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Ellen and Her “Wife”

Yesterday’s Oprah featured Ellen DeGeneres and her “wife,” actress Portia di Rossi. I watched the show with the perspective of one who, for a decade, has helped women come out of the bondage of lesbian relationships. Let me share with you the meaning of what I saw and heard.

Oprah is enthusiastically pro-gay, so I was not surprised that she oohed and aahed over her guests’ romance and wedding, which we saw in video and gorgeous photography. And I wasn’t surprised that Ellen and Portia said they were glad to be “married” because it gave validity and legitimacy to their relationship. That perspective is part of an agenda about normalizing homosexuality, not the one-flesh union of male and female God intends marriage to be.

In her excitement to embrace the unreality these two women have formed, Oprah could not see the threads of commonality that tie most lesbian relationships together:

Hearts looking for their home. Both Ellen and Portia spoke of how they had found their home in each other: a place of rest, of sensing that the search was over. Many women who long for same-sex relationships speak of the sense of a gaping hole in their hearts, looking for someone to make them complete. They are looking for continual reassurance and safety, the security of being loved forever. God’s plan for baby girls is that they find this nurturing and reassurance in their mother’s love and attention, with a strong connection with Mom that grounds them as human beings. All the lesbian women I know have sustained a life-altering “mother wound.” Either their mothers weren’t there for them, or something was broken in receiving their mothers’ love. They are longing for the unconditional and all-consuming mother love they never felt when they were babies, and they try to find it in the hearts of other women (or girls—growing numbers of teens are struggling as well).

Connection. Both of Oprah’s guests reported an immediate, electric connection to each other, even though it took some time for them to become a couple. (Interestingly, neither of them revealed during the interview that they were both in relationships with other women at the time, and they both dumped their respective relationships and moved in together. Abruptly leaving one girlfriend to hook up with a new one is typical.) In our online discussions of women dealing with their unwanted homosexuality, the word connection probably shows up more often than any other. Connection defines life for them. God created women to be relational, so it’s not surprising that connection would be so important, but there is an element of desperation to the connection that characterizes lesbian relationships.

Intensity. Intensity is a substitute for intimacy. Lesbian relationships are marked by intensity; one counselor calls it “emotional crack cocaine.” Intensity plus connection feels so overwhelming, so powerful, so intoxicating, that it is like a life-controlling drug. But God never intended for us to have that kind of human relationship, because it is idolatrous. People can never fill a heart-hole that God designed to be filled by Himself. So the cycle of lesbian relationships is: infatuation (reveling in the intensity of connection), disappointment (realizing the relationship does not satisfy, because idols never do), breakup (since God never intended same-sex coupling, it can’t work), and heartache. . . leading to looking for someone new to be infatuated with.

Lesbian relationship usually last only 3-4 years. (There are long-term relationships, but that’s usually because the women don’t know how to live without each other. It’s not the same as a stable heterosexual marriage relationship.) And when the breakup comes, it’s horrifically painful. I pray for Rosie O’Donnell and Kelli Carpenter, who have separated with 5 kids between them, to turn to the Lord for comfort and truth and peace.

And I pray for Ellen and Portia, when their ride is over as well. I pray for grace, and peace, for them to know Jesus. . . and for their eyes to be opened to why we use quotation marks for the word “wife.”

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Sue Bohlin

Sue Bohlin is a speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries, a Christian organization that helps people to think biblically. She loves teaching women and laughing, and if those two can be combined, all the better. She also loves speaking for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Clubs) on the topic How to Handle the Things You Hate But Can't Change, based on her lifelong experience as a polio survivor.

She has a freelance calligraphy business in her home studio; hand lettering was her "Proverbs 31 job" while her children were young. Sue also serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered organization that helps people struggling with unwanted homosexuality and the family members of those with same-sex attractions.

Sue never met a cruise ship she didn't like, especially now that God has provided a travel scooter for getting around any ship! She is happily married to Dr. Ray Bohlin, writer and speaker on faith and science with Probe Ministries, and they have two grown sons. You can follow Sue on Twitter @suebohlin.

25 Comments

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    Susan H

    Sue, you have spoken oh so
    Sue, you have spoken oh so well on the condition of lesbian relationships in general. So wise. I’m thankful to the Lord for your care and ministry to same-sex attracted women over the years. Blessings to you.

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      Sue Bohlin

      Lesbian relationships
      Thank you, Susan! Nothing in my 36 years of walking with Jesus has enlarged my vision of God and built my faith as much as seeing Him release transformational power and lasting change into the lives of my precious same-sex-attracted friends. The power of the Gospel is STUPENDOUS!!!

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    Judge and Ye Shall Be Judged

    You and your “Ministry”
    Why not focus your energy on something that might actually make positive changes in the world instead of brainwashing insecure women who think that you can change them? Ellen and Portia are legally married in the state of California, therefore they have as much right to call themselves married as you or anyone else. God does not make mistakes, humans, however, make many, particularly those who think they know what is best for the rest of the world. Your “analysis” is laughable. As you pray for the gays, I will pray for you that your “diagnosis” of these people that come to you for help doesn’t lead anyone to depression or suicide.

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      Sue Bohlin

      “Ministry” in quotes

      Few things I’ve done in my life have invited misunderstanding as much as helping people deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.

      I don’t have any power to change anyone other than myself. I can, however, point them to the God who specializes in transforming lives with His love and showing us our true identity.

      And you’re right, God doesn’t make mistakes. But a biblical understanding of history tells us that this is not the perfect world as He created it. When sin entered the world and changed it forever, all kinds of dysfunction and illness and pain did too. Including the kinds of relationships that produce people who don’t understand who or how God made them to be. No one is born gay, any more than anyone is born angry or spoiled or bigoted. People are shaped by the beliefs they embrace.

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        Shocked by your hate

        misquoting God
        oh please!!!! God did not define marriage – Marriage is a human created institution. God did not define “wife” – again a human invention. You are not agreeing with God you are trying to justify your agenda with that statement – I fail to understand why you think you know what God thinks and wants any more than I do – that sound like PRIDE to me, and many consider that to be a sin. Sue, you are not misunderstood, your message is very clear, even if it is inaccurate.

        Your statement “no one is born gay, any more than anyone is born angry or spoiled or bigoted” is a ridiculas statement and has no proof or basis in fact. In fact the opposite is true. In all of the species that God created, he created same-sex attracted as well as opposite-sex attracted creatures, and this include humans. God created love, in all its forms.

        But I think that your statements that suggest that depression and suicide is linked to same-sex attraction has to be the most harmful and dangerous. People are depressed and people commit suicide for a number of reasons.

        Suicide is typically a solution people reach for when they can see no other. People will use this when they feel trapped. When someone, such as yourself, tells people that they are sinners and must stop being who they are, you create a situation that leaves people feeling trapped and often that death is their only way out. When people are provided the opportunity to express themselves the way God intended, Love the way God intended for them to love and enter health adult relationships – whether heterosexual or homosexual in nature – they are no more likely to be depressed or committ suicide than any one else. Just making these statements does not make them true.

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          Cecy_TOB

          God DID gifted us Marriage!

          If you can't understand Human Dignity, you won't be able to understand how come God gifted us marriage as a symbol to start uncovering one more step of His complexity. LOVE yes, but for that He Created US in 2 Man and Women, who complete each other, not compete with each other. I invite you to study Theology of the Body, then you might engange into a real opinion in this topic. You can also start reading Matthew 19: 3-28.

          GOD DID DEFINE MARRIAGE as a UNION and COMMUNION between MAN AND WOMAN

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        • Sue Bohlin

          Sue Bohlin

          What God says matters.

          Your arguments consist of "You're wrong." But you don't provide anything other than your opinion to support it.

          If you're going to invoke God in the argument, I think it's important to read what He has to say in His book. It doesn't look like you've done that. . .?

          Sorry, I stand by everything I said.

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      Courtney Sokal

      I agree with this 100%. It is

      I agree with this 100%. It is unfathomable to me that people are still – in 2013 – so blind as to deny the natural state that is homosexuality. A loving God accepts all his children with open arms. Ellen and Portia are good people and worthy to be called role models. Anyone who thinks that homosexuality can be "cured" must open their eyes to their own ignorance and accept that evil has clouded their heart.

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      • Sue Bohlin

        Sue Bohlin

        Homosexuality is natural?

        "so blind as to deny the natural state that is homosexuality'

        If homosexuality is natural, then please explain first why the parts don't fit in same-sex couplings, and secondly, the inherent sterility of homosexual couples. If it's natural, why can't gay and lesbian couples reproduce naturally?

        Just because something feels natural, doesn't make it natural. Whether one approaches this subject from a creation perspective or an evolutionary perspective, it doesn't work.

        I'm sorry, it just doesn't.

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    Jen

    what is your motivation?
    Your first assertion (somewhat Freidian) that lesbianism is helped by a strained relationship with the mother, and the fact that you are using Ellen as an example of this. Have you ever read about her STRONG relationship with her mother? Probably quite stronger than many others. Strike 1.

    Connection: I remember asking my mother when she knew that my father was the man she was going to marry and she answered me. “I felt this strong intense connection to him the first time we kissed” I expect for you to say that secular hetero relationships follow the same course however I will say Strike 2, because my parents have been committed christians, conservative fundementals at that!

    Now for the fun one, Lesbian relationships average 3-4 years….example 1 Del Martin and her wife Phylis. Committed and together for over 50 years (pre-stonewall, Darlin). My girlfriend and I are peeking at 9 years together in a few months. I know that may not be too long, but considering that we met in high school and are both still young, we are doing pretty DAMN GOOD at beating your odds. STRIKE 3 YOU ARE WAY OUT IN LEFT FIELD (or perhaps right wing field).

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    amc

    insightful but not sure I totally agree
    That’s great that you have the courage to write on this topic, which generates so much negative emotion. I’m a Christian and honestly, I usually avoid talking about it – I let people go their own way even if it leads them to destruction. Is it loving? Probably not. I guess I’m a coward or maybe I just think it’s a waste of my time/efforts. People don’t listen until they’re close to death or some other tragedy. Human nature is such that our hearts are hard and cold and everyone does what they want to do (especially if they’re rich celebs).

    With that being said, I disagree with you on your presumption that lesbian (or gay) relationships are unique or different from straight (heterosexual) relationships in its stages of development. I believe there is no difference between heterosexual and gay relationships, not in the secular world. What you described could also be true of any immature relationship (3-4 years avg., hearts looking for a home, connection, intensity, etc.), where partners are “new” to the whole idea of partnering with another human being and childhood wounds are fresh. The commitment to Marriage, on the other hand, imposes a future commitment, which carries great risk and uncertainty; we are drawn to the commitment, but we lack the skills for follow-through -forever is a long time- without Jesus blazing the trail before us.

    Question is can same-sex relationships reach a state of harmony with elements of sacrificial love that a Christian marriage promises? Probably not, b/c the union is not approved by the bible in the first place, so it feels like one more hoop to jump through. It’s hard enough for secular heterosexual marriages to “get Christ,” but at least it’s a possibility that breeds hope for the future. And Christ always gives hope.

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    ARUM

    being ex-lesbian

    Sorry for all you guys that are still lying to yourselves. I have never came upon words so spot on than those uttered by Sue above.

    Been in the gay life for 20 years and contrary to what everybody says or what I believed, I know now – I (nobody, for that matter!) am not born gay.

    Also had a beautiful and close relationship with my mother/ Know everything about "holes in the soul", etc/ About finally "coming home" when falling in love/Those horrific painful endings – everything exactly as Sue told you.

    I am out of it now -permanently, thanks to the saving grace of Christ, but miss the love of my gay friends. They do not trust me anymore. Maybe they just do not understand.

    I am also convinced that a male/female marriage without Christ will not survive so easily as I have seen amazingly horrific ones. Because it is so hard, I would never advise anybody to stay single, but I am convinced that it is the least painful!

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      Sue Bohlin

      Words from a wise ex-lesbian!

      Oh Arum, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to write this! The pain you've experienced in your 20 years in "the life" is palpable, and I am so very sorry. Thank you for your affirmation, and bless you for following Jesus no matter what the cost!

      I'm sorry for the loss of the trust of your gay friends. I think you're absolutely right about not them not understanding or trusting someone who's listening to a higher source of truth and light than the values and messages of their sub-culture.

      And I'm glad you had a good relationship with your mother. I could have taken more time to write about the fact that some who identify as lesbians have a good or even great relationship with their mothers, but never made the connection with other girls to feel accepted and acceptable in The World of Females.

      I just want to say, one woman to another, that I'm glad you're in the Kingdom with us girls, and you belong here with us! I'm looking forward to giving you a long hug when we meet on the other side! 🙂

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    sierra

    hiya i have a very strong

    hiya i have a very strong relationship with my mom and i have a girlfriend we've been dating since the 7th grade and i am now 30 long time right? my parents support me bless them i go to church they accept me also…saying you are not born gay is like saying you are not born straight and personally i do not trust the bible it may be the word of god but it was written by men….thanks and to the ex-gay girl maybe you weren't lesbian in the first place maybe you were confused but you cant say ex-gay say i use to be confused because no one just turns straight because i may not be an lesbian but i have been bi all my life and nothing has ever changed.

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      Sue Bohlin

      When you say you’re bi. . .

      Hello Sierra! Thank you for writing. I'm glad to hear you have a great relationship with yur mom. What a blessing!

      However, God says that lesbian relationships are not His plan for our lives. (And if you have a longtime romantic girlfriend, that is lesbian behavior regardless of whether you like the label or not.) In fact, God calls same-sex relationships sinful because they fall short of the way He designed us to live, and because they are not natural (see Romans1).

      I think you have dismissed the Bible without doing any research on whether or not it truly is a supernatural book. Is it possible you don't trust it because you don't care for what's in it? That's a dangerous position to take, rather like deciding that "gravity doesn't work for me." While it is true that the Bible was penned by men, it claims to be "God-breathed," meaning that God Himself directed its writing. The fact that it holds together with a coherent message over a 1500-year period of writing by forty-some authors on three continents, in addition to the fact that it contains many fulfilled prophecies, indicates that it actually IS a supernatural book. I respectfully suggest that you disregard it at your own peril!

      I think it's rather disingenuous to suggest that someone who says "I used to be gay but now I'm not" was never a lesbian in the first place, only confused. I hear that said about both men and women who have experienced deep life-change, and I wonder if you can appreciate how very disrespectful it is . . .? As if a stranger is a better judge of what was going on in another person's own heart than they are? I wonder if you'd say to someone who has been living a life sober and free from the chaos of alcoholism, "You were never an alcoholic in the first place." Part of the "good news" that Jesus brought is that change is possible, and that includes gender identity as well as relational and sexual behaviors.

      Finally, I would also respond to your comment "no one just turns straight because i may not be an lesbian but i have been bi all my life and nothing has ever changed." I would agree that no one "just turns straight." Romantic and sexual feelings are very complex, the result of many components of the way one thinks and acts, as well as the way people interpret their life experiences. There is no switch to get flipped. But no one has ever seen a bisexual three-year old. That is a part of development that doesn't kick in for a number of years yet. I would respectfully suggest that you have not been bi all your life, but at this point you may look backward and see that you felt different from most of the other girls. That's not the same thing as bisexual, or lesbian.

      You have found a Christian blog, and part of the Christian message is that Jesus Christ changes lives. That includes the way people see themselves and other people, and that includes sexuality issues as well. It appears that you have no interest in changing to anything other than how you live right now, and I have no interest in trying to force change on anyone else. But I can celebrate when people seek change, and find it through a relationship with Jesus. I pray some day you will see your need for Him–He'll be waiting.

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        samh.

        So when people say they

        So when people say they aren't homosexual anymore, their claim should be taken at face value, but when people say they aren't Christian anymore "they were never Christians to begin with"?

        Talk about double standards.

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    Visitor

    Hello

    Hello Sue, i am a woman in a relationship with another woman for 3 years now.. Everything is fine with us.. We really love each other.. we also love God.. we really respect Him and His words.. We are thankful that He led us to each other.. But we don't know what to do.. We are not sure if this relationship is accepted by God.. We are afraid.. but we are sure of one thing, we accepted God and we Love Him and we also love each other.. We are seeking advises.. Can you give us some? Thank you..

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    Sue Bohlin

    What do you do when God says no to lesbian relationships?

    Dear friend,

    Thanks for writing. I understand, because several of my friends have been in the same position as you, what a difficult place you are in.

    God created human beings with a specific design and intention for the way we should relate to each other. He intends for romantic and sexual love to flourish within and be limited to the marriage relationship of one man and one woman, for life. All relationships outside of His definition of marriage are not His created intent–and I'm afraid that includes same-sex relationships. (He specifically forbids homosexual relationships, in the context of all other sexual relationships outside of marriage, in Leviticus 18:22, and specifically forbids lesbian relationships in Romans 1:26.)

    So, to answer your question, your relationship is not accepted by God–BUT YOU ARE. Because of what Jesus did in coming to earth to be one of us, dying on the cross and rising again, He made it possible for His Father to accept us, just as we are. But He loves us too much to leave us there.

    You'll need help understanding your relationship and how you got to this place, and why God says it's not okay. My friend Anne Paulk has written an excellent book called Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction. And you can download a free message on emotional dependency, the core of female same-sex relationships, from my website: http://suebohlin.com/mp3s/Emotional_Dependency-smaller.mp3

    Let me also encourage you to read some of the articles on the Living Hope Ministries website, which is a good place to start: http://www.livehope.org

    I know of a number of women who came to the place where you are, wanting to know God's truth and what to do about it. I pray for open hearts for you to receive what He wants you to know and how He wants you to trust Him with your relationship, with each other, and most of all with your own hearts.

    Warmly,

    Sue

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    miss

    Explain this to me.

     If I have to abide to Leviticus 18:22, then how about the rest of these….    

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

  • MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
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    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

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      Sue Bohlin

      Time-bound biblical commands

      Dear Miss,

      Thank you for your question. It's important to understand that there are different kinds of laws in the Old Testament. Civil and ceremonial laws, such as those concerning religious sacrifices and penalties for unacceptable societal behaviors, were time-bound and limited to the people of Israel. They are no longer in force for a variety of reasons: first, all the Old Testament sacrifices and ceremonies were given as a foreshadowing of the Messiah's ministry and of His death, burial and resurrection. They are no longer necessary because they were the preparation for the Reality that has come. Second, the civil laws pertained to a nation of people who no longer exist. (The current nation of Israel is a political one, not the same as the group of OT people God called to follow Him alone as their Ruler.)

      Moral laws, such the Ten Commandments and all the laws constraining sexual immorality, are not time-bound because they are rooted in the character of God. Time and culture changes do not affect the importance of not worshiping any false gods because God is the only true God; of not murdering because every person is made in the image of God; of being honest because God is truth; of not stealing because God wants us to trust Him to meet our needs instead of taking what we want; of being faithful to one's spouse because God is faithful. And none of the Old Testament laws concerning sexual morality changed in the New Testament because they, too, are based on the character of God as pure and holy. It is always sinful to have sex with someone you're not married to, regardless of gender.

      The scriptural prohibition against homosexuality is further underscored by what Paul reveals as the purpose of sex in marriage in Ephesians 5: sexual intercourse between husband and wife is an earthly picture of the spiritual union of two very different, very other beings—Christ and His bride, the Church. Sexual coupling of two same-gendered people can never reflect the deep spiritual significance of sex. Instead, it is really about pursuing pleasure, and pleasure is not the primary purpose of sex (despite our culture's views). 

      This distinction between civil/ceremonial laws and moral laws is seen in just about any family with healthy boundaries. When our sons were small, we had rules about "no TV before homework is done" and "don't leave your bicycle in the driveway." Those rules were time-bound, not timeless, because they were appropriate only for their growing-up years. We don't have those rules anymore because they are both adults, out of the house and in their own homes now. But we still have character-based expectations that they be responsible, honest, respectful, and kind. Those "rules" won't change because they are a different kind from the training rules they grew up with.

      I could address each of the passages you cite, but to be honest I think you probably aren't concerned about those passages as much as the apparent unfairness of what many people see as an archaic proscription against what feels natural. I don't think the Leviticus passages against homosexuality, or the New Testament passages that confirm and expand it, are unfair on God's part. God knows how He made us to function, and same-sex relationships are not His intention for us.

      Thanks for writing.

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    A Jesus-lover

    This is sad.

    I am a young woman in an almost 2 year relationship with another wonderful young woman. I love her. I am in love with her. Before and during our relationship I have loved Jesus, and if anything should happen between us, I will love my savior after it. I love Jesus with all my heart, and this has not hindered me from fully loving her. Having her in my life has actually brought me closer to the Lord. Because of this current controversy with same-sex relationships and Christianity I have worked hard to educate myself on the problems that others see in my life decisions and in my faith. I don't blindly love my girlfriend. I know that God led me to be with her. I desire a future with her. I see a future with her. That is not just me being jaded or led astray; that is honest to God love. I love her, and other around me with the same love that God loves me with. 

    I don't actually identify as lesbian, as I honestly only believe the only sexual orientation is love, and I know that I have a healthy attraction to many different people, despite gender. I just wanted to comment, because I've done extensive research on the verses that you are sighting and I feel that not only are you picking and choosing which part of the scripture to follow but you are presenting loving, committed relationships in a bad light.

    I also believe in choice. That is something that God has given each and every one of us despite our given stations in life. If the women you are helping truly desire not to, for lack of a better phrase, "live the lesbian life" then that is there right to seek your help and listen to you. However, I think you are doing a serious disservice by cloaking all women of faith with the same mindset. 

    We, as human beings and individuals, are not all the same. We love differently and desire different things (or "lifestyles"). If someone wants to change, that's fine. They have that right, but I think it's extremely sad that you have not dug deeper into the history and complexity of your word to find the real truth behind those clobber passages you keep referencing. 

    Jesus is able to guide each and every one of us. Individually. Everyone is not going to be led the same. What may be right for someone, may not be right for another. I'm not saying that what you say you have witnessed in the women you've helped has not been true, but I advise you to do what you do with discretion and true guidance by the Holy Spirit.

    Yes, I am young, but the God I serve and who lives inside of me is eternal. Thank you for your time and consideration, especially if you actually took the time to read and consider what I have said. 

    God bless.

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    CharlesssCharles

    For all the “ex-lesbians”
    For all the “ex-lesbians” here:

    Are you even currently involved in a sexual relationship with a man?

    Because most “ex-lesbians” (and “ex-gays” for that matter) I’ve witnessed are celibate, even if married to the opposite sex. Not a true “change” in my opinion.

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