When my straight guy Christian friend, Brandon, finished his commitment with the military, he left his family, friends, and hometown to move to the big city where I now lived with some guys from my new church. It didn’t take long until we felt like close friends again. We trusted each other and talked on a deep level about our hopes and struggles, including my own struggle with same-sex attraction.
Brandon’s personality could be classified as a Myers-Briggs ENFP and a Type 4 on the Enneagram: in other words, he is sensitive, artistic, and emotional. These qualities, combined with his good looks, caused a constant stream of girls to flirt with him and show their appreciation.
It wasn’t long until Brandon had a girlfriend. She was a Christian, had a very successful career, always turned guys’ heads with her beauty, and was a virgin.
Brandon’s relationship with this woman seemed too good to be true.
One night, Brandon was out on a date with her while I was at home. I had a bad feeling about him, and I couldn’t sleep. I went into the kitchen and stared at the front door until he came home. It was nearly dawn when he walked in, so he was surprised to see me right there waiting for him. I told him I had a bad feeling and asked him what had happened.
Brandon burst into tears, sat down at the kitchen table, put his face down, and wept uncontrollably. I knelt next to his chair and put my arm around him. His tears were hitting the table and pooling under his face.
Brandon: I failed!
Me: Did you have sex with her?
Brandon: No, but we did everything else we could do without going all the way.
He started openly weeping again, but this time there was a tone of hope in his tears. I reminded him that God forgave him because of what Jesus did on the cross, not because he was “good enough.” He cried out to God for help and prayed a prayer of repentance that came straight from his heart.
Things were never the same between Brandon and her after that. Eventually she broke up with him, and he was emotionally devastated.
I spent a lot of time hugging him and encouraging him as he recovered. It felt so good to be a blessing to my straight guy friend in his time of need.
I knew I was doing something that really mattered and my own temptations had very little power over me as I took my focus off myself!
What I didn’t know was that I would soon be facing a major turning point in my own life, and I would need Brandon to be there for me as I’d been there for him.
To be continued . . .
Have you ever comforted a friend during a rough time? How did that make you feel? Has a straight guy ever talked with you on a deep level about his relationships and struggles?
* Photo courtesy saihat99, Creative Commons.