The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi. I saw the homosexuality page and I didn't get at all what you were trying to say about us. I'm 14 and you are telling me clearly will I go to heaven for being that way?  To let you know I would not be this way if I had a choice; there's no way. I hate it when people say, "Yeah, you are going to hell for this," but I'm scared I really am. I would change, but I can't. I tried, but I can't. Do you have any idea what it feels like to cry yourself to sleep thinking you might be sent to a world of eternal torture and suffer forever for the way you were born! I am serious. I will never get married to a woman or have any type of love relationship because I know it is unholy. Yes, I am a gay girl, but I don't want to be. I just can't help being who I am. I have accepted Jesus Christ and have given my life to him and accepted his death as a payment for my sins. Isn't that the way to get into heaven? I have prayed for forgiveness for my homosexuality so will I go to heaven? I have had sleepless nights over this. I mean, if I was born this way why should he not let me go to heaven? I want to go too! I don't want to suffer forever. Anyhow, please get back to me.

Answer

Fourteen and you have already decided how your life will play out. I'm nearly fifty and I can positively tell you that it is too soon to tell.

Let's start examining what you said. That you are not interested in guys at this point in your life is fine. Many girls aren't. In the Song of Solomon, there is an interesting comment made about how you can divide girls into two types. "We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; and if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar" (Song of Solomon 8:8-9). The poetic language might be a bit heavy, but brothers of a young girl who had not yet reached puberty were concerned about how to treat their sister when she reached marriageable age. They had decided that if she had strength of character and wasn't "guy hungry" they would work to enhance her beauty. If she was the type to chase guys and was "easy" they would work to protect her from herself. The lady they asked advice from is the heroine of the story, now married to King Solomon. She said, "I am a wall, and my breasts like towers; then I became in his eyes as one who found peace" (Song of Solomon 8:10). She said she was of the former class. She had no interest in guys and held them all off, that is until she met Solomon.

When I read your note, I see a young woman who is also a "wall." If you never run across a suitable fellow, you are quite willing to live without a man. That is a perfectly fine state. The apostle Paul, who never married, said, "For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:7-9).

But why, oh why, did you swallow the lies that your lack of interest in men at this point in your life means you are a lesbian? The two attitudes are not connected. I know the rumor mill is filled with the idea that homosexuality is genetically inherited, it even gets into the newspapers at times, but I've tracked down those studies and read them for myself. Not one of them states that homosexuality is inherited! The closest they have gotten is to say they have a suspicion that there might be a genetic disposition toward homosexuality. In other words, they have no confidence in the weak claim and are leaving themselves an out if they are proven wrong in the future. Worse, several of these studies have been shown to have been flawed (usually in their sampling) and when others tried to repeat the study they could not come up with the same answers. But because it is what people want to hear, that they are not responsible, they happily ignore the problems.

The Bible calls homosexuality a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The Bible also says that sin is not inherited (Ezekiel 18:20). Instead, the Bible says that sin comes from choosing to break a law (Ezekiel 18:21-32). Therefore, the reason being ignored by everyone because it implies responsibility is that homosexuality is a choice people make.

Now Satan is trying to destroy the work of God. He works at making sin look appealing or hides sin under layers of deception. One of the lies I've seen him use is that if you think about something, then that is what you are. But think a moment, how could Satan tempt anyone with sin if he does not get them to first consider the sin? If homosexuality never entered your mind, would you ever be tempted by that sin?

James 1:13-16 tells us that Satan takes advantage of our desires to tempt us into committing sin. When you are young, you body develops sexual interest that did not exist before. In response, your brain, in trying to figure out how to use this new "toy," wires itself to all sorts of possibilities and then as experiences roll in, trims out the unused paths and strengthens the used ones. I know of one study that estimates that 50% of boys go through a phase of homosexual thoughts, though most don't act on them. I don't know of a study for girls, but I won't be surprised if it was similar. These thoughts are just result of too many connections in the brain when sexuality is brand-new. The inappropriate thoughts diminish as the person rejects the ideas.

The problem is that a few don't reject the thoughts. They toy with the idea and the more they think about it, the more it sounds appealing to them. It becomes a matter of lust for them -- a strong desire to do something that is wrong. Jesus labels such lusts as sin because the only thing stopping the person from actually committing the sin is the opportunity (Matthew 5:28).

But even when a person rejects a thought, such as homosexuality, because it involves a sinful action, there is a sneaky back door sin that Satan can plant in a person's mind -- doubt. "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:22-23). If Satan is able to keep you from being certain that right is right, then you are more vulnerable to doing wrong things. I think this is the trap in which Satan has snared you.

I pray that you haven't acted on your thoughts, but that your fears come from your struggles. Even if you have, you can chose to turn around and do right just as a person can chose to turn and do sin. When bad thought come, have a list of good thoughts to replace them: pray for a sick friend, read you Bible, or go do a good deed for someone. It will take your mind off the topic and give you something pleasant to dwell upon. "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).