Written by Jim Decke:
“Why have you given up on becoming straight?” I was recently asked this question by a new friend. He had seen me give my testimony at church about being a gay Christian and had read my story on Facebook. I told him that being straight didn’t matter to me anymore; that I was content living a single, celibate life and knew that God was pleased with me. I went away from our conversation feeling like I hadn’t really answered the question for him, or for myself, so I have been thinking about it a lot since then.
I have known that I was gay since I was under 10 years old but the full impact of what that meant didn’t hit me until I was in my teens. I was gay! I did everything I could to change. I went to counseling, saw psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and pastors. I spent 2 years in a live-in recovery program, joined an “ex-gay” small group, and read books and testimonies about how to be straight. More than anything else I prayed, prayed, prayed, prayed, prayed, prayed…
I knew that the Bible condemned homosexuality, and with that small amount of knowledge I concluded that I was going to hell. I grew up in a Christian family but I was terrified to talk to anyone about homosexuality so there was no one who could let any light into my darkness. My initial reason for wanting to be straight was to avoid going to hell.
The second reason that I didn’t want to be gay was to avoid rejection. The only thing I ever heard about homosexuals was crude jokes, disgust, and mocking. To me it was clear that I could not be considered a man, let alone be worthy of love or acceptance, if I was gay. I wanted to have friends and fit in and I thought that I would only be considered gross and unwanted unless I was straight. The fear and shame were unbearable, and the constant need to hide my gay attractions was a draining and impossible task.
I was lonely and I feared the thought that I would be that way for the rest of my life. I wanted to share my life with someone and I thought that being straight and marrying a woman was the only way I could meet that need and be happy and fulfilled. Simple things like watching a movie by myself, or buying groceries alone for the rest of my life seemed sad and depressing. I didn’t want to grow old alone. The third reason that I didn’t want to be gay is so that my life wouldn’t be empty.
I will be 41 this April and no longer feel any need to be straight. I know that God does not condemn me for having homosexual attractions or temptations. The Bible never calls either of these things sin, it only condemns the behavior. Far from an eternity in hell, I am fully loved and accepted by God and one day I hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I will spend eternity with God!
As I have slowly opened up to friends about my same-sex attractions, instead of rejection I have found love, compassion and friendship. With the acceptance of God and close friends, I have been able to accept myself. I don’t live my life in fear or shame, but as a friend and equal to others.
A life full of friends and companionship is not a guarantee for anyone. God makes no promises about these things. I currently have the best friends I could ask for and more people to share my life with than I need. It may not always be this way but I have seen God’s faithfulness and I know that He will always meet my needs. I refuse to fear or worry about the future when God says that we have no need to worry. Ever.