Hello! Interestingly enough, I was thinking of doing a post on this sometime soon. I guess this is forcing me to stop procrastinating on it.
I feel that in life, everyone has a particular tendency to sin, a weakness, a thorn in the flesh that God calls us to surrender to Him daily. It could be the tendency for pride, lust, greed. The love of gossiping. One might have had abusive parents, and have a lot of trouble forgiving and honouring them. My life’s struggle is emotional dependency - I tend to need people excessively, putting them before God, using them to fill the hole in my heart. It is idolatry. These things remind us that we cannot save ourselves. No one is sinless. God calls us to give them to Him every day, to trade our lives for His. “Less of me, more of You!”
Of course, you can’t help liking someone. That isn’t a sin. It’s what you decide to do with those feelings that matters. We know from the Bible that sex between two people of the same sex is a perversion of its original intention: the epitome of physical union, an expression of the emotional and spiritual union which are epitomised in the lifelong covenant and institution of marriage. (i know it's a long string of words, but read them carefully!) We know that to lust after someone you’re not married to is already committing adultery. Sex is a beautiful thing, the symbolism of full union. Marriage is a beautiful thing. It signifies the relationship between Christ and the Church. God has given us the privilege of experiencing love between people, and they are glimpses of what it is like to be in love with Him. These things must be guarded and stewarded properly, used to glorify Him and edify one another, as with all other things.
Of course it’s difficult. In my previous relationship my ex said “you have to help me keep away from sinful thoughts, too.” So we met in public spaces as far as possible; we had decided not to kiss until we got married (if it happened), not to ‘awaken love until it pleases’. And well, the hard truth is that as long as one is not married, any and all lustful thoughts are sinful. Thankfully, we were not meant to overcome our sins by our own strength. We can’t.
Repression is not the answer. It’s dangerous and unhealthy. It is important to acknowledge the thoughts every time they come, wrestle with them, and say “God, I am feeling this way; I put this at Your feet.” They will come again and again. Recently I have had to repeatedly come to Jesus with my sadness; with my longing for death; with my insecurities, bitterness, and jealousy. “God, I am feeling this way.” And I just cry with Him. Whenever you fall, it’s okay. Jesus already knew it would happen. He has cancelled out your name on your sin, and put His name there. And we were not meant to conquer the sin on our own. Jesus alone gives us the power to overcome. When we die to ourselves and ask Him to take over, that’s when His strength can work in our weakness.
The key to dealing with our struggles is not to focus on the things we *can’t do*, but to focus on Him. As we pursue God, delight in His love, all other things eventually fall away. I was in a lesbian relationship before coming to Christ. When I came to church, God didn’t say “you have to stop sinning here and here before you come”; He said, “Come.” And as I fell in love with God and found joy, these things just fell away. There were things I just didn’t feel like doing anymore, and eventually we broke up. Dealing with that was difficult, but just keep your eyes on Jesus and not on the sin, because Jesus will help you through it. A note to remember: why are you trying to keep the Law? Is it for the Law's sake? Then it's pointless, because the law will not save you. The desire to act righteously is born out of our love for God. When we love someone, we want to please him/her. I want my parents and friends to be proud of me. In classes where I love the teachers, I am very motivated to do well. If we deeply love someone we will try our best to stop doing the things that grieve them, and do the things they love. Quit a gang, quit self-harming, change old habits and pick up new ones. We love God, and because of our deep relationship with Him, we want our lives to please Him; but we need His help to do that, because we are ridden with sin. Loving God comes before keeping His commandments. Often we focus on the Law first.
Most of all, don’t ever feel like you cannot talk to God anymore because of guilt! I think of it like my relationship with my dad - I do things that make him angry sometimes, but if I stop talking to him altogether, isn’t that worse? Jesus already paid the price for our sins so that our sins wouldn’t count against us, so that we could be in a full relationship with God. Don’t let anything make you feel condemned. Just keep on coming to God with them. As you daily choose Him over your sin, He will reward, strengthen and edify you. Also don’t let yourself be cut off from Christian friends! Many Christians commit the sin of condemning a homosexual, or viewing his/her sin as ‘more severe’. We need to remember that we are all so prone to sin, and help one another through our weaknesses. We are all sinners, justified not because we’re good but because of what Jesus did for us. We are all sinners on a road of sanctification, daily choosing the path of God, and daily drawing closer to Him.
All the best :) I will say a prayer for you today. I know it is difficult. It is difficult to trust that He has something bigger and better planned for us, in this life and beyond, and all we need to do is keep surrendering our lives to God. It might edify you to read a little about other Christians who have struggled with their sexualities: e.g. Christopher Yuan, Henri Nouwen. And here is a verse for you: Mark 10:29-30 “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.”