THE secret to winning at SSA, and life, is simply to trust God.
This is to know deep in our hearts and minds that God is good, awesome, all-knowing and all-powerful. This is to truly believe that God is for us and knows what is best for us and is working in our lives for our good.
If we can, through seeking God and reading about Him, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, come to deeply trust God everything will go better for us.
I do not pretend to trust God to the degree that He is worthy of trust, but I definitely do to the degree it has reduced the amount of porn I consume and how I think about SSA.
For example when I am tempted to look at porn, which doesn’t happen very often now though it did occur a few days ago, I fight it with a strong conviction that this is not what is going to fulfil me or improve my life. Our good God calls porn a sin and therefore I trust that He knows what is best for me rather than believing that earthbound me somehow does. In part because of this strong conviction in what God says about porn (that is born out of a strong belief in who God is) I haven’t had a porn binge for 240 days.
Another example, I have never really been tempted to wonder whether it was okay to be a Christian and live monogamously with a male partner. I don’t think it is and so I don’t invest any time wondering whether I’m actually wrong. There was one time when I was about 18 singing ‘if I was a butterfly’ and the line ‘thank you Lord for making me me’ had me questioning if that included my attraction to men. But apart from that I’ve believed strongly my whole life that it would be wrong. Part of this is because I believe that the Bible is pretty clear about same-sex action and so God said it; I trust Him; end of story. There’s no rule that says I have to act like our surrounding Western culture and never be sure about anything except for the things we’re meant to be sure about it. (Of course, I can have respectful and enjoyable conversations with guys who think differently, but I don’t have to pretend to be uncertain about what I’m not.)
Let’s take it to the next step. If we trust God; we trust His story and therefore we can place whatever we happen to be thinking or experiencing in the thread of creation. Perhaps there is that gnawing desire for a boyfriend.
Let’s go back to the beginning and deal with it. In the beginning God (our awesome, good, loving God) created the heavens and the earth. The world was good and everything was perfect though Adam was alone (but not lonely) and this wasn’t good. This highlights the goodness of desire for relationship and the fact we are created for relationship.
Then sin entered the world and everything went pear shaped. Now it was possible for sin to cause damage to people and thus arrived same-sex attraction on the scene. It is bad and a consequence of the fall. It was not meant to be part of this world. Out of this fallen desire comes a guy desiring to be with another guy, which was never God’s intention. At this point someone could accept the fall and act on their fallen fallings or they can choose to trust God through the pain of living in a fallen world.
Thankfully it doesn’t end there. As sinners we are separated from God and unable to work our way back to relationship to Him and the perfect beginning. So God sent His son Jesus who lived on this earth for 33 years (by the way no whining about wanting a boyfriend until you’re 34; if Jesus our brother and example can do it; you can too). Jesus experienced what it was like to live on a fallen world and He deeply understands what it is like to be us with all our temptations and weaknesses (such as hunger and tiredness and lots of work). He knows what it is like to have strong desires that cannot be acted upon as a single man. Therefore He acts as our example. But more than that He showed us that God does not see the misery and pain of a fallen world and leave it as it is. He healed and fed hungry people and taught about the best way to live on a screwed up world. He pointed to how things were meant to be at the beginning and led people to work for restoration rather than capitulation. Ultimately He dealt with our separation from God by taking our sin upon himself and dying in our place. We could now be in relationship with God in a way that had not been possible since Adam and Eve realised they were naked. God’s calling on our lives is now to work for restoration and be in relationship with Him. To live in the freedom of our forgiveness and sin no more. Therefore instead of wanting a boyfriend we acknowledge this desire is part of living in a fallen world and that we work towards the restoration of our desires. We don’t give into them; we take the harder road of dealing with them for the rest of our lives. I believe this will mean as we trust God more, as we mature, as we build strong relationships with other males, as we receive counselling etc etc that our desires for men will become less intense and less sexual and be a more pure expression of our deep desire for relationship. (Remembering that Adam was not meant to be alone and yet was not meant to deal with this reality through sin.) For sure, we may have periods of sexual temptation and relationship temptation for the rest of our lives, but we know how to live on a fallen world with fallen desires: trust God and go to sleep.
The thing is the story doesn’t even end there. We will only live 80 or 90 years at the most and to fight our sinful nature for that long is not such a big ask when we consider that we will spend forever with God celebrating who He is and living as He designed us to. Then our former life will seem as quick as a blink of the eye and our 80 year slog on earth will seem like nothing. This hope gives us further power to say no to desires for a boyfriend. It’s not ultimately about us now and what feels right here. It’s about God and how we were created to live and that our good, great God is restoring here and will bring full restoration soon.
Trust in Him; trust in that. And watch your life change.
This is kind of long, so maybe next time I will talk about my journey of trust.
(Please note I’m not saying that everything should be fine and dandy when we trust God. Or that we will always feel great and never have temptation. It’s a fallen world and we’re still here. The question is to Whom do we go to, again and again and again, to deal with our brokenness and put into context of who He is, who we are and where we are in the story.)