Hello friends! You can call me Seraphim. I am a husband, father to small children who are constantly on fire, metalcore enthusiast, and Midwestern-yet-Eastern Orthodox Christian. When I am not putting out fires, I enjoy reading about intersections of medicine and religion and reflecting on non-straight experiences within the church, each of which I pray are healing to soul and body.

During my wife’s and my wedding service, the priest prayed over our tied hands this verse: “What God has joined together, let not man tear asunder.” The cross held over our hands, this verse seemed apt in light of my experience of same-sex attraction, that no man would tear us apart, and that in knowing Christ here, we would be joined together.

It was clear from just our third date, when she came to know this side of me, that we fit. Her lovely response to my terrified disclosure went something along the lines of, “You’re exhausting. I like you. Can we just date now?”

God revealed the complementary natures of our personalities beautifully, making it abundantly clear to those in our spiritual community that we should come together. I even got cornered in a conversation with the abbess of a monastery who noted how my way of asking her out on our first date sounded more like a marriage proposal.

And so we entered into the mystery, praying for the salvation of our souls.

It seemed like we were winning the mixed-orientation marriage game after having three kids in less than five years. As my wife and I grew together, I remembered the kid I used to be. The kid who slammed his head against the walls in frustration with his experience of sexuality, not knowing what to do with his extensive baby name list and the desire to date girls despite not knowing what that was supposed to look like.

I wanted to hold that kid close and tell him it would work out somehow, even though there was still that other part.

Oh right, that other part, which remained after we got married — you know, the part where I’m physically attracted to dudes. My attractions seemed to be raging about like a tiger caged by shame and the social pressure to straight-pass.

I guess my metalhead vibes were good for something on the latter front, but they don’t particularly calm down tigers.

For all that Scripture and the church have written on attraction patterns inclined toward women, I reflected on what my attractions toward men were supposed to do in marriage. Our experiences of sexuality should point us toward the beautiful, and I wanted to orient all that beauty toward Christ and loving my wife well.

But how would I make the guy-attraction part of me beautiful as a married man?

I confessed this to my priest earlier this year, this feeling of ignorance of beauty. Shortly after receiving absolution, we had one of our Lenten services. I looked about the church, images of Christ surrounding me, and my mind drifted toward the following Psalm:

You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Fairer than the sons of men. To recognize Christ as fairer than the sons of men, maybe I must first recognize the fairness of men themselves. Not boil down and shy away from the patterns of fairness I behold in them, but simply say, “Hey, he is very beautiful.” Perhaps I can smile and take that in without trying to shut it down or ramp it up to an eleven.

Does that acknowledgment of beauty keep me from knowing my wife? May it never be!

Because now that I can see that beauty in men, I can be led to knowing that Christ is fairer yet. That Christ is fairer than the sons of men, with men’s fairness serving as a steppingstone toward remembrance of God.

God, who is not letting men tear us asunder.

God, who is joining my wife and me together.

God, who is perhaps letting men join us closer to Himself and each other.

Have you ever felt like your sexuality felt useless or misplaced? How have you been able to find beauty in your sexuality? How does your sexuality point you toward Christ?

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  • Beautiful post. My pastor just preached on Psalm 45 a couple days ago, but I never thought about this verse or noticed it in the lovely way you share here.

    Thanks for sharing a small part of your story and encouraging us to use the beauty of other men as icons to point to the transcendent beauty of Christ.

    I sometimes wonder if my attraction to men is a small foretaste of the eternal beauty I’ll find in the perfect man of Jesus as a member of his coming bride, the church. In that way, my sexuality does benefit me to more naturally understand what it’s like to love both the body and soul of another man.

  • As a fellow Orthodox Christian who is also in a mixed orientation marriage, I especially was encouraged by your post. I have come to a place of saying when I see someone who is attractive (often out loud if no one is within hearing distance), “God, you make beautiful people!”

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