Identity: Inseparable from Sexuality?

robe of righteousness

That’s what Christopher Yuan thought.

As a young man, Christopher struggled with homosexual desires. He prayed that God would change him. When God did not, Christopher gave up the struggle, believing, “This is who I am.” While serving time in prison for drug-dealing, Christopher confessed his sexual identity to a chaplain who told him that Scripture doesn’t condemn homosexuality. Christopher was motivated to contrast the information given to him by the chaplain with God’s Word of Scripture. In light of the Word, Christopher realized that “my identity shouldn’t be defined by my sexuality.”

Christopher writes,

Paul said in Acts 17:28, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” Christ should be everything—my all in all. My sexual orientation didn’t have to be the core of who I was. My primary identity didn’t have to be defined by my feelings or sexual attractions. My identity was not “gay” or “homosexual,” or even “heterosexual,” for that matter. But my identity as a child of the living God must be in Jesus Christ alone.
God says, “Be holy, for I am holy.” I had always thought that the opposite of homosexuality was heterosexuality. But actually the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. God never said, “Be heterosexual, for I am heterosexual.” He said, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Christopher desired change. But, he writes, “change is not the absence of struggles; change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles.”

In The Book of Man, Bill Bennett tells about his friend who was recovering from life-threatening cancer. “His doctor told him that he could not work, exercise, or enjoy the other fruits of life,” explains Bennett, “all things that men pride themselves on. I asked him what hurts the most to be without. ‘Work,’ he said. ‘I don’t feel like a man. Work has more to do with me being a man than sex or muscle.’”

Excerpted from
The Failure of Sex Education in the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity
by Linda Bartlett (Amazon)

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