Sexual Identity Confusion
Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families
Our generation is experiencing an increased level of confusion with regard to sexual identity. When addressing same-sex attraction, gender identity concerns, or a transgender disposition, we must approach such struggles with several foundational understandings.
Wholeness begins with the realization that sex is first and foremost a noun (what we are as male and female) rather than a verb (what we do) (Genesis 1:26-28). Sexual health begins by understanding that our sex (male or female) is fixed in us at our creation and not a social construct or individual choice that is subject to alteration by the person created.
Confusion over sexual identity can occur during puberty as an influx of hormones can throw the body and emotions out of balance. This is no time to panic. Under normal circumstances the confusion clears. However, those who are encouraged to act upon such short-term feelings can perpetuate and intensify the struggle into adulthood. Far too many adolescents listen to peers, the media, and even authority figures pushing them to “come out” or declare themselves to be something other than what God made them to be. This can trap them in the mistaken idea that one’s desires (even if short-term) dictate one’s identity.
A REDEMPTIVE APPROACH
The emotions associated with same sex attraction and gender identity confusion are both real and complex. Many individuals desperately wish they could free themselves from feelings and desires that can make them feel abnormal or even shame. Unfortunately, extending hope in such situations has become difficult, because those with a political agenda label those who affirm God’s design for human sexuality “bigots” or “homophobic”. Become an agent of redemption by following a few steps.
Step One: Extend Grace
Refuse to perpetuate stereotypes. Not everyone struggling with same-sex attraction is living in rebellion against God’s design. On the other side, those who believe God intended sexual union exclusively for a husband and a wife are motivated by truth and love, not ignorance or hate. So extend grace. Give one another permission to disagree without calling names or assuming the worst.
Step Two: Explore God’s Design
Regardless of our current posture or perspective, the best starting place is to explore what it means to be created male and female in God’s image and how we can find sexual wholeness as intended by our Creator. Step Three: Glean From Those Who Understand
Same-sex attraction and sexual identity confusion are complicated matters with no easy answers. The journey to wholeness may be a difficult, long process. Seek wisdom from those who have been where you are. Let them help you discover the joy and health that comes from pursuing God’s loving, beautiful design for human sexuality.
- When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay by Joe Dallas
Prestonwood has a variety of Bible Fellowships for the spiritual development of every person. No matter your age and stage of life, there’s a Bible Fellowship for you. Visit prestonwood.org/connect for more information.
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