The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

The last year has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I really began to believe that I was suffering from homosexual attraction last summer. Anytime I saw a muscular guy shirtless I would get an erection and it would feel good. Then I began watching porn all the time for about four months. I knew in my heart it was wrong, but it felt so good. During this time I became super depressed. I remember crying out to God and asking him to take these attractions away, but they never did go away.

I'm afraid to talk to any family members or friends about this issue, so I looked online for help. I recently began searching Christian web sites to see if there was any way for me to get rid of these attractions. The web sites tended to have mixed opinions on the issue.

I know the feelings won't go away, but I hope they will slowly fade. I have no emotional connection to guys, only sexual attraction and lust. I'm really scared that I'll have these feelings for the rest of my life. Is there anyway you know of that could get rid of these homosexual attractions?


Answer

A common mistake people make is to assume that if one thing happens, then what is noticed immediately before it must be the cause. A simple illustration is that roosters crow when the sun comes up, so is it logical to assume that a rooster's crowing makes the sun come up?

Your body has developed a strong desire for sex; well, actually strong desire to have orgasms and to ejaculate. The male body doesn't really care about what is the source of the stimulation, just about the end results. Often the early things that we notice and connect with sex get deeply rooted in our thinking.

For instance, some guys see the ideal male body as sexually attractive -- not because they have a desire to have sex with a guy, but because it represents to them sexual potential. In other words, it brings the concept of sex to mind.

Others, however, were initially exposed to sexual feelings by another male. That exposure ties parts of the situation to what they feel is sexual.

Still others are simply seeking out new thrills and are not picky about who they have sex with.

But in every situation, the mind is trained in bolstering the reaction that the body naturally has in certain situations.

So let's back up. You have a body that is interested is sexual things, so is every other male past puberty. To expect the interest in sex to disappear is to wish that your body stop working. That isn't practical or healthy, nor is it how God design men to function.

Satan is behind using your natural desires against you by tempting you to satisfy those desires in such a way that it breaks a law of God. While God is going to take care of the problem of sin, right now we have to deal with the fact that Satan is in the world and he is out to get us. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9).

God doesn't leave us without help. He limits what Satan is allowed to do. "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). Notice that God did not promise to remove temptations. He limits temptations to what He knows you can handle. God isn't the source of the temptation (James 1:13), but He does let Satan try your faith so you can grow stronger (James 1:2-4).

The problem is that you accepted the lies that if your body responds, then that is who you are. To illustrate why this is wrong: What makes a man a thief? The answer is when he steals something. The temptation to steal doesn't make someone a thief. Even badly wanting to steal doesn't make him a thief, though that strong desire will likely lead him to break down and steal. The same is true for the sin of homosexuality. Homosexuality is having sex with someone of the same gender. Finding someone of the same gender sexy doesn't make you a homosexual -- that is temptation. Even badly wanting to have sex with another guy doesn't make you a homosexual, though it will likely lead you to break down under pressure.

Because of that acceptance of the lie, you reinforced it by using lust for homosexuality (pornography) to sexually excite you. You wanted God to take this away, but it was you who was doing it to yourself. Fortunately, it sounds like you stopped the lust. But it won't stop the temptation because Satan has found a weak point and he is going to try to exploit it.

But you are not helpless. You never have to cave to Satan's enticements. You always have a choice. In other words, just as Peter said in I Peter 5:9, the answer is to resist Satan. Instead of focusing on how good it feels, remember what God said is right and what is wrong. My feelings are not a factor in the matter. Truth is all that matters. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:5-7). When you fear God, you don't need to fear your feelings because you control what you do and not your feelings.

What you will find happening over the years is that by denying the temptation of homosexuality, your body will find an outlet for its desire for sex. Generally by the time you find a woman to be your lifetime partner in marriage, you will find your desire for her growing to the point that it is hard to contain. Having sex with your wife will make you realize that all the fantasies and temptations about men were nothing in comparison to having sex the way God intended.

Thank you. When I think about it my worries are so small compared to the power of God. I will keep the things you said in mind as I continue on with my life.