The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I'm a 17-year-old male and I have a problem. But first I would like to say that whoever is reading this, please don't be offended. It's just me, okay?

Well, I'm gay and I think being gay is just wrong. I mean it's not how God created us. I really don't want to be gay. I want to be straight. But how?

Please help.

p.s. I wrote this because I don't know where else to go. In a lot of sites the people just want to promote being gay. They won't consider anything against being gay.


I'm glad you took the time to write and I hope what I have to say will help. This is one of those times that I wish we were sitting down together and chatting because I have a lot of questions about how you reached your conclusion that you are gay. Have you participated in sex with other men? Or, are you bothered by sexual attraction to males? Or, have been having wet dreams that involved men instead of women? Do you have no attraction toward women? Or, is it that your desires toward men are dominating your thoughts?

The answer to these and other questions will color my answer. For now, I'm going to assume that it is sexual attraction that causing you to conclude you are gay even though intellectually you know homosexuality is a sin.

First, let's back up a moment and talk about how you learn. Your mind goes through a series of developments to get to the point where you are currently at. When a new ability is available, your mind throws open a large number of possibilities. Psychatrists call this "blossoming." You can see this in small children. A child learns the word "dog" and suddenly everything on four legs is a dog, even if it meows. Or, when a child learns how to make a plural and suddenly words are being made plural whether it makes sense or not. We even trap the idea in a cliche: "When all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail."

Blossoming is followed by a process called "pruning." Because of feedback from the world around them, a child quickly figures out that the broad conclusions are incorrect and the application is narrowed to the correct usage. Pathways that are not used are dropped and correct paths are reinforced creating habits. Soon a child doesn't have to comtemplate, "Now what was that animal called again?" A single glance tells him that there is a dog in the room.

Now, let us apply this to adolescence. Your body quickly gained the ability to have sex. Along with the physical changes, your brain's sexual centers blossomed with all sorts of possibilities. Your penis is able to become erect when you are sexually aroused, but first your brain has to figure out what is a sexual situation. This is what leads to "spontaneous erections." Your brain found a new switch and it is pulling it to see what it does and whether it is a good time to do it. So your penis acts like it has a mind of its own. It gets big at seemingly ridiculous times, causing you all sorts of embarrassment. But that embarrassment is important. It is feeding information back to your brain. "Not now dummy!" After while, it figures out more appropriate responses to situations.

But that learning process can cause you all sort of grief. Believe it or not, about half of all men admit that they went through a phase where they found themselves sexually attracted to men. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why. In early adolescence, sexual responses are broadly triggered. But adolescence comes right after that stage in childhood when you think all people of the opposite gender are dumb. You are familar with your body's responses and how males think and react. Plus, there are more opportunities to see the male body, such as in the school locker rooms, than there are females. Your brain reacts with "How about now?" and up goes your penis. The ribbing in the locker room and your own embarrassment are important to the pruning process. It gives your brain the response, "NO not now!"

Along with the physical responses to sexual stimulation, there are mental pathways that are being formed. Ideas about sex pop unbiddened into your mind. Teenage boys are particularly plagued by them. Again, it is your reaction to them that helps your mind remove incorrect paths and harden acceptable paths.

What is happening in our society is that incorrect behavior is no longer being rejected. Movies, television shows, books, music, talk in the hallways, etc. are all pushing messages that what was once forbidden sexual expression should be acceptable. For instance, it once was strongly believed that sex outside of marriage was wrong. People who participated in it became social outcasts. Now most teens think that sex is supposed to be a part of a relationship. They are puzzled that people say sex before marriage is wrong.

In talking about the decay of the Gentile society in Romans 1:18-32, Paul points out that free sex (Romans 1:24-25) eventually becomes old hat. The thrill of sexual sin is in its shock value, so people push for the acceptance of homosexual sex (Romans 1:26-27). Even this wears out, and then people push for the acceptance of worse things.

For our purposes though, this increased acceptance of perverted forms of sex causes problems in the pruning process of the brain. Imagine a society where no one corrected a child for calling a horse a dog. Soon the meaning of words become confused and lost. Such is happening with you. You bought the line from worldly society that homosexual sex is common and acceptable, to the point that you are willing to call yourself "gay." This reinforces your brain's acceptance of sexual responses in the presense of males. Yet, intellectually you know that the Bible says this is a sin. Is it a wonder that many, like yourself, are confused?

The simple answer is that this is just a passing phase. Sure it is uncomfortable, so is having an erection in front of the class while giving a book report. The discomfort is bothersome, but necessary to the training of your body. Know that God made you to be the husband of some wonderful woman in your future (Genesis 2:18, 24). Sexual thoughts about men will pop up, but so long as you continue thinking "wrong response!" they will eventually fade. You're neither the first nor the last with this problem. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

I usually avoid recommending sites that contain denominational doctrine, but so that you see that you are just going through a phase, I would like you to read the information on Homosexuality in the site Boys Under Attack. You'll find the information there eye opening. Also read some of the personal stories and notice how many admit they went through a phase of being attracted to males.