When it comes to same-sex attraction or gender issues, Christians spend a majority of their time debating the right and wrong positions on the matter.
This I understand, because oftentimes, a decline of moral standard can occur when people do nothing. Yet at the same time, there are critical things being missed within the cause of upholding moral standards.
What I find missing today in the discussion is why people are actually having these struggles to begin with. Because this is not occurring on a larger scale, it creates two major problems:
1. We give no insight to the struggles. We simply tell people it's wrong and make that the predominant emphasis. This brings little personal change to people's lives. Rarely is someone deeply changed from solely being told his lifestyle is wrong. There must be more substance to the dialogue. There must also be love and compassion for the whole person that goes beyond our focus on the moral argument. In addition, we need to carry an ability to listen, understand and provide actual understanding to what is really going on.
2. There is no real help we can offer for those who actually want to change. What happens when someone says, "OK, I need help." Many times the response of believers is simply, "Pray about it," which is Christianese for "get over it as soon as possible." This is what often makes us look foolish when Christians talk about same-sex issues and gender confusion in culture.
I have personally had a number of people come to my seminars or personal coaching sessions who had battles with their sexual identity. They often lived in a personal hell. They were shamed by well-meaning believers and yet gained little help of substance to walk through the internal battle they were facing.
It aches my heart how much Christianity gives cliche answers with no substance for victory. It makes me cringe how much damage we can add to an already broken world.
Giving Insights with Love
I have spoken on the issue of same-sex attraction and gender confusion with people who had those issues going on in attendance. They never felt shamed. Did I ignore the issue? Did I tiptoe around it? Absolutely not. But there is nowhere in the dialogue where there is a shaming over the issue. Why? Because my heart is to see people healed, and I cannot accomplish that if people of all struggles do not feel loved and safe.
But we also need to address the root issues of the struggle and continually talk through what health looks like. Even in love and safety, we need to have something healthy to say when addressing these very real battles that face a lot more people than you realize.
If you are a church attendee, odds are someone you've sat next to has had these things crossing their mind and you didn't even know it. So it's important that we walk through personal transformation regarding how we present ourselves to those who are dealing with same-sex attraction and gender identity issues.
Getting to the Root
If we don't get to the root of these battles, people will continue to carry these struggles, often in a secret shame. Just telling people something is wrong is not acceptable. We need to carry insights on walking free. It further torments people if we tell them something is wrong but provide very shallow answers for freedom.
One of the key points for healing is to get to the "why" on this issue. I am saddened that Christians spend very little time praying about why people are battling same-sex and gender issues in growing numbers. We've failed to do our job if we cannot speak to the hearts of people regarding why they do the things they do.
Here is a very important area we need to be aware of. More will be discussed in the second part of this article.
1. The lack of true fathering. When I talk about fatherlessness, I am speaking to more than just a physical absence of a father. I am even talking about fathers who are even physically in the home, but have not spiritually and emotionally fathered the children. I am also speaking to the lack of healthy male mentors and spiritual fathers in our generation. This plague of fatherlessness has spawned masses of gender and sexual orientation confusion.
When it comes to masculinity and femininity, the father is the one who helps affirm and reinforce identity in his child's life. There is no more powerful voice and presence than of the father when it comes to investing in the identity of our children. A boy learns how to be a man through his relationship with his father. A daughter learns how to process a relationship with a man by how she related to her father.
A father tells us who we are and reinforces this by how he fathers us. Many dads have been conditioned to think kids will just figure everything out themselves, or they rely on their wives to cover these issues. Yet it is his God-given role to establish healthy identity in the home. Millions of people are experiencing the ramifications coming from a lack of true fathering in their life.
This does not diminish the power of a mother's voice or her role in any way. My point is to bring to light the need for a father's voice, love and leadership on a regular basis to the household.
The major root issue connected to same-sex and identity struggles in today's culture is the lack of a father's presence and leadership investment in the home. The focus for a father for many years has been to provide income, with little training and emphasis about how he needs to relationally invest in his home every day. There is also very little training on how to be an active leader in the home, so he therefore lives from a predominantly passive posture.
Men can often seek relational intimacy from another man that they never gained from their relationship with their father. The emotional void turns to a sexual attraction to find what the heart is missing. Women can look for an emotional connection from a woman that she did not receive from her father, or a healthy man in general.
This post may cause more questions than answers. What factors do you think are helpful in addressing this subject?
Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Stay tuned for part two Monday.
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day to day peace. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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