"Understanding is the basis of care. What you would take care of you must first understand, whether it be a petunia or a nation."
- Dallas Willard
As those who seek to care for homosexual persons, we must foster the ability to see past what seems to be a singular homosexual identity, to view the multifaceted myriad of root issues that have formed the life-controlling perception that a homosexual life is necessary to be who one is meant to be.
Otherwise, our moral call to self-denial can crush those for whom we hope to care. Profoundly deep, God-given relational needs simply do not go away. This is magical thinking, not Christianity. We can be sure that these needs will find their way out one way or another. God calls us, his church, to step in and be his hands and feet by meeting those needs in right ways.
And he asks the person facing same sex attractions to follow him in choosing wisely, which requires becoming equipped with insights regarding the unconscious driving forces behind their homosexual orientation and actions. Relational transformation comes through a holistic healing process. The man or woman can be restored by God's love to a true identity and to uninhibitedly love well those around him or her.
Dr. Julie Hamilton is a a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In this video she presents a basic understanding, an outline, of the historical narrative of the individual facing same sex attractions. We must understand these things, and only then begin thinking creatively about preparing redemptive communities where repentance by the homosexual flourishes. When we become the real thing, the life and love of Christ that meets their heart right where it is at, they will be much more willing to relinquish the counterfeit, a homosexual identity and/or activity. This is Homosexuality 101.
*As is the case with most basic learning situations, the information provided is generally true. There can be individuals who have differing experiences, but it largely fits the demographic. This historical narrative approach is a critical step in understanding homosexual persons, in order that we might better care for these individuals - starting in our own churches.
Relational Redemption: More Than “Stop It” or “Do It”
Imagine telling the anorexic or the alcoholic or the abuser or those in a failing marriage to “stop and just follow Jesus.” No! We have particular, well-developed, psychologically informed helps for those facing these issues. The same sex attracted person deserves the same – despite how politically incorrect that seems in our day. SILENCE regarding the truths offered by developmental psychology destroys peoples lives. It provides critical insights for the “how-to” of following Christ.
Celibacy is a beautiful gift - as is heterosexual monogamous marriage. But each is only a beautiful gift when accepted in the right manner. They are not a cure for relational brokenness and not a substitute for meeting real god-given, legitimate needs.
This is why developmental psychology is critical in this conversation. We might mean well, but our attempts will miss the mark if we do not have an intelligent concept of the nature and needs of persons facing same sex attractions (SSA) or homosexuality. We can only distinguish real needs from sin once we have a proper understanding of the nature of homosexuality, where it comes from, and what the underlying really needs are. It provides leverage to give guidance to the person facing same sex attractions and those who would choose to be Christ's hands to them. We can have more useful, helpful insights into: "What do I need to pursue as a means of reconciling myself to who God created me to be?" "How did God design my relationships to work with Himself, with others, and with creation?" "How do I heal from past woundings?" "What do healthy relational and sexual boundaries look like?" "What does intimacy with members of the same/opposite sex look like?" "Does God have more for me than this?" "What is my next step in healing?" Only through education can we really become the hands and feet of Jesus in leveraging those understandings to care well. And yes, God has more, much more for the person facing same sex attractions.
If you are struggling with homosexuality yourself, we encourage you to find safe places and safe people to talk to. Safe people tend to be those who know Jesus and who are honest about their own brokenness and struggles. We encourage you to find further insight into what the Lord wants to walk you through in healing and becoming whole. Check out our "Resources & Support" tab for links to major networks of ministries and psychological information. There are many holistic and helpful books that help to provide light to your path. We encourage you to take it one step at a time. God will be with you. He knows you better than you know yourself. Give yourself to Him. Seek wisdom and get understanding to follow in His ways. God bless you and welcome to God's greater story for your life.