When We Forget What Is True

Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church, the phone rang. It was one of the women from the online support group I help moderate for those struggling with same-sex attraction.

“Hi, Em.”

“Sue, can you talk?”

“I have two minutes.”

“OK, then in two minutes tell me again why homosexuality is wrong? I’m at an AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] retreat and there are so many women here I could really connect with and they keep turning out to be gay. And the leader is wonderful, but she’s a former nun who is just so happy and content with her lesbian partner. I can’t remember why I’m supposed to be fighting against what I want.”

“Oh. Well, okay. . . [Lord, help! Give me Your wisdom here!] Homosexuality is wrong because it’s not God’s plan. Because He created man and woman to be complementary to each other. Because two women can have a wonderful friendship but were never meant to meet each other’s needs in that way. Because lesbianism is about trying to fill your heart by drawing from another woman’s heart, but that one’s as needy and empty as yours. Because two people of the same sex cannot possibly reflect the ‘unity with diversity’ of the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church, where two very different, very other beings are somehow one. Because it’s two of the same, not two who are different, coming together as one. Because homosexuality is idolatrous—remember, it puts the other person or what they give you or the relationship on a pedestal where only God should be.  Because when you give yourself to what God has called sin, it costs you the intimacy with Jesus that your soul craves.”

“Right. Right. . . . But Sue, it doesn’t feel like it. The others here seem so happy and content, and I’m miserable.”

“I’m so sorry, Em. Fighting our flesh will absolutely make us miserable. You’re doing the right thing. Don’t give in! Ask Jesus for help! Press hard into Him!”

As I turned on the water for the shower, a scripture sprang into my head, full and insistent. I called her back.

“Got a scripture verse for you, Em. I think God wants you to grab onto this for all it’s worth. ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.’ Proverbs 14:12. Got it?”

“Got it.”

I am so proud of my friend for reaching out and asking to be reminded of what she knows is true but has forgotten why. What a great example of why we need community, why we need friends who also walk with Jesus, why God doesn’t want us to be “Lone Ranger Christians.” Lord, help me continue to surround myself with people who will speak truth to me, especially when I am tempted to forget it!

This blog post was first published on Sept. 9th, 2008.

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.


    • Sue Bohlin

      Being willing to struggle

      Thanks for being willing to struggle, Sharifa, in loving others well. "Showing up" is the best way to show God’s love to those who feel unloved, invisible, and unacceptable.

      By the way, since the same-sex attractions are usually an unwanted, unwilled intrusion on someone’s heart, I firmly believe they constitute temptation, not sin. The sin comes in giving into them. It’s a thorn in the flesh for a lot of people, in a culture that has baptized the giving-in as an acceptable virtue. Not to mention cool. At the last conference where I taught high school and college students on a Christian view of homosexuality, one girl came up to me afterwards and said, "I am one of those ‘wounded and deceived’ ones you talk about. If ANYONE had told me that the feelings constitute temptation but not sin, I wouldn’t have felt like, ‘Well, it’s too late now, so I may as well act on them." And I wouldn’t have wrecked my friendship when it turned sexual. So I lost both my purity and my friendship."

      I appreciate your grief at those who profess love for the Lord and spew vitriol at those He loves. And I am mindful of what Billy Graham said: "Never take credit for not falling into a temptation that never tempted you in the first place."


      • Elspeth

        Sue thankyou for taking the
        Sue thankyou for taking the time–not only that time but countless others to speak to those of us who struggle. It seems so easy to remember the bad or judgemental things said in our lives and so tough to hold on to the truth.
        When a person speaks truth to another in bondage-it has the ability to loosen the chains that tie us so tightly. Thankyou ALL of you who lovingly speak the truth-a living hope a word of truth a testimony of Gods saving power helps us to fight against the darkness that has ensnared our lives

  • Charlsa

    Sue and Sharifa-
    I appreciate that this post was even written. As a counselor and a friend to people who are homosexual or struggle with the attraction, I have seen this subject avoided by most believers. Or like Sharifa said, “spew vitriol at those gays.” While it can be uncomfortable, loving people who struggle or who give in to these desires is the only way that they will be reached where they are. For some reason, homosexuality is at the top of the “totem pole of sin.” Because of that, believers who struggle with SSA rarely admit their brokenness and either suffer from loneliness or end up giving in to that undesired pull. Or worse.

    Anyway, I’m thankful for women who have leadership roles that are willing to take on loving people where they are, and acknowledging that SSA is a problem in the first place. So, thanks.

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