When our path crosses with a struggling youth, we need to be open to partnering with the Lord to help turn the tide in his or her life. During adolescence most people determine the morals and personal identity they will embrace for the remainder of their life. Likewise, much confusion and challenges will take place before any semblance of clarity comes. This is all the more true for youth deciding their sexual identity. Studies have shown that vast numbers of youth entering adolescence are uncertain about their sexual orientation, but few exiting the teenage years remain ambiguous. Therefore, the teenage years are a crucial period for the Church of Jesus Christ to speak to youth tempted by homosexuality and educate each young person regarding the Truth of Scripture regarding the practice of homosexuality. Without a doubt, offering a right and true perspective will not only make a difference to a gay youth, it will distinguish Christians quite a bit from others he or she will encounter.
Homosexuality is a symptom of a spiritual and relational problem. Therefore, simply stopping the behavior is not really getting to the root of what is making the person “feel different.” For the Christian trying to minister to a gay youth, consider asking these questions: Does the young person experience a lot of rejection by others? Is the teen uncomfortable with his gender? Does he spurn others of the same-sex, refusing to hang out with anyone other than a gay friend? Is the youth afraid of meeting new people, attending social gatherings, etc.? Is she overly critical or fearful of men? Is the teen envious of certain characteristics which others of the same-sex have that he does not? For many trying to reach or reason with a youth struggling with same-gender attraction, the question of, “What if people think that I’m gay?” often surfaces. Three words, “Get over it!”
Be concerned more with character rather than reputation.
If a teen senses you are uncomfortable talking about homosexuality, you will lose credibility with them.
Today, a multitude struggling with various addictions, compulsive behaviors, and habits, are all asking the same question: How long will change take? For any individual, youth or adult struggling with homosexuality, the good news is that homosexual activity may stop as soon as the decision is made to no longer participate. But since homosexual feelings have become closely associated with the youth’s unmet needs, whether real or perceived for emotional intimacy, God most likely will not take away the feelings because He does not take away our needs – instead He helps us meet our needs. The underlying issues that fuel same-gender attraction take time to work through. Herein lies, I believe, why so many youth have become influenced and bought into the notion that even homosexual feelings and desires cannot be resolved. Hence, “I’m just here for you to help me control and manage it,” is often the expectation and attitude of the struggling young person.
It is imperative that we inspire faith in those to whom we minister. In my experience, the ones I have known who have successfully left homosexuality are those who have relinquished control of their lives to the Holy Spirit. Clearly, there is a level of surrender required to resolve any form of sexual and relational brokenness, including homosexuality, that many are unwilling to offer. Only God can bring about the changes the youth desires.
While I have met and continue to meet with youth who are determined to resolve the issues of their sexuality, most feel too inadequate, lack motivation and do not have an individual structured in their life to help them through the process of healing and wholeness. Any Christian can emphasize to the hurting that there is hidden need within the heart of everyone that an intimate relationship with God can fill. Reaching gay youth is something we all can do and must do to help searching youth understand God’s abundant plans for their lives and to counteract the pro-gay agenda that desires to ruin all hope for the youth. No one is doomed to be gay, and we may be the only person that will have the courage to share the Good News with a youth struggling with same-gender attraction.
While it is easy enough to become cynical about the times in which we live, remember when God is put in the equation of life, a hope that does not disappoint rises with us. It is true that the number of teens embracing homosexuality has become alarming, but we should trust God and reach out to gay youth with the message of salvation and sexual redemption available through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider the impact of one individual or one family mentoring one youth struggling with same-sex attraction for a year. Change starts by one person or by one family mentoring a youth. It starts by one person loving another.
If you know Jesus, you are a candidate to be a champion for change in the life of a youth and the world.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther