My friend called me on the phone recently and said “Matthew, I am struggling with same-sex attraction. I don’t know what to do. I keep praying and trusting that God will take it away, but I keep having these feelings. I am terrified that if I was to get married to a lady that I would end up being unfaithful to her.” How would you advise him? What is the best advice that you can give him to fight the sinful urges of his same-sex attraction?
Change Your Behaviour
Many people today will tell people, my friend, that a same-sex attraction is a behaviour and behaviours can be stopped. Is that the best advice? How can he fight a same-sex attraction? Let’s pretend that same advise of “just stop doing that behaviour” is applied to another sin that you struggle with. Let’s say that it is lusting, anger, coveting, jealousy, or pride, and now I tell you, “Just stop doing it, it is a behaviour that can be changed.” I wish it were that easy. I wish I could just say to myself “hey stop sinning,” and that sinful behaviour would stop. Sadly, we can’t stop sinning entirely until we go to heaven (Romans 7:21-24). Also, the Lord can remove the same-sex attraction away from my friend altogether, but sadly this is not usually the case.
Still, we wonder how someone like my friend who struggles with a same-sex attraction can fight it and live a life that honours Christ? Does having a same-sex attraction mean that it is impossible to honour Christ? There are a lot of answers, but let’s apply a few scriptures to help give us a way forward.
Put it to Death
In Colossians 3:1-6, we’re told to put sexual immorality, and homosexuality (“passions”), to death. Now, whenever you hear the phrase “Put to death (Colossians 3:5),” what comes to mind? I think of someone that has been sentenced to death by firing squad. All of the guns are pointed at one person with a bag over their head. The firing squad is commanded to shoot! Then the prisoner falls over dead. There is no mercy. There is no compassion. There is an ending to a life. Now, this is a sad thing whenever someone is killed, but I want to stress the idea that death needs to happen to same-sex attraction, and it is done without mercy and compassion.
You need to make war with same-sex attraction; otherwise, it will get the best of you and lead you to submit to it. Putting it to death means that you are rendering it strengthless and lifeless. The same-sex attraction will most likely be apart of you but quench it of life and strength, and you will not give into it.
Seek the Things Above
How can same put same-sex attraction to death? How can you overcome it? The answer that Paul gives in that same passage of scripture is that we’re to “seek the things that are above (Colossians 3:1),” and to “set our minds on the things that are above (Colossians 3:2).” The word “seek” means to “delight” in the things that are above. The term “set” means to create a value system around the things that are above. So, we put the same-sex attraction to death by delighting and valuing in the things that are above. Doing so causes us to see that the things that are above are infinitely glorious above anything that the sexual sin- homosexuality or lesbianism can offer.
What are the “things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2)?” The answer is that it is the resurrection of Jesus (Colossians 3:1), the death of Jesus (Colossians 3:3), and the return of Jesus (Colossians 3:4). Four times the word “Christ” is used in these verses and five times the words “you” or “your” are used in these verses (Colossians 3:1-4). So the things that are above are seeing what Christ has done for you. You vicariously died and rose from the grave with him, and you will one day be glorified with him when he returns to earth.
So seek the things that are above, set your mind on the things that are above, and you will be able to put the desires to fulfil same-sex attraction to death. Practically speaking, you can do this more effectively by spending time in the word of God, that is the Bible. Therefore by prayerfully reading, studying, memorising and meditating on the word of God, we are focusing on Jesus. Focus on how glorious that is! You can download the Kuza app and go through the “Knowing Jesus” devotional series to help further yourself to seek and set your mind on the things that are above.
Even though your same-sex attraction may never end, it can be functionally dead when put in light of how amazing the glory of Christ is. Whenever we see this fantastic Christ and what he’s done for us who would think that same-sex attraction is more desirable? Put to death same-sex attraction by seeking the beautiful things that are above.
Walk in the Spirit
What is another way that same-sex attraction can be put to death, made lifeless, and lack any strength? The answer is by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Someone who walks in the Spirit will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), one of these desires would be sexual immorality which includes same-sex attraction (Galatians 5:19). Whenever we walk in the Spirit, we find fantastic love in God that is greater than anything or someone of the same-sex could give us (Galatians 5:22). We find joy that is superior to any pleasure that same-sex attraction can give (Galatians 5:22). Strength to remain faithful to God and not give in to the desires of same-sex attraction (Galatians 5:22). Self-control to say “no” to giving into the same-sex attraction (Galatians 5:23).
Since walking in the Spirit means that I get love, joy, faithfulness, and self-control from the Holy Spirit to overcome fulfilling my same-sex attraction desires, how then do I walk in the Spirit? If we compare Ephesians 5:18-21 with Colossians 3:16-17 you will find that walking in the Spirit means to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” To let the word of Christ dwell within you richly implies that the Word of Christ, scripture, dwells within you and you submit to it.
For the scripture to dwell within you, you must read it often. Let Christ and his Word dominate your life like the psalmist of Psalm 119 did. He would read the word before dawn (Psalm 119:147), all the day (Psalm 119:97), seven times a day (Psalm 119:164), in the night (Psalm 119:55), and at midnight (Psalm 119:62). Someone like this is truly letting the word of Christ dwell in him. Whenever you do that, you’re now filled with the Spirit and so putting the desire to fulfil same-sex attraction to death. The filling of the Spirit and walking with the Spirit is a powerful thing to help gain love, joy, faithfulness, and self-control over fulfilling same-sex attraction.
If you’re struggling with a same-sex attraction, feel free to communicate with us through the Facebook messenger link on this page. We would love to pray with you and let you know that Jesus is more glorious and superior to fulfilling than your desires of same-sex attraction. The Biblical principles of Colossians 3:1-6 and Galatians 5:16 are only providing strength to say not to a same-sex attraction for those who are born again. If you’re not born again, please click the “Receive Jesus” button below to give your life to him. The desire to give into same-sex attraction may never leave you, but we promise that to gain Jesus is superior to giving into same-sex attraction desires.