Homosexuality has become a very sensitive thing in our world today. In America, for example, homosexuality has been aligned with the civil rights movement in the 1950s. Racists people in those days denied black people the fundamental right to enter in individual movie theatres, enter into certain restaurants, or use some drinking fountains. The denial of rights was hard for black Americans to deal with. Homosexuals in the USA felt they were like the black in the civil rights era until President Obama kicked down the closed doors of homosexual marriage. Homosexuals in the USA feel a lot of freedom to marry, live, and speak out like never before.
In Kenya today, it is common to hear people say that “homosexuality is not African.” Many times such a statement gives off the vibe that it does not exist within the borders of Kenya. However, homosexuality does exist within the borders, and it is something that many people deal with regularly. Even in our Kenyan churches, many people struggle with same-sex attractions.
Recently a friend of mine attended a conference in Nairobi containing youth pastors and youth ministry leaders, and they took an anonymous survey amongst themselves. They asked how many of them were struggling with homosexuality? Around 10% of the room admitted in the survey that they had same-sex attractions. Now that is not just members of a church, that was youth pastors and youth ministry leaders. So homosexuality is something that is a challenge for many people in the local church and youth ministries today. We have people in various youth ministries that are struggling with same-sex attraction, and yet they are active in our churches and confessed Christians. How can we help them? If you’re reading this today and you struggle with same-sex attraction, what can you do to overcome it or fight it?
Gayism and Lesbianism are both listed as sins in the Bible (Genesis 19:5, Judges 19:22, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We at Kuza do want to be forthright and say that we believe it is a sin because God calls it so. However, if you’re reading this and struggle with homosexuality, we don’t want you to be fearful of that categorical statement. We were hoping you could continue reading this blog series on homosexuality.
David said that he was born in sin (Psalm 51:5). We also are born into sin and continue to sin (Romans 3:23). As a result, we are born with sinful desires and intentions. Just as not everyone looks the same, we also are not born with the same sinful desires, although we’re all capable of doing any sin. Furthermore, just as our life experiences are not the same, one’s life experiences can shape individual sinful desires.
You can hear stories of many in the homosexual community talk about how they knew they were gay from a very young age. They were born with this desire. Many people in the homosexual community also have very harsh stories of challenges with their parents. The story usually goes with a homosexual male that they had a problematic relationship with their fathers or some other male role model in their life. That relationship could be filled with verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Another typical story is that there was no father figure in their life. The male struggling with homosexuality often is looking for love to fill that gap of their fathers. This, of course, is not the case with everyone, but it is a common theme. This background helps shape the sinful desires that many with same-sex attraction have.
An example outside of homosexuality to where life experiences help shape sinful desires would be someone who struggles with greed grew up in poverty. The poverty that they went through growing up was so severe that they were determined to never go through it again, which is why they hoard their money and become greedy.
Maybe you don’t struggle with homosexuality because you were not born with that sinful desire, and you never had life experiences to push you in that direction. Still, you do have specific experiences that have shaped your sinful desires.
Overcoming Sinful Desires
It is important to admit that you have same-sex attraction if you struggle with it. Now the question is, what do you do with them? There are loud voices that tell you, you cannot change your desires, you were born this way, and that you need to give in to your feelings or you will never indeed be happy. There are other voices out there that tell you that you can be a Homosexual Christian. They say that God made you this way, and you can still worship him the way that you are. Other voices tell you never to talk about the struggles that you have with homosexuality and wholly hide it, because after all “it is not African.” What does the Bible say about overcoming same-sex attraction desires?
Consider that if you’re a Christian that you have a new identity. You’re called a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), righteous (2 Cor. 5:21), justified (Romans 8:30;33), and you have the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit in you (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). With this new identity and all of the powerful ability that comes with it to overcome your sinful desires, you don’t have to let your sinful desires drive you. There is power in the Holy Spirit to overcome sinful desires. It doesn’t mean that you will never feel tempted to commit homosexual acts again, but it does mean that you now can overcome that temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
One way to overcome the temptation to commit homosexuality is by giving God glory. Consider Romans 1:20-23, which says that man knows that God exists because creation testifies to that; however, man refuses to worship him and give him glory. Man chose not to give God glory and gives it to something else. Instead of giving God glory, God then turns them over to their sinful desires, one of which being homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27). To fight the urge to commit homosexuality means that you give God glory. You worship him for all that he is and all he does. Look at the glory of God and see how amazing he is. When you see the glory of God and dwell on it, it is far superior to any sinful desire that you might have. When you do that consistently, then you will see that God is far superior to any homosexual temptation that you have. Ask God to show you his glory and to help you dwell on how glorious he is continuous.