“I remember that once when I slept with a girlfriend, I had a strong desire to kiss her, and that I did so. I could not help being terribly inquisitive over her body, for she had always kept it hidden from me. . . . I go into ecstasies every time I see the naked figure of a woman. . . . It strikes me as so wonderful and exquisite that I have difficulty in stopping the tears rolling down my cheeks. If only I had a girlfriend. – Anne Frank
How many gay people are there in the United States? “The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute also found that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population while 1.7% is gay or lesbian. The number of LGBT persons in the U.S. is subjective. Studies pointing to the statistics are estimates at best. The most widely accepted statistic is that 1 in every 10 individuals is LGBT; however some research estimates 1 in 20.” With the internet conversation being flooded with articles on homosexuality, with it being inundated on discussion sites, one might think the statistic would be much higher. Homosexuality is talked about more openly today than it was several decades ago. One would have to be a very brave soul to say that they disapprove of such a lifestyle. The person would be labeled a homophobe, that he or she was prejudiced and judgmental. The scathing comments would be so overwhelming; it might be tempting to remain silent about one’s position on this hot-button topic.
Yong Christians are afraid to take a stand for biblical truths. In addition, it has also created a permissive attitude that has popularized experimentation with same-sex relationships. Many young girls claim to be lesbian, bisexual, or bi-curious. Other young girls have propositioned female Christian girls as young as twelve. These are serious pressure moments because to reject such propositions can get one labeled a homophobe, a religious zealot. The new mentality of today is that homosexuality is just an alternative lifestyle. We have young ones who are attracted to the same-sex, who may be afraid to express their feelings to a pastor, who is not equipped to have such a conversation. They may feel that they are a homosexual and thus condemned for their feelings, which they have tried to shake but just will not go away.
We will talk more about whether we have a genetic predisposition in chapter 4 Homosexuality – Genes or learned? For now, we must address some things that some of the LGBT community tries to deny. Over time, the things that we feed our mind on, these will play a role in same-sex attraction. Some men start watching porn that is between a man and a woman. Of course, after time, it is like drugs, he needs something more hardcore. Therefore, he moves on to lesbian porn. Then, he advances to shemale on shemale porn. A shemale is a transvestite, a passive male homosexual. Shemale is a term used in sex work to describe trans women with male genitalia and augmented female breasts from breast augmentation and/or use of hormones. In this, he convinces himself that he gets to watch what appear to be two women. After some time, the male genitalia now arouses him, and so he is building himself up to same-sex attraction.
Another factor that contributes to homosexuality is abuse as a child. When a young child is forced or coerced into having sex with a parent or relative of the same sex, it lays the groundwork for same-sex attraction. Then, we couple this with the experiences that the young one goes through in grade school, junior high, and high school. Then, there is the sensitivity of some young boys, who lack a father, so they are seeking to bond with other males. One of the problems that the church faces is, they do not address homosexuality, or when they do, it is a charismatic sermon, which hits heavily on the abhorrent factor. So much so, that anyone struggling with same-sex attraction will only withdraw into himself or herself. Eventually, they will act on those desires. Then, there is the mistaken stereotype that homosexuals are sexual deviants, or worse still, sexual predators. Therefore, those struggling with same-sex attraction feel like they are perverts, suffering great shame and excessive guilt, which means it is unlikely they will come forward seeking help. The goal of the church counsel is not to make someone straight but rather to help the person mature in Christ, to put on the new person, to have the mind of Christ. Some are trading their unmet needs in same-sex feeling that they can get filled in their relationship with Christ.
We have covered this extensively in chapter 1, as well as chapter 2, so we will only offer the gist if it here again. We were created in the image of God, and we were designed male and female, to have sexual relations between one man and one woman, only within the marriage arrangement. Men are not to have sexual relations with a male, as with a woman, nor are women to have sexual relations with a woman as with a man; it is an abomination. (Gen. 1:27-28; Lev. 18:22; Pro 5:18-19) The Bible condemns fornication (Gr. Porneia, sexual immorality), which applies to both homosexual and forbidden heterosexual conduct.” (Gal. 5:19-21) Sexual immorality unlawful sexual intercourse, which includes adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between unmarried individuals, homosexuality, and bestiality.
What about those who argue that God’s Word was written some 2,000 – 3,500 ago, making it out of date? The reason they make such an argument is that their desires are greater than their knowledge of God’s Word. They do not believe that it is fully inerrant and inspired, but rather believe it is the word of man. They do not wish to face their desires, so they see anyone accepting the Bible as inspired and fully inerrant, as foolish. It teaches something different from what they want to believe and is at odds with their same-sex attraction. We do not want to be closed-minded in our thinking.
The biblical truth is, if one has same-sex attraction but does not act on those sexual leanings, this does not make them a homosexual. If you are young, and your passions are strong, easily sexually aroused, coupled with social pressure, the same-sex attraction may be something that passes with time. Until this time has passed, you must refrain from homosexual practices of any sort. How?
Prayer: King David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps 139:23-24, ESV) God by his Word can strengthen us, helping us to control our thoughts, as well as our desires. The apostle Paul encouraged us to, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7, ESV) Yes, if we can know that “the supreme power belongs to God, not to us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7.
Replace Bad Self-talk with Upbuilding Self-Talk: A daily Bible reading schedule is paramount. The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8, ESV) Paul also told us that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12, ESV)
The Pornography Trap: This will be dealt with more extensively in the chapter on Pornography. Nevertheless, it is best to read the basics here and then reread it yet again in chapter 5.
Pornography can fuel a same-sex attraction that may not even be established as genetic. If we are a young girl looking at images of naked women, or even sensually dressed women, with lustful intent in our heart, how is this helping us to get control over ourselves? When God sees us looking at such material, is He not going to be devastatingly hurt, feel betrayed, and feel as though we have abandoned him? The information below is based on helping heterosexual couples but has been adapted to those struggling with same-sex attraction as well. This is not misinterpreting the Scriptures or twisting the Scriptures but rather taking the principles for heterosexuals and applying them to those who struggle with same-sex attraction.
Damage to Us Spiritually
Colossians 3:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Therefore, Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
In telling believers to put to death certain behaviors, Paul is calling for complete extermination, not careful regulation. What must go? Paul gives us an “outside in” perspective. He starts with external actions and then moves to the internal drives which cause the conduct. In his “vice lists” Paul mentions three categories of behavior: (1) perverted passions, (2) hot tempers, (3) sharp tongues.
First on the list is sexual immorality (porneia), a broad, general term for all kinds of illicit sexual behavior. God created sex to be enjoyed by one woman and one man in the confines of marriage. Any sexual activity that does not fit that definition is not to be part of a believer’s life. The perverted passion list continues with mention of impurity. This reminds us that immorality is “unclean” or dirty and incompatible with the purity of our Savior. Believers are not to be slaves of their lust or evil desires.
Matthew 5:27-28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Again, this verse is mean for heterosexual relationships; however, what was meant can be useful in controlling same-sex desires, so it will be adapted below.
In verse 28 of Matthew chapter 5, you will notice the phrase “lustful intent,” keying in on the word “intent.” This is not a woman walking along who catches sight of a beautiful woman and has an indecent thought, which she then dismisses. It is not even a woman in the same situation that has an indecent thought, who goes on to entertain and cultivate that thought. No, this is a woman that is staring, gazing at a woman with the intent of lusting, and is looking at the woman, with the intention of peaking her interest and desire, to get her to lust.
Verse 25 of chapter 26 in Proverbs warns the son against just that, do not get “lustful intent” in your heart because of her beauty. The same is true of a man not getting “lustful intent” in his heart because of the beauty of another man. Yes, even when the evil man is seeking to flame such desires. Aside from the fact that it violates God’s Law, for mere moments of immediate gratification at a very inexpensive price, you are risking your eternal life.
When we view pornography, let alone take up the time to get addicted, we are out for self-gratification, and we are, in no way, reflecting the Christian quality of love. The apostle Paul wrote,
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, just as also the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no man transgress and wrong his brother in the matter because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in sanctification.
Pornography especially takes selfish or unfair advantage of women and children, and young men, who are likely in abusive situations, for the personal gain of self-gratification. Simply objectifying them for your gratification is demeaning them. If you are using their images, you are also supporting whatever company exploits them, taking advantage of their circumstances. Just taking advantage of images, makes you indifferent, at worst a hater of women and a sexual deviant, toward the very people group that the Mosaic Law and Jesus Christ tried to protect.
Breaking the Habit
Some early Christians, before finding Christ, they were ‘unrighteous, sexually immoral, adulterers, men who practice homosexuality, and drunkards’ However, they “were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Psalm 55:22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 Cast your burden on Jehovah,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be shaken.
This begs the question, how do we throw our burdens on Jehovah (i.e., the Father), and how does he sustain us. How it is that he will not permit the righteous to be moved? In addition, if we are looking at porn, are we not unrighteous? Let us get ever closer to the answer.
1 Corinthians 10:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Many Christians, even very mature ones, as well as those leading congregations, have succumbed to pornography. Therefore, you should not feel alone in your battle to get control over your vessel.
Hebrews 4:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This verse contains four statements about God’s Word. First, it is living. God is a living God (Heb. 3:12). His message is dynamic and productive. It causes things to happen. It drives home warnings to the disobedient and promises to the believer. Second, God’s Word is active, an emphasis virtually identical in meaning with the term living. God’s Word is not something you passively hear and then ignore. It actively works in our lives, changes us, and sends us into action for God.
Third, God’s Word penetrates the soul and spirit. To the Hebrew people, the body was a unity. We should not think of dividing the soul from the spirit. God’s message is capable of penetrating the impenetrable. It can divide what is indivisible. Fourth, God’s message is discerning. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It passes judgment on our feelings and our thoughts. What we regard as secret and hidden, God brought out for inspection by the discerning power of his Word.
Proverbs 2:1-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to discernment;
3 For if you cry for discernment
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of Jehovah
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For Jehovah gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Now, let us return to our questions, and provide answers. How do we throw our burdens on God?
We do so, by going to him fervently in prayer, asking him for help with the problem that we are trying to overcome. Our adding this in our prayers repeatedly shows him our deep concern.
How does he sustain us?
God sustains us by the Word of God, which contains the very knowledge of God, as explained in Hebrews 4:12 above. Thus, we need to discover the Bible verses that are applicable, and we then need to know what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his original readers. In other words, we need to discover the original meaning. Then, we need to find the pattern of meaning that would apply to us. This is called working on behalf of our prayers. However, we are not done yet. We must be obedient to the Word of God. If we obey 50 percent, we will get 50 percent results. If we apply it 100 percent into our lives, we will get 100 percent results.
1 John 5:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments.
2 John 1:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
What is love? It plays itself out in the real world in obedience. The essence of love is that we keep God’s commandments. This glorifies God, is best for others, and is best for us. Everything God asks of us is intended to give something good to us or keep us from harm. First John presented the same emphasis on love and the same link between love and obedience. (Walls and Anders 1996, 237)
How it is that he will not permit the righteous to be moved?
God said he would never ‘permit the righteous to be moved.’ What is meant by ‘move’?” It means to stumble or fall down spiritually or get into a practice of sin that you seem to be in. In other words, God will help you to become stable, steadfast, or unmovable, not giving into sin. If we are looking at porn, are we not unrighteous?
No, this is not the case. We are all sinners, and God hates sin. However, he hates the unrepentant practice of sin. The unrighteous person is the one who lives in sin unrepentantly. If you are reading this, and you have been praying, trying to find a way to get control over yourself; then, you are not unrepentant. God makes allowance for our inherited sin from Adam, which means he understands our human weaknesses.
Thus, the steps are (1) Go to god fervently in prayer, (2) act in harmony with that prayer, by (3) research what the Bible offers toward recovery, (4) apply what you learn, and (5) get your stride again if you stumble, or get up when you fall down.
How often do you come across pornography?
Where do you come across pornography?
- Cell phone,
Do you see a pattern of how these encounters come about, and how you deal with them?
Is there a pattern to your encounters?
Do you find yourself depressed or angry, so you look at pornography, because of the feeling that override the depression, even though you know, even worse depression is on the horizon for failing to be faithful? Do you receive email attachments from friends that contain pornography?
The good thing about the internet is that its filters are far better than ten years ago, In order to get a popup, or end up with wrong pages; you need to be very specific in your search. For example, if you Google “race cars,” there will be links and images the movement that you get a few letters in. However, if you Google the word “porn,” it will do nothing until you hit enter. The same is true with email, like Yahoo and Gmail. The ads in the margins are only reflective of sites that you have been visiting.
How do you react the moment that your eyes see pornography?
- You turn away immediately so that you could barely describe what you saw
- You look at it for a moment before turning away, and could better explain what you saw
- You continue to look until your desires lead you to search for more
The foremost thing that will help you to overcome the habit of viewing pornography is to appreciate the seriousness of it, as well as what your actions mean to you, to God, to your spouse, to your family, and to the victims in the images. You have to get to the point where you “hate evil.” – Psalm 97:10.
Remove yourself from whatever results in the viewing of pornography. After one has had success for a time, they begin to become over confident and think they are strong enough to deal with temptation. This is such a mistaken notion.
Proverbs 22:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Be determined that you will not let your eyes fall upon pornography, and if they do unintentionally, you will immediately turn away. When surfing the internet, this is especially important. Each time when we encounter someone that stimulates us sexually, it just continues to feed our desires. Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Job 31:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 I have made a solemn promise
never to look with lust at a woman [or man].
Depending on your circumstances, you can apply the following as best you can.
- You only get on the internet when another is in the room
- You will place the computer in a public space
- You will leave your office door open
- You will immediate close out or delete anything inappropriate
- You will find a sponsor that can talk with you when you are feeling weak, stressed, or have stumbled
The Self-Abuse of Masturbation: This subject will be dealt with extensively in Chapter 6. The Bible condemns quite clearly such sexual sins as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality; masturbation is not mentioned. (Genesis 39:7-9; Leviticus 18:20, 22-23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Another factor to consider is that the language of the New Testament, Koine Greek, contained several words to describe the practice masturbation in the Greek-speaking world, but they are not used in the New Testament.
While the opinion of most physicians is that masturbation is harmless physically, it seems that the human conscience rejects it, as most are not as comfortable talking about masturbation as they are about another bodily function, like washing your hands. If you doubt me, the next time you are at a restaurant, and the women excuse themselves to freshen up, when they return, ask them if they masturbated. If it is as natural, you will not have any reservations about asking, and they will not have any embarrassed or angry looks on their face. This may sound extreme, but it makes the point.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and were a reflection of his qualities and attributes. Even after the fall, in our state of imperfection, all humans still maintain a good measure of that image. We all have a moral nature, which produces the faculty of conscience. This moral nature and associated conscience are seen in that most countries have laws that are based on the Bible’s moral values, do not kill, do not steal, and do not commit adultery, and so on. Why is it that most people feel guilty, ashamed, dirty, embarrassed, or abnormal when discussing masturbation? It is the conscience that God gave us.
Put to Death Evil Desire
Colossians 3:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Therefore, Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
The … two words belong together. “Lust” (epithymia) and “passions” (pathos) or “evil desires,” as translated in the NIV, generally refer to strong desires gone bad. Although the word can, on occasion, be used of an honorable desire (1 Tim 3:1), the normal use is negative. It refers most often to the misdirected fulfillment of bodily appetites, usually sexual appetites. A passion is uncontrolled and habitual lust. When lust goes unchecked, a passion for what is forbidden arises. Habits are formed which feed each other. Lust encourages passion, and passion produces more perverted lust.
“Deaden, therefore, your body members,” urges the Bible, “as respects . . . sexual appetite.” (Col. 3:5) This “sexual appetite” is not the new sexual sensations that most youths feel during puberty, of which there is no need to be ashamed. “Sexual appetite” exists when these feelings are intensified so that one loses control. Such sexual appetite has led to gross sexual immorality, as described by Paul at Romans 1:26-27.
However, does not masturbation “put to death” these “evil desires”? Hardly, in order to masturbate, one must feed his mind on evil desires, as well as pornographic images. Like any addiction, it takes stronger content to achieve the same gratification. If you drink one beer a day, soon you will have to move on to two, to get the same feeling. If you look at pornographic images, soon they will have to be viler, to achieve the same results. Eventually, you will need the real thing because the imagination is not achieving the same outcome. The world is full of opportunity, where you will find yourself aroused in a wrong moment or an inconvenient time, and you will commit fornication if single, or adultery if married.
Your Thoughts Will Lead You Astray
Moreover, you’re using women or men objectively in your imagination will carry over into the real world. Masturbation means that you need to view and think of women as a tool, as a means to an end, as opposed to sensitive human beings. In addition, you will start to see your own body as an object as well; a means to self-gratification. Self-abuse is self-centered. The person loses sight of love and moves toward sexual pleasures. Our Creator intended man and woman to find their sexual satisfactions within the marriage bed, between one man and one woman, and within expressions of love.
How does God view our human weaknesses?
Psalm 86:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 For you, O Jehovah, are good, and ready to forgive,
and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon you.
When we slip up and fall short, succumbing to masturbation, we certainly feel guilty, which is appropriate. However, we do not want to beat ourselves down to where anxiety and stress cause future failures.
1 John 3:20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
We may find ourselves falling short on masturbation many times, as it has a stronger hold on us than we may have realized. This results in our feeling guilty, ashamed, dirty, embarrassed, or abnormal. We do not feel worthy of God’s Love. We need not think that God is no longer forgiving us, as this is exactly what Satan would like. The fact that you feel as distraught as you do means that God still loves you, and you have not committed the unforgivable sin. Simply be steadfast in the process of overcoming this habit, and continue fervently to go to God in prayer, begging him for forgiveness and cleansing and help. However, we as imperfect humans can be accredited a righteous standing before God, being accepted back into the family of God. He makes allowances for our imperfection.
Below is how he views a repentant sinner,
Psalm 103:8-14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Jehovah is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
9 He will not always find fault,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repaid us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his lovingkindness toward those who fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so Jehovah has compassion on those who fear him.
14 For he himself knows our formation;
he remembers that we are dust.
Isaiah 38:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Look, it was for my welfare
that I had great bitterness;
but in love you have delivered my soul
from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
behind your back.
Micah 7:18-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in lovingkindness.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
You will notice in Psalm 103:12, that God removes the sins of the repentant one as far as the east is from the west. The picture being painted is, to the human mind that is the farthest you can remove something as there is no greater distance. In Isaiah 38, we are given another visual, God throwing our sins behind his back, meaning he can no longer see them, as they are out of sight, thus out of mind. In Micah, our last example, we see that God hurls all of the sins of a repentant person into the depths of the sea. In the setting of the ancient person, this meant that retrieving them was literally impossible. In other words, God has removed them, never to be retrieved or brought to mind ever again. This was the viewpoint that he had before Jesus ever even offered himself as a ransom sacrifice.
However, just because God is so forgiving, this will never justify sinning unrepentantly, as his patience will wear out, or the evil age of Satan will end when we least expect it. He hopes that you will continue to work toward setting aside the habit of masturbation, as it is an unclean habit.
It is not the troubles of this would that actually cause us to feel bad. It is what we tell ourselves that contributes to how we feel. Self-talk is what we tell ourselves in our thoughts. In fact, it is the words we tell ourselves about people, self, experiences, life in general, God, the future, the past, the present; it is specifically all the words we say to ourselves all the time. Destructive self-talk, even subconsciously, can be very harmful to our mood: mood slumps, our self-worth plummeting, our body feeling sluggish, our will to accomplish even the tiniest of things is not to be realized and our actions defeat us.
Intense negative thinking will always lead to our feeling blue, painful emotions or even a depressive state. Our thoughts based on a good mood will be entirely different from those based on our being upset. Negative thoughts that flood our mind are the actual contributors of our self-defeating emotions. These very thoughts are what keep us sluggish and contribute to our feeling worthless. Therefore, this thinking is the key to our relief.
Every time we feel down about something, attempt to locate the corresponding negative thought we had to this feeling down. Because it is these thoughts that have created our feelings of low self-worth, by learning to offset them and replace them with rational thoughts we can actually change our mood. Remember the thoughts that move through our mind, with no effort, is the easiest course to follow because we have developed a way of thinking, a pattern of thinking. It is so subconscious that they even go unnoticed because we are not searching for them.
The centerpiece of it all is the mind. Our moods, behaviors and body responses result from the way we view things. It is a proven fact that we cannot experience any event in any way, shape, or form unless we have processed it with our mind first. No event can depress us; it is your perception of that event that will. If we are only sad over an event, our thoughts will be rational; but if you are depressed or anxious over an event, our thinking will be bent and irrational, distorted and simply wrong.
It may be difficult for each of us to wrap our mind around the concept that we are responsible for our thinking that leads to most depressive episodes, but we are excellent at telling ourselves outright lies and half-truths, repeatedly throughout each day. In fact, some of us are so good at it that it has become our reality and led to depression and anxiety. Look at the statements below.
- Self-degrading: I am gay, or I will never control my desires because I am a pervert. Everything I try seems to fail. Even when I do all I can to get control over myself; I just end up failing because I am a failure.
- Situation degrading: Life is the same every day; I do not even know why I bother getting up! Life just kicks me in the face every day it stinks!
- Future degrading: I am never going to make it in life; I do not know why I even try. It is a waste of time! I will never find happiness like everyone else. Hope, what is that!
We must appreciate that our thinking can deceive all of us, contributing to our belief that the negative mood, which has been created, because of our thoughts, is reality, when it is not. If we have established a negative way of thinking, an irrational way of thinking, our mind will naturally accept it as truth. Within a moment, we can alter our mood, and it is not even likely we notice it taking place. These negative feelings feel as though they are the real thing, which only reinforces to the deceptive thinking.
Talk Therapy for Depression
Talking with a trained therapist is one of the best treatments. Some people choose to be in therapy for several months to work on a few key issues. Other people find it helpful to continue in therapy for years, gradually working through larger problems. The choice is up to you and your therapist. Here are some common types of treatment:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you see how behaviors and the way you think about things plays a role in your depression. Your therapist will help you change some of these unhealthy patterns.
- Interpersonal therapy focuses on your relationships with other people and how they affect you. Your therapist will also help you pinpoint and change unhealthy habits.
- Problem-solving therapy focuses on the specific problems you face and helps you find solutions.
We know by now, having come this far in this publication, most of our minor to moderate mental distresses can be overcome by changing the way we think. We also know that the way we think has taken some time to become our pattern of thinking, and is deeply ingrained by now. However, if we are persistent about challenging our thinking every time we have an irrational thought, we can unhinge our irrationally, deep-seated ways of thinking.
At first, we will have to be alert to our thoughts, because most of it is subconscious, and will go unnoticed otherwise. We could carry a small pocket tablet with us, to record the times of the day, or how many times in the day, we catch ourselves feeding ourselves irrational thoughts, and how successful we were in overcoming them. If we fail to take this exercise seriously, it will be like a person with diabetes, who refuses his shots, which inevitably leads to major health issues, even death. The same applies to our mental distress, if we lack trust in the process, it will not be long before we have a major depressive shipwreck and act on our same-sex desires. Below we are going to borrow a powerful section from Matt Moore’s blog.
1) You are not an anomaly. You may have grown up in a culture that taught you homosexuality was the grossest and strangest of sins, but if you’re going to believe the Bible, you’ve got to toss that mentality aside. Your desires are jacked up, yes – but so are everyone else’s. Every person’s sexuality is perverted by sin. Don’t be fooled for a second into thinking you are more sinful than your “straight” friend who is tempted to fornicate, commit adultery, or watch pornography. All are inclined to sin sexually because all have been born with a corrupt nature (Romans 5: 12-21).
2) It’s not because you “lack faith” that this struggle remains. There is hellish doctrine floating around in some Christian circles that teaches people their struggle with same-sex attraction exists because their faith doesn’t. This teaching is unbiblical and spiritually toxic. You are not still attracted to the same sex because you’ve yet to believe “big” enough. You suffer this temptation for the same reason all Christians suffer various temptations: because your salvation is not yet complete. You are justified (made right with God), but you are still being sanctified (made like God). Total freedom from sin and temptation will come not on the day that your faith finally gets “strong enough” – but on the Day that Christ returns and gives you a new, imperishable body (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).
3) Your identity is not in your fallen desires. You are not defined, even in part, by your fleshly inclinations. Don’t identify and view yourself through the lens of your sexuality, but through the lens of your union to Jesus. You’re not some different species of Christian. You’re not a gay Christian. You are just a Christian (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). You are not the fallen desires you inherited from your first father, Adam. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
4) You are not alone in your suffering. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only Christian that suffers to the degree you do, but this couldn’t be more off base. You are not the only one who bears a heavy cross in this life. Your brothers around the world face various, yet equally difficult sufferings. (1 Peter 5:9). Don’t give into self-pity; every Christian battles the flesh and has to die to themselves in various ways as they follow Christ (Luke 9:23).
5) God sovereignly rules over your temptations and will not allow them to ultimately defeat you. Your ceaseless wrestling with these desires isn’t beyond the grasp of your omnipotent Savior. It may feel at times that the evil inside and around you is going to ultimately overtake you, but Christ who is in you is greater than all the evil, sin, and temptation in and around you (1 John 4:4). Though God allows you to be tempted by these forces, he does not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to withstand (1 Corinthians 10:13). You can resist and you can have victory. So fight! And when you don’t fight as you should and you stumble (this will happen), don’t wallow in the defeat or fear God’s judgment. You are justified by the blood of Jesus. All your sins are covered. So get back up and keep fighting. He who called and justified you will not allow your sin to ultimately defeat you. He will sustain you to glory (Romans 8:30).
6) God can transform your sexuality. God is not powerless to give you natural sexual desires – even if just for one man or woman whom he’s destined to be your spouse. Though heterosexual desire isn’t a promise of the gospel, it is not bad to hope for it. And though heterosexual marriage isn’t a certainty for anyone, it is not bad to pray God will bless you with it! He has done it for others and he can do it for you. The Lord is a pro at speaking into existence things that don’t exist (Romans 4:17). Nothing is impossible for him (Matthew 19:26).
7) Singleness isn’t a curse. If God doesn’t give you marriage and he calls you be single for the duration of your earthly life, know that he is doing this for your good and joy. God cares for you. If it were better for you to have marriage in this life, he would give it to you. For mysterious reasons that you aren’t entitled to know, he may deem singleness the best fit for you. This isn’t a curse. It’s a freedom and a blessing through which you will serve the Lord more efficiently than you ever could in marriage (1 Corinthians 7:32-38).
8) You can live a full and joyful life without sex. If you’re unmarried, your obedience to God in this season of life entails celibacy. Restraining yourself from sexual activity can feel – well, restraining. And it is. You are biologically wired to express yourself sexually, but right now, if you’re not married to someone of the opposite gender, it’s not an option. Is this hard? Yes. Does this sacrifice rob you of fullness of life? Heck no. Jesus, Paul, and many more like them lived full and joyous lives in the grace of God . . . yet they didn’t have sex. It is the pleasures of knowing God – not sex – that truly satisfy the human soul (Psalm 16:11). Eternal life is not found in being romantically or sexually fulfilled, but in knowing and communing with God and his Son Jesus (John 17:3).
9) God will redeem your struggle for his glory. Though the battle with same-sex attraction can be a grueling one, know this: God has a divine purpose for allowing it to continue in your life. Maybe it’s to keep you reliant on him. Maybe it’s to make your more empathetic toward the struggles and needs of others. Maybe it’s to keep you in tune with the brokenness of this world so you keep your eyes on the prize: eternity with Jesus in a new and perfect world. Whatever the case, know for certain that God allows no thorn without a divine purpose (2 Corinthians 12:17). God is using this struggle for your good (Romans 8:28).
10) It won’t always be this way. Your struggle will end. The sin inside of you responsible for these attractions will once and for all be obliterated by the redeeming power of God. When Christ comes again, you will no longer just want to be like him but you will be like him (1 John 3:2). You will be sinless. You will be perfect. Hold fast to the hope set before you and stand firm in the gospel of your salvation. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Many have tried to change their desires, praying, studying the Bible, listening to lectures, putting suggestions into practice, but there has been little success.
There are stories and claims by many thousands who have left the homosexual life and are now living a changed life. Some have made the transition easy enough while others have had a real fight on your hands. We must realize, if we want to please God, we have to conform to his moral standards, setting aside the former lifestyle, even if it is the most difficult thing we ever face. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God, what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Know that God is well aware of the struggle, the mental anguish that you are going through, and he has compassion for you. (1 John 3:19-20) If we keep God’s laws, there is great reward. (Psalm 19:11) If you prayerfully approach the Bible, the right church leader and an excellent Christian counselor, you will enjoy the best life possible until Christ returns; after that, paradise.
Therefore, continue to rely on God, as you fight those desires. (Gal. 6:9) As Paul said, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Rom. 12:9, ESV) In time, even if it seems like a long time, the desires will begin to fade. Just imagine, after the great tribulation, Armageddon, there will be the thousand-year reign of Christ, where your imperfection becomes perfection. After you are 50,000 years into an eternal life, will this not seem like a momentary thing of little significance?
- Why are our young ones afraid to take a stand against homosexuality?
- How does God view homosexuality?
- How can we avoid any type of homosexual practice?
- How can we avoid the pornography trap?
- How can we can we deal with the self-abuse of masturbation?
- What is destructive self-talk and how can we get control over it?
 She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, which documents her life in hiding.
 Gay Population Statistics, http://gaylife.about.com/od/comingout/a/population.htm (accessed April 24, 2016).
 Max Anders, vol. 8, Kendell H. Easley, vol. 12, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Holman New Testament Commentary, 329 (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998).
 Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:17
 ἐπιθυμία [Epithumia] to strongly desire to have what belongs to someone else and/or to engage in an activity which is morally wrong–‘to covet, to lust, evil desires, lust, desire.’– Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996).
 Gr porneia, fornication
 I.e. body
 Thomas A. Lea, vol. 10, Hebrews & James, Holman New Testament Commentary, 72 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999).
 The Hebrew word rendered here as “discernment” (tevunah) is related to the word binah, translated “understanding.” Both appear at Proverbs 2:3.
 See 2.2 ftn.
 Richard R. Melick, Jr, vol. 32, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, The New American Commentary, 291 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993).
 Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy. It was originally designed to treat depression, but is now used for a number of mental disorders. It works to solve current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behavior.
A Biblical Approach to Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. After pointing out several limitations and criticisms of secular cognitive-behavior therapy, Tan (1987) provided the following guidelines for conducting a Christian, biblical approach to cognitive-behavior therapy that is more broad-based. One guideline is to emphasize the primacy of agape love and the need to develop a warm, genuine, and empathic relationship with the client that is collaborative. Therapists must deal more adequately with the past, especially unresolved developmental issues or childhood experiences, with the judicious use of inner healing prayer or healing of memories where appropriate (see Tan & Ortberg, 1995). They must also pay special attention to the meaning of spiritual, experiential, and mystical aspects of faith and life and not overemphasize the rationalistic dimension. The possibility of demonic involvement in some cases should also be seriously considered. Therapists can use biblical truth and not relativistic, empirically oriented values in conducting cognitive restructuring and behavioral change interventions to modify problem thinking and behaviors. They can also emphasize the Holy Spirit’s ministry in producing inner healing and cognitive, behavioral, and emotional change. Prayer and the Scriptures as God’s Word will be crucial in this process.
It is useful to pay more attention to larger contextual factors such as familial, societal, religious, and cultural influences and use community and church resources more. Therapists may use only those techniques that are consistent with biblical truth, morality, and ethics and not simplistically use whatever techniques work. They can reaffirm biblical perspectives on suffering, including the possibility of the “blessings of mental anguish” or the “dark night of the soul,” with the ultimate goal of therapy being holiness or Christlikeness (Rom. 8:29) and not necessarily temporal happiness. They can utilize rigorous outcome research methodology before making definitive conclusions about the superiority (not just the general effectiveness) of cognitive-behavior therapy, whether Christian or secular. – (Benner and Hill 1985, 1999, 217)
 Treatments for Depression – WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/depression/symptoms-depressed-anxiety-12/treating-depressio (accessed April 02, 2016).
 10 Empowering Truths For The Same-Sex Attracted Christian, http://www.moorematt.org/10-empowering-truths-for-the-same-sex-attracted-christi (accessed April 25, 2016).