We had a discussion about relationships, this is the product.
What are they, what’s acceptable and what’s appropriate? And what God sees and deems a relationship to be in all of these aspects.
As you know our discussion topic conclusions are the collective thoughts of those who attend. These thoughts are not scientific or in any way extracted from other people’s ideas or written in their own books or writings. These are thoughts from real people in real situations
I hope you will read this article and examine (with an open mind) these thoughts and ideas to enable you to discover within yourself that what you feel relationships are about and how they correspond with your life and what is good and right for you.
Here is our perspective:
Relationship is any sort of collective agreement between two or more people to know/discover each other or to have something to do with each other whether in a private or public. Relationship also includes one with God not just other people on the planet.
We are created to be naturally drawn to other people. We want to relate to them and with them and they with us. This creates the obvious dynamics of friendship, acquaintanceship, lovers’, family and all other types of relationships. All need to have one thing in common, “God” himself.
We agree that any relationship between people (who relate to each other in one accord) requires a good foundation. That healthy support to each other brings betterment of the other person and does not drain from the other selfishly. It’s also important to keep in perspective where other people belong in our individual lives so that they don’t “take over” and we don’t give them high or inappropriately larger space in our lives.
Our perspective is of course from a biblical standpoint. This means that God is always first and there is no room at the top for two. There is never room for someone else in God’s place whether it’s a friend a lover a spouse or a child. Everything goes to God and through God and he should always top any relationship and guide them as well.
An inappropriate relationship as we discussed, was any that put other people above yourself or God and allowing that person or people to stop you from achieving what you must do in your life. Also included in that was sexual relationships. We agree that anything outside of God’s appropriate marriage standards for sexual intimacy is not appropriate whether it be same-sex or opposite sex.
By having a sexual relationship outside of marriage, you begin to have a sexual identity with the person and now, skewed in God’s eyes, as He has not set forth that we should have these things outside of what he appropriates and calls correct or proper.
Today we call those relationships inappropriate while the Bible uses the term “Immoral”. Immoral is a big word and nobody likes to hear it because it somehow says that there’s something wrong with you. While it’s not, “What’s wrong with you” but what wrong you’re doing within the relationship. The very relationship you asked God to give you. Now you’re misusing the gift of the person and you invite guilt and shame to take center stage instead of God.
If you look at the person or people you’re having a relationship with as gifts from God, and you remain God centered, you will appropriately relate with them. Even in an intimate relationship where you’re falling in love and going further than just friends…God will maintain the excitement and joy. In fact, He will bless that because it honors what He has set forth.
It is also true that when sex is one of the first things to come it’s oftentimes one of the first things to go. Actually, the first thing to go is your desire to get to know the person for who they are not just what they can give you. Even in a relationship with two Christians, it becomes about each other and not about God. This is evident by the Word, which clearly teaches us the appropriate way to have an intimate relationship with another and how God blesses. No matter how difficult it is to say “no” because of our human urges (SSA or not), God is with us. As we respect Him, He is honoring our desire to say no and show our intent to serve Him and not serve our own feelings.
Feelings! Now there is an interesting topic but feelings (for this topic) are really just the emotional part of us. Part of our being that probably causes the most trouble for us. We get involved with feelings and assume that they are right or assume that something else is true that we see that causes us to feel a certain way. Then we begin to believe it and then we bring that into a relationship and all the sudden we find out that it’s not necessarily what you thought. It’s not what you felt, which of course means, that you put yourself at the top or in the center of the relationship by moving God out. By this you have substituted yourself as the godly part of the relationship (we cannot do that) and it is doomed to fail.
Can people with same-sex attraction have a loving and intimate relationship? The answer to that was, “Yes”. The belief that two people (just because they’re the same sex) cannot love each other and take care of each other and care for each other in an intimate way is ridiculous. It is simply a societal or perhaps old time church misnomer that you are either single and lonely and alone or you’re married because that looks good to church people.
The only time (as we all agreed) that a same-sex attracted relationship becomes inappropriate or immoral is when you step over the sexual line. Remember, we’re not talking about the act of sex. We’re talking about two people with hearts, emotions, goals, drives and needs. We’re talking about people who perhaps, don’t choose to get into an opposite sex marriage (or God has not provided that) but know He allows them to have each other. God does bless those relationships because He does care about each of us and does want us to be close and to relate to one another. Again, when we just simply assume that people are having sex, we completely skip over the reality of who the people are and what they mean to God! Grace is for all! Love is for all! If two people are serving the Lord, living together, caring about each other and the relationship is appropriate in their minds, hearts and in their walk with God…It’s nobody’s business from the world or the church to tell them that they cannot have what they have or that they have to change its appearance.
Appearances are misleading and even phony. I give you the example. What if you were driving down the street and you saw a man that you know to be married and have children holding the hand of a woman that you don’t know and there seemingly looking into each other’s eyes and smiling. You drive on and your thought is, “Something’s going on” because that looked like they were intimate or too close to each other. So what you do? Do you tell your friends wife? Do you talk to your friend and sound accusative? You’ve made all these judgments and now you’ve got yourself twisted up. All because your mind jumped straight to the sex act! Where is all you saw was one hand in the other’s. Later, you happen to be with your friend and his wife. She’s laughing and you ask her, “What’s funny?” She tells you the story of how her husband ran into a woman coming out of the store spilled his drink knocked books out of her hand and how he helped her pick them up. While shaking her hand they came to learn they go to the same church. They agreed that their families should get together and know each other. Just because the church is big they should not be strangers.
You see we can’t go by what we see or what we feel and say that somehow that is what it “is” because as you know we can see what we don’t see and we can feel what isn’t really true. We can create in ourselves and project upon other people. That is not the way that God does it. God knows the heart of the individual. The point of knowing this truth is so that we will also take the time to get to know the person or people and not jump past them and assume the worst. That we will not automatically look at two people of the same sex that seem to love and care about each other and make the assumption of a sex act that is only in your mind. Additionally, it’s none of our business to know whether or not it is going on. God has not called us to pry into people’s lives but to love people (right where they’re at) and to love them to the Lord and let Jesus take care of everything from there
In conclusion, God blesses relationships. He wants us to have them. He wants us (whether same-sex or opposite sex) to keep them appropriate, loving and centered around Him. He will direct the paths of each individual, couple, group or family. God sees us collectively with individuality. It’s kind of like sending out a text to 10 people but yet you’re speaking to each person individually. He does that all the time. He sees the whole world and yet within all of that (as he moves heaven and earth just for you and just for me) He makes things good for our lives.
That’s what we should be focused on! How do we make someone else’s life better? I’m not to judge a person because they don’t live the way I think they should. Or, the way I see them living is not appropriate. Or worse, “That’s an inappropriate relationship with God”. That’s not what He’s called us to.
God bless you and may this article live in you!
Please feel free to respond via a call, text or write back through the website or e-mail.
John, who lived in the lifestyle for 30 years and returned to Christ full force, and Brandon, a 21 year old straight man also in love with the Lord Jesus. A team of two brought together by God to act as one. One gay one straight both in loving relationship with Christ.