Where is the Church Now when it comes to meeting the needs of those who struggle with Homosexuality?
It has been 2 years since the legal battle for Same-Sex Marriage on a national level was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the Church, it felt like a loss. Many of my Christian friends felt discouraged that day. My heart felt a little heavy, and I am not really anti-gay marriage on a politically level, but when it comes to God's design for human sexuality, sex should still take place between a man and a woman.
But my heart was heavy for another reason, I was concerned this event will make the Church shrink back into its already fearful place of meeting the needs of Christian brothers and sisters in the Church who struggle with homosexuality.
After I read the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion on why Same Sex Marriage should be legal in all 50 states, I was extremely upset about one particular paragraph that was written.
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,"- Justice Kennedy
This paragraph caused a rage within me. Whether you are a gay-affirming Christian or not, this is definitely not a Biblical-Christ Centered view of marriage or even true when it comes to the “highest ideas of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.”
As the Church lost a legal battle over a state idea of marriage, the Church CANNOT lose the battle to love Christians who struggle with homosexuality, this isn't really an option, which is good. Now all the energy once used to keep a supposed “Biblical definition of marriage” can now be used to practically meet the needs of Christians who struggle with homosexuality. And where can we start?
If you are a Christian, whether a laymen or leader, you can help your fellow brothers and sisters that struggle with homosexuality. It may seem too complex or you are getting involved in something you have no clue about, but let me set this straight, we are just humans that find the same sex attractive. We can use that attraction to lust or love in a Christ-like way, that is our battle we deal with. Where you come in is by simply loving us and meeting our deep needs for brotherly and sisterly intimacy. You can start with the 4Ts. That is basically all there is to it.
We long for Touch, just like everyone. - Hugs, kisses, random physical brother/sister/ teammate touch, let us cry in your arms.
We long for Time, just like everyone. - Travel, camping, dinner, movies, shopping, TV Shows.
We long for Transparency, just like everyone. - Treat us like you will treat a “normal” person. Tell us your deep scary secrets, your hopes and dreams. Also, don't be afraid “to have a body” in front of us when that context appears such as swimming, skinny dipping, streaking, working out, changing, etc, We are not always lusting, we are quite normal, it just hurts when we are treated differently. Let us in the locker room with you. We deserve to be there. We are female and male and need to be guided in that process of becoming more female and male and we need to be given that choice to treat you like a brother or sister and not a lustful object. That takes practice and discipline.
And We long to be a part of a team, just like everyone. - Babysitting, helping out with family needs, giving financially, or helping out as best we can.
We can lead small groups, church programs, worship, lead mission trips, and be senior pastors of local churches.
Our needs are actually the needs everyone has. Our needs for Touch, Time, Transparency, and Teamwork are just a little more intense and require intentionality from a community that understands we are valuable and need to be included in the everyday lives of the Christian family.
When you see us, give us a hug, and if you are more secure in who you are, drop a kiss.
When you see us, invite us over for dinner and start deep, debatable, loving conversations.
When you think about us, plan a trip with us and let's go camping or travel to another country.
Share a bed with us. It is always nice to sleep next to someone.
When you see us, be real with us, tell us you might be uncomfortable with us and process that with us. Don't back away from us, but draw near to us. Tell us your insecurities, give us something that is a part of your heart so we can love you back well and take care of you guys. We want to love too and meet the needs of others in the church.
Tell us about your sex life, you good at it? Bad?
When you are sick and you need someone to take care of you, we are there.
Watch a movie with us, sit on the couch with us, and put your arm around us. I'm not telling you to be our boyfriend or girlfriend, I'm just saying giving us affection means the world to us. It is almost like if Jesus himself is personally loving us at that exact moment. Giving someone affection is not giving someone sexuality.
Write us letters of brotherly love like the Apostles did to each other. You have all their letters. (the BIBLE)
As big of an issue this has become, meeting the needs of Christians who struggle with homosexuality is quite simple, but it becomes a problem when it is not done well, especially in an environment where fear and distrust is the ruler.
There is a point in which you have to trust us. We are not trying to have sex with you, but we do want deep intimate friendship.
Church, we can give that to each other. Let's cross the line of fear and the unknown and meet men and women that are giving up their sexual desires and carrying a cross as they follow Jesus.
I will warn you, our cross is heavy, we feel pain, we cry, we are angry about struggling with homosexuality, we don't always like our needs, but we have them. We are also strong. We can love too.
Please meet our needs and let us meet yours.
Let's love each other the way Christ loved the Church.
Let's give each other the 4Ts.