What I’ve learned from both sides of a hard conversation.
In today’s cultural climate, conversations around human sexuality unravel before they even get started. Those of us who hold to the traditional biblical view are often told we’re judgmental, yet the accusation is issued so often that it’s hard to tell a false alarm from a true indictment. As followers of Jesus Christ, we long to embody beautiful orthodoxy. Although the phrase “grace and truth” is shouted from every rooftop, we’re painfully aware of how difficult it is to practice in the context of real relationships and real conversations.
The tension is palpable: It manifests itself as a physical tightness in your chest when someone discloses their sexual attractions for the first time. You feel it, too, as tears on your face, when you can’t figure out how to express your love for your same-sex attracted friend and also affirm God’s singular plan for sex between a married man and woman.
As someone who came to Christ after years of sexual and romantic relationships with women, I’ve been on both sides of this conversation. I was once the person receiving a hard word; now I’m the one giving it. Some of us—I’m raising my hand, here—tip more easily toward truth telling and less easily toward grace. Others err on the side of permissiveness, loving their friends enough to show grace but maybe leaving out the Bible’s clear teaching on sex.
I recently spoke to a father who confided in me, face fallen, that his response to his daughter coming out several years ago was to put up a wall of theology. He desperately wanted to know if he could make it right without sacrificing his convictions or his relationship with his daughter. Another woman approached …
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