by Bryan Matthew Dockens
Homosexuality is, beyond dispute, sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1st Corinthians 6:9-10; 1st Timothy 1:8-11). What is not sinful – and this must be remembered – is suffering temptation. “Temptation… is common to man” (1st Corinthians 10:13). Even Christ was tempted (Mark 1:12-13), “yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Thus, one who is tempted is not guilty unless he entertains sinful thoughts or engages in immorality. Accordingly, the temptation deserves analysis. To overcome the enticement to sin, one should understand why it is appealing.
Was the homosexual deprived of paternal affection? Since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, generations have grown up without fathers in the home, many without even knowing who their fathers were. Boys need fathers both to exemplify the strength of masculinity and to provide a tenderness distinct from the mother’s. Absentee fathers have, no doubt, contributed to their sons’ drive to obtain affection from men. Possibly worse than neglecting their children are those fathers who were present in their sons’ lives, but failed to hug them, kiss them, or cuddle them, thereby depriving them of the non-sexual, physical contact boys need. There certainly is “a time to embrace” (Ecclesiastes 3:5). Lacking paternal fulfillment, this void seeks redress in unnatural relationships. To satisfy this need, fatherless young men should develop bonds with Christians capable of mentoring them as either surrogate fathers or, at least, big brothers. Of course, the onus of this bond is on the older Christians to nurture these young men. “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless… in their affliction” (James 1:27 ASV).
Was the homosexual sexually abused? There is a statistical correlation between homosexuals and sexual molestation victims. In Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 42, Issue 2, Roberts, Glymour, and Koenen state that, “Epidemiological studies find a positive association between childhood maltreatment and same-sex sexuality in adulthood, with lesbians and gay men reporting 1.6 to 4 times greater prevalence of sexual and physical abuse than heterosexuals”. Sin begets sin. One who was mistreated in childhood is likely to continue mistreating himself through perversion. “He who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1st Corinthians 6:18). Those victims of abuse who are dealing with homosexual impulses must recognize they suffer psychological damage and may require professional treatment. Jesus warned, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6-7). The abusers who placed these temptations in the paths of their victims will surely be damned for their sins, yet the victims, to truly heal, must recognize these stumbling blocks for what they are!
Was the homosexual unsuccessful in heterosexual romance? Perhaps the homosexual is not so much drawn to other men as he is disappointed in his pursuit of women. Either too shy to approach the real object of his desire or too many times defeated, he finds solace among similarly dejected men. If this is the case, the man is better served by diligent self-improvement than desperate sexual gratification from whatever source is convenient. Self-improvement serves two functions. First, and
most importantly, keeping his own company will be a more tolerable experience even if he remains single. Second, he will increase his attractiveness among women. Jacob made a connection with Rachel when he was useful to her (Genesis 29:9-11), and he gained her hand in marriage when he was willing to work for her (18).
Is the homosexual merely falling in with modern trends? Given the widespread acceptance of homosexuality in recent years, with homosexual relationships favorably portrayed in film and on stage, homosexuals elected to public office, and even widespread condemnation of those who oppose what offends God, it is no exaggeration to describe homosexuality as popular. Taking interest in what is fashionable is common, but it isn’t right. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).