What do truth and the Bible have to do with my sexuality? After all, only a few verses have anything to do with same sex attraction, and they were written in a negative manner: Genesis 19:1-11, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:10, and Jude 1:7. At this point I had read the New Testament several times and Jesus appears to be silent on the subject. In other words, I didn’t read any letters in red condemning same sex activity or marriage—or did I?
In reading the first two chapters of Genesis about the creation of men and women and God’s intent for marriage, this thought struck me: what one believes about marriage and sex influences what one thinks about sexuality, identity and gender roles. It appeared that my worldview about marriage and sex was being challenged by the Biblical definition of marriage and sex.
Genesis 2:18-25 implies that marriage was exclusively between one man and one woman and that Adam and Eve were created to complement and complete each other with their gifts, skills and talents. Gulp, where did that leave me in all this? Did it mean I would have to give up the idea of marrying the woman of my dreams and never be physically intimate again to embrace Truth and follow Jesus? Surely not!
That seemed like an outrageous demand from a loving God. Didn’t He want my happiness? I continued to investigate further on the Biblical perspective of marriage and I turned to Matthew to see what Jesus had to say on the subjects of sex and marriage. On the subject of sex in Matthew 15:19-20 (NLT) Jesus says this:
“19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
Jesus seemed to be implicating that any sexual behavior outside of a Biblical marriage defiles us. The Greek word for defile is miaino, which means “to make unclean, to stain, to tinge or dye with another color,” as in the staining of a glass, hence, “to pollute, contaminate, soil, defile.”
A few chapters over in Matthew 19:4-6 (NLT ) Jesus spoke on marriage.
“4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ ” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
Here, Jesus makes the connection between marriage and gender. There is only one kind of marriage that is blessed by God and is complementary and that is between one man and one woman.
It became clear to me that Jesus was neither silent nor neutral on the subjects of sex and marriage. He clearly laid it out to His followers that any sexual activity, same sex or otherwise outside of a Biblical marriage made us less than the people God designed us to be. This was a hard pill to swallow and accept as truth.
I continued to read Matthew 19 and hit verses 10-11 (The Message)
10 Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?”11-12 But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons.
Ay, caramba! It appeared that Jesus was saying that the only godly alternative to heterosexual marriage is singleness. A sinking feeling invaded my whole being. This seemed to me like a life sentence with no chance of parole. I needed time to weigh out my options and consider how all of this applied to me.
Spoiler Alert: I will continue with this experience next week.
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