If a conversation about homosexuality arises, you are sure to hear some things that are untrue.
Here are a few false statements about homosexuality you may encounter:
Homosexuality is genetic. It’s like another gender. Many people, even many Christians, are surprised to learn that no solid scientific evidence exists to indicate that there is a homosexual gene. The complex causes of homosexuality usually occur over the period of time from birth through adolescence. Later in life, as these factors converge, they play a strategic role in the choices people make involving their sexual relations.
The Bible says homosexuality is okay. Some individual Christians and churches believe that homosexuality is not a sin. Valiant efforts have been made to deconstruct or reinterpret various scriptures. Nonetheless God’s Word clearly states that homosexuality is wrong. (See Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Leviticus 18:22; Jude 1:7.) It is also clear that all sins are displeasing to God and we should not judge one more harshly than another. We are to love those who fall short of God’s best. That doesn’t mean, however, that what they are doing agrees with God’s Word.
Homosexuality is just another alternative lifestyle. It’s a good, healthy choice for some people. The homosexual lifestyle is not a safe alternative. It involves physical, emotional and spiritual dangers, such as decreased life expectancy, disease, and high suicide rates.
Just the facts
The facts add up to one important conclusion. If homosexuality is not genetic, if it is not godly, and if it involves a dangerous way of life, then we don’t want to see ourselves or our loved ones involved in it. But that raises another very important question: Can homosexuality be prevented?
The simple answer is yes, it can be. And that is good news for millions of families. Genetic, psychological and social research confirm that a variety of causes sets the stage for homosexual choices. But gender confusion can be reversed. Biological predisposition can be treated. Patterns of attraction and addiction can be understood and reformed. These things, in fact, should be addressed before homosexual behavior ever takes place.
I have spent more than four decades counseling young people in university ministries and recovery programs. A few years ago, I was confronted by a friend who was watching me struggle to assist AIDS hospice ministries. He said, “Don, we’ve got to find a way to stop this problem before it starts. If we don’t, we’re fighting a losing battle.”
I was inspired by my friend’s words. Never before had I thought about the prevention of homosexuality. I began seriously researching the subject, reading scores of books, compiling information and interviewing those with firsthand knowledge. I wanted to help concerned Christians develop a strategy for the prevention of homosexuality among youth.
Everyone asks, “So what is the cause of homosexuality?” Yet no one wants to point a finger at anyone or provide a simplistic reason for a condition that is incredibly complex.
Like many other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home. Mom and Dad are key players. Research from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality states, “One hundred percent of the research participants stated their father/father figure was distant, uninvolved in their upbringing, frightening and unapproachable. Eighty-seven percent spoke of a mother who was close, controlling and overbearing.”
As important as parent-child dynamics are, they aren’t the only concerns. The following factors can also contribute to the homosexual orientation.
- the individual person’s self-will
- media and culture
- spousal abuse in the home
- molestation and pedophilia
- parental adultery
- moral relativism
- seduction by peers
- chemical imbalances
- failure of leadership
There are no perfect families, but hopefully parents will identify potential problems and deal with them before they begin. A Christ-centered, loving family with an understanding of biblical principles can develop a healthy gender identity in children from the day they are born.
Beyond the family, it is vital for concerned Christian adults to be sensitive to the needs of at-risk youth. The prevention of homosexuality requires the involvement of the entire Christian community: parents, pastors, lay leaders, teachers, peers, friends, extended family and youth workers. We need to provide healthy male and female role modeling. We need to awaken an awareness of media influences. And, most of all, we need to build godly, Christ-centered families.
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Make a prayerful determination to reach out loving hands toward young men and women who are vulnerable to rejection, rebellion, confusion and temptation. Let’s do all we can to understand the pain that inevitably lies behind homosexual behavior. If we make an extra effort on behalf of kids who are gender confused or morally deceived, then we can eliminate one more myth: There’s nothing we can do about homosexuality.
With, the right information, the right strategy and God’s help, we can prevent homosexuality.
This article appeared in Focus on the Family magazine. Reprinted by permission.
Copyright © 1999 Don Schmierer.
All rights reserved.