Hi everyone, I have family members male and female who are practicing homosexuality. My granddaughter believes that her lifestyle is acceptable to God even though I have shared the scriptures with her on same sex relationships. I also have a coworker that I really like who is a lesbian. I am very concerned about them. How can I help them see the truth?
I watched this video sometime back and found it really useful to delineate and articulate the issues with great clarity.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I will watch this video and get back to you.
Hello, Julie @Julie_Durr, My apologies for repeating Ravi’s video in my response. I missed seeing gideonren @gideonren response. At least you know how relevant it is to your question that the two of us would refer it to you.
I think you have to be prepared for a long process of prayer for your family members, and just loving them gradually over time. You need not comprise the truth of the biblical position, but when it comes to sexual sins, especially ones deeply habituated like same-sex attraction, there has to be an inner working in the person to even want to break away from their immorality. There has to be a new desire implanted in their hearts, one that will allow them to desire God more, and their sin less.
I would suggest trying to have prayer times with your family, if they are open to it, but where you don’t pray for this issue specifically, but just pray together, again if they are willing, that God would open your hearts to His will. Let them know that you are praying for them as image bearers of almighty God, not just as people lost in sin. Once they know, and know deeply, that you intend only what is good for them, then they will over time see God’s love.
Prayer will be the primary means through which you can assist the Spirit in reaching your family. If they already have been presented with the clear teaching of the Scriptures, then they are now accountable to the Spirit of God. But they need to know that while there is Truth, there is also Grace.
Thank you for your question. I have heard many people mention Sam Allberry’s name when attempting to navigate this topic with grace and truth.
We should not discount the power of prayer and love. We know God has the power to move upon the heart of any man or woman and our prayers entreat Him to do that. When we show love to those we disagree with it really has the power to break down the barriers because God is the only explanation for that type of response in the face of disagreement and opposition. Love lays the groundwork for feet who are shod with the gospel of peace.
May the Lord lead you as you pray and walk towards those He loves.
Hello, Julie @Julie_Durr. This is such a hot button topic these days because the culture has given, not just homosexuality, but all sexual immorality, its approval. So, how do you go against the tide? This question, or others similar, have been asked on the Connect Forum. You can go to the “Search” box and type in "Homosexuality "to find relevant responses. Many responses have used Ravi’s video to help with an answer:
Ravi’s bottom line is that you must love these individuals and let God do the changing. To argue or try to prove them wrong when they are in a stance to resist you will only get their backs against the wall. You can easily tell them you love them even though you don’t agree with their lifestyle. I think that will go a long way toward allowing them to let their guard down. You want to invite them into a trusting relationship where they will feel comfortable to dialog with you. But, if they sense you are going to criticize or “preach” to them, they will turn a deaf ear.
If you know of any who have come out of that lifestyle, you might want to talk to them. In fact, you will find in the “Testimonies” Category on Connect a testimony by a woman who was saved out of homosexuality. I think you will find her testimony very insightful.
I’m sure having family members and friends living the gay lifestyle must be very painful for you. Lay that pain at Jesus’ feet and ask Him to take it, and then to guide you compassionately.
I hope that you are doing well. This is often times such a difficult subject to deal with. One of the major reasons for this is that we, as human beings, find our identity and define ourselves through what we do. Because of this, people who are homosexual usually find the ideals of Christianity to be more of an attack on their identity and, therefore, many times they try to convince themselves that God must be okay with it. After all, He made them that way, did He not? This is where we must take extra caution. God made man and woman for a reason, but through sin and perversion of our natural sexual desires, we see many people who believe that they are naturally supposed to be attracted to the same sex. Especially in a culture that is so supportive of such things as homosexuality, in many facets of our culture it is almost encouraged, it can be even harder to bring someone to the truth on this subject.
From a very early age, our culture socializes us to believe that things such as homosexuality are not only okay, but normal, and natural. We live in a time when it is fully accepted by many people that homosexual relationships are normal and natural things, and this makes it extremely difficult to say anything that is in opposition to that belief. If you do you are typically called a bigot and dismissed as someone who is prejudiced and just, in general, a bad person. So how are we supposed to get someone to see that this lifestyle is wrong?
It seems nearly impossible to stand up against a culture that is fully supportive of such things and tell people that it is wrong, and even sinful, to do them. I find that oftentimes this ends up closing people off from wanting to talk about it even more. The difficult thing about the truth is that one has to WANT to see it in order to find it, and starting at the point of convincing them to hear what you have to say is often where we find ourselves. Let’s face it, the truth is a painful thing, and Jesus tells us that He IS the truth. Coming to Him is not a simple gesture, it is often a painful process of Him showing us our sin and that we need to repent and accept His forgiveness. But what if you found out that something you consider to be your very identity was actually a sin? Something that so many people around you are telling you is okay, and that you consider to be a part of who you are, is actually in direct opposition to God’s design. It was no easy task that Jesus spoke of when He said that we need to deny ourselves, take our cross, and follow Him. We must deny our very identity and take on a whole new one that is given to us by God. The more we are lost in the identity of sin, the harder that this becomes, and the more painful the truth is when it finds us. Hence, the more likely we are to turn our faces from it and run in the other direction when it reveals itself.
But there is hope, it just is not within us. It is within Christ. Sometimes, the only thing that can reach that deep into someone is the One who sees us inside and out. Nothing is hidden from Him and nothing can hide itself from Him. It is to Him that we must appeal for those that we love and care about here in this life. In a situation such as this, I encourage you to pray for them. Pray for God to reveal the truth to them, no matter how much it may hurt. This is the first step in reaching those we love whom are lost and that is where I would begin Julia. To truly help them see the truth, they must be introduced to the One who IS the truth, Jesus Christ. Pray for Him to reach into their lives and reveal Himself to them. Pray for them to experience the change of heart that is necessary to pursue the truth and to see what God truly asks of them. Then it is up to them to accept, or reject, that truth.
Questions like this are always some of the hardest. I have family members and friends who are devout atheists and some who are homosexuals. When it comes to such matters we must realize that we can not truly affect any change within anyone except ourselves. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can truly reveal to each of us just how much we need to saving grace of Christ. That is why we must pray for those people who need Him in their lives. I know that it can be hard when you care so deeply about them, but let that be your cause to pray for them and to continue to be an example of the love of Christ in their lives.
I hope that this helps to answer your question Julia and I hope that Christ will touch their lives and reveal Himself to them in the way that only He can. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask and may God bless you and thank you.
No worries Sharon. Thank you so much for your reply! The video was very helpful.
Hi Gideon! I watched the video and it helped me a lot. The more I watched the video, the more I realized the gravity and my responsibility in relating truth to people that I care deeply about. Thanks again!
My eyes welled up with tears at your response. I feel like the Holy Spirit spoke directly to me through your words. My granddaughter is on the outs with the family right now per her choice. Please pray for me that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and that I will be willing to do whatever he puts on my heart.
Thank you so much Mary Beth!
Praise His name for this; for God is Holy, yet He speaks through broken vessels.
St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine, arguably the most important theologian in the first 1000 years of the Church’s history. Early in his life, Augustine mocked and even scorned his mother’s prayers and entreaties for many years, all the way until the time of his conversion.
After that he wrote in his most famous work The Confessions, that after the Holy Spirit Himself, it was those same tearful prayers of his beloved mother (who died shortly after his conversion) that rescued him from sin and death. Here are Augustine’s own words about Monica, the faithful woman:
“You [God] sent down your help from above and rescued my soul from the depths of this darkness because my mother, your faithful servant, wept to you for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son.” - Confessions , 3.11 [italics mine]
Our tears are worth something Julie! They really are, and they matter to God most of all.
Grace and peace,
Hello Julie, glad to know that! Now you can begin an empathetic conversation with your fam members! It’s my prayer that you can manage to listen to their stories of how it all began and hopefully in the course of the conversation God will lead them to realise that these things are not from Him. I recently attended a seminar on the same topic and learnt that while sex-same attraction feelings are “real”, one can make a choice to still honour God and not exercise that lifestyle.
I believe this is more a matter of unbelief than the specific sin of homosexuality.
The hymnist says “Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring, for His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much.” Therefore, I would begin with prayer. Enlist other prayer warriors as well.
Secondly, you must still love them even though it may be trying at times. We all regularly resist God, but He still loves us. We are all rebellious and ungrateful just like your loved ones.
I think that if you can read and study the Bible together the Spirit can apply those words to your wayward family members. I don’t think I would pick and choose Scripture that addresses sexuality. I suggest asking if they would like to study the Gospel of John together as a start.
Where appropriate, confess your own sins and failings to your loved ones. We all have many. Be vulnerable. It will be risky. Then, tell your loved ones what God has done for you. Be delicate and sincere. They will be very sensitive to what you say. I don’t think you want to make them feel attacked and put them on the defensive. Perhaps God will place a person who is not a threat to them in their path in order to deliver them. I think you may have to realize that you may not be that person. God works like that all of the time.
May the Lord be with you.
Thanks again Anthony! You taught me something new!
Wow Marybeth! I had no idea what I was about to watch with Sam Alberry! Never heard this perspective before. Thank you so much! The more I learn, the more I want to be quiet and listen to what other people have on their hearts! I am trusting the Holy Sprit to lead me in fruitful conversations.
God Bless You
Thank you so much for your thoughtful, caring and compassionate response. I’ve noticed that the answers to my question leaves me with the responsibility to change. I need to, as you’ve said, be vulnerable, sensitive and loving towards my loved ones unconditionally.
Blessings to you.
I appreciate your words of wisdom. I’m excited about being a part of this family. So caring and insightful. I’m also looking forward to being an Academy Alum. Your answer tells me how much these courses will enrich my life and the lives of those I encounter.
Blessings to you!
Thank you so much for your very insightful and caring response! I appreciate your support.
May God continue to bless you.