They Do Exist.

When Your Brother Is Gay

Editor’s Note: I have a favor to ask. As you read this, read it out loud. Resist the urge to skim, and slow your mind and your heart to the speed of the words as they were written to be heard. Today’s post is Anonymous, but if you would like to be put in touch with her, you may email me at lauren[at]goodwomenproject.com. – Lauren

When my brother told me he was gay, I started to cry. I could not locate the origin of those tears in the moment. They just spilled over my eyelids before I could catch them. In retrospect, I understand. Those tears were the realization that my family was no longer the way it used to be. They were the realization that the old had past, and that we were being ushered into a new epoch.

Photo by Branden Harvey

Ironically, the first words to come out of my mouth were, “It doesn’t change anything.” Of course it changed something, and yet, it changed nothing. My brother is no different than the man he was two months ago. He is still the kindest, most loving, generous man I know. There are no more secrets. Granted, I knew him well before. But now, I truly know him.

I know every part of his identity, and am therefore able to love him more fully.

I have a confession to make: I do not know what God thinks about same-sex attraction. I have studied, read, and prayed, and still each side’s case seems solid. Maybe one day God will impart some answers to my questions. Are individuals born gay? Is marriage reserved for a man and a woman? Is sexual orientation socially constructed? What does it mean to be attracted to men or women?

I have a second confession to make: I don’t really care anymore.

After one long afternoon of reading numerous books on sexual orientation and Christianity, I turned on the news and saw the story of a young lesbian in Texas who was shot to death.

And suddenly all of those questions became very small, and a whole new set of questions began to freely dance in my mind and become very big: why is my brother the target of hate groups? Why do complete strangers want him dead? Why doesn’t he feel the freedom to share his sexual orientation with his small group? Why is he scared of telling my parents?

These are the questions that matter. These are the questions I want answers to.

God took the training wheels off my heart and said, “Go”. Go fight for them, go to the pride parades, go to the LGBT support groups on campus, go hear their stories. Leave the judgment up to Me. I realized that if I truly love my brother as much as I claim, that love must extend itself to the gay community. I don’t get to put fences around agape. I don’t get to live in the suburbs of God’s love for humanity. And so I took the midnight train, and I went. I urge you to go as well, do not be afraid.

These are our brothers and sisters, and just like us, they get to come to God just as they are.

The Earth swells with living water, and bottomless wells spring up. Come you who are thirsty, come. Do not suppress love.

Final Note: Comments discussing whether or not homosexuality is ‘right or wrong’ or ‘sinful’ will be heavily moderated for the safety of girls in our community. Comments are encouraged and welcomed, but NOT to discuss right vs wrong and TO discuss love, true friendship, and grace. Thank you for understanding.


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64 Responses

  1. Sabrina

    I did as requested and read it out loud; it felt like every word was coming straight from my heart. Thank you for this breathtakingly beautiful expression of love and grace. I hope those who disagree with you will treat you with the same gentleness you exhibit. That is far more beautiful than knowing the right answer.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:32 am

  2. This is what I'm all about, right here. This is what it's truly about.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:29 am

  3. Grace

    Thanks for sharing! This is powerful! Many a times, we tend to forget that God has saved us by His grace and forget to extend this grace to others. When God saved us, we were utterly rotten and could only be washed clean by His blood. God judges the sin, but LOVES the sinner. The best way to glorify His name is to extend His love to everyone out there.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:39 am

  4. Audrey.H

    Incredibly challenging. When it's family, that hits home. You can ignore what's on the news, you can have 'opinions' about people you don't know- but when it's your own flesh and blood, when it's someone you love- that is different. That is when you realise that love is the only legitimate option. The only option that speaks love and acceptance and value to that person.

    I don't have the answers either. I wish there was more clarity about how we should respond as Christians. But from what I know about God, from what I've experienced of God's love….he is simply about love. I agree, he wants us all to come to him AS WE ARE. That is, with whatever sin we've got. With whatever hurt, pain, vulnerability we've got. Regardless of how 'acceptable' or 'unacceptable' our sin is in the eyes of the Christian community. God is much more loving than we make him out to be. As his ambassadors on earth, we should be striving to be hands and feet of love- of acceptance, hope and grace.

    October 23, 2012 at 7:48 am

  5. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart. I think after this, I too will stop searching for answers and just love instead.

    October 23, 2012 at 8:13 am

  6. Taylor

    While I do believe that *acting* on homosexual desires is sinful, we must not let that knowledge blind us to the sin in our own hearts (And I daresay at the very least some of our sin is sexual sin). Because "we love, because He first loved us," it is only when we trust that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was both necessary and sufficient to cover *our* sin, that we are able to extend His love to others. No one, no matter the sin, needs the Gospel more than anyone else does.

    "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." -Matthew 7:1-5

    October 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

  7. Jeff

    Thanks for sharing your story and experience regarding homosexuality. My younger brother is gay and my biggest issue with him is not that he is gay, but that he demands (and has threatened) me and my family with a "if you don't believe the way I believe" then I won't be a part of the family type of attitude. In my case I feel like my brother wants all the grace extended towards him but extends nothing towards me.

    Like you nothing changed, but everything changed when he came out. It was a huge shock, especially growing up in a conservative Christian home. My personal experience with the homosexual community has shown me that there is a lot of hurt and pain but also a lot of anger towards people that struggle with what God's view on it is.

    It is very interesting to me that my brother (who has had a lot of struggles with his sexuality) would have so much anger towards me (who has never dealt with sexual identity issues) while I work through where I am at with homosexuality. Especially since it was never really on my radar before. The MOST frustrating part is that rather than have a conversation with me about what he believes and thinks he would send articles and say this is what I believe.

    Ugh! If only he would have a conversation with me he would know that I love and accept him and have even opened myself up to the freedom that Christ offers EVERYONE!

    In my experience, the one thing I would like to see is a little grace sent my way from my brother and some of those in the homosexual community. If you are gay, be gay, if you are straight, be straight but by all means lets allow each other some room to deal with this heavy topic.

    October 23, 2012 at 8:43 am

  8. Florence

    Hi ! Your words really touched my heart. Thank you so much ! I'm French and these days my community, my parents and my friends are very worry because gay mariage is going to be authorized in France. And really, I felt like an alien because I don't care ! I don't care if gay or lesbian can marry, who are we to judge ? why are "they" a target for hate must be the question ! God loves us as we are. Why don't we love people the same way ?

    October 23, 2012 at 8:49 am

  9. Monica smith

    Truth and grace.

    October 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. It brought me to tears. People often don’t understand why gay issues matter so much to some people who are not gay. I look at people dying and being bullied and so much hate I just don’t think and can’t believe God’s concern is about who sleeps with whom. I wish you and your brother all the best.

    October 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

  11. Sue

    One of my brothers is gay, too, and so are a number of people I work with, and a few long-term friends. It makes it much harder to think of them as "those people," rather than people I know and care about.

    October 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

  12. vreddish

    Yes. This. LOVE it!!

    October 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

  13. Kainey

    Homosexuality is definitely against God's will and purpose in his plan for human race. He made man first then eve as his companion not a Steve. If you read Romans chapter 1 and continue to verse 26 and 27 you will see how Paul says due to man's own sinful desires like man exchanging sexual relations with each other and women with each other, who knowing God's truth still choose to follow the ungodly path , their sinful desires are given to them since they refuse to accept the truth and the almighty God's will for them. But it also says not only about the sinful desires of homosexuality but unrighteousness , sexual immorality, wickedness , covetousness , malicious , full of envy, murder, strife, deceit , evil mildness….it goes on. Then chapter 2 verse 1 &2 actually continue to read it will talk about judging such people, consequence of judging . Then verse 23 all have fall short of glory and saved by his grace and acceptance through Jesus Christ . And once we accept him we leave our old selves and fight a good fight , pick up cross and walk with him daily. Even if it means picking up the cross of homosexuality , you crucify that on the cross and you take the burden to Christ. Will pray for your brother and you . God's grace be abundant on your family.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

  14. meegsx

    ideal timing. A couple of months ago, after asking to hide this from our family, both my cousins (in one family) came out. MOST of us knew it for years, not really a secret, not really hidden but never asked. We respected that one day we would be told and it would never be an issue. It isn't to most of us. I am going to ask my mom to share this article with our family (since I'm not in the same country). Thank you for putting this into words I have never openly typed out. These are the thoughts and feelings we have in our family. We love unconditionally as we do not want to be judged for that which we struggle with. Like, you, I read that the Bible says it's a sin to be gay and I will always believe that, but it's also a sin to lie, cheat, lust, shun the Holy Spirit etc etc. I beg those of you reading this who find it difficult to understand to stop, sit quietly and pray that your heart breaks for that which breaks God's heart. Remember that we all fall short of the mark and ask not to be judged. Ultimately He loves us all (He holds the only right to judge), no matter what and our value is inherently held in our images being made by Christ, by His love for us.

    To the author, I pray every day that people stop judging others and seek Christ, so that we no longer have to listen to their judgements. Praying for you, your brother and your family. With love.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

  15. Thanks for posting this. My sister told me she was gay two year ago. A few months before that, God changed my heart on how I felt about homosexuality. It’s like He was preparing me for what was to come. I love my sister, her fiancé, and I 100% support her being gay as a Christian. It hurts my heart to see people using God as their reason to being hateful and judgmental to another person. God has asked is to love each other. I am so thrilled to see so many comments about love. God bless you all.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

  16. victoriashootsstuff

    Thank you for posting this! You put into words so eloquently what I've felt for a really long time. One of my closest friends was gay (sadly he passed away last year) and having to witness the hate and animosity they have to face on a regular basis makes me sick to my stomach. I found myself defending and standing up for them against my so-called "Christian" friends because all they could focus on was the "sin" they saw and not the human being. I can't bring myself to hate someone for being gay because I'm not perfect. Any sin I've committed is just as "bad" as homosexuality so who am I to judge how they live their life? I would rather focus my energy on really loving people and doing life with them than promoting hate in a world that is already full of it.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

  17. anonymous

    This article is so powerful. First of all, thank you!

    I'm going through similar emotions, where I can't engage in the "is homesexuality right or wrong" debate anymore because it has become more important than the people themselves. At the same time, I don't know how it's appropriate to love and reach out to my homosexual friends because I don't have the answers. But when I write that down, I can see what a stupid reason that is!

    Another thought: I felt the same loss of "things as they once were" when by brother decided he was an atheist. It's hard to step into what is new and find solid ground in the midst of all, especially when everyone seems to be talking so loudly/assertively. I'm so proud of you for coming through this with your faith. God bless you as you step into the "new." May he guide your steps!

    October 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

  18. offsetinnocence

    There are many, many people who should read this. And even if they don't agree with everything they have to see the power and the love and the truth in "Leave the judgment up to Me."

    Thanks for sharing.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

  19. This was perfect. It's exactly how I feel about homosexuality. I don't have any family members who are gay, but several friends. I don't know if it's right or wrong – and I honestly don't care. It's God's place to judge, not ours. He loves them, and we should love them too.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

  20. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I thought I was the only one who is sickened and wearied by the animosity-filled debates over homosexuality. It has always bothered me when a friend or family member gets badgered, lectured, or demeaned for their relationship choices or preferences. No matter what the target topic, I hate the "let me fix you" mentality that I see displayed in others and in myself.

    I can't change anyone else and don't want to do God's job. I am responsible for my own choices. So I choose to be the friend/sister/etc who listens and asks questions to understand, who wants to understand in order to encourage and love better, who wants to encourage and love because I choose to follow Christ's example.

    October 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  21. Susanna

    First, to the mods. A discussion of homosexuality but no discussion of whether it is right or wrong? Really? You can’t have a meaningful discussion of this issue without discussion of right and wrong. To suggest otherwise neuters the discussion and makes it meaningless.

    Secondly, to the author.

    I understand exactly where you are, because I was there. Not a relative, but the experiences of very dear friends who struggle with same sex attraction shook me to the core and made me question everything I believed and what the bible said. How could it be wrong, when people I knew and loved struggled with this issue so deeply, and had from an early age? Surely there must be a mistake in what God said?

    Let’s face it. The reason you or I, as followers of Jesus, struggle with these questions, is not because the bible is not clear. It is because we, or people close to us, experience same-sex attraction. It is because homosexuality is becoming increasingly accepted by our culture and those who dare to stand by the belief that God created man and woman as equal and complementary partners and that same sex relationships are an aberration from his design, increasingly risk becoming pariahs at best.

    I have many gay friends. Some of them come from Christian backgrounds. All of them have had to deal with the bible’s clear teaching on this issue. Some of them cast it aside and leave the faith. Some of them attempt to reconcile it and remain “Christians” while living a practicing homosexual lifestyle. Some of them recognize that Christ calls us to crucifixion of our flesh, and remain celibate, with struggles. Those people are my heroes, and fellow soldiers in the fight of faith, though I don’t fight that particular battle.

    You state that you “do not know what God thinks about same-sex attraction.” I can tell you, he thinks about it exactly the same as any other temptation, fully available to his grace to overcome by those who surrender and seek obedience. We all struggle in many ways. As a single straight woman, I struggle with temptation to have sex with men who are not my husband. Some of them are married. I recognize Christ’s call on my life means saying “no” to those things, as well as many other ways my flesh pulls me to gratify it. I do not believe it’s an option to rewrite scripture so I can do what I want, despite the fact that my culture (and many other Christians) says it’s ok.

    Another note, though you say you are confused about what God thinks about same sex attraction, you are clear that God told you to “go” to pride parades etc. I am not disputing that nor disagreeing with your decision, but my simple question is, how do you know? You are certain about that but confused about something God has clearly spoken about in his word?

    This is an emotional issue, and a personal issue. If our relationships with gay friends and relatives leads us to greater empathy, understanding, and compassion, it is a very, very good thing. I commend you in this. But our position as followers of Jesus cannot be based on emotion or relationships with people we love. It must be based on what God has said. Temptation to question what God has said is not new. It was Satan’s earliest temptation in the garden. In the end, we are not going to help people by bending the truth, as hard as that truth may be. Jesus told people hard truth and watched them walk away when they couldn’t take it. He recognized anything less wouldn’t save us.

    My goal is to love people who live a homosexual lifestyle just as I love anyone else, while being clear that their lifestyle is not what God desires and would have to be given up should they choose to become a follower of Jesus. Same as anyone else, with any other sin. My goal with Christian brothers and sisters who struggle in this area is to love them, support them, and encourage them toward a lifestyle of faithfulness and subjection of the flesh in reliance on God’s grace. Same as with any other sin. Yep that’s a hard road and unpopular, but then, following Jesus always has been, as he told us it would be.

    First, to the mods. A discussion of homosexuality but no discussion of whether it is right or wrong? Really? You can’t have a meaningful discussion of this issue without discussion of right and wrong. To suggest otherwise neuters the discussion and makes it meaningless.

    Secondly, to the author.

    I understand exactly where you are, because I was there. Not a relative, but the experiences of very dear friends who struggle with same sex attraction shook me to the core and made me question everything I believed and what the bible said. How could it be wrong, when people I knew and loved struggled with this issue so deeply, and had from an early age? Surely there must be a mistake in what God said?

    Let’s face it. The reason you or I, as followers of Jesus, struggle with these questions, is not because the bible is not clear. It is because we, or people close to us, experience same-sex attraction. It is because homosexuality is becoming increasingly accepted by our culture and those who dare to stand by the belief that God created man and woman as equal and complementary partners and that same sex relationships are an aberration from his design, increasingly risk becoming pariahs at best.

    I have many gay friends. Some of them come from Christian backgrounds. All of them have had to deal with the bible’s clear teaching on this issue. Some of them cast it aside and leave the faith. Some of them attempt to reconcile it and remain “Christians” while living a practicing homosexual lifestyle. Some of them recognize that Christ calls us to crucifixion of our flesh, and remain celibate, with struggles. Those people are my heroes, and fellow soldiers in the fight of faith, though I don’t fight that particular battle.

    You state that you “do not know what God thinks about same-sex attraction.” I can tell you, he thinks about it exactly the same as any other temptation, fully available to his grace to overcome by those who surrender and seek obedience. We all struggle in many ways. As a single straight woman, I struggle with temptation to have sex with men who are not my husband. Some of them are married. I recognize Christ’s call on my life means saying “no” to those things, as well as many other ways my flesh pulls me to gratify it. I do not believe it’s an option to rewrite scripture so I can do what I want, despite the fact that my culture (and many other Christians) says it’s ok.

    Another note, though you say you are confused about what God thinks about same sex attraction, you are clear that God told you to “go” to pride parades etc. I am not disputing that nor disagreeing with your decision, but my simple question is, how do you know? You are certain about that but confused about something God has clearly spoken about in his word?

    This is an emotional issue, and a personal issue. If our relationships with gay friends and relatives leads us to greater empathy, understanding, and compassion, it is a very, very good thing. I commend you in this. But our position as followers of Jesus cannot be based on emotion or relationships with people we love. It must be based on what God has said. Temptation to question what God has said is not new. It was Satan’s earliest temptation in the garden. In the end, we are not going to help people by bending the truth, as hard as that truth may be. Jesus told people hard truth and watched them walk away when they couldn’t take it. He recognized anything less wouldn’t save us.

    My goal is to love people who live a homosexual lifestyle just as I love anyone else, while being clear that their lifestyle is not what God desires and would have to be given up should they choose to become a follower of Jesus. Same as anyone else, with any other sin. My goal with Christian brothers and sisters who struggle in this area is to love them, support them, and encourage them toward a lifestyle of faithfulness and subjection of the flesh in reliance on God’s grace. Same as with any other sin. Yep that’s a hard road and unpopular, but then, following Jesus always has been, as he told us it would be.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

  22. Sheila

    thank you for this. growing up in conservative christian circles, i cringe at these debates, right or wrong. not caring about the people. i don't know the answer either, but for me, the God i follow, isn't a God who desires people to be marginalised, abused, beaten down for who they are. i am proud of you dear for taking this courageous step in loving your brother, and being honest about it, regardless of the potential backlash.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

  23. Pamela

    My brother’s gay. Our family is a very strong Christian family. So it was a big shock. I was the first one he told. I’ve seen his journey of faith and sexuality so far and I know it’s not finished yet. I’m praying and believing for the day he comes back to the arms of God, and I’m also loving him and his partner and accepting them for where they are right now. My whole family treats his partner like another son. I can’t believe how many families would reject their kids for struggling with this stuff. My own family has gone on a journey as well, of learning how to love and accept your flesh and blood when you don’t agree with what they do.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  24. Susanna

    Whoa, comment posted twice. So sorry! Please feel free to edit.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

  25. Liz

    Susanna, thank you for putting it so eloquently.

    The love of Christ changes us, and we are never the same after we encounter the love of Christ. The same love that calls us to love our neighbors, granted. The same love that calls us to love our God, to pursue holiness.

    October 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

  26. Lindsay Satterfield

    What a beautiful post.

    October 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

  27. Anonymous

    Thank you for this post! It is so true that when such a "heavy" issue hits close to home, it gives us a different view.

    I went through a period of about 5 years where I questioned my sexuality. Looking back, I can see that FOR ME my questioning came more from a) the pain of being rejected by the opposite sex and fear of that pain happening again and b) being in an environment that was influential. But with that being said, I know that I truly felt attracted to the same sex. I also know that if my sister had been in the exact same circumstances, she would have not reacted the same way (i.e. there is something in me that can feel attracted to the same sex while that something does not seem to be in my sister). Finally, I also know that even today I have the potential to feel those same desires in moments when I feel rejected, stressed or alone.

    During part of the time I was struggling, I was living at home. One night, it finally came out in a burst of tears that I thought I was gay. I was scared because I didn't want to be "dirty." I didn't WANT to be gay, but I thought "What if this is me?" As I sat on the couch begging my mom "If this me, please tell me that it's ok," she didn't say a word. But she held me in her arms and she hugged me as she cried. And as she did, I was struck with this thought: my mom loves God more than she loves me. I said this out loud to her and she could not believe it, as she had been trying to think of the words to tell me this. While my mom would give her life for me, her love for me could not change who God is, and her love for me would not let her say "It's ok to be gay" when she believes from the bottom of her heart that this is not what God's Word says. To me, she was saying “I love you enough to make the hard decision to not bend the Truth.” THAT is the moment that a peace fell over me. A peace that no matter what my fickle heart told me, no matter what my changing hormones shouted, no matter what I wanted, I serve a stable, constant and loving God who doesn't change.

    Yes, we are all sinners and cannot "cast the first stone". Yes, no "sin" is greater or worse than any other. Yes, I believe we are called to love each other COMPLETELY and as we are. But at the same time, God does not change and His Truth is His Truth. To me, there are clear verses in the Bible that speak against acting on homosexual desires (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:24-27). So is it truly loving someone to tell them that acting on homosexual desires is ok? The best way that I can love someone is to truly, with all my heart, desire them to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. And we cannot go up to the Cross of Christ asking if we can just hold on to this one sin habit because we are naturally inclined to that habit, whether it be a prideful attitude, lustful thoughts towards the opposite sex, or lustful thoughts towards the same sex.

    For myself personally, I know that for whatever reason, I can have homosexual desires. I also know that acting on those desires is something that separated me from falling at the feet of Jesus in complete surrender. Just as my pride does. Just as my desire to be noticed by men more than by my Savior does. In 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10, Paul says that he was given a “thorn in his flesh” that he begged for God to take away. He did not say “God gave me this thorn, so I will accept it as being ok.” If pride is the thorn in my flesh, I cannot say “that’s just me” and make it ok. If homosexual desire is the thorn in my flesh, I cannot say “that’s just me” and make it ok. It does make me human, however, and in need to hear the words “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12: 9).

    Sometimes, I think that we can have the attitude that God was created for us and that He should fit who we are, rather than the opposite. When we live like that or sell that idea to others, we are settling for something LESS than who God truly is. We are settling for our version of God, and in so doing, we are missing out on the abundant life that He came to give us, an abundant life that is only found in complete surrender Him. If my mom had said “This is your natural desire. Therefore it’s ok,” she would have been encouraging me, out of fear of losing me, to settle for something less than knowing and being known by my Perfect, Loving Savior. Instead, her silence pushed me to hold my fickle heart against the standard of God’s Loving Truth. And in so doing, I am no longer a slave to my own self but FREED in my dependence on the grace and love of Jesus.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

  28. mistylb

    That is beautiful! I have come to the conclusion that there are many gray areas in life I will never truly know what is right or what is wrong, but I've decided that my approval or disapproval is not what matters. How I treat people, regardless, is what matters.

    October 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm

  29. One of the most powerful quotes that changed my perspective on homosexuality was when a Pastor was teaching on the subject and asked us "What is the opposite of homosexuality?" And I thought to myself… Heterosexuality… and then he said, "No, it's not heterosexuality, it's HOLINESS."

    Heterosexual sin is just as broken as homosexual sin. Sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin according to the Bible which I believe to be the infallible Word of God. But we MUST see our own brokenness first and be MOST concerned with our own sin. As the body of Christ, we MUST create a safe environment of encouragement where confession can take place. Whether that be confessing homosexual sin or heterosexual sin. Our pursuit should be holiness- regardless of our sexual attraction struggles. We should point people to Jesus- we don't have the answers, only HE can bring healing and wholeness.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  30. Thank you, Anonymous. I have reached the same place on this topic- I don't know the answers. I am searching for them, but regardless of what people tell me and how much I pray, I truly don't believe there is a clear answer. Trust me, it would be so much easier if I did believe that He specifically felt one way or another- but in my heart I don't. Perhaps one day I will figure it out- but for now, I am content on waiting for His timing on answering those questions. The one thing I am sure of is that I am not called to hate or look down upon anyone. I can only pray for those in this battle and do my best to show them the love of Christ. That is always the goal, to try and get someone to come to Him. Then He can straighten them out in whatever way is needed. That is the one thing He has shown me- that it's not *my* job to do fix anyone, or tell them that they're wrong. Perhaps others can- but I have been shown the damage I do with my words. It is better to leave the door of communication open and pray, pray, pray while trusting Him to work.

    October 25, 2012 at 10:11 am

  31. Leah

    As much as I love that you're loving your brother without limits, supporting him or anyone in their sin is never right…Romans 1:24-27. I am honestly not trying to "hate on" on anyone, I am merely stating something that God calls,as one out of many, sin. To disagree with someone and call their view on something wrong does not mean we are saying we hate them; on the contrary, I assert that to disagree with someone and yet love them in spite of that sin shows an incredible amount of love and grace.

    October 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm

  32. God has spent my entire career trying to find ways to comfort my broken heart. Coping with decisions we disagree with — whether clients, co-workers, friends, family or lovers — is best done in the arms of a God who can relate.

    October 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

  33. Bek

    Susanna, I agree whole-heartedly.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm

  34. Melody

    Oh commenters and author of this post! Your hearts make me weep. Love, yes. Keep loving.
    But do not be confused on this issue any longer! The Bible IS clear about this issue! It is so abundantly clear! There are explicit Bible verses about homosexuality, and you need to read them! Do not be ignorant to the TRUTH. The TRUTH is what sets us free–NOT our own individual opinions! I am posting the following Bible verses for you all-I will let you find the TRUTH.

    "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." (Leviticus 20:13).

    "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you." (Leviticus 18:22-24).

    November 16, 2012 at 12:16 am

  35. Melody

    P.S. To the wonderful ladies who run this website. PLEASE. I beg of you-post the TRUTH on these issues. I love reading the hearts of my sisters-but do not let these precious ones wonder any longer! Use the word of God! It is our sword and shield against these worldly issues! We need to know what it says!

    November 16, 2012 at 12:17 am

  36. Regan

    I agree completely. I'm not going to say it's easy to change the thinking I've been taught my entire life, but I agree that people who are gay/lesbian deserve our love. Because God loves them, more than even we can showing God's love.

    December 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

  37. Julia

    I have had the exact same experience with my sister. She has had so many serious psychological problems that I didn't usually hear about until after the fact that finding out she was a lesbian was something of a drop in the bucket, but still I had to recognize that it does change things. Not in my relationship with her, but in how our lives will proceed. My mom is possibly the most homophobic person in the entire U.S. (which is impressive). If/when my sister tells her, it will shatter our world.

    But I don't care. My other sister struggles with it a good deal, trying to work out whether it is right or wrong, whether she should be counseling my sister about the morality of it, what to do, etc.

    I don't struggle with it. We were raised in an environment where we were certainly exposed to the Biblical basis against homosexuality. However, partially due to some relatively severe emotional abuse in our family, my sister has mostly turned her back on Christianity altogether. It is between her and God. With all the voices in the conservative world telling her that she is disgusting, that God may "love her" but He is sending her straight to hell for this, etc., I strongly, vehemently, believe that my voice should be the one telling her that God loves her. And of course I do too.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

  38. loudmouthinthebalcony

    The Bible says a lot of things we don't believe. It tells us to kill impudent children, people who work on Saturdays, adulterers and others. I've counted 52 reasons that the Bible mandates us to murder each other. Did God really tell us to do any of these inhumane things?

    Why do we believe that God told us to hate His children who have same sex orientation? Because we choose to. Humans have a propensity for punishing those who are not like them, whether it's their race, gender, financial status or hairstyle. It's not divine behavior.

    The Bible says that God is Love. OK, is Love judgmental, vindictive, genocidal, capricious, or sadistically punitive? No? Then why do we believe that God is? Because we choose to.

    Humans like having a weapon with which to condescend or bludgeon others. Our weapon of choice, too often, is the Bible. We like to threaten each other with declarations that God disapproves of them, considers them a dirty rags or will satanically cast them into a fiery pit.

    We like believing that God loves and forgives us and despises others. We sing praises when we worship someone who is so unwilling to unconditionally forgive that He wouldn't do it without having His only innocent child brutally tortured to death. We love claiming that there's only one path to the Omnipresent God–and we're on it–even though we know that billions have come onto this planet and left it without ever hearing the word Jesus (or his actual name, Yeshua). In essence, we're declaring that God is grossly unfair because He only told a few of His kids how to get back home. What kind of father does that? Not a divine one.

    We're an interesting bunch, we humans. One day we'll learn to read the humanly written Bible with discernment. We will filter the contents through the sieve of Love. If the words claim that God did, said or ordered anything that Love would not do, then we'll know that it lacks credibility. And we'll stop judging each other and claiming that we're doing it in the name of the Lord.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

  39. Homosexuality is ver yobviously a sin. But God still loves that person. That in no way negates the necessity of pursuing holiness and turning from your sinful ways though.

    February 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  40. Raymond

    The part about taking the training wheels off my heart and Go fight for them, go hear their stories. Leave the judgment up to Me. I thought that was one of the most beautiful, powerful and poignant things I've ever head a christian say.

    February 18, 2013 at 2:16 am

  41. Anna

    felt like I was reading my own words…thank you so much for presenting this refreshing perspective (it's a relief to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way!!) my brother came out to me in high school, and it turned my world upside down. it has been quite the journey since then. this blog has encouraged my heart. thank you.

    April 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

  42. Cecilia

    I am greatful to the author and everyone who has bravely commented; I am inspired and uplifted by the honesty of both.

    When my brother told me he was gay, I was devastated. I wanted to understand. I needed to know what my response should be as a Christian. How do I help him? I could not accept my brother being condemned. He is such a wonderful person; intelligent, creative, loving and kind. I prayed for an answer, not realizing that God had already given me an answer before I asked the question. My first response was that he is my brother and nothing will change that. I love my brother with all my heart and I cannot stop loving him.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

  43. Cecilia

    I recognize that homosexuality is a sin. It is written in the Bible, which I believe is the infallible word of God. The Bible also tells me that God is the ultimate judge and hates sin, which separates us from God. Therefore, He gave his Son, Jesus Christ, as ransom to die for us because he loves the SINNER. I greatly rejoice in this truth because I am a sinner, no better or worse than my brother or anyone else. We are all loved, accepted and redeemed by Jesus’ work on the cross and the immense LOVE that held him there. I saw my brother through the eyes of the cross, focusing on God’s relentless love and amazing grace. When I wrapped my heart around this, I was no longer devastated, but humbled. My prayer then changed, not for answers but for my brother to know THE answer. I pray that he would repent from all sin and believe upon Jesus.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

  44. Cecilia

    Thank you to the author and everyone who commented. I am inspired and uplifted by the bravery and honesty displayed.

    When my brother told me he was gay, I was devastated. I wanted to understand. I needed to know what my response should be as a Christian. How do I help him? I could not accept my brother being condemned. He is such a wonderful person; intelligent, creative, loving and kind. I prayed for an answer, not realizing that God had already given me an answer before I asked the question. My first response was that he is my brother and nothing will change that. I love my brother with all my heart and I cannot stop loving him.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

  45. Cecilia

    I recognize that homosexuality is a sin. It is written in the Bible, which I believe is the infallible word of God. The Bible also tells me that God is the ultimate judge and hates sin, which separates us from God. Therefore, He gave his Son, Jesus Christ, as ransom to die for us because he loves the SINNER. I greatly rejoice in this truth because I am a sinner, no better or worse than my brother or anyone else. We are all loved, accepted and redeemed by Jesus’ work on the cross and the immense LOVE that held him there. I saw my brother through the eyes of the cross, focusing on God’s relentless love and amazing grace. When I wrapped my heart around this, I was no longer devastated, but humbled. My prayer then changed, not for answers but for my brother to know THE answer. I pray that he would repent from all sin and believe upon Jesus.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  46. When we stop caring about what the Bible says about what is right and wrong, we miss out on what it means to love unconditionally as God loves us. For while we were still sinners Christ died for us! (Rom. 5:8) He didn’t die to leave us in our sins and suffer the condemnation that we rightly and justly deserve for our sin, but to forgive us so that we may live like Him. Our old sinful self must die for Christ to grow in us. The Bible is clear about what sin is and it is clear what is punishment for sin. I am thankful that God had given us salvation so that we do not remain under condemnation!
    But we cannot demonstrate God’s unconditional love if we turn His love into something that is conditional love. The world begs us for conditional love “if you accept me and everything I do then you love me”. Having a brother who told us he was not only gay but changing gender, I have been tested time and time again by my brother as to whether I still love him. But instead of giving him the conditional love of acceptance, I want to show him unconditional love that is not based on whether I can accept him or not. God is teaching us such an important lesson on unconditional love and also giving us the biggest opportunity to be a witness of God’s love to someone else. I would warn people against changing God’s love to being based on acceptance and only given conditionally.
    Unconditional love is not found in the world. My brother didn’t understand it at first but finally this summer I think we had a breakthrough. I hope that he will begin to understand the unconditional love that God gives! Being a receiver of God’s love, even though I am the worst of sinners, I want my brother and others to know and experience God’s love and forgiveness for themselves!

    August 14, 2013 at 6:31 am

  47. Lindsay

    Your story sounds just like mine. I cried when my brother came out, but it has not changed anything. I love him and want to support him. Your post has encouraged me to support him 100% and the LGBT community.

    March 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm

  48. Christina

    I found out today that my youngest brother is gay (my mother had my other siblings and husband who all live in the area come over after church), and I cried, and am still crying. He had been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time. We are a fairly religious, Christian family. I am just so confused. I had no idea. Thank you very much to the author and those of you who posted comments. They are very helpful.

    March 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm

  49. Rose

    I just found out my brother is gay and I’m glad I found this article, because it pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling about it.

    I also cried when I found out my brother is gay. There was a feeling of shock, even though the signs had always been there. I felt overwhelmed, but mostly very upset that he had been forced to hide this aspect of himself. There was a time when I was younger when I thought in very strict, black and white terms. But now I am able to fully accept my brother. I love him no matter what and even though I’m still trying to sort through my feelings and thoughts about this revelation, my love for him will never change. In my opinion, God does not think or view things the same way we do. Whether your gay or straight, I don’t think it matters to God–he is a loving, accepting Father. And being gay is not a sin, just like having anxiety is not a sin. If you are born a certain way, why should you be punished for that?

    July 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

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