Singleness, Same-Sex Attraction, and Ultimate Satisfaction
"To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am."
(1 Corinthians 7:8 ESV)
As Christians, it seems we need to do a better job of exalting the gift of singleness, whether it be life-long or for a season. We need to help fellow believers, living in the midst of a sex-saturated culture, embrace the truth that ultimate satisfaction and pleasure are found in God and not in human sexuality. Though sex is a wonderful gift from God it is not the source of true joy and it is possible to live a completely fulfilled and genuinely happy life as a celibate Christian. Remember Jesus, the one who lived the most fulfilled life of any human being and enjoyed wonderful intimate relationships, never ever made love to anyone or experienced sexual pleasure of any kind.
Marriage is honorable but a life of singleness and unhindered devotion to Christ is also an honorable option. Those within the Church who struggle with same-sex attraction need to hear this message from Christian leaders. Though God is certainly able to bring healing in matters of sexual orientation, He is also able to satisfy those who seek to live a celibate life of purity with a single-minded passion for His glory. I am afraid that in some ways the Church has bought into the world's thinking that sexual pleasure is the essence of human experience and as a result has caused some who wrestle with same-sex attraction to despair that by obeying God's Word they may never live a fulfilled life. Sexual Intimacy between one man and one woman in a loving marriage relationship is indeed a beautiful thing, but it is only a dim picture of the all-surpassing beauty of intimately knowing God and being enraptured in His perfect love forever as His bride. So whether you're single (for whatever reason it may be), or engaged, or married, we all need to be reminded of the truth that joy and fulfillment can never ultimately exist outside of a relationship with Jesus.
Those who belong to the community of Christ should enjoy deep, Christ-centered, relationships with one another that, while not of a sexual nature, provide the kind of intimacy and commitment for which humans are desperately searching. The loving fellowship and connection that we enjoy with our Father and with His Son Jesus the Messiah, should be the source of our loving fellowship and committed friendship with one another (1 John 1:3). If the Church is truly living as a loving family and as committed missional partners, singles who believe that they will forever be alone and unsatisfied if they remain single will begin to see through the cultural lies and experience life at levels they could never have imagined. That isn't to say that there won't be struggles and difficulties throughout the journey, but followers of Jesus who commit themselves to his community and allow their identities to be shaped by the story of Scripture will find that all of the difficulties paradoxically become stepping stones to reaching greater heights of intimacy with the God who is the source of inexhaustible joy.
P.S. To hear the testimonies and stories of a growing number of same-sex attracted people who have chosen Christ over sex, check out http://www.livingout.org/.