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Must They Change?

This article is another version of "Let's Make Him Straight

By Barrington H. Brennen, April 2, 2014

 

For many Christians they feel it is their duty to make someone with homosexual orientation become a heterosexual (straight). I must hasten to remind all Christians that we cannot actually change them. It is the Holy Spirit who changes peoplesí lives. Too many Christians want people to change unacceptable habits, or habits the Christians believe are wrong, before they can be treated with respect. This is totally wrong. Many homosexuals, for whatever reason (nature or nurture, genetics and/or environment) have been dealing with their homosexual desires from childhood and need great support and understanding from friends and relatives to overcome or feel like a worthwhile citizen no matter their orientation.

I am not suggesting that a hormonal imbalance is an excuse to support homosexuality. Neither am I suggesting that all homosexuals began that lifestyle under hormonal influences and not by choice. I am suggesting that this helps us to better understand homosexuals. If you want to make a homosexual straight, you better get your own act together first.  I now know that some homosexuals find it impossible to change their orientation.  However, they can choose not to have sexual or romantic relationships.  I also know that reparative therapy has not worked for many homosexuals.   Some homosexuals have lived their lives in the closet for decades, covering up their feelings with heterosexual marriages, children, grandchildren. Then after twenty-five or even forty years of marriage they cannot stand it anymore. They leave their heterosexual marriages to start a homosexual relationship which they say makes them happier. These are really complex issues.

Since Iíve been writing about homosexuality, I have also made some changes about my views. I have not change my principle that homosexuality is not Godís design, but certainly I have a clearer understanding of why they are that way and how difficult or impossible it is for many to change. One purpose of this article,  then, is to help us to be less judgmental of those with a sexual orientation different from our own.

There are some homosexuals who do express a desire to change from a homosexual to a heterosexual lifestyle. Unfortunately, the response by most Christians is a list of things that this person must do to "prove" his or her spiritual transformationómeaning he or she is no longer a homosexual. The list might look like this: 1) Start having romantic friendship with a person of the opposite sex. 2) Stop talking with a lisp. 3) Stop the effeminate walk. 4) Get married. 5) Have children. This is totally wrong. The sad truth is if the homosexual is not able to fulfill these demands they become discouraged, depressed, disillusioned with Christianity, and in some cases, even suicidal. They are not necessarily depressed because they are homosexuals. Instead, they are depressed or suicidal because nobody understands and no body cares. Perhaps, the demands are too great and unreasonable. We make them believe that outwardly, changed of behavior is proof of victory in Jesus or the only way they will be loved and accepted.

The truth is that these are no proof of spiritual transformation. The proof of spiritual transformation on this earth is how God is helping the former practicing homosexual to live a daily victorious life. He may never walk the way we want him to walk, get married, or have a desire for another person of the opposite sex. God did not say that he will automatically recover from the past lifestyle as a proof of his relationship with Him. God gives the power to immediately cease the habit and then asks us to trust Him each step of the way. Most Christians believe that if the homosexual still has the desire, then he is sinning. The desire may take a longer time to diminish. The desires are not usually the problem. The problem is our accepting and cherishing the desires.

When we accept homosexuals for whom they are and support them in their spiritual journey, then they will find the strength to remain straight. Depression and suicide are high among homosexuals, especially those who are seeking change. I also say that if we learn how to accept and support homosexuals who are Christians and who are living Christ-like lives, as homosexuals, they need not have sleepless nights over changing; but glorious days of victorious living.

I need us to understand that yes, some can and want to change, but many of them do not want to change or find it impossible to do so. Some say there is a genetic component to homosexuality (not yet scientifically proven). Why canít we understand and appreciate more the one who is a homosexual. Babies are born with no arms or limbs or even blind.   Despite these deformities we would still love them unconditionally. We do not require the baby to grow legs and arms to be human and to be loved. Why canít we do the same with homosexual? Persons who are different than we expected.   At the same time as Christians, we can still maintain our beliefs that sexual and romantic relationship with someone of the same sex is wrong and encourage the homosexual to believe the same. 

MYTHS: Let me share a few myths many heterosexuals have about homosexuals that drive their anger toward them. First, we equate homosexuality with promiscuity. This is false. In fact, research shows the promiscuity among heterosexuals is a litter higher than homosexual. On one hand it is okay for a Christian heterosexual male to be flirtatious toward females but certainly not a homosexual. Both are wrong. But what hypocrisy! Secondly, there are many homosexual couples who refuse to engage in anal sex. They think it is distasteful and wrong. In fact anal sex seems to be more prevalent among heterosexuals than homosexuals even heterosexual married Christians. Thirdly, not all homosexuals are in a relationship or want to be in one. There are many homosexuals who have never had a sexual or romantic relationship. There are many who are in a romantic relationship but have remained monogamous and faithful. Sadly, unfaithfulness among Christian heterosexuals is at a deadly high. I must remind us all that our sexual orientation is not what determines our spiritual destiny. It is a Christ-like behavior that does. Stop wasting your energy in trying to change a homosexual to become heterosexual (unless he or she seeks your help to do so). Instead be their unconditional friends, no matter their sexual orientation. Your love might work miracles for them and for you.

Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org  or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.

 

 

 

 

 
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