Out of respect for the victims of the Orlando shootings I have delayed my regular posts. Orlando has caused me to pause and evaluate several aspects of my life. As a result of my own process, a new addition to this blog has developed. I will be adding a new series call Love is a Verb. It will be proactive and more informative in nature.
As I promised in “A Death Sentence by Surrender”, we would be exploring my lingering question, “What did my sexuality need to be redeemed from, and what was it going to be restored to?” Let’s look at the first part of that question: What did my sexuality need to be redeemed from?
In the beginning stages of my journey of faith, I struggled with my sexuality being considered a sin. Yet as my faith grew, so did my understanding of exactly what sin is. What struck me about my sexuality was my belief that God’s created intent and purpose for sexuality, marriage, and gender were not good or safe. This ideology created a wall between myself and God, robbing me of a meaningful relationship with Him. It caused conflict within me because I couldn’t see heterosexuality as a good thing for me. I found safety, attention, affection, and affirmation in women. I saw men as people to compete with, be better than, and guard myself against.
The Genesis account (chapters 1 and 2) of God’s intended design for marriage and sexuality showed me that God designed intimate sexual relationships to be between one man and one woman within a marriage relationship. If He had seen same-sex relationships as beneficial, He would have included them from the dawn of time. The question then became, could I trust God’s intended design for sexuality? Or would I reserve the right to hold on to the desire to be married to a woman because it felt safer for me?
Men had so deeply scarred me throughout childhood I didn’t see them as safe people. If I am honest, women had equally hurt me, but they were easier to control—or so I thought. I turned to intimate relationships with women because I thought they were safer or I could at least stand up to women more easily. Sex had little to do with my attractions and a whole lot more to do with feeling secure, and having the ability to protect myself from the pain of damaged relationships in the past. I wanted intimacy, yet at the same time, I pushed it away in every relationship I had. The bottom line was, I wanted to be known, loved and accepted without any pain.
John Piper says this about intimacy: “Real intimacy has both pain and pleasure; false intimacy offers the illusion of no pain, but in the end there is no real pleasure!” That was certainly true of my life. In this time period, I began to see what I needed to be redeemed from was myself, from my self-interest in protecting myself, to control the potential for pain by managing the people I chose intimate relationships with. GULP! I needed to be set free from the idea that women were less threatening or at least easier to control. I needed to understand that men were not my enemies or competitors.
My sin of self-preservation had poisoned my soul, mind and body. It had robbed me of meaningful relationships, blinding me to the value of men and women as people created in the image of God. My soul was sexually and relationally toxic; I had no capacity to develop satisfying, long-term meaningful relationships with God or others. I needed a Savior, I needed my Creator to restore me to sexual and relational wholeness. I was broken, I was lost relationally, and I had no ability to change myself.
Next we will explore the second half of my lingering question, “Restored to what?”
Thanks for following my journey, I welcome honest discussion and questions.