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.
Yeah, in high school I had my best friend and she started hanging around with who is now her husband around the same time we started hanging out. I remember nights almost exactly like that as we got older and were college age. I remember her coming over to my house to sleep and lying in my bed crying about how they had argued and being her single friend who had never dated or been in a relationship yet one of the few people she actually trusted to come to for advice. She didn’t know about my attractions at the time, but in a way neither did I just yet.
It really makes me feel good when others trust me for advice when I don’t have much experience with the opposite sex. It shows that they feel an emotional connection with me and believe I have their best interests at heart. I thank God for friends like you described!
Marshall, can I just say you’re an awesome friend. You waited up till dawn cause you had a bad feeling. I wanna be your friend.
For 4-5 years after college I worked at this small architectural firm before striking out on my own. There were 7-8 of us working there, mostly young, including the two friends who ran it. We were all idealistic, looking to change the world thru architecture. I was there 3 years years when they hired Jon, who was in his 30’s, married with kids. He brought this crazy way of doing graphics we hadn’t seen before that I was fascinated with. Fridays after work we’d hit the local restaurant/bar, whoever could go did. Half the guys at the firm played racquetball at lunch, and Jon and I became buds that way.
There was one night everyone hit the pub after we had finished a big project. We all had more to drink than normal, I was feeling it but still able to walk. We all split up and Jon and I headed in one direction back to our cars. We’re walking thru the city park and Jon wants to stop and talk. So we’re on this city bench and Jon’s telling me about struggles in his marriage and this woman he’s tempted to have an affair with. I’d been to his house for dinner and his wife’s beautiful and really sweet. It was out of left field and I’m pushing on him that he can’t cheat on her and ruin his marriage. We talk for awhile, and it must’ve been the alcohol cause I share with him my struggles of wanting to be with guys that I had never talked with any straight guy about before. I start telling him about wanting to be faithful to Jesus, and he’s telling me about having gone to seminary before leaving to get married and become an architect. At the time I was really torn up figuring out faith and sex, and Jon’s telling me that Jesus still loves me. At some point, I’m laying across the park bench, probably from the alcohol, and my head’s on his lap and he didn’t give a damn. I mean people are walking by and it didn’t matter. It was the coolest thing sharing relationship stuff with a straight guy and it was on the same level, I mean, we each had our issues but we could talk with each other about them. Jon never outed me at work or cheat on his wife as far as I know, and I never mentioned anything to his wife when I was there for dinner again.
Thinking back on it, which I haven’t done till your post triggered it (thanks btw), it’s one of the most surreal moments I’ve lived. Laying on the lap of my straight friend, half drunk, talking about Jesus and sex with the world walking by, and being completely open and it being ok.
Thanks for that compliment! I want to be the kind of friend that I want others to be to me.
Wow, what a story! Yes, some friendships are so meaningful that they have moments like the one you talked about. Your friend didn’t out you and Brandon didn’t out me. I will tell more about him in future posts. He is still my friend today, which is years later!
It’s been years since thinking about Jon and that nite, so thanks. Same thing happened earlier with one of Dean’s posts. Years later, I’ve lost track of guys which is a bummer, but really glad to have had those times with those guys.
“I want to be the kind of friend that I want others to be to me.” That’s good stuff.
“…we each had our issues but we could talk with each other about them…” You both were coming from precarious places in your lives and managed to bond in a sincere, selfless and empathetic fashion. This in the hopes of helping to alleviate some the emotional pain each of you was feeling. You showed a Christ-centered love towards each other. That’s just my perspective.
I think that’s what ended up happening Eddie. Not sure about Jon, but the alcohol sure helped my openness that night.
Ha! Yeah, I’ve had some experience with alcohol myself. It does quite the job in lowering our inhibitions.
Oh man, it’s been really good and really bad and all kinds of crazy.
That’s a beautiful and inspiring story about friendship, Marshall. As to your questions: yes, fantastic, yes
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