Homosexuality: What is a Friend to Do? and References

See Part 1: What is Homosexuality?
See Part 2: Common Myths about Homosexuality
See Part 3: How Do Homosexual Attractions Develop?
See Part 4: What Does Homosexuality Provide?
See Part 5: The Root Problem, Repentence and Growth
See Part 6: What is a Friend to Do? & References

Jesus was a friend of sinners.

As His followers, we need to consider what it means to be involved as friends in the battle for the souls of people. If we want to be friends to those who struggle with homosexuality, we first need to be open to the fact that there are many forms of lustful struggles going on below the surface of life, including homosexuality.

A friend or family member's struggle with homosexuality surprises and frightens far too many Christians. Many feel shocked and afraid, and typically withdraw. At best, some recommend counseling or encourage them simply to stop. In either case, they miss the core issues of pain and sin.

Presume for a moment that we had eyes to see the core issues of pain and sin in the human heart. Knowing the agony in our own hearts, knowing the different streaks of lust and independence that we all wrestle with, an individual's battle with homosexuality would not take us off guard or immobilize us with fear. Consequently, we'd be better friends.

Many of us are equally guilty of approaching homosexuality from a self-righteous attitude. We act as if this sin is greater than our own, emitting a language of hostility, mockery, and disgust, which sadly taints the appeal of the gospel. Self-righteousness is a large reason why we are not Christlike friends to those who struggle with homosexuality.

We need to have more of the attitude Jesus spoke of when He said, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?... You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Luke 6:41-42).

Jesus' words remind us that if we see others' sin without seeing our own more deeply, then we've negated our right and privilege to invite them to a different kind of life. Therefore, we must base our efforts to be a better Christlike friend to those struggling with homosexuality on the confession and growing demise of our own self-righteousness.

If we open our eyes to see the pain and potential for lust in all of us, and if we allow the depth of our own sin to humble us, we can reach out with true compassion and create a context where individuals will feel open to reveal their homosexual struggles, hear the truth, and find hope.

Read the Bible Daily
The Bible is God's inspired Word. Besides revealing the Good News about forgiveness and eternal life, it can also answer the many questions you will have as you try to live a life that pleases God. It will enable you to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17, NIV).

Here are some suggestions as you begin reading the Bible on a daily basis:

    1. Try reading the New Testament books in this order: · First, read through the Gospel of John, a chapter a day. This will help you understand the basic facts about the Gospel. · Then read Acts, for the exciting story of how Christ's first disciples spread the Good News of His death and resurrection. · Next, read some of the letters that Christ's apostles wrote to these first disciples -- all of whom were new in their faith, just like you. These letters include Romans through 3 John. · Then, go back and read one of the other three gospels: Matthew, Mark or Luke.
    2. Think about what you read; study and analyze it. Ask your pastor or a mature Christian friend to recommend a good Bible study guide. The Bible not only reveals God to us; it contains greater wisdom than all the other books in the world.
    3. Read through the Psalms -- the Old Testament book of worship -- to enrich your devotion to God.
    4. Read Proverbs to gain wisdom and common sense, and to strengthen your relationships with other people.
    5. Pray for understanding. The Holy Spirit will help you (Psalm 119:18), and you will begin to see life from God's perspective.
    6. Whenever you can, talk with others about what you are learning.

Pray Daily
Talk with God often. Talk over your problems with Him. Let Him bear the weight of your troubles (See Matthew 11:28; 1 Peter 5:7).

Praise and thank God for who He is and for what He has done for you. Admit your weaknesses. Confess each specific sin that you are aware of. Pray for others that they, too, may receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Suggestions for your daily devotional time:

  • Plan a definite time, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh and rested. Make it a habit.
  • Select a quiet place where you can be alone with God.
  • Make a list of requests, for others as well as yourself.
  • Read and meditate on a portion of Scripture, then spend time in prayer.
  • As you end your daily time with God, commit the day and yourself to Him.

Learn to Depend on the Holy Spirit
God is actually three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit actually lives within every true believer in Christ (See John 14:16-17).

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit, as He lives inside you, is your counselor, to help you understand the truth revealed in God's Word: "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26, NIV).

The Holy Spirit will:

  • teach you
  • guide you
  • strengthen you in your times of need

Attend Church Regularly
When you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you began a relationship not only with Him but also with all other Christians. Whatever it meant to you in the past, going to church can now become a rich and rewarding experience:

  • You will grow in understanding by hearing God's Word preached and taught.
  • You can ask questions and discuss Scripture with others.
  • You will learn to worship God, which means praising Him for all that He is and thanking Him for all that He has done for you.
  • As you worship, learn and serve with other Christians, you will find individuals with whom you can form lasting friendships (friendships that will last for all eternity!).

Be of Service to Others
You will find that the more you give yourself in service to others, the more you will enjoy your Christian life. Talk to your pastor about ways and opportunities to serve Christ and to witness for Him. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

Learn to Conquer Your Doubts
At times you may doubt that you really are a child of God:

  • There may be some big failures in your Christian life.
  • You may find yourself thinking about things that you feel Christians just shouldn't be thinking about.
  • You may be troubled by some unconfessed sin.

When these things happen, it is important to remember that you are not saved by your goodness but by what Christ has already done for you. Review the first few pages of this text. Reassure yourself with the fact that, if you have received Christ by faith, you are now a child of God.

Learn to Live One Day at a Time
Too often our lives become filled with anxiety. We worry ourselves sick about what might happen tomorrow. We try to cross our bridges before ever coming to them!

  • The Bible says we are not to be anxious about what might happen tomorrow (see Matthew 6:33-34).
  • The Bible also promises that, "Your strength will equal your days." (Deuteronomy 33:25, NIV) In other words, God's grace will be sufficient to meet the challenges of each new day.

Learn the Blessing of Suffering
Difficulties, ill health and all kinds of suffering have a new perspective when you have Christ in your life:

  • Instead of "going to pieces," you can be strengthened.
  • Instead of being a burden to others, you can be a blessing. As you realize God's power, comfort and strength through life's experiences, you will grow in your faith.

Learn How to Deal with Temptation
Temptation is a part of life. It was before you received Christ, and it still will be. It is not a sin to have wrong thoughts from time to time. It is, however, a sin to choose to dwell on such thoughts over and over again.

The Bible says, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:41, NIV) When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He replied to the devil by quoting Scripture. Three times He said, "It is written... " (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). Be prepared for temptation, through prayer and through your knowledge of God's Word.

The Bible says, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV) Be prepared to take advantage of God's "way out" of temptation, whether it means that you "flee" the scene of the temptation (1 Timothy 6:11), or that you stay on the scene and "resist" it (James 4:7).

Tell Others About Christ
Letting others know about your new life in Christ -- by word and by action -- can be one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences you have ever had. The apostle Peter encourages us to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).

For Further Help in Living the Christian Life there is a Bible study course available to you. It is the same as the one given to inquirers at Billy Graham Crusades. If you have made a commitment to Christ and would like to receive this material, please let us know. Fill out the form and the Bible Study will be sent to you.

Taken from "Your Christian Life" 1965, 1968, as "Aids to Christian Living," 1986 as "Practical Steps in Christian Living," 1995 as "Beginning Your Christian Life," 1997 as "Your Christian Life," Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

OTHER RESOURCES
Coming Out Of Homosexuality
by Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel (IVP, 1993).

Straight and Narrow? by Thomas Schmidt (IVP, 1995).
Someone I Love Is Gay by Anita Worthen and Bob Davies (IVP, 1996).

Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth byJeffrey Satinover (Baker Books, 1996).
Harvest USA (215-342-7114): A Christian ministry that reaches out to individuals struggling with homosexuality and to families affected by a loved one's homosexuality.

Exodus International (206-784-7799): A worldwide alliance of Christian ministries that offers support to men and women seeking to come out of homosexuality.
Questioning Homosexuality (Resource Sheet #1011- Revised November 2001)

The journey out of homosexuality does not come from a single method but through a person - Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, and the support of other believers, those struggling with homosexuality can discover the difficult, yet thrilling, life-changing passage to freedom.

Each journey begins with a personal commitment to God and His created intent for human sexuality. Through a recovery process, each struggler can learn to "walk out" of homosexuality by developing trust and obedience in Jesus and His victory over all sin.

In time, the specific hurts and emotional deficits, which helped lay a foundation for homosexual desires, can be addressed through insight, personal action, and the power of the Holy Spirit. The struggler can then move into greater maturity and wholeness by cooperating with God, which allows the freedom to grow into heterosexuality. (Exodus International)

How To Help A Homosexual (Hope For The Heart - God's Heart On Homosexuality)

    HARBOUR no judgemental attitude toward them. Matthew 7:1

    HEAR them without interruption. Ecclesiastes 3:7

    HAVE unconditional love and acceptance for them. Romans 15:7

    HELP them see that their true identity is in Christ. 2 Peter 1: 3-4

    HAND them specific Scriptures to memorize. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    HEDGE them with the protection of God through prayer. Job 1:10

    HOLD them (not yourself) responsible for change. Romans 14:12 But God demonstrated His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Where To Go For Help:
Exodus International
Exodus International is a Christian organization dedicated to equipping and uniting agencies and individuals to effectively communicate the message of liberation from homosexuality, as well as conveying support and understanding to individuals facing the reality of a homosexual loved one.
For more information write or call:
Exodus International
P.O. Box 21039
290 Harwood Ave.
Ajax, ON L1H 7H2
Phone: (416) 283-9797
E-mail: patallan@comnet.ca
Website: www.exodusnorthamerica.org
Website: www.exodusintl.org

Justice and Respect
This is a group of conservative Christians for a “just and respectful” response to those who experience same-sex attraction.
Information is available on the Website at: www.justice-respect.org

Focus On The Family Canada
Jim Paulk is a staff member at Focus On The Family and a former homosexual.
For more information regarding releases and contacts or any other questions, please write or call:
Focus On The Family Canada
Station Terminal
P.O. Box 9800
Vancouver, BC V6B 4G3
Phone: (604) 609-7900 (inquiries)
1-800-661-9800 (credit card line)
Fax: (604) 609-7999

New Direction For Life Ministries
This ministry offers Christian support to men and women seeking freedom from homosexuality, and assists the church in fulfilling its responsibility to minister in this area of need.
For more information write or call:
New Direction For Life Ministries
P.O. Box 1078
Station F
Toronto, ON M4Y 2I7
Phone: (416) 921-6557 Fax: (416) 921-0052 (phone first)
New Direction For Life Ministries P.O. Box 1493
Winnipeg, MB R3C 2Z4
Phone: (204) 452-1826 Fax: (204) 452-1799
E-mail: wpg@newdirection.ca

Recommended Books
Living the Christian Life
Now that you are a Christian and are in fellowship with God, you will want to learn more about how to grow closer to Him. The Bible calls this growing "in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18, NIV).


REFERENCES
1. The Diary of Anne Frank, pp.130-131;
2. Straight and Narrow?, pp.110-111;
3. How Will I Tell My Mother? by J. Arterburn, pp.98-99;
4. Archives of General Psychiatry 48, Feb. 1991, p.127; Comprehensive Psychiatry34, May/June 1993, p.154;
5. The Gay Report by K. Jay and A. Young, p.728;
6. Science, 258, 1991, pp.1034-1037;
7. A Freedom Too Far by C. Socarides, p.93;
8. Archives of General Psychiatry 48, 1991, pp.1089-1096.
9. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p.83;
10. Sex in America by R. Michael, p.216;
11. Clinical Psychiatry News, October 1994, p.5;
12. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p.75;
13. Vigiliae Christianae, 38, 1984, pp.125-53;
14. Answers to Your Questions About Homosexuality, ed. C. Lanning, p.66;
15. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p.94;
16. Someone I Love Is Gay, p.44;
17. Anything for Love, Harvest Testimony;
18. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality by J. Nicolosi, pp.104-107;
19. Freed To Love, Harvest Testimony;
20. Child Abuse and Neglect 16, no.6, 1992, pp.855-64;
21. The Wounded Heart by D. Allender, p.127;
22. A Freedom Too Far, p.112;
23. The relief from sex doesn't last as long as the relief from an emotional entanglement. This partly explains why male homosexual relationships are typically brief and promiscuous and why female homosexual relationships tend to last longer;
24. How Will I Tell My Mother? p.85;
25. Although men involved in homosexuality often have several female friends, these relationships are usually similar to relationships they had with an overbearing mother or an older sister who didn't encourage them to take a strong initiative role in relationships.

See Part 1: What is Homosexuality?
See Part 2: Common Myths about Homosexuality
See Part 3: How Do Homosexual Attractions Develop?
See Part 4: What Does Homosexuality Provide?
See Part 5: The Root Problem, Repentence and Growth
See Part 6: What is a Friend to Do? & References

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Copyright 2007-2014 by Sheri Liegh Adams.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Sheri lives in Canada.

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