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Healing from gay desires is possible

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Men who are struggling with gay desires must come to understand three truths in their healing journey. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start.  

The first truth is that no one is born with hardwired homosexual desires. This argument is a creation of those who enjoy their sin and want to make an excuse to live the way they want to. Convincing oneself that you were born with homosexual desires is nothing more than a sinful coping mechanism. If you can convince yourself that you were born with homosexual desires, then you can convince yourself that the desires and the radical behaviors you indulge in are not sinful. “I was born this way baby. What do I have to repent for?”

The Bible says that we are born with a sin nature (Ps. 51:5), not that we are born with predetermined genetic sinful desires. Just like there is no such thing as an “I want to steal a pack of gum from the store gene,” or an “I want to cheat on my math exam gene,” there is no such thing as an “I want to commit homosexual acts gene.” The idea that people are born with a genetic proclivity towards homosexual behavior is not taught anywhere in the Bible. This is in direct opposition to what the Bible says about the location of our sinful desires. This brings us to point number two.

The Bible says that sinful desires, including sinful sexual desires, come from the heart (Matt. 15:19), not our genetics. And that through the power of Christ we can have our desires changed (Gal. 5:24). That we can have our minds renewed and find true and lasting freedom from the sin that is in our lives (Rom.12:2). Jesus said that a man who looks at a woman with lustful intent has committed adultery in his heart (Matt. 5:28), not his genetic code.

Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to ask God to change the desires of our chromosomes. Rather, through repentance and the supernatural work of the Spirit in our lives, we can become more like Christ and have our hearts transformed (1 Thess. 4:3-8). This brings us to our third point, which is really two points in one.

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Men who struggle with gay desires must understand that their sinful desires to connect with men in a relationally disordered way is a result of a complex assortment of wounds that have been sexualized. These men must also recognize, believing fully in their hearts, that homosexuality is contrary to God’s design for gender, marriage, and human sexuality.

Men were designed by God to relate platonically to one another as equal brothers. Fundamentally, homosexuality is predicated on men relating to one another not as equals, but within a sexualized hierarchy of dominance and submission. Truthfully, homosexuality is a desire/behavior to emasculate and/or be emasculated by another man. In homosexual world these are called “tops and bottoms.”    

When it comes to gender expression according to God’s design, a husband will always express his masculinity by “giving,” and his wife will always express her femininity by “receiving.” A husband and his wife become one-flesh in marriage because a husband and his wife were created from the same flesh to begin with (Gen. 2:23). Homosexuality takes this beautiful design and distorts it. A man was never meant to “give” to another man, and/or “receive” from another man.

Homosexuality is thus, an attempt at recreating that relational dynamic, of which is proper for a husband and wife, but is improper for two people who share the same gender. Men who struggle with homosexuality must recognize that the desire to engage in any behavior that is homosexual, is a desire for something rebellious. Something rebellious against God’s design for gender, marriage, and human sexuality. The world says embrace these desires. God calls us to holiness (1 Thess. 4:3-8). A man for example, who desires a homosexual context, must humbly stand before God, recognizing it as a disordered desire. And that underneath the sinful desire for a sinful sexual context is a wound. The non-sexual desire, for example, to receive the love of an absent father figure is a very common wound amongst men who struggle with homosexual desires. And so, beyond repentance, there must also be a recognition in the individual that there are many wounds underneath the surface that need to be dealt with. This is not just “I desire sinful sexual contexts,” but also, “I have wounds that I have sexualized from childhood that I need to bring before the Father who loves me.”     

Healing requires a lot of reflection work. It can be painful to rehash the childhood wounds and family of origin issues that have negatively affected us, but it is some of the most valuable work to be done in this life. Men should be encouraged to know that God will be with them every step of the way. Even in the most painful parts of the journey.

In my own life, as the Lord did this for me, I realized that at the core of my homosexual desires was a masculinity crisis, which began formulating as far back as early childhood. This was due to many factors in my home life and social settings. Recognizing that I had sexualized men during puberty in an attempt to satiate my own masculinity crisis, and deal with the layers of wounds I was struggling with at the core, has been a part of my healing journey. I didn’t find healing from exclusively praying that God would take away the homosexual desires, but by simultaneously having the Lord go deep into the wounds of my heart that were giving life to the gay desires in the first place.  

Christian men who are struggling with gay desires are not only sealed with the Spirit of God, forgiven of all their sins, and given eternal life, but are in a right relationship with the Father who loves them and longs to sanctify them. That means that we can bring our sinful desires, childhood wounds, hurts, and pains to the Father, and ask Him to bring healing. We can ask Him to change our desires in His Fatherly love. To help us see our sin the way He sees our sin. As God begins to mature us in the faith and change us from within, the things we once wanted lose their power.

Perhaps you need to get a journal and write letters to the Lord. Be as vulnerable and inquisitive as possible. Talk to Him about what you are going through. Ask him questions about the desires of your heart. Be expectant for Him to respond in your position of humility. Go on a walk with the Father. Ask Him to reveal to you your story. Ask Him to help you understand why you struggle with what you struggle with.

Get together with a buddy or two. Process each other’s stories, speak into one another’s lives, and pray together. Ask God to be your counselor. Ask to be filled with the wisdom and clarity you need in order to understand all the complex portions of your story. The wounds that have caused you to struggle with gay desires in the first place. Bring your wounds to the Father. Bringing them to the altar of homosexuality will never give you what you are truly looking for. Only God can do that.

Having God as our Father is like having the best therapist in the world. And the great news is that you don’t have to pay for it. It was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Humbly surrender before Him, recognizing that homosexual desires and behaviors are sinful. That homosexual desires are not a result of genetics, but rather a result of sexualized wounds from our life stories. God wants to help you process and understand why you struggle with what you struggle with and bring healing. He is the loving Father who cares.

By walking beside the Father as a son, the man who struggles with gay desires will find radical transformation and healing in the Lord. Healing is possible. And praise be to the Father who provides that healing and makes us more like His Son Jesus Christ!  

Taylor Simon Maxwell is the author of The Desire Tree. He is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. 


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