The events that have brought local food chain, Chick-Fil-A, into the news in recent weeks have turned my mind toward the subject of homosexuality. Before I go any further, let me make two background statements:
1. I have a conviction that homosexuality is an acquired trait, not an inherited gene. To put it bluntly, I do not believe that you can be born gay. If you hold to a different conviction, I respectfully request you not to debate that point here. There are other forums for that argument.
2. I am writing specifically to Christians. I define “Christian” as one who actively follows Christ. I do not count individuals who (for example) were baptized at the age of three but do not reflect the values of Christ in their lives in the category of a “Christian.” If you don’t currently have a vibrant relationship with Jesus in which you talk to Him every day (more than just saying grace over a meal), I would rather talk to you about salvation and the glorious redemption He offers in another post.
If you disagree with Point 1 and/or do not fit the description of Point 2, this post is not for you. I would respectfully request you keep all disagreeing comments to yourself. In fact, if either of the previous two points incites anger or animosity in you, I respectfully request you stop reading here.
I believe we have missed the point regarding homosexuality. Our “war” against the homosexual lifestyle is not one in which we are “fighting” from a position of strength. In truth, because of our lax standards as Christians, we base many of our anti-gay arguments on a self-righteous conviction that “their” sin is worse than ours, and our hypocrisy puts us in a losing position time after time.
If we want to combat homosexuality in our young people, I believe we need to come against the root behind the lifestyle. We focus so much on the “inappropriateness” of homosexual relationships that we ignore the bigger issues–immorality and the degradation of the family unit.
We are hypocrites when we shun gay people for their lifestyle choice and say nothing about our teenagers getting pregnant outside of marriage. We are hypocrites when we take up arms against television stations for showing gay love scenes but do not express the same revulsion against the fact that almost every television show glorifies casual, premarital sex. Do we even notice that anymore?
Our focus should be less on the issue of same-sex and more on the issue of broken relationships that do not conform to God’s plan for intimacy. I cannot believe it is a coincidence that so many homosexuals have come from divorced families or those with weak father figures. We are failing our children when we don’t honor our commitments. We have allowed media to teach them that casual sex is normal, homosexuality is normal, and fathers are clueless and weak.
Paul laid out the requirements for relationship in Ephesians 5 when he commanded wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives. Notice, he did not command wives to nag their husbands into showing love or husbands to brow-beat their wives into submission. Each has to voluntarily do their part. More about what love and submission look like another day.
Fathers and mothers, know this–if you do not give a child the love they need, they will find it somewhere else. By the merciful grace of God, I was a virgin when JD and I married last year; I attribute this to the goodness of God in sheltering me, but also to the stubborn conviction of my parents that I needed to be hugged frequently and talked to regularly. Specifically, I needed to be hugged by my father. One year they were encouraged by the head of their missions organization to send me to boarding school because the fees of the private school I was attending were too expensive. They opted instead to homeschool me for one year and God opened up a job for my mother to make up the difference in school fees. She worked a job for the rest of my high school career because she recognized in my teenage heart a need to be held, and refused let that come from the arms of a strange man.
If we legitimately are concerned about the progression of homosexuality in our society, we need to be equally concerned about the progression of divorce and emotionally unavailable fathers and mothers. We need to invest in our children. We need to beg God for mercy for allowing young boys to be violated in our churches and for defending those who are abusing them. We need to run after teenagers in broken families and embrace the calling to be spiritual fathers and mothers to those who don’t have earthly ones. We need to turn off the blatant immorality coming through media and once again become the guardians of our children’s eyes and ears.
Most importantly, we need to realize that those pursuing homosexual relationships and those engaged in premarital sexual relationships are all looking for true love. We need to redefine what love looks like in our generation and readhere to the definition of love that is Christ. Until we are able to sacrifice ourselves, to forgive offenses, to allow the character and fragrance of Christ to work in our hearts, to honor our commitments, and to be a people of our word, we are merely treating one of many symptoms. We need to preach at ourselves and hit our knees in prayer for those with whom we disagree. We need to stop the surge of hate in our debating and learn that we can disagree with opinion and actions without crucifying the person. God made all of us, and placed inherent dignity in each one. We need His eyes.
(PS–forgive the grammatical errors in this post. I had to make frequent stops to hold my son. 😀 I am rereading and editing as I can, but my attention remains divided.)