Monday, November 10, 2008
I just came from a two-day retreat in Tagaytay City conducted by Living Waters Philippines on relational and sexual brokenness, homosexuality, and sex addiction. It was a very memorable retreat for me because I had so many realizations about myself and my struggle. I wish I could share them all here with you but I am still processing all these things inside of me.
Okay, I guess I can share some insights. In one of the workshop I attended, I threw this question to our speaker who himself lived the gay lifestyle, but has since come a long way in his healing journey and is now married. "What advice would you give to someone struggling with same sex attraction but has this desire to get married in the future?" He replied, "If you have this desire in your heart nurture it and lay it down at the foot of the Cross." His answer hit me big time and I struggled to control my emotions there. He even said a short prayer for me because he sensed that the question is somehow referring to me. He further added that those who are desirous of eventually settling down in marriage must develop a healthy relational bond with the opposite sex and that getting married does not necessarily mean being "healed" altogether. It's not a diploma that labels you as a totally healed person as the process is a continous growth and journey. I am so grateful to our speaker for giving me this insight.
During this retreat I recognized that we all have needs, specifically emotional and spiritual needs, that need to be filled up by the "right stuff" and if we don't get this we resort to alternatives like addiction to all sort of things (sex addiction in my particular case). On the spiritual plane we need to acknowledge all these things and surrender it to the Lord, but on the other hand we need to find ways, legitimate ways, to fill that need to make us whole and complete as a person.
We also need to let go of our expectation of what healing should look like. Many people, including me, at least have this mental imagery of what healing should look like and when we compare it to our present situation we often get frustrated. We were told to surrender this idea of healing and to let God hold you by the hand and guide you where He wants you to go.
I hope I can share more stuff but at this moment I'm still contemplating about all these things and how I should go about them. Meanwhile, I want to share with you a short article on the topic of Understanding Homosexuality that was given to us during our retreat. I hope this will further deepen your understanding of homosexuality.
by Andrew Comiskey
Homosexual behavior is an attempt to fulfill normal needs for love, acceptance, and identity through sexual intimacy with someone of the same sex. Although the factors that contribute to the development of sexual orientation are complex and subtle, our experience suggests that one of the deepest roots of homosexuality is a break in early relational bonds. This relational breakdown can stunt the development of the individual's ability to healthily connect with others throughout life.
The security of a child depends on the three-way bond of mother to child, father to child, and the bond between the parents. Any break in these bonds can produce insecurity in the child and thus a lack of that sense of belonging and affirmation which is so vital in the development of gender identity.
If the child has an absent or an emotionally distant mother or father, he or she will feel a certain amount of vulnerability - a vague longing for closeness and protection that the parent has not been able to fulfill. In addition to this, if the young person has been sexually molested, the impact upon his or her ability to bond with others will be all the more broken. The child may detach from the parent and other significant adults in order to avoid any further hurt and disappointment. This tendency to withdraw produces fear of intimacy, isolation from others, and envy on account of what is missing; it also adds to the weight of the unworthiness and rejection that the young person is already carrying.
This leaves him or her with tremendous needs for affirmation and affection. In most instances, the attraction for the same sex begins around the age of 10; it is emotional, non-sexual, and involuntary. With sexual maturity, these needs become eroticized; sexual intimacy becomes a primary means for feeling loved and affirmed.
Hence, sexual activity offers some sense of being truly accepted. What seems to be love is received, the person extending this love is idolized, and as the pain becomes covered over with pleasure, a momentary sense of self-esteem emerges - a temporary relief from the confusion of identity.
Thus, the homosexual condition is a result of the many hurts, real or perceived, that the child has suffered in the wake of broken relationships. The homosexual behavior is the activity that emerges as that "hurt child" seeks to fulfill these unmet needs for love. He or she may not know that sexual union can not impart the sense of completion and connectedness that is perhaps the most essential longing of the human soul.
The result of these efforts to meet one's needs is loneliness; the individual is left more fragmented and ill at ease than ever. In addition to this emotional confusion, the person often blames God for the hurts and for creating him or her homosexual. This hinders his or her ability to trust the Creator, and taste of the deep intimacy with Him that would provide comfort and strength in the face of as yet unmet inner longings.
(Part 2 to be continued...)