Idolatry: An Aspect of Gay Relationships
by Ladonna Green
In counselling Christians coming out of homosexuality, We are always seeking the Lord for insight into the underlying causes of homosexual behavior. As we have worked with both homosexual men and lesbian women, we have discovered that there are sometimes great differences in the needs and basic sin problems found in both groups.
Although there are exceptions, it appears that women are often more relationship orientated than men, probably due to their emotional nature are. A man, although he may have difficulty breaking off a specific relationship, will probably have his greatest struggle in leaving behind his overt sexual involvement. A woman however, may miss the sex, but her greatest problem will be breaking off the deep emotional attachments to other women.
Most gay people who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior come to understand that they need to give up the outward sexual acts. They may not enjoy this at all, but most of those who are serious about God will be able to recognize that sex outside marriage goes against God’s Word.
Bu this leaves people wondering, “Where do I draw the line?” Women especially wonder how far their emotional involvement’s can go before sin enters the picture. In my estimation there is no hard and fast line you can draw saying. “This is how far you can go, but no further.” Each individual is different. However, there are some interesting points about relationships we can look at. Some questions we can ask ourselves to determine if our involvement’s are in right standing with God are.
Firstly, let us rest assured that God does intend us to have close fellowship with others. We are social creatures who need people; God created us that way. There is therefore no reason for us to feel tormented and guilty that we desire close, committed friendships,
However, There is a pattern of development in both lesbian and homosexual relationships where this concept of needing others becomes out of proportion. In our growing-up years, perhaps we have been hurt, battered, or just ignored. Perhaps we have finally found someone who gives us the attention we have been craving for so long. What are we then inclined to do? As such, we would be mainly controlled by our emotions therefore inclined to put everything into that person and devote our entire life to them.
As one gets deeper and deeper into the gay lifestyle, you develop this list of qualities for your “perfect lover” and when you find the person who appears to fit the description, you put them on a pedestal. The alternative is to let yourself become that ideal someone
who receives the total admiration and devotion of another. What is then taking place here? None other than what the Bible refers to as, idolatry.
You open yourself up to a chain of deception leading to idolatry when you try to do the impossible: fill your inner need for love with something, or someone God has made rather than God Himself. As one looks to another weak fallible human being to fulfill us, one becomes a worshiper of the creature rather than the creator (Romans 1:25). When it becomes obvious that the person one has devoted one’s life to, is not measuring up to the standard you have set for them, you will either seek after someone else or try to change the imperfections in the one you are relating to. This always leaves you in a state of suspension. You never quite feel the fulfillment you are seeking. Frustration, bitterness and even hatred set in. Often one will resort to alcohol, drugs or, when all looks hopeless, suicide.
God said in Exodus 20:3-5 :
“Thou shalt have no other Gods before me . . . . .for I am a jealous God.”
We have only God’s direct commandment against idolatry, but also the disappointing results in our own lives and relationships to reaffirm to us that idolatry is sinful and destructive.
How do you know if you are involved in an idolatrous relationship?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
You may live with someone and not have sex, but do you put him or her before God emotionally?
Do you consider your friend as a lover in your thought life?
Do you easily become jealous if that person wants to get to know other people?
Are you in such constant fear of losing your friend that you become demanding and possessive, literally driving that person away?
C.S.Lewis’ book The Four Loves describes friendships as two persons looking together towards a united goal, seeking to include others into their circle, and it describes two lovers as looking only to themselves with no room for others. Which category do you fit into? Do you seek other companionship and include others in your friendships? Or, do you only want to be with that one special friend and no one else.
Next, you need to deal with the questions: How do I do it?
Let us be honest with ourselves. Breaking away from an idol is no easy thing. Only by the grace of God and sheer determination on your part is it possible. It is also true that there is a period between the time you leave our lover and the time you are able to find total fulfillment in God alone, where you
literally feel that you are being torn apart. Although you will receive a deep down peace in your spirit when you step out in obedience to God, your emotions may still go haywire, working havoc with your thoughts. Grief, fear, insecurity, a loss of identity – all of these are a part of the suffering that takes place when you relinquish our idol and give control of your life to God.
Frequently this place of suffering is where former gays give up and turn back. Possibly, they do not realize that this time is a necessary, even inevitable experience in turning from sin to follow the Lord 1 Peter 4:1-2 says:
“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourself also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
Suffering is often the only thing that teaches us to willingly cease from sin, just as a young child learns to avoid fire by experiencing pain. Through discipline, which causes suffering, we learn obedience. If we humbly accept God’s discipline, then He will bring us through the situation and accomplish His purpose in our lives. If we reject our chastisement and retreat to our former sin, we will have gained nothing, and will only have to face the suffering process again in the future when we want to return to the Lord. It is like going out to play softball when we have not done so for years. We suffer the pain of sore muscles until we have reconditioned ourselves. If we are not diligent, in disciplining ourselves we will always be sore. This may sound rather gloomy, as if all there is in the end is suffering. However, Jesus promises us that we will rejoice in exultation after the suffering and even through it. (1Peter 4:12-13) As you patiently hang-in-there through the sore spiritual muscles of doubt and anxiety, you will find the pain subsiding. You have become stronger, able to serve God joyfully, enjoying your relationship it Him.
You need to face the fact that your idols will not fulfill you, and lay them down, preparing to accept the suffering that will come. If your heart is set to love and serve God, His grace will be there to meet you in your darkest hour. You will come to know Jesus as the “Healer of the broken hearted.” As you see His love and care as a reality in your life, the fulfillment you have been seeking will be yours.