I had lunch with Justin Lee from GCN (Gay Christian Network) today. It was great to be around another person with a strong faith background. We both grew up in the SBC, so relating to each others story was quite easy. He mentioned Jeremy Marks in our conversation, so I visited his site and was very encouraged by what I read. I posted some of the article below and gave a link back at the end. Enjoy.
Isolation: the Great Enemy
I believe it is vital that gay Christian married men have an opportunity to get together from time to time for mutual support. Married gay men often suffer profound loneliness. In such times of isolation, all the ‘demons’ of rejection, low self-esteem, fear, loss, shame, etc., can visit us relentlessly and we don’t know what to do with ourselves or where to turn. This can be terribly destructive to one’s life overall, but especially one’s marriage and Christian faith. Fortunately, the history of the Christian church has proved that our faith can survive the severest hardships and even persecution when we have fellowship with others who are able to understand us and offer support in relationship and prayer. Courage provides a unique opportunity for us to find that support.
[Jesus said] ‘19Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.’
Matthew 18:19–20 (ANIV)
A wife’s tragedy
Whilst it is true that life can be extremely tough for the Christian married man who is gay, in fact the person who is often even worse off is his wife! The dynamics of her suffering are somewhat different to the husband’s. After the Fall, in Genesis,
[The Lord God said] to the woman … ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’
Genesis 3:16 (ANIV)
A wife naturally tends single-mindedly to devote herself to her husband and family. (This is a culturally ingrained trait, inculcated by generations of patriarchy, according to my wife!)Though she married ‘for better or for worse’, she probably anticipated that ‘for worse’ meant sickness, financial difficulties, or any other ‘normal’ challenges that life brings. The devastating shock of discovering that her husband desires a man, increases any sense she may already have of self-doubt, or feelings of inadequacy as a woman. So for the wife who discovers that her husband does not truly desire her as a woman, worse still perhaps, that he would really prefer to be with a man, her sense of desolation is very great indeed.
Some gay men do in fact experience ‘desire’ for their wife as well as desire for another man. Known as bisexuality, this scenario requires another paper in itself! However, in Courage’s ministry experience, true bisexuality is relatively uncommon.
Here are three very common scenarios we find in Courage ministry experience:
Love changes everything! Or does it? If, as a Christian, a wife knew that her husband was gay before they married, then she probably hoped that her love and God’s love would change him. But life does not seem to work out this way (certainly this is not our experience with Courage members over the last 17 years).
A can of worms! If she discovers at a later date that her husband is gay, usually this results in her feeling bereft, betrayed, shamed and desolate. All too often there is just nowhere for her to go! Who can she tell? Who would understand and comfort her in her sense of shame and desolation? When she gets in touch with her anger, she will probably protest, ‘But why can’t he control himself? After all, he’s got me!’ In other words, she has not understood the nature of her husband’s sexuality.
Conundrum! If she does not know that her husband is gay, what does her husband do? What are his responsibilities—before God, before his wife and for himself?
Read the rest of the article here… http://www.courage.org.uk/articles/married.shtml