photo by think stock
How do you tame a porcupine? Very carefully and not in your own strength,
wisdom or ability. And how as a heterosexual can you love and bring the gospel
message to homosexual people so they will receive it? The answer is much the
Ten years ago I resembled the above-mentioned porcupine. I was defensive. If
I perceived anything but acceptance from others, my quills would be up in a
flash. My philosophy was simple. Take me or leave me, but dont you dare try to
change me. I was a lesbian, and nobody could tell me I was anything
Before acting on my lesbian desires I spent at least a decade fighting them.
I didnt feel I could share my struggle with anyone. I couldnt face the
rejection I believed would come my way. I lived learning to hide my secret. I
tried to do what was expected of me, but there came a time when I was tired of
fighting these feelings. I began to act on my attractions, and what I found was
so much more than sexual. For the first time in my life I felt like Id found
the place where I belongedwith people who understood me and took me into their
midst without hesitation. In the gay community, I was accepted.
Today I cannot call myself a lesbian. Several years ago, I chose to let
Jesus Christ intervene in my life, and I am no longer the same.
So what can you do to help someone make the same transformation?
First of all, check your emotions and reasons for wanting to help. Whatever
you feel about homosexuality will come through in your words and actions. Whats
your motivation? Are you truly concerned about the condition of the persons
soul, or are you motivated by disgust? If we simply want to persuade them to
stop the behavior because we find it repulsive, our efforts will be in vain.
The simple view in all of this is we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Its
only if we focus on the sin rather than the sinner that we see our differences.
Their brokenness may be much different from yours, but their eternal condition
without Christ is not.
Second and probably most important, prepare. Before attempting to reach out
to people with sexual orientation issues, get ready. Pray for those with
same-sex brokenness daily. Ask God to prepare and heal their hearts. Only Jesus
knows whats hidden in the heart. He knows the words that will draw them in, and
He knows what will push them away. Pray for His leadership as you reach out to
Pray that God will heal past hurts. People I know who have come out of
homosexuality often speak of a deficiency in their parental relationships,
especially the same-gender parent. Many were sexually molested or raped at an
early age. Ask God to heal this brokenness and satisfy the unmet needs from
Finally, learn to see homosexuals as individuals rather than a category of
people. Though they may share a gay identity, they are not all alike. Become a
friend. Get to know them. Learn who they are apart from their sexuality. This
takes time, so start by taking the initiative. Learn about their interests,
what they care about.
Find out what you have in common. Encourage them in their daily lives. You
can speak and listen to them without coming across as approving of their
lifestyle. Help them to see themselves as God sees them. To Him they are of
great worth and value.
Judy Bailey is a writer living in Kalispell, Montana.
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