How Can I Avoid Homosexuality?
“During my teens I struggled with an attraction to other males. Deep down, I knew those thoughts weren’t normal.”—Olef.
“My girlfriend and I kissed once or twice. Since I still liked boys, I wondered if I might be bisexual.”—Sarah.
FEW would deny that homosexuality is talked about more openly today than it was several decades ago. And just try to say that you disapprove of it! Likely, you will be bombarded with criticism. Says 16-year-old Amy, “One girl told me that I must be prejudiced against people of other races, because my opinion of homosexuality amounted to the same thing—prejudice!”
Today’s permissive attitudes have prompted a number of youths to experiment with same-sex relationships. “Many girls in my school claim to be either lesbian, bisexual, or ‘bi-curious,’” says 15-year-old Becky. Christa, 18, finds the situation similar at her school. “Two classmates have actually propositioned me,” she says. “One wrote me a note asking if I wanted to see what it was like to be with a girl.”
With same-sex relationships being touted so openly, you may begin to wonder: ‘Is homosexuality really that bad? What if I’m attracted to someone of my sex? Does that mean I’m gay?’
How Does God View Homosexuality?
Today, many people—even some clergymen—soft-pedal the issue of homosexuality. Yet, God’s Word, the Bible, leaves no room for confusion. It tells us that Jehovah God made man and woman and that he purposed for sexual desires to be fulfilled only between a husband and a wife. (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:24) It comes as no surprise, then, that the Bible condemns homosexual acts.—Romans 1:26, 27.
Some would say that God’s Word is out-of-date. But why, do you think, are they so quick to make that claim? Could it be because the Bible’s view conflicts with their own? Many reject God’s Word simply because it teaches something different from what they want to believe. That view is biased, though, and we should rise above such closed-minded thinking!
But what if you feel attracted to a member of the same sex? Does this automatically mean that you’re a homosexual? No. Remember, you’re in “the bloom of youth,” a period when you’re subject to involuntary sexual arousal. (1 Corinthians 7:36) If at times you feel an attraction to a member of the same sex, be assured that this doesn’t mean that you’re gay. Such inclinations usually fade with time. Meanwhile, you must keep from getting involved in homosexual practices. How?
Pray about the matter. Implore Jehovah as David did: “Search through me, O God, and know my heart. Examine me, and know my disquieting thoughts, and see whether there is in me any painful way, and lead me in the way of time indefinite.” (Psalm 139:23, 24) Jehovah can fortify you with a peace that “excels all thought.” This can ‘guard your heart and your mental powers’ and give you “power beyond what is normal” to keep from acting on wrong desires.—Philippians 4:6, 7; 2 Corinthians 4:7.
Fill your mind with upbuilding thoughts. (Philippians 4:8) Read the Bible daily. Never underestimate its power to shape your mind and heart for good. (Hebrews 4:12) A young man named Jason says: “The Bible—including such scriptures as 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 and Ephesians 5:3—has had a powerful effect on me. I read these scriptures whenever wrong desires occur.”
Shun pornography and gay propaganda. (Colossians 3:5) Avoid anything that will arouse immoral desires. This would include pornography, certain TV shows and movies, and perhaps even fashion or bodybuilding magazines that feature lightly clad models. Change negative thoughts to positive ones. “Whenever I have homosexual urges,” says one teenage boy, “I meditate on my favorite Bible text.”
Of course, some claim that there’s no point in doing all this, that you should simply ‘embrace your sexuality’ and ‘accept who you are.’ But the Bible says that you can do better than that! It tells us, for example, that some early Christians who had formerly practiced homosexuality changed. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) You too can win the battle—even if at this point it’s only being waged in your heart.
What if same-sex desires persist? Do not give in to them! Jehovah condemns homosexual acts. Thus, the person who struggles with same-sex desires is presented with a reachable goal—he or she can choose not to act on those desires.
To illustrate: A person might be “disposed to rage.” (Proverbs 29:22) In the past he may have freely given in to fits of anger. After studying the Bible, though, he becomes aware of the need to develop self-control. Does this mean that he’ll never again feel anger welling up inside him? No. However, because he knows what the Bible says about uncontrolled anger, he will strive hard not to succumb to his feelings.
It’s similar with a person who is attracted to others of the same sex but who has now come to learn what the Bible says about homosexual practices. On occasion, an improper desire may still present itself. But by viewing homosexuality the way Jehovah views it, a person can find the strength to resist that desire.
Don’t Give Up!
If you struggle with same-sex desires, you might feel as did one young man, who said: “I’ve tried to change my feelings. I’ve prayed to Jehovah for help. I read the Bible. I’ve heard talks on the subject. But I don’t know where to turn.”
If you’re in a similar situation, you clearly have a real fight on your hands. There’s no easy cure. Nevertheless, anyone who desires to please God must conform to His moral standards and shun immoral behavior, even though doing so may be agonizingly difficult. Never forget that God understands the struggle you have in your heart and that he has compassion for those who serve him.* (1 John 3:19, 20) When you obey God’s commandments, you open the way for receiving his blessing. In fact, in the keeping of God’s commands, “there is a large reward.” (Psalm 19:11) Even now, you’ll enjoy the best way of life possible in this troubled world.
So rely on God, and fight against wrong desires. (Galatians 6:9) Strive to “abhor what is wicked” and “cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9) With time and effort, you are likely to find that the wrong desires diminish. Best of all, by avoiding homosexual practices, you’ll have the prospect of living forever in God’s righteous new world.
How can you control feelings of attraction to the opposite sex?
A Christian who has engaged in acts of sexual misconduct should seek the help of congregation elders.—James 5:14, 15.
“Examine me, and know my disquieting thoughts, and see whether there is in me any painful way.”—Psalm 139:23, 24.
To develop a healthy view of masculinity, study the example of Jesus. (1 Peter 2:21) He was a perfect model of masculine power combined with gentleness.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
Although you may not have complete control over your desires, you do have control over your actions. You can choose not to act on wrong desires.
If someone asks me why the Bible condemns homosexuality, I will say ․․․․․
If someone says that the Bible’s view is narrow-minded, I will reason with him by saying ․․․․․
What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
● Why does God disapprove of homosexuality?
● What practical steps can you take to avoid being ensnared by homosexuality?
● Does adopting God’s view of homosexuality mean that you’re homophobic (exhibiting a hatred or strong dislike of homosexuals)?
[Blurb on page 236]
“The world’s warped thinking affected my mind and added to my sexual confusion. Now I steer clear of anything or anyone that promotes homosexuality.”—Anna
[Picture on page 233]
All youths face a choice—either to adopt the world’s degraded view of sexuality or to follow the high moral path set forth in God’s Word