truth, just as they do the same for me.
At the same time, I don’t think our culture always gets it right. Not on the importance of external beauty, not on equating self-sufficiency with strength and not in the myth of “sexual fulfilment.” Here’s how the culture sells it: true life is found in sexual self-expression. So if you’re not expressing yourself sexually, you’re not living.
This has massive implications. If sexual fulfilment is ‘life’, then we’re declaring a heck of a lot of people (singles and sexless couples for example) as ‘incomplete’. Not to mention that the Jesus who promises to give ‘life to the full’ seems to have missed out on it Himself. What’s narrow and frustrating is not the Bible or its sex ethic. It’s a culture that equates ‘real life’ with sexual expression.
The world claims to be inclusive by offering the possibility of a relationship with someone special.
But Scripture guarantees the relationship we were actually made for:
A Lord who serves. A Comforter prepared to say ‘no’.
Someone who knows who He is: and knows who you are too.
A Fortress: who shields you in His arms and protects you from harm.
An Encourager: daring you to risk and catching you when you fall.
Faithful, even to death.
Patient enough to talk through your fears.
(Embarrassingly) proud. Declares to the world: ‘This is who I love. Aren’t they beautiful?’
Strong enough to stay, no matter how hard things get.
Weak enough to serve and make themselves small.
This is the relationship we were born for and this is the partner we all dream of. He offers himself to us all, and in the same way we are all called to subject our desires to Him – me as a married woman and you, whatever your gender, your marital state or your attractions. Sexual fulfilment – whatever our orientation – is not what life is about. And the good news is more inclusive than our culture can even imagine.