To the Girl Wrestling with Her Sexuality

From the LYWB.com Team: We know your generation, more than any before, is being pummeled with messages about sexuality, specifically same-sex attraction and behavior. We want to fearlessly but carefully point you toward God’s truth on these issues, so we’ve recruited the help of a friend of the blog, Laurie Krieg. Laurie has a personal connection with this specific struggle and a heart to see young women choose truth and live in freedom. Don’t miss Laurie’s posts on the blog the next few days.

You felt it. The glimmer of attraction. But wait! She’s the wrong gender. Yes, she. Then your thoughts start to swirl.

That’s not what is supposed to happen.
Am I gay?
Am I another letter in the LGBT+ alphabet?
Who am I?

Dear sister, if this is you, please take a beat right now to breathe. You are not alone. You are not some freak form of Christian. You are not some special sinner. You are a very normal sinner who experiences this specific form of temptation.

This is a part of my journey—both in the past, when I was closer to your age, and the present. Social scientists struggle to agree on the exact number of young people who experience some form of same-sex attractions, but please know you are not alone.

Nor is this temptation your primary identity.

I know you are not choosing the attractions. You may not be choosing to feel these longings. But you can choose what you do with them.

Who You Really Are

I experienced same-sex attractions since I was young, as young as five. I grew up in a great Christian family and in Christian culture. I perceived same-sex behavior not just as a sin but the worst sin. No one said it plainly, but I felt it was true. So instead of talking about what I was wrestling with, I felt incredible shame, and I kept it quiet.

No matter what you struggle with, your primary identity is in Christ.

Before engaging in a same-sex relationship in college, I wish I had stopped to think, Can I experience this attraction (this form of temptation), and, like every other form of temptation, offer it to God to help me and have other people support me in the journey?

That might sound terrifying. You might be thinking, There is no one safe I can talk to. They will reject me. Or I’ve already told my friends, and they told me it’s fine; it’s who I am. I hear you. If you have either been rejected or told this is who you are, there is so much hope for you. Why? Because if you confess Jesus as your Savior, no matter what you struggle with, your primary identity is in Christ.

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26, 28).

The apostle Paul struggled with temptation just like we do. He had an unnamed “thorn in his flesh,” which, as far as we know, God never took away (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

But Paul neither hated himself for being weak nor did he identify by his thorn. Instead, he offered his brokenness to God and received fullness and strength, making this bold claim: “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Can we not do the same with our sexual struggles? Can we pray, “God, I give You this. Can You help me?” Like I do daily, I am encouraging you to say, “God, I am wrestling with this temptation. Will You please show me what I am truly longing for? Will You take all of my weaknesses and replace them with Your friendship and strength?”

I intentionally added that word “friendship” in this example prayer to God. Why? Through my weaknesses, I have found an intimacy with God I never thought possible.

I also need tangible humans who can be the community Paul mentioned in Galatians. Go back and look again. Paul didn’t write “you [singularly] are one in Christ Jesus.” He wrote “you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

But who is safe? How can you know what type of people make up healthy community? Come back tomorrow, and we’ll talk about it.

About Author

Laurie Krieg

Laurie Krieg is the founder of Hole in my Heart Ministries, a compassionate counseling ministry for those wrestling with issues related to sexuality. Laurie blogs, mentors, speaks nationally, and podcasts. She also serves as a director on the board of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender. In her free time Laurie enjoys playing superheroes with her daughters, and running so she can eat more cookies. To learn more about Laurie and all she does visit himhministries.com.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

  • * Requests or gives personal information such as email address, address, or phone number.
  • * Attacks other readers.
  • * Uses vulgar or profane language.
  • GoodHeart

    This is an amazing article and subject. I have struggled with same-sex attraction for twenty-years. Now ar 41yrs old I am asking God to shape my life the way He sees fit. It’s been so tough because many of my friends tell me: it’s who you are, and go ahead date women. And I have to quiet their voices and seek the Word of God instead. Many of my friends in the LGBT community tell me I will live a lie if I decide to date men. Again, I seek the Word of God for answers. The bottom-line is sin is sin and I want to be redeemed. Correction, I have been redeemed, bc I am a believer in Christ’s redeem power. Thanks again for this blog.

    • Laurie Krieg

      Your are welcome. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Carly Palmatier

    Hi Laurie,

    As a young queer woman, this article was painful for me to read. To say same sex attraction is simply a temptation would have been detrimental in the years I was struggling with this.

    I’m curious if you’ve looked into the context of same sex attraction laws in the Bible. To me, and the pastors and other people I’ve talked to, it appears that all of these homosexual laws are not referring to a relationship between two consenting adults, but rather extreme circumstanes which we still consider a sin (like a man having an extramarital affair with a man, or pastors have affairs with their acolytes).

    I don’t mean to point this out rudely or to prove you wrong, just to open a discussion that I feel is important. I’m curious as to your thoughts.

    To me, saying that homosexuality is something we’re created with is very clear, but then to suggest God will condemn us for living out how we’ve been created seems very scary! If we were created to be a certain way, God wouldn’t strike us down for living that, would he? That seems to go against everything he preaches to us.

    Again, just trying to start thoughtful conversation. To say I have all the answers is laughable.

    Thanks for your thoughts and your time,
    Carly

    • Laurie Krieg

      Hey Carly,

      I’m so sorry for your pain. That is not my desire or intent. Thanks for the tenderness with which you approach your pushback.

      The Bible never says same-sex attraction is a sin…it’s always the behavior. (A man shall not lie with a man…etc.)

      As far as the “extreme circumstances” here is something my friend and authority on the subject, Dr. Preston Sprinkle wrote in a book you can download for free off my site:

      “Another point sometimes raised by affirming Christians is that consensual, monogamous, same-sex relations didn’t exist in the ancient world. Sure, it was common for masters to have sex with their male slaves, older men to have sex with younger teenage boys, or victims of war to be raped by their male conquerors. But these are acts of sexual exploitation, not consensual love.

      “So are the prohibitions in Leviticus only talking about exploitative same-sex acts (e.g. a master raping his male slave)? Or do they ban consensual same-sex acts as well?

      “The answer is both. Of course exploitative acts are forbidden. The Bible would never sanction a master raping his slave, or any other act of sexual violence. But there’s nothing in the biblical text that limits the prohibition to such acts of sexual exploitation. Again, don’t just believe me. Go back and carefully read the prohibitions. Do they mention masters or slaves or prostitutes or rape or older men having sex with teenage boys? The language of Leviticus simply says that men (not just masters, or older men, or victors of war) shouldn’t lie sexually with another male (not just slaves, or younger boys, or war victims). There’s nothing in the text or around the text that limits the prohibition to acts of exploitation.

      “Some affirming Christians say that the biblical text doesn’t need to specifically mention exploitation since every same sex relationship in the ancient world was exploitative. But this simply isn’t true either. For what it’s worth, we know very little about the sexual practices of same-sex relations in the ancient world. But the evidence we do have is somewhat diverse. Sure, we have evidence of exploitative same-sex relations, but we also have evidence of consensual relations as well. So we can’t just assume that all relationships back then were abusive. Some were, but some weren’t. And Leviticus doesn’t limit its same-sex prohibitions to abusive acts. All types of male same-sex behavior are condemned.

      “In short, if you look at the text and study its historical context, there’s no evidence that Leviticus was only prohibiting certain types of same-sex behavior.” [See also: Preston Sprinkle, “Same-Sex Relations,” in Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Postbiblical Antiquity, Vol. IV (ed. Edwin Yamauchi and Marvin Wilson; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2017).]

      The way I believe about the Bible and sin period is we were all born with effects of the fall all over us–mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually. Romans 8 says “all creation is groaning…” because of sin.

      Because I was born with certain desires does that mean it is God’s stamp of approval on them? How can I know? That’s where a thorough study of Scripture comes in, and like you humbly offered, “to say I have all the answers is laughable.” I don’t either…so I make friends with people smarter than me. 🙂

      If you’re interested in reading more of Preston’s thoughts, check out http://www.himhministries.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html and download the free book. Chapters 4 and 5 will be the most helpful. Or check out centerforfaith.com.

      Thanks again for your careful thoughts.

      God bless, sister.

      Laurie

    • Someone

      I’m not trying to be offensive in any way. I have a heart for people who deal with this issue. So, please, if you will. . .read me out. 🙂

      Jesus takes us JUST AS WE ARE. . .some of us are born prone to do certain things or struggle with certain things. I struggle with my gender. Sometimes I feel like I’m a freak. Other times I embrace it . . .my point is. . .I’m not perfect and I thought I’d be doomed with gender insecurity FOREVER. I could of easily called myself ”bigender” or whatever. But I think labels are kinda silly. Think about it.

      I don’t say I’m a cheese girl because I like to eat cheese all the time. (LOL) That’s not how I describe myself. But isn’t that just as odd as saying I’m gay or straight like waving a banner. . .If you have gay feelings which are real. . .I am not sure that is horrible. I’m not sure. Feelings are deceptive. I feel guilty. Does that mean I am? I don’t know. If you have gay actions. . .now that’s more of the problem.

      Just because you like cheese. . .that doesn’t make you a mouse either. So because you have feelings that doesn’t automatically make you gay. I think no matter what or who you desire to listen to. . .you should take EVERYTHING to Jesus. I did.

      I don’t always give my gender stuggles to Jesus. . .because its so hard, but I always regret not doing it. He makes it easy. He actually is soooooo good to me. No matter what, If you give Him what you have and willing to change or do whatever He asks. . .not people. . ., you will see change.

      THis prayer has never failed me. I ask God to help me do what I can’t.

      I hope this helps. See I sometimes feel super insecure in my gender but I wasn’t made to be a boy. God doesn’t make mistakes. The devil is a creep. He tries to kill or destroy us. And how he does it is to play upon feelings and etc. Sin is what God says. . .God didn’t create me with gender insecurity. . .just like He didn’t create you to be gay. We are born with (babies can sense stuff in the womb) or grow up with these issues sometimes. . .due to environment or trauma. So I understand that it feels so natural to think this is a part of me. . .but its not a part we have to show off or label ourselves with. It’s just a thing we deal with.

      I will end with your ending. . .I’m trying to start a thoughtful convo. I am recovering from gender dysphoria stuff. . .I am glad Jesus can take our little things we don’t need and use it to give us a greater appreciation for Him.

    • Laurie Krieg

      Hi Carly!

      I don’t know if you saw my initial response I sent a couple days ago, but it was accidentally deleted. So sorry!

      To restate: I am so sorry you felt pain while reading this. That is not my intent.

      In answer to your question about same-sex attraction and behavior in the Bible, I have definitely looked into it. One thing before I quote my friend and recognized expert in this field, Dr. Preston Sprinkle, is the Bible never says the attraction is sin. The behavior (to act on it) is.

      What Preston says about what you specifically ask is this:

      “Another point sometimes raised by affirming Christians is that consensual, monogamous, same-sex relations didn’t exist in the ancient world. Sure, it was common for masters to have sex with their male slaves, older men to have sex with younger teenage boys, or victims of war to be raped by their male conquerors. But these are acts of sexual exploitation, not consensual love.

      “So are the prohibitions in Leviticus only talking about exploitative same-sex acts (e.g. a master raping his male slave)? Or do they ban consensual same-sex acts as well?

      “The answer is both. Of course exploitative acts are forbidden. The Bible would never sanction a master raping his slave, or any other act of sexual violence. But there’s nothing in the biblical text that limits the prohibition to such acts of sexual exploitation. Again, don’t just believe me. Go back and carefully read the prohibitions. Do they mention masters or slaves or prostitutes or rape or older men having sex with teenage boys? The language of Leviticus simply says that men (not just masters, or older men, or victors of war) shouldn’t lie sexually with another male (not just slaves, or younger boys, or war victims). There’s nothing in the text or around the text that limits the prohibition to acts of exploitation.

      “Some affirming Christians say that the biblical text doesn’t need to specifically mention exploitation since every same sex relationship in the ancient world was exploitative. But this simply isn’t true either. For what it’s worth, we know very little about the sexual practices of same-sex relations in the ancient world. But the evidence we do have is somewhat diverse. Sure, we have evidence of exploitative same-sex relations, but we also have evidence of consensual relations as well. So we can’t just assume that all relationships back then were abusive. Some were, but some weren’t. And Leviticus doesn’t limit its same-sex prohibitions to abusive acts. All types of male same-sex behavior are condemned.

      “In short, if you look at the text and study its historical context, there’s no evidence that Leviticus was only prohibiting certain types of same-sex behavior.”

      See Preston Sprinkle, “Same-Sex Relations,” in Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Postbiblical Antiquity, Vol. IV (ed. Edwin Yamauchi and Marvin Wilson; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2017).

      In short, monogamous, loving, same-sex relationships were heard of in Paul and Jesus’ day. To read more specifics read ‘People to be Loved,’ download a free book off our site at http://www.himhministries.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html (and read Chapters 4 and 5), or check out centerforfaith.com.

      Thanks for reaching out and responding in kindness even when you disagree. It means a lot.

      Blessings,

      Laurie

  • Hannah B

    good post!

    • Laurie Krieg

      Thanks!