by Tim Wilkins
In most cases, same-sex attractions are not chosen. They probably result from many complex factors over a period of time. One of the mysteries of life is that we don’t get to choose what we are tempted by. Someone has said, “I can resist everything except temptation.” The Bible clearly states all are tempted. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Note that Paul said “but when you are tempted” not “if.” The fact is that temptation is inevitable and though we may not choose to be tempted by something, we do choose our response to the temptation.
There are at least three responses to same-sex attractions. This brief article is not meant to answer all the questions surrounding homosexuality, but to provide an understanding of what we can do when homosexual temptation rears its ugly head.
One response is to repress it! From a psychological perspective, repress means to “to exclude (painful or unpleasant memories, for example) from the conscious mind.” Repressing same-sex attractions is like trying to hold a large beach ball under the water forever. Although it can be done for short periods of time, it’s an exhausting task and requires almost undivided attention. Many men and women who are tempted by homosexuality mistakenly think they have mastered this technique. They never really deal with the issue; rather they try to keep it in check, until one day they give in to a second response.
They express it! They give in and act on the temptation; what follows is a snowball effect. Very soon one act of indiscretion takes control and they find themselves imprisoned. The brief sexual pleasure becomes the dominating factor in their life. Career, healthy friendships, hobbies begin to suffer. As a wise sage said, “The devil will take you farther than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay.”
Fortunately there is a third response to same-sex attractions. Confess it! John the Apostle wrote “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Confessing a temptation or sin to God is agreeing with God that it is wrong. It is not a sin to struggle with temptation; it is a sin to give in to temptation.
A wonderful thing happens when we agree with God that He is right. His power is unleashed in our lives to keep us from giving into the temptation. Additionally, James 5:16 reads, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” You say you cannot tell anyone your struggle? Yes you can, but it takes time to find a mature Christian who will listen. Take the first step and He will provide light for each subsequent step.