Monday, March 20, 2017
A tale of two young men, and two different paths
I saw something on Facebook last night that made me sad. A young lady I am friends with had changed back to her maiden name. She was no longer "Shayla Brown", but was now "Shayla King". I knew what that meant. She and her young husband had divorced. I looked up his Facebook profile, and was further saddened by what I saw there.
Shayla joined the Hope For Wholeness Facebook group a couple of years ago. HFW is a ministry for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. She didn't join because she was attracted to the same sex. She joined because her young husband of less than a year, "Sean", had asked permission of her to experiment sexually with other guys. He was gay, and wanted to forsake his wedding vows so he could fulfill his sexual desires with other men.
I prayed faithfully for this young couple for months. She disappeared from Facebook for a while, and then I found out from a mutual friend that Sean decided he didn't need his wife's permission, and had started having sex with random guys. He'd cry and apologize, and then go out and do it again.
Last night, as I looked at his Facebook profile, my heart broke. He has dove head first into the gay lifestyle. There are pictures of him at gay pride events, all kinds of pro-gay posts such as ones claiming two lesbians do a better job of raising kids than a mother and father..... and more.
Sean is a very nice-looking young man, and I know what it is like. Him being around gay guys is like waving red meat in front of ravenous wolves. As he tries to find fulfillment and happiness with other guys, he will be used over and over by other guys trying to find fulfillment in multiple sexual hook-ups with him and other guys. He won't find happiness and fulfillment, and has embarked on a dangerous path. The health and mental risks are much higher in active gay men than heterosexual males.... and the end of that path will be an eternity in hell if he does not repent.
I've been thinking. How long has it been since I prayed for Shayla and Sean. True, I have never met either of them, and have never interacted with him at all. And true, me praying for them doesn't guarantee any different outcome..... but what if it did?
And then there is "Michael", whom I have met and heard his testimony. He may not mind me using his real name, but since I made the above couple anonymous, I may as well stay with that. Micheal is close to the same age as Sean, though possibly a year or two younger at age 20. Michael also is attracted to the same sex, and I believe he chose to give into those attractions and desires for a brief time. Since then, he has given his life to God and is living the very difficult life of a young man attracted to the same sex, but living for God instead of his desires.
It isn't easy. I can attest to that, It also gets easier, in some ways. At my age, there is the loneliness factor, and the fact that guys my age are married with kids..... and then there is me. But it is still easier at my age than Michael's.
I don't think people get how difficult it is to have same-sex attractions, and live for God instead of giving in. It is far more difficult than I can explain. And for a young man of Michael's age with the hormones and sex drive of that age......you truly have no idea how difficult it is for him to serve God and remain pure and celibate.
Sure, he may be able to marry a woman at some point, but there is no guarantee. What does the church have to offer him? A pat on the back now and then? The struggle is real, and at times is more than we can bear.
Sean nor Michael asked for this. It is not a choice. Neither they nor I woke up one morning and thought "I think I am going to be attracted to the same sex!" No, that isn't how it goes. No one knows for sure what causes it, though I have heard some credible ideas and I can see some of them in my own life.
We need to be there for the Seans and Michaels of the world..... and yes, the Marks also. All Christians need each other, but this is something in a class pretty much by itself. There is no God-approved way of someone with same-sex attraction to fill their sexual desires and attractions. Many today are trying to claim that God is OK with loving relationships between two people of the same sex, but they are wrong.
Imagine being 20 years old, and it is wrong to be attracted to the opposite sex, to marry them, to have a loving relationship with them...... that is our reality every day with the same sex.
My heart breaks for Shayla and Sean, and for Michael...though in a different way. I know what Michael is going through. I know the struggle and the difficulty of living for God and not always getting the support you need. I pray for Michael, but am resolving to pray more and harder. I believe this is a young man God can use if he continues to follow Him.
In closing, this: A while back, over a year ago, Sean agreed to meet Michael. They live fairly close to each other, and Shayla got her husband to agree to meet Michael. Sean hadn't started down the wrong path yet. We prayed for that meeting, that God would give Michael the words to say, that Sean would listen and turn to God.
Sadly, the meeting didn't seem to do any good..... but who knows the seeds that may have been planted that day as Michael shared his testimony of deliverance from homosexuality and showed Sean what his life could be like.
This life is so fleeting, and we all so easily forget that we aren't living for this life. When Sean stands before God some day, he will wish he had followed God instead of his sexual desires, as he hears those dreaded words "depart from me." I hope and pray he finds God and follows Him before that day happens.
But for Michael and all others who served God instead of living for our sinful desires here on earth, we will hear those words "well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord".
I want to hear those words, and I want Sean and Michael to hear those words. Say a pray for these two young men dealing with the same struggle, but in two very different ways. One is on the right path, so pray he remains on it and God gives him the strength he needs daily. The other is on a very wrong path. Pray he finds his way to God before it is too late.
And if you know of anyone else dealing with this very tough struggle, pray for them, and reach out in love.