Sexuality and Gender

Counsel for Loving Same-Sex-Attracted Christians

Author Melinda Penner Published on 07/26/2017

An article in Christianity Today written by Bekah Mason provides some very helpful counsel for how Christians can love and be supportive of other Christians who experience same-sex attraction.

Mason answers the question: “So how can we better hold law and grace in an effective tension that allows us to maintain our convictions and also show love?” She says of both extreme and unbiblical responses,

In the end, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me seeking more contentment and completeness than either could offer. One group had fallen short of acknowledging the genuine nature of my feelings and the other had overlooked the very real conviction I held about human sexuality by explaining it away as “residual guilt from my legalistic childhood.”

She offers five suggestions for how Christians can be both faithful to the Bible and loving friends to Christians who experience same-sex attraction:

1) You don’t have to understand the struggle to be supportive

2) Take the time to learn about the struggle—and the person struggling

3) Make sure you aren’t expecting more (or less) from people than Jesus does

[I]f you lean left on this issue, understand that your “blessing” to embrace same-sex attraction actually places a greater burden on us than the one Jesus gives us in our celibate devotion to him. His command to love and obey him is a light and easy burden, and I have found more peace, joy, love, and contentment by keeping all of my relationships rightly ordered than I ever did in seeking to fulfill my own desires in a relationship with another woman. By contrast, if you are more conservative in your convictions, understand that seasons of struggle with sexual identity are not necessarily a tumble into sin or a lack of faith on our part.

4) Be an advocate for people who are same-sex attracted

Although it’s important to advocate for us by condemning hateful and homophobic comments and actions, advocacy also involves being a mentor, an accountability partner, and a prayer warrior.

5) Remember that marital love is not the highest form of love

The highest love is agape love, not eros love, and agape is available to all, which means God isn’t withholding the best of himself from single Christians. He offers all of himself and his love to all people.

At STR, we’ve taught people to engage the topic of homosexuality with both truth and compassion. I really appreciate Mason’s counsel because it encompasses both and gives us some practical ways to love and encourage Christians who need to be welcome in the church, and also ways of correcting two opposite but wrong responses.