Recently I heard a young man share his story of battling his unwanted same-sex attractions. Growing up as a pastor’s son, Ben felt that his dad was pastor to everybody but him. He also felt like he didn’t belong with the other boys in school and church, leaving him with a longing for deep connection with males. What helped him turn the corner was when he found people with whom he could be completely honest about his shameful desires and feelings, who also helped him develop his relationship with God.
Shameful! And what a formulaic “ex-gay” story!
He shared that he slowly realized his heart was looking for three things in other men. First, he longed for someone to be like a loving father to him. He knew his dad loved him, but the lack of a heart connection with his dad left him with a father-shaped hole in his soul. And he realized that he was also looking for a rescuer, someone to be strong when he was weak, someone to scoop him up and make him feel safe and cared for. And he also realized he was looking for someone to comfort him, to walk alongside him through life, someone who saw the scars caused by the slings and arrows of living in a fallen world and would compassionately tend to them, soothing him and nurturing him. Optimally, he told us, it would really great if he could find someone who would be all three of those things at one time, wrapped up in one person. That would be the “Mr. Right” he longed to find and be loved by.
Oh, gawd. The dude is either into guys, sexually, or he is not. This whole “he lacked a heart connection” with his dad, therefore he wants to marry a man thing doesn’t even make logical sense.
But here is the thing. The other things in there are completely normal things to want in a spouse! Someone to be strong when you are weak, someone who makes you feel safe, someone who cares for you as you care for them? NORMAL!
Somebody to comfort you, to walk alongside you through life, someone who can soothe and nurture you? NORMAL!
The major “lightbulb moment” of his journey came when he realized that what he longed for was a Father, a Savior, and a Comforter. . . and that perfectly describes who God is—three in one, Father, Son and Spirit.
Therefore anyone who is looking for those things — aside from the whole father problem thingamajig, which is something that requires professional [not the kind Exodus offers] help — doesn’t need a spouse at all! And neither does anyone else!
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us Himself, and He is what our hearts desire. Uncover all the surface, temporary things we think we want, and underneath are the true desires of our heart: to be loved, to be known, to be valued, to be safe, to matter.
And as Ben showed us, to be fathered, to be rescued, to be comforted.
Yes, we want all those things—and our marvelous God delights to give them to us as He gives us Himself.
Lady still hasn’t explained how this means it’s bad for a man to want those things in a male spouse, but it’s totally a-okay for a woman to want them. Can’t she just “delight herself in the Lord” as well?
Inquiring minds, etc.
Sue Bohlin is of course on the board of some discredited “ex-gay” wingnut business which offers false hope and depressive/suicidal feelings to unsuspecting, hurting people.
[h/t David Roberts]