When Recovery from Homosexuality Does Not Work

Over the past decade, I have read many of your stories. Accounts of long and frustrating months, often years, in “gay recovery” groups accompanied by a severe and deep loneliness that grew steadily stronger instead of weaker. You close many of your testimonies with "I have learned to accept myself as gay, I know God loves me, and I am finally being true to myself."

I have not shared this before but, for a period of time, I very seriously considered joining your efforts. You had my attention and you had my respect. You see, your testimonies almost convinced me that I had chosen to run a doomed race. But there was one common claim in your media that just would not sit right with me; the statement it didn’t work. I needed to find out what it was and how it had failed you.

Was it the day in the park when you watched a young couple kissing and cuddling on a blanket and you could no longer rationalize the self-denial?

Perhaps you determined screw it the day your church made you feel more like a project than a Christian brother or sister.

Or could it have been that one evening, when you just needed someone to talk to and the only person who offered to come right over was Kirk, the guy you sometimes chatted with on gay.com and who is now your current partner?

Maybe the deciding moment occurred after receiving one-too-many church newsletter clippings on "The Sin of Homosexuality" from a confused parent.

Or, possibly, "come just as you are" was exemplified more effectively and less-conditionally by the gay community than the Christian community, and you simply drifted to where the love was.

Or perhaps, as I was, you were led to believe that the only reward of working through homosexuality is heterosexuality. It was this frankly unexciting and downright resistible promise that propelled me to reconsider a gay relationship.

My reasoning was this: I am willing to surrender my time, my lusts, and my right to male-on-male intimacy and the best it can offer me is a shot at something that presently disinterests me and will likely continue to disinterest me 20 years from now... sex with a woman. Call me heterophobic, but to me this is the equivalent of scaling Mt. Everest in flip-flops, with a refrigerator strapped to my back because, awaiting me at the top, is the promise of a dirt sandwich (no mayo).

I myself was by no means a stranger to recovery groups. Their brochures often showed a man who had previously lived as a homosexual/drag queen/sex addict (pick your poison) and is now a married, and apparently quite fertile, family man. But this is precisely the problem: a heterosexual lifestyle is the only carrot dangled before us and the unspoken prerequisite for serving Christ.

An important truth is often overlooked in the name of consistency: it is through imitating Christ that we become new creatures and we need not imitate heterosexuals to begin the process.

Where are the brochures showing dreams surrendered to God coming true? Or the photos of the recovering porn addict, who used to spend hours each day on the computer, now bending down to feed a homeless woman? The testimonies of the redeemed gay sex addict, who lived entirely self-focused for many years, now building homes for poverty-stricken families in Central America? The videos of the repentant lesbian, who spent her life seeking meaning in emotionally-charged relationships, now passing out free hugs at an AIDS hospice? The pamphlets showing the renewed homosexual now using his God-given talents to put smiles on the faces of the residents at the nursing home on Saturdays by singing Sinatra to them. Why do we omit these real and documented scenarios of a different breed of healing from our media?

Repentance is an intimate, very private act of the heart that can just as readily manifest itself in acts of service as it can in acts of relationship.

Sometimes, my fellow still-homosexual homosexuals, we have to hunt down healing on our own.

This Friday evening, like every evening, two options will be placed before you. Follow Jesus just as you are (option #1) or continue just as you are (option #2). Both options are available. Neither is obligatory, but having to choose is. You must embrace one and refuse the other. Cowering into non-action is a default victory for continue just as you are. It might seem like you are not ready to serve Jesus for any number of reasons but, before you decline, let me lay before you a challenge.

Remember back to that Friday night when you finally mustered the audacity to hit your first gay bar/sex club/video store. You felt like an outsider. Like you were just visiting a foreign land to check things out. You were insecure. You were apprehensive. But, at the same time, you discovered something powerful about yourself. You found that, in desperation, you were able to call upon an inner strength to fuel moments of tremendous courage. Moments in which you stepped out of your own way, tossed aside your self-imposed limitations, and pursued something that you desired passionately.

Now, look around you. There is a world right where you are that needs the talents, resources and time which you have surrendered to Jesus. Listen to Him as He calls and encourages you, a still-homosexual homosexual, to come just as you are and serve. Listen to Him as He whispers to your heart...

    I choose you, because to whom much is given, much is expected.

    I choose you to sit down on the sidewalk tonight and lend an ear to the old woman talking to herself
    because you were given much loneliness and you now understand how a soul can feel unaccompanied
    on a street crowded with people.

    I choose you to befriend the one being mocked and ridiculed by the others,
    because you were given many years of ridicule and mockery for being “different”,
    and you learned that different does not mean unfeeling.

    I choose you to spend tonight at the bus station and seek out three homeless people
    so desperate for a nicotine fix, that they are scavenging for cigarette butts from the sidewalk,
    and, just out of love, hand them a new, unopened pack with five dollars attached to it.
    And when they thank you, tell them to instead thank Me, for it was I who sent you to them.

    I choose you to carry out these important Kingdom tasks
    because you were given the free will to decide between two options tonight
    and you chose Me.

The moral? If the carrot of becoming heterosexual does not entice you, replace it with a higher carrot. The carrot of becoming like Jesus. Jesus was not married. Jesus had no children. Jesus was abstinent. Jesus loved. So you see, still-homosexual homosexual, your resume is perfect for the position.

Onward Christian soldier!

~ * ~
Copyright by Robert.
All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
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