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s time has passed and as I have spent time assisting people in furthering their walk with Jesus it is my firm belief the majority of difficulties people experience regarding sexuality and sexual orientation really have nothing to do with these issues.
Rather, I believe they instead wrestle with self-love, self-image, self-acceptance, self-actualization and self-esteem. When these truer issues are addressed in Jesus Christ then the sexuality and sexual orientation will naturally and without effort fall into place and its proper holy expression.
If you are ashamed of yourself for being gay and lesbians, you may be tempted to suppress or repress yourself and your sexual orientation. This is not God's best for you. It is important to recognize the signs of suppression and repression, reject them and turn to Love instead.
You cannot continually deny or abuse a part of yourself without it affecting the rest of you. If you warp it, weaken it, pervert it, wound it, hide or deny it, then the rest of you will suffer in the process, too. If you want your sexuality to be channeled positively, integrated into the rest of you, balanced with the rest of yourself, and find its good and proper expression, then you've got to be willing to recognize unhealthy choices, and embrace God's best for you, take the risk to be all that God desires you to be.
gay or lesbian child or adolescent who falls victim to false shame and icky negative guilt often develops false coping mechanisms to handle or deal with feelings of shame, rejection and ridicule. These unhealthy coping mechanisms take on many forms. If you are not able to find and incorporate a healthy self-image and self-acceptance, then you may set the stage for dysfunction in adult life.
Denial, in and of itself, is not always an unhealthy thing. It is often believed to be a refusal to face up to the obvious, to refuse to see reality, or to deal with life. But, often denial is an outward sign of a deeper inward event. Sometimes, denial is a sign of a full cup, a life filled to the brim which cannot handle one more thing. It is a clue there are other inner issues, or struggles going on, and anything added over and above the ability to handle or deal with it spills over the top.
A child or adolescent dealing with real or perceived rejection or ridicule from peers, family or society, is already dealing with a pretty full hand of cards. Deal another card, like being gay or lesbian, and you may not be able to handle it. Rather than channel this denial, work positively on the bigger issues of self-love, self-acceptance, self-actualization, etc., you may try to bury the sexual orientation issue, pretend it isn't there, pretend to be someone you are not, hide, etc. Rather than channel your struggle with your sexuality in positive ways, you may suppress it or repress it. Every time you begin to acknowledge to self your sexual orientation, you find creative ways to hide it, deny it, reject it, suppress or repress it.
If you were like me, one form of denial is to never put yourself into the position where you have to look at the issue or at self. I avoided anything that might bring forth the hint of my sexual orientation. I avoided showering in gym class, telling myself I was ashamed of my skinny body. In reality, now I realize I avoided showering in gym class because I would have gotten sexually aroused, and that arousal would have forced me to look at myself and deal with my "differences." I didn't date anyone in school, telling myself no one would probably go out with me anyway, and it was safer to not ask than to ask and be told "no." I now realize I probably would have discovered a woman was not what I desired, but a man. Even in college, when my future wife and I met, we participated together with our friends and Bible Study group, slowly becoming best friends, and then a "couple," never really formally dating. It's true; I was a virgin on my wedding night (and despite the dysfunctional reason for this fact, I am glad I was, proud of this fact, thank you very much).
Perhaps you've isolated yourself, withdrawn into a world of your own creation. You say you prefer to spend time alone with yourself, but in reality you desire anything else. The "confirmed single" person, you never develop friendships or relationships, devoted to your career, your home, your hobbies, and your pets. If you do venture out, you find fault in people, confirming to yourself that being alone is the best policy, relationships don't work, people can't be trusted, it's too much work and trouble, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, justifying your false beliefs.
Perhaps false shame has driven you to desire change, to try to change yourself into someone else. Perhaps you've tried to bargain with God, ask God to change you, or to give you the strength to resist yourself, or you've tried to plead with God, ask him to take away your "desires." Or maybe shame has driven you to avoidance, hiding behind drugs or alcohol, trying to numb the inner struggle. Lastly, maybe you've tried to blame everyone or life or God for the way you are, that it really isn't you, but because of what other people or life has done to you. You think it isn't your fault, so you have no need to take responsibility for your life or your own actions.
Maybe you've tried to be the "perfect person." You become an overachiever, try to be loved and accepted by everyone through performance. You may even set aside your own goals, hopes and dreams to embrace those of your parents, peers, or society so you can feel accepted and "normal." This is an exhausting life, and often leads to burnout. I did it for years, and I burned out. It took a direct visitation from God, through an angel, to get me back on the road to recovery.
Or maybe you are someone who denied your sexual orientation through pretending to be straight. Hello? I've been there, done that. You've done a good job of building year after year a false straight life, seeming happy on the outside, but inside you are not. Perhaps you've been good at it, able to avoid anything that would cause you to have to confront your real sexual orientation. You tell yourself, "If I don't act on it then I am not it." But, thinking is the same as doing. Jesus said to think is the same as to do. What you are inside is the real you, whether or not you act on it. Maybe your fear of being rejected by society, going against the grain of what is believed "normal" or "acceptable," is more tolerable than the fear of being your real self, openly and honestly, with an uncertain outcome. You've gotten so used to "feeling" comfortable living the straight life, even though unhappy inside, you're willing to put up with less than God's best, instead of taking the risk or choice of launching outwards into a scary unknown future. I put off divorcing for years because I was afraid of the results, forgetting that God "doesn't close one door without opening another," and "all things work together for the good of those who Love the Lord."
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