Yes, I do have gay friends in my life. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I mean, if you are, then I don’t blame you. But at the same time, could you blame me for having at least a few gay friends after sharing some stories of my wild life these past few blog posts?
But for reals, I do have gay friends — though I really don’t view them as my “gay friends.” I just call them my friends.
They’re just as important to me as my church friends.
It’s good to have such an awesome quality of Christian friends, because they’ll keep you accountable, keep your focus on God, challenge you like no other person will, quote Scripture when you need it, and speak truth for you when it’s hard to hear!
Yeah, all of those qualities in Christian friends are good, but I think we should also balance our lives out with friends who are unbelievers.
Wait, what? you might be asking. Are you saying it’s good to have friends who don’t believe in God or have any kind of Christian faith?
Yes, I’m saying that it’s okay to have friends who don’t believe everything we believe. Yeah, most of us aren’t used to having such a mindset, but Jesus did hang out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners during His 3-year ministry, and He sent us to preach the Gospel into the world — a messed up world, at that!
Back when I was hooking up with all those guys and basically being a man-whore, I did actually establish some friendships. A few of them are still my friends to this day, though we obviously don’t have sex with each other anymore. There are others I’ve never had sex with, and we have good old chats at coffee shops, talking about life and such.
In the process of authenticating my Christian life, most of my gay friends have seen the change I’ve made in my life — from being a man-whore to the man I am today. Honestly, I am surprised they’ve stuck by me all this time!
From talking to my gay friends every now and then, I’ve learned they do respect me and how I approach them about life-issues. Especially if one of them is acting stupid!
You might be asking, how in the world is that even possible? Well, my complete answer is gonna have to wait until a future post.
Here’s what I’ve learned about having “gay friends” or friends who are unbelievers in general. You don’t have to treat them as “unclean,” wiping them from your life just because they cuss, party, or whatever!
I mean, if your friends are making you stumble, then yeah, you should probably consider stepping that friendship back until you’re strong enough to say no to them about certain stuff. If you don’t have a problem with that, though, then you’re right where God wants and needs you to be.
Sometimes your life should be insulated by the Gospel, not isolated by it. If your faith can’t stand being around people who are different and believe differently, then what kind of faith is that?
Salt can’t flavor the food unless it gets on the food! Sometimes those relationships with unbelievers are more important than safety and security with all your happy church-going friends who may never challenge what you think and know.
We Christians often surround ourselves with “safe people” just like us, but I don’t think that’s what we’re here for.
My gay friends, those who are single and those who are couples — I know they need me just as much as I need them. If I do get on some spiritual high, they bring me back to reality where the actual mission is! My gay friends keep me grounded and level-headed, that way I can actually do my best to practice what I preach! Sometimes it ain’t pretty, but it’s all worth it.
I know those guys need a Christian friend just as much as we need friends who are not like us. Our presence in gay people’s lives doesn’t always mean we agree or condone their life choices, but we can accept their basic humanity.
We can be not only part of gay people’s lives, but also the positive parts of their lives.
We can ask gay people how they’re doing or even be open and honest about where we’re struggling, not beating around the bush. We can literally tell them, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m praying for you.” Trust me, any people are grateful to hear that!
Whatever you do, or however you do it, remember these basic things: hanging out with them, listening to their dramas with friends or family, driving them to work, and further opening lines of communication. With those open communications, people are more open to searching for real answers and truth.
To those who are “Side B” Christians or still in any ex-gay ministries: yes, sometimes your gay friend who you’re reaching out to might get married to the guy he’s been seeing for a while, and you might think you’re a failure. But don’t stop there. Keep going; keep being their friends.
Hey, maybe one of these days, like months or 10 years from now, your unbelieving friends will accept Christ into their lives and will want to live the abundant life! That’s my mission. It’s my passion that one of these days my gay friends will accept Christ and will want to follow Him until the end of their days.
And it’ll all be worth it.
Do you have any gay friends outside the Christian faith? Is it hard or easy for you to reach out to unbelievers, gay or otherwise? How do you keep healthy boundaries between being “in the world” but not “of the world”?
* Photo courtesy artetetra, Creative Commons.