Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Dear Gay Friend

Dear gay friend,
I address this letter to you as my "gay friend" not because that's how I define you, but because that's the aspect of your life that I want to address. I'm not a theologian. I'm not even a super wise person. But there are things I wish I could say to you. But I haven't had the chance yet. So I'll say them here.

1.) Your identity goes WAY deeper than than your sex drive. So I'm not going to label you primarily as my "gay" friend (despite the title of this post). Anymore than I'd label you as my "creative" friend or my "pretty" friend, my "heterosexual" friend or my "black" friend. Your sexual orientation isn't what makes you a funny individual, a deep thinker, or a creative soul. It's not what makes you a faithful friend or a caring person. Nor is it what makes you a brave fighter or a wise learner. Those are the things I value about friendship. And those are the things that make me value you. Sexual identity is part of what makes us who we are, yes, but it's not what defines us. So while I'm not going to ignore yours, I'm not willing to let it define you in my eyes either.

2.) I don't have to agree with or like everything about you in order to love and like YOU.  That  doesn't make my offer of friendship patronizing or judgmental. It doesn't mean that the only reason I want to love you is so I can "win your soul" or make you think the way I do. It means that friendship is the most beautiful when two people who are very different can come together and love each other. I offer that kind of friendship to you.

3.) I don't think your desires or orientation towards the same sex are wrong or creepy. Yes, I DO believe that acting on those desires by giving in to lust outside of heterosexual marriage is wrong. If you do choose to do that, does it make me unable to love you or be your friend? No. I have (and will, no doubt) made the wrong choice and chose lust apart from my marriage bed at times. It put me on the exact same plane as you, friend: broken, standing naked in front of a righteous Judge, in need of God's grace. We stand there together. That brings me to my final point.

4.) Yes, I have an agenda for our friendship. But it's the same agenda that I have for my marriage, for my parenting, for my other friendships, and for my SELF, every day. It's to help you, me, and everyone around us recognize Jesus' love in a greater way. It's to draw you closer to God. It's to help you understand who He is, and to help you love Him. It's to love you well and help you love God well. I don't know what journey God may lead you on and so I don't feel responsible to guide you on that journey or tell you how to take it. But I will love God, and I will love you, and I will honor both of you in that order. I won't pretend to believe that you can be a Christian who lives a gay lifestyle, because I don't believe that. But if you DO believe that, I still offer you my friendship. With Christ at the center, as He is at the center of every other part of my life. If you're not a Christian, than you may or may not be interested in that kind of friendship. If you ARE a Christian than you most definitely are interested in that kind of friendship. Either way, it's who I am. It's what I bring to the table.

I won't reject you; please don't reject me either.

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Thanks--I'll be thrilled to hear from you!