“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Ricky Chelette, the executive director of Living Hope ministries and former homosexual, speak on the topic of homosexuality again focusing on women this time. However, before I went to the talk, I sent out an invitation to my strong believing Christian friends along with the blog I previously wrote on homosexuality in men, and was surprised when my greatest opposition came from someone I knew closely.
She told me she disagreed with Ricky Chelette’s research on how people become homosexual, even though he is a reformed homosexual and worked with homosexuals for 25 plus years. She further stated, “I personally have been on a journey to understanding what the Bible really says about it and am not convinced “well, it is a sin” is a reasonable argument for the way the Bible is used as a weapon or tool to promote an anti-gay agenda amongst certain groups.” She declined my invitation to hear Ricky Chelette speak.
The e-mail surfaced a flood of emotions and confusion. First, the angle from which she approached homosexuality threw me off. After my husband personally talked to the couple, it was clear they were approaching homosexuality from a political angle without spiritual lenses. There is nothing wrong with approaching an issue politically but our ideas must be grounded on the heart of God. The Bible has no political ‘agenda’ and certainly not an ‘anti-gay agenda’.
Secondly, she is absolutely right. We should not approach homosexuality with a dismissive, non-compassionate attitude by just saying “well, it is a sin.” As I wrote in my previous blog and will write again in this blog, there is a story behind a person who struggles with homosexuality and we must take the time to understand their hearts. However, we also cannot dismiss the truth that homosexuality is a result of our rejection of God (Romans 1:26,27) and therefore a sin.
But isn’t that the good news? If it is a sin, it is something that God can overcome as Ricky testifies. It is not something one is born with and has to live with for the rest of his life. After my husband talked to the couple, the real battle in their hearts was whether they believed God’s love and power could transform a homosexual. There was a war in their hearts.
Why do I share this story? I believe my friend is not going to be the first Jesus-believing church member who opposes the way a Bible-believing church should approach homosexuality – with truth and grace. Secondly, I believe the greater battle is not going to be with non-believers but with believers. Therefore, I do believe we must be equipped spiritually to know what the Bible says about the subject. We also must understand the emotional battle of a homosexual which leads me to write about the struggles of lesbians.
The major difference between homosexuality in men and female is there is greater fluidity of sexuality in women. The probability a lesbian is exclusively homosexual is so small it is statistically insignificant. Most lesbians exist in the middle of the spectrum of heterosexuality and homosexuality. They tend to flow in and out of homosexual and heterosexual relationships more than men. The reason why is women are driven by emotional connectedness and they will try to find that in any type of relationship.
Heterosexually Identified Lesbian Homosexually Identified
There are two types of females: tomboy and girly girl. Both the tomboy and girly girl are equally feminine. Both types of girls can be lesbian.
Just as boys need affirmation, attention and affection, girls also need it. Dads need to affirm their daughters: they are women and it is good they are women. Dads also need to affirm the “being” and not “doing” of girls. This is counterintuitive for most dads. Most dads may gravitate toward applauding their daughters’ accomplishments (i.e. sports, music, academic achievements) instead of focusing on affirming their daughters of who they are – their delight and joy and daughters of the King. The daughters who do not receive affirmation from their fathers will look for it elsewhere.
Secondly, fathers need to give attention to their daughters’ feelings and recognize they think differently from boys. These feelings must be validated and nurtured rather than dismissed. Lastly, fathers need to give affection to their daughters. Fathers cannot hug, kiss and cuddle with their daughters enough. When their daughters go through the maturation process, some fathers become afraid of their response to their daughter becoming a woman and push back. Instead, fathers must continue to give affection to their daughters and provide a place of safety and security for her.Whatever happens he will come and rescue her.
For mothers, it is important they model to their daughters healthy, godly femininity physically, emotionally and spiritually. Mothers need to affirm their daughters of who they are and encourage them to be the women God has created them to be. Moms themselves need to feel confident of who God has created them to be and embrace their identities before their daughters. A mom who does not like who she is as a women may shy away from doing anything feminine with her daughter.
Moms also need to give attention to their daughters’ feelings by helping them recognize and acknowledge feelings and see them as good. Moms need to model to their daughters healthy emotions. If a daughter sees her mom grieving grandma’s death and becoming so depressed and unable to cope with her emotions, the daughter may believe emotions are dangerous and shut them off. With that, femininity becomes less attractive.
Lastly, moms not only need to give affection to their daughters but daughters need to see their parents give affection to each other. If the daughter sees dad abusive to mom and mom as weak, she may not want to have anything to do with a man and she may not want to become mom. She sees mom work like a dog and dad not appreciate her.
When a daughter is not affirmed by her parents and sees mom as weak, the tomboy lesbian does not want to be a woman. Instead, she looks for strength she finds in men and starts looking like men. However, being a woman, she still desperately wants her femininity affirmed and finds that by connecting with girly girls.
For the girly girl lesbian, her mom is a strong, overprotective mom and her dad is a passive non-entity. Her father did not cover for her and did not protect her. Due to her father’s passivity she craves strength. She does not hate men but she believes they are not a necessity. She may have sex with men but does not want anything relational. She may get a sense of power being with men. She may also seek strength from a tomboy lesbian.
What hope can we give to women who struggle with homosexuality? The battle never begins with ‘issues’ such as homosexuality or transgender identity. The battle begins with Who we choose to be the object of our affection today. May the church not forget to preach the simplicity and the power of the Gospel which sets us free.
Secondly, homosexuality is a result of a battle lost long ago with marriage. Marriage is not upheld with the highest respect: the greatest visualized theology of the Holy Trinity – God, Son and Spirit in one. God’s original standard was for man and woman to come together in marriage and never divorce. The body of Christ must live out the transformational power of the Gospel and show people it radically changes lives. People also need to see godly marriages under submission to Christ and see marriage between man and woman as good…very good. Have you experienced the power of the Gospel in your life?