I believe my sexuality — being attracted to men — is a gift from God.

For those who have decided to continue reading, let me explain; I have a lot to unpack here, so hang on.

The foundation for my belief is that I believe God is sovereign, omnipotent, and omniscient. Thus, I believe He has the power to create and mold me however He desires and knows exactly how my life will play out.

Psalm 139 says that God knit me together in my mother’s womb. It also says He knows the words on my lips before I even speak them. This tells me that every part of my life is known by God.

Including my sexuality.

When I came to terms with my attraction to men, God was not surprised. I did not have to “come out” to Jesus.

God could have prevented my attraction to men. Whatever your beliefs on causation, I believe God is powerful enough to have adjusted whatever needed adjusting to have prevented my attraction to men.

Since this did not happen, I can only determine one reasonable possibility: my sexuality was something God wanted for my life.

Therefore, I see it as a gift.

I didn’t see things this way until I was willing to surrender my sexuality completely to God. When I finally came to terms with the fact that this was a part of my life that wasn’t going to go away, I had two options: I could end my life, or I could surrender my sexuality to the One who created me.

By God’s grace, I chose the latter option. Since then, I’ve come to see how my attraction to men has actually benefitted me in three key ways.

First, I have a keen empathy for others.

I spent years wrestling with a core part of myself. This internal battle opened my eyes to seeing that many others endure unseen battles we couldn’t even imagine.

I know what it’s like to hear people hate who I am on the inside and then expect me to agree with them. And I know what it’s like to doubt God can ever love me because of something I didn’t choose.

My sexuality has helped instill an incredible empathy, allowing me to minister to others in incredible ways.

Second, I am sensitive to the grace of God and the power of His love.

While the Church rejected my sexuality as something deemed “an abomination,” God called me to Him and told me it was part of His plan for me. My sexuality was not meant to be just a part of my life but, further, a part of how I would serve God.

This grace greatly exceeded what anyone ever taught me. I always understood it as “conditional.” It was as though Jesus died for my sins — but only if I could prove I could never sin again. Since the Church deemed me too far gone, simply by existing, what hope did I have?

God’s grace cast aside those lies and brought me into His presence, sexuality and all. 

Finally, I can relate to God in a way straight people cannot.

Like I said earlier, I had to understand how God could allow me to experience attractions to men and then command me to abstain from fulfilling those desires. For many years, it didn’t make sense.

Why couldn’t I just find a man to marry and love in a sexually pure marriage relationship? Wouldn’t that still be all right?

However, I never found peace with an affirming sexual ethic. And I had to understand how I could still love God for giving me a desire that apparently would never be fulfilled.

What I came to see was that putting all of my desires toward God — seeking Him with everything and placing Him above every other desire in my life — was the plan God had in mind all along.

It has never been about getting married, working a certain job, or living in a certain area. It has always been about loving God with all of my heart, soul, strength, and mind. As Jesus says in Luke 10:27.

When I came to see things this way, I no longer experienced an inner contradiction that I be attracted to men and yet be called to a different ethic. If it’s about loving God, then no desire I have can ever compare with the fulfillment I find in drawing near to Him.

Without my sexuality, I don’t believe I would have learned any of these things. I could list other benefits — the friends I have now, the ministry where I serve, my brothers here on YOB.

But I want to leave you with these three things because I believe these are benefits God has for all of us who are not straight.

Do you see your sexuality as a gift from God, or do you struggle with this concept? What are your own personal spiritual benefits in experiencing same-sex attraction?

About the Author

  • Dean, you continue to speak from the same heart as myself. I too came to realize that my same-sex attraction is a gift from God. I fully agree with you that – since God has already seen how I will die, plus how He uniquely made me in the womb – God alone knows how my sexuality plays into His grand plan. And thus, God approves of my sexual attraction. Said more emphatically (in my own sexual identity language), God is fully satisfied that I am gay (i.e., have same-sex attraction). And I am positive that I have become a better Christian now that I am fully embracing the reality of me being gay: I am more compassionate and merciful to the marginalized; I demonstrate more readily the Holy Spirit’s fruit (such as joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-control); and I have a dependency upon being with Jesus. So, thanks, my friend, for so wonderfully stating what I absolutely believe.

    • Absolutely, Mike. Thank you for saying it so well! God is indeed fully satisfied with me — my sexuality does not disqualify me from that, it is a part of how God is satisfied with me. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts as well, brother!

  • Yes indeed! I see my sexuality…and everything that comes with it…as a gift. Really, the sexual aspect, or what some see as lust, is just a small part of the experience.
    When I see a beautiful man, I can quickly transform it into “Wow, what a beautiful son of God.” I’m realizing that I can love and relate with men in many ways that do not involve sex. I don’t even have to try and fit it in with some special gay box either (and I’m one who might still use the term “gay” here and there).

    • I agree, Alex. I know that one of the gifts is also in how I relate to other guys. I don’t have “fear” of what I might be implying by showing another guy brotherly affection, offering a hug, or holding a brother close to me. Thank you for sharing your experience with this as well!

  • This sounds oddly familiar… hmm hehe. But its all so very true, neat to hear a different perspective on it. Even though it is hard, this struggle can contain such blessings and I definitely feel like my life would be more bland without it. Its like through the pain and struggle God has opened us to a look on life that so few people get to see or experience.

    • Haha, I promise I did not plagiarize you. 😉
      The different perspectives are helpful and necessary. We all approach this part of our lives differently and we can learn so much by observing how others discuss their approach. Thank you for sharing your story in this, brother!

  • I find myself connecting with this pretty dang close. Having these feelings and attractions and knowing what Gods word says about it is frustrating, but it has only made me want to draw closer to Him through it all. I love when you said “God’s grace cast aside those lies and brought me into His presence, sexuality and all.” His grace is always there and thankfully we don’t have to earn it, we just have to accept it. While I haven’t always seen this as a gift, I’m trying to.

    • Thank you for sharing your own experience with this, Chris. Learning to accept God’s Grace without condition was a long lesson to learn but I am so thankful to have taken the journey to do so. I pray you continue to journey well in this also!

  • “It has never been about getting married, working a certain job, or living in a certain area. It has always been about loving God with all of my heart, soul, strength, and mind. ”

    • Absolutely. That’s something I pray I express to anyone of any sexuality I meet. 🙂

  • Absolutely beautiful, Dean! I have to 100% agree. Once I surrendered who I was to Him, including my sexuality, I was able to see him using my attractions as a powerful way to minister to others. Bravo to you, sir. One of the very best posts I’ve ready!

    • Thank you so much, Kass! Praying you continue to grow in God’s calling in your own life each and every day!

  • while I will admit to finding the same blessings that you mentioned through my experience I still see it very differently. I believe that same gender sexual orientation is a result of the fall. Just because God uses something for good doesn’t mean that the thing in itself was always part of the plan. Just because God allowed for something does not mean that He intended it to be that way. I don’t say this in mean spirit or nit picking at what you said, but that’s where I am with it.

    • I do see what you mean, Ashley, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts! For me personally, I don’t see my sexuality as only a result of the fall but something the fall twisted. In other words, I have been gifted a different approach towards the same gender no matter what. The presence of sin made me want to pursue that in my own way, outside of God’s will. I know not everyone sees it that way. For me where I am though, this is what gives me peace and provides the best understanding of myself.

      • and that is what I think we should all seek – what gives us peace and best understanding of ourselves that draws us in closer relationship to God

  • You’re a gift from God, Dean. Your heart bleeds onto the (digital) page, and I’m just so grateful to know you beyond this digital medium.
    I’d say the biggest “side effect” or positive consequence of my sexuality is that it forces me to rely on God every single day. Not that other people wrestling with other issues don’t have to rely on God in their own unique ways…but this is mine. Every day, I have this awareness of my need for Jesus, and I’m reminded to lean on him. This awareness has proved particularly meaningful when I’ve gathered at conferences and retreats with other SSA/LGBT+ believers as we lift up our voices as one in worship of this God we sacrificially follow.
    Ugh, so powerful. So grateful for this perspective despite whatever challenges.

  • Hello… Respectfully I disagree… I don’t believe that SSA is a gift… Unlike “abomination”, I perceive it “disordered”, once such feelings move me toward relationships not intended by God, because they are instrinsically closed to new lifes and not bio-psico-sexually complementary…
    I am sure that original sin has messed us in different ways, and SSA is one of them… Absolutely we are prevented from the sufferings due the fall… In Christ, however, we can see tribulations and temptations like oportunities (painful, I agree…) to grow , to love…

  • I wish I understood having ssa. There’s been so many twists and turns following Jesus because of it. My experience of it is weakness, but there’s bible that says we rejoice in weakness cause God’s power is needed in it. And my experience dealing with ssa is often suffering, but there’s bible that says we rejoice in suffering knowing the suffering produces patience & character & hope. I know where I am with Jesus today is in large part cause of ssa and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

    • I think that’s a great place to be, Bluz — knowing that the circumstances of your life have brought you to where you are. And that place is in a deeper relationship with Christ. Thank you for sharing.

  • As always, I am late in responding…my bad. Thank you for this post which was a blessing to me. I can relate to all three point.
    Just today, I was reading a thread on a Christian website and I was shocked on how one person was treated so badly…being called names etc. I replied to this person and told them how sorry I was in the way he was being treated. It really makes me feel badly when I see people calling each other names etc. That is a lesson God has been teaching me over the years…to treat others with words that encourage and build up…having been called nearly everything in the book, I am especially sensitive to this and feel it breaks God’s heart when people tear each other down. Thanks again.

  • I will freely express that I have not fully surrendered my sexuality. I have been personally called to a very rural community as a young teacher, and my goal to build a music program in a very isolated area of North Dakota has crippled my sensibilities to good community and personal well-being. This is the end of year two. I am trying to love myself through physical fitness, prayer, diet, and very fruitless attempts to build friendships with locals. God is good, but He feels like a strict dad, not as a friend. I love that God warns and protects, but I want to feel that I am uniquely valuable and gifted due to being oriented differently in my sexuality, oriented differently in how I approach relationships, conversations, the day-to-day bullet lists. I feel like my neighbors eye me with suspicion, going beyond general curiosity. I can serve their kids and give them a valuable education, but in no way will I be allowed into their inner circle. I wish I mattered beyond what I do for others. When I think others don’t find me very lovable, my thoughts mirror that in myself.

    • Living in the northeast right outside a city, North Dakota seems out there, like Siberia. But y’know what, I’ll bet it’s beautiful. Hey, you get to see mountains and stars.
      That’s awesome you know you’re called to build something. That’s who you are, not just what you do. Not making connections sounds tough but if it makes ya feel any better, there’s like a hundred thousand people living within a couple miles here and it’s hard making connections. God’s led you where you are, and you’re gonna learn stuff there about Him and you, maybe better than living in a city.
      I don’t know if you’re new to YOB, but all the guys who write the posts are good guys. Till you find connection where you’re living, maybe YOB can be that place for you.

      • Please forgive my amusement, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest that the part of North Dakota I live in might be beautiful. Flat as a pancake. Very few trees. Acres and acres of farmland. You wanna go stargazing? Slap on the deet before the mosquitos make mincemeat of your skin. I’m a musician, and my schedule doesn’t allow me to join an ensemble, the nearest being an hour away. Same with an exercise community and basically every form of leisure, unless you like to do cardio by yourself. Church? Sure. Small group? Accountability? Nope. This town was not designed with single people in mind. And the lack of hospitality and physical touch have virtually all but killed my spirit and charisma

        • Sorry Roobster, I must’ve gotten the travel brochures mixed up. Thought North Dakota was the land of bears and bigfoot, where the fishing’s always great and the sun almost never sets. Seriously, the Rocky Mountains don’t go up your way?
          Hey man I know nothing about ND. But I do know it’s good to have others to share the journey with, especially if it’s as remote & lonely as you describe. YOB’s the place where I was able to share some of my story & challenges for the first time. And that doesn’t make up for not having others around face to face, but it’s a start and a pretty good one. I sure hope you stick around and share your story and add to this community. Don’t let guys like me who comment too much and sometimes can say really dumb things give ya the wrong idea. There are really good guys you can connect with here. You matter way more than you realize.

          • No worries, friend! You had us mixed up for a second with our hedonistic neighbor (looking at you, Montana). You know, vulnerability is something I rather find easy, but it’s interesting that there are not very many people who would be willing to share in my journey. I don’t know who to connect with, and I spent so much of my life friend searching, that I can no longer discern how to be a good friend. I don’t know if YOB is a great place to connect, but I guess I’m open to it. Something about connecting with people online drives me up a wall, but a good friend directed me here, so I had to pay my respects, so to speak

          • OK, so I thought it was Wyoming next to y’all. Tbh, the only sure thing I know about ND is it’s above SD. Still, the great outdoors stuff is really appealing.
            Check out the blog, it’s good hearing others’ stories and sharing your own, just having that outlet if you don’t other places. You can get a new perspective, and sometimes a better one than you figured out on your own. Everyone here shares a heart for Jesus and wanting in their lives to walk faithful and figuring out what that means. There’s also ways to connect like calls and video conferencing and other kinda cool things you might like. They just finished a retreat somewhere in the sticks; shoot, you’d probably feel right at home 🙂 Hit up the “Pledge” tab up top & check it out. There’s money involved but it’s not much and it’s just to help fund making this whole thing work.
            I get what you’re saying about having trouble knowing what it is to be a good friend. I get lost navigating emotions and screw up just being a normal guy who’s a good friend. For me, the blog’s enough. But there’s lots here, posts & podcasts & videos. If you’ve got any more questions about the site or the Patreon stuff, you can email Tom on the contact page. Rumor has it that when he traveled around the country some years ago, he spent 5 nights in a sweat lodge outside Minnewauken and got the idea to start Your Other Brothers. Just a rumor tho.

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