The community found within the Church has the potential to be the place of the greatest joy. John explains that our joy is made full in the place of being in fellowship with God and with others(1 John 1:3-4). Because of this, the enemy will do everything in his power to destroy and divide this joining of people to people and people to God.
I think one of the hardest things is how often WE in the Church aren’t real with one another as we walk around in our masks. This fear and pride definitely contributes to our own demise. Personally, I still have the habit of putting on the face that everyone expects for the sake of being productive throughout my day and to maintain the appearance that I’ve got all my stuff together. I don’t know who may read this or even relate to this, but hopefully it can be used to help some feel they are not alone in the struggle/battle, others to maybe gain understanding of ways to help, and still encourage others to also be more real with those around them. So here are some things about me and my same-sex attraction that you might need to know:
- Against probably what most think, sex is not the biggest or most frequent temptation for me. However, what does become a challenge is being around people, books, films, TV shows, and pictures that include something of a gay affirming view. This can definitely plant thoughts in my head to cause confusion.
- When I first see FB engagements, marriage pictures, baby announcements, etc I am happy for those that are experiencing these joyous milestones. But very quickly following, I’m hit with the painful reminder, again and again, that I’m alone and may never experience this level of love shared between two people.
- When people in Church aren’t available(with time or skin)to connect in a meaningful way, I’m left to fight the desire to choose connecting with those in the world that are more than ready to chat and/or hang(though this can come with a price).
- Not having trust(built over time) and sacred space in friendships in order to share frustrations and difficulties because I’m never asked eventually wears on me. This also effects my comfortability to even ask others for prayer when things are rough. We all need support, no matter how far along we are on this journey of sanctification or who we are in leadership.
- Keeping friendships in a healthy place can be a challenge at times, depending. Knowing that I can’t have a sexual or romantic relationship with anyone does leave the next closest thing: friendship. Friendship, though has become less and less valued in regards to marriage. Friendship can become tricky because I don’t want it to become an idol, where they are the most important person in my life. Yet, somewhere there has to be a balance since Paul says that in the Church we aren’t allowed to say that we don’t have need of another and must care for one another(1 Corinthians 12:21-26). I don’t want to be possessive or jealous, but still be able to experience fulfillment found in healthy friendships because of the real human need for intimacy, belonging, warmth, and affection.