Saturday, November 05, 2005

The House of Sexual Struggle

From my experience I've found it seems to be a bit offputting to gays that those of us who deal with same sex attraction use the term "struggler" when referring to those like my husband, Ben, Rob, and Randy to name a few. Thinking along that line, I was struck by a thought this morning. My household currently is, at the very least, half full of persons involved in sexual struggle. I'm able to say this quite confidently because of the sheer fact that it's a house full of males.

We all know about Tdub's issues, which, while not at a level of impairment to the marriage (we have an awesome and fullfilling sex life...which IS a postitive change and a testament to the God's healing) still exist at some level. I am not of the opinion, as it seems some are, that in order to say one has changed orientation one needs to be completely free of any battles with attraction to the same sex. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a certain level of the battle is a healthy reminder of healing, God's grace, and the constant need to rely on Him above all else. In fact, I believe that any married woman who is foolish enough to believe that her husband does not struggle with sexual attractions of SOME kind at some level, is just in denial. I happen to have the "benefit" of being more aware of my husband's struggle than most women.

The other strugglers in our house are the 18 yr. old and the 14 yr. old. I don't doubt for one moment that they struggle with heterosexuality or opposite sex attraction. I know it is a battle for them to resist sexual impurity. How do I know this? Because they are physically healthy males.

My point is two-fold. First, sexual desire is part of the way God designed us. Any sex outside of marriage is sin. Which, yes, I understand makes a point for gay marriage. But, in all honesty, do we really believe that marriage is going to make gay people more chaste? It hasn't worked with heterosexuals. Truthfully, I've almost convinced myself that we indeed should go ahead and allow gay marriage in the off chance that maybe it would motivate gays to be more chaste.

Secondly, I tend to believe that the reason the gay lifestyle (and I include closeted married men) is "typically" more promiscuous than the heterosexual lifestyle is because being gay involves men only. And men typically have less self-control and stronger drives when it comes to sex in general.

I know that sexual struggle is a problem with women as well. But, not at the same level as with men. As rampant as heterosexual sex outside of marriage is, I think the one factor that keeps it more in check than with gays has to do with women who, as a general rule, aren't as promiscuous as men.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just totally nutso with this line of thinking. I guess I'm just trying to be realistic about what it means to be Christian. For me, it means we struggle, all of us. But not only does Christ make us whole, over time, but most importantly He makes us presentable to a God who is to sin as lightness is to dark.

I'll end with a quote.

"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in." C.S. Lewis

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Robert said...


Yup, you are right!

I know I have talked about honesty before, and I really believe that it helps people who struggle with a lot of issues.

I sense that Tdub deals with a lot of pain stemming from fear of rejection. That is, that love of friends and family members is conditional upon a false perception of who he is. I know that you have had to vicariously deal with that pain with your family, going to church, etc.

I hope that there will come a time when you both come to know that there will be people in your lives who would unconditionally love you both -- even if they knew about Tdub's struggles and how each of you have had to deal with it.

Elizabeth said...

Men. I agree that hetero or homosexual are more premiscious than females. You say that marriage would make homosexuals more chaste and that it didn't work for heteros. But don't we deserve the same rights as you? Many Christian homosexuals would wait until marriage if we had that sweet option of marriage. And i'd like to be married in the house of God, which cannot happen if it's illigal. Not in the US, anyway. I know other Gay christians who also have this dream. To further not permit us to have a chance, is sad.

However, I don't know if it will make us anymore chast than heterosexuals. But I believe that for some it will. And bring more gay youths to Christianity. The reason so many gay people aren't Christians is because the hate that comes from many Christians. If we show that God loves and does not hate homosexuals,(and in my opinion not a sin) we could have a few more people follow in Christ's way. :]

grace said...

Thanks for your kind words. TDub and I HAVE found so very much unconditional love and will probably find much more as WE become more willing to risk sharing our struggles with others. Sometimes the only reason we don't receive trust is because we don't offer it to others. We're aware of that...yet we are still human and it's difficult.

Your point is the very one that gives me pause about the entire gay marriage debate. I guess is boils, for me, to individual responsibility and seeking Christ above all else. When any people are not doing that, things become screwed up and perverted. In my opinion, the sacredness of marriage is all ready damaged beyond repair in our society. And do, for me, the argument of maintaing it's sacredness by not allowing those we believe to be "in sin" to just bad logic. We all ready do that. Still thinking about all this. Thanks for your input!


grace said...

i meant BOILS DOWN a hurry

grace said...

AUGH! and SO, for me...

goodness...shouldn't do this as i'm trying to get ready in the morning!!

Elizabeth said...

I know what you mean. I mean, Britney Spears was married for 48 hours and they didn't take her right to marry away.

And yet we aren't allowed to begin with because omgz it's a sin? What exactly would one call what Britney did? I mean, seriously, I think what she did was more of a violation of the sacrenty of marriage than I ever would if I were allowed to be married. People put homosexuality on a high immoral scale, when there are worse things one can and have done.

You're welcome! I'm glad to be able to have a peaceful and intellectual conversation about this. :)

Brady said...

Hi Grace- very good points. I think you are on the right track about men being more promiscuous/sexual in general than women. I've read many statistics that say that lesbians are the least promiscuous of all.

As for the sexual struggle in your house, I agree that it happens to anyone trying to stay celibate until marriage. But, from personal experience, I think there is a difference between just trying to stay celibate, and dealing with being gay.

A straight teenager, for example, needs to keep in mind his commitment not to have sex, but he very much can date girls, hug them, hold hands, etc. A gay teenager fights a bigger battle because he can do none of those things. In fact, for many (most?) gay teens, they can't even tell people that they have attractions at all. I actually found myself pretending to like girls at school just to feel like I was part of everyone else.

So, I agree that sexual struggle exists with gays and straights alike, but I think gay people really do deal with it at a different level, especially those of us that have no romantic attraction to the opposite sex at all.

grace said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I think a great deal of that stigma, in general, for high schoolers is changing. I know there are quite a few openly gay students at our local high school and they are quite popular, serving on student council and what-not.

Do you agree that the "different level" you are speaking of it in relation to the bias you put up with or are you saying there is something inherently different in the same sex attraction and the struggle to retain sexual integrity? Just trying to figure out for sure what you mean there.

As always...thanks for commenting!

Brady said...

Hi Grace. Have fun on your retreat!

What I am trying to say is that the "struggle" to retain sexual integrity is bigger for gay teens/people in general than for straight people.

Basically, I agree that most people trying to be celibate until marriage will struggle with it to some degree. But, straight people still have some way of showing and expressing their romantic attraction in some way (holding hands, kissing, cuddling, etc.).

I just feel like the burden for gay people attracted to only to the same sex is larger than what it is for straight people, even if both are celibate. Can you imagine never being able to romantically kiss, hold hands, cuddle with the person you cared about romantically in this world?