Well, I am sure this is going to be a popular blog. Right.
Let’s face it, this is a difficult thing to confess. I don’t want to sugar-coat this so if you feel like at any time I make light of the topic, please know I have the utmost respect for you as you prepare to confess this difficult reality. Praise God that it will not be the reality forever.
I am attracted to men and I have a hard time guarding my eyes and heart. I have to make a covenant with my eyes like Job and I have to keep the heart covenant I’ve made with my wife. Still, and frustratingly so, I am attracted to men often. Rather than form a giant pity-party and invite you all to think through how much this burdens us, let me give you a few lessons I have learned as I have grown from confessing this part of me. Though there are plenty of reasons to be afraid to confess our attraction, here are some reasons we can take courage:
- God says that we are healed when we confess our brokenness. James tells the church to confess their sins to one another so that they may be healed (5:16). While our attractions are not sins in and of themselves, they can burden us and turn us inward. We need to seek the healing that God has offered us in the community of brothers and sisters in the Body. Keeping this to ourselves is not how Christ envisioned his Church.
- You give the gift of going second. In Jonathan Acuff’s book Stuff Christians Like he points out that taking the humble step of confessing your own shortcomings allows the next person to approach their own confession with a little less fear. Vulnerability isn’t exactly contagious, but I do think it’s compelling. Your confession may help someone admit their own temptations and sins, creating true fraternity among real, broken men. You may even, as I have, hear that they have the same struggles.
- You’re a unique, needed voice in the Body. There is a lot of confusion in the church about how they react to homosexuals. While the church sorts that out, a valuable voice at the table is often drowned out: those who struggle, day-in and day-out, with their same-sex attractions. While this stance doesn’t exactly make one popular in any camp inside or outside the church, it’s a valuable perspective that the Church can see as a faithful example of men who are trying every day to surrender their lives to Jesus.
- You’ll feel better. Maybe not while you confess, but eventually you will not regret confessing your attractions. Remember how dark and hidden it all feels? That’s just not a good feeling and can lead to paranoia and depression as we distance ourselves from a world that “doesn’t understand us.” Being listened to be one of the most therapeutic things we can do. Share yourself and start shedding light on the hidden places. Everyone has to so you’re in good company!
So here’s my challenge: If you’re reading this, simply respond with either your story of how you told someone for the first time or how you plan to. You can even confess here and allow other men to encourage and challenge you.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.” Ph. 4:13-14