I may be stepping into hot water with this post. Frankly, I am a bit worried.
But here goes.
I recently read a post by John Shore entitled: Homosexuality Isn’t Stealing or Lying–But It Is Being Lonely
You can imagine that there was plenty of discussion in the comment section following the post. I added my two cents… and actually thought some of what I wrote was worth re-iterating here (she said, humbly).
In fact, I took exception to the phrase “…It Is Being Lonely.”
One notion in the article was that if homosexuals decide not to engage in sex at all (if they believe Scripture reserves sex for heterosexual marriage), then these folks are consigned to a life of loneliness because of who they are. Many folks see this as patently unfair to those homosexually inclined.
However, for those of us who are female Christians, and who – so it seems – overwhelmingly outnumber our male counterparts, we often feel just as “stuck” in our singleness. I realize that some may say, “Well, as a heterosexual, at least you have the hope of marriage,” but I can assure you, I often did not feel that way.
I was in my late 30s when I finally married and have many, many wonderful, committed Christian girlfriends who will likely never marry and experience the intimacy of marriage (ok, guys, get busy!).
No matter your situation, if God did restrict sex to a heterosexual marriage (Mark 10: 1-12 might be used to support this interpretation), He didn’t do it because he is a cruel task-master.
No: His commands are always borne of love (Romans 8:32).
So what do single people do?
How do we live with this command?
How do we live with this sense of imposed loneliness and exile to non-intimacy?
Well, face the facts.
Being single – not necessarily out of choice – can be a wonderful life of deep intimacy with the Lord and amazing friendships.
From scripture, we know that the single life:
n often allows greater service (see 1 Corinthians 1:32-35 — I know this from experience),
n can lead to deeper intimacy with Jesus (ask Paul who was single when he wrote “to live is Christ” Philippians 1:21),
n is a particular calling (Matthew 19:12), and, of course,
n was the life Jesus led.
And really, it doesn’t have to be lonely.
I must say that, other than having a 24-hour friend around (my husband), for most of our marriage, I was far lonelier than when I was single and in a great community. Even when I lived in the former Soviet Union (when it was such) as a missionary and was often very alone (not just by myself, but in a strange culture who’s language I hardly understood), I very strongly felt God’s presence.
But what about the loss of physical intimacy?
Well, it’s true that those of us who do not marry a person of the opposite sex will deny ourselves sex and the particular companionship of marriage. But what blessings come from the denial!!
What intimacy with the Savior when we say no to what we want and yes to what we don’t want because we trust that He has a better way, a way that we don’t always comprehend.
We have the amazing opportunity to share in His sufferings (Romans 8:17).
And one day, any loneliness or sadness or struggle with the flesh that seems to render these Biblical commands either meaningless or just plain mean — all will pass away, along with our tears, and we will stand before our Lord, free from the bodily ravages of sin and death, utterly fulfilled, and never again alone!