My 4 Stories as a Gay Christian
Truths That Guide My Life
Stories matter. What are the primary truths that guide your life? As a gay Christian, I have determined that the following four stories allow me to thrive.
My Story #1: I am married to Jesus, forevermore
It was already after midnight. Tomorrow I will take my last “final exam” as a cadet at the Air Force Academy. I had studied hard and felt prepared, come what may. I closed my textbook, opened my bible, and then sprawled out on my bed. After reading a section from the bible, I closed it and prepared to slip under my bed covers.
It was then that my roommate asked me: “Mike, why do you read the bible?”
I responded: “Because I am embarrassed.”
My roommate was puzzled, but continued with his second question: “Why are you embarrassed about reading the bible?”
Exasperated, I told my roommate: “Because you and your friends know everything in the bible. And I am only barely starting to read it.”
Roommate: “Do you know who Jesus Christ is?”
Me, answering a question that felt pejorative: “Yes, I certainly know who Jesus is.”
Roommate, asking me the life-changing question: “So what’s your relationship with Jesus?”
I was speechless. I did not comprehend how to answer. I was a Catholic at this time — and all that I knew about Jesus was that He was born on Christmas, died on Easter, and was a member of The Holy Trinity.
As a faithful Catholic, I wanted to get to heaven; thus, I confessed to a priest every Saturday and took communion every Sunday. I presumed that such rituals would be my ticket into heaven (unless, of course, I died with any unconfessed sin on my soul).
However, on the epic night with my roommate, I learned that if I fully aligned with Jesus (i.e., “gave up my life for Him”), then Jesus would come inside me — and He would never, ever leave me.
Fast-forward to ~one year later. I stood in front of my fiancé, the priest, family, and very best friends. I then promised (in a loud voice) that I would never leave her until death do us part! Forty-one years later, my wife’s cancerous death parted us. Promise and commitment are really, really big deals with me!
Jesus is described as the “husband” and His Church as the “bride.” Jesus’ universal Church is composed of women and men. Therefore, as a man, I am married to Jesus. And commitment matters.
I am complete, 100% certain that Jesus will never leave me. And, equally, I will never leave Jesus — come what may. When I sin, Jesus does not leave me. Jesus will not abandon me simply because I am gay. Nor will He divorce me if I am physical with a man in the “wrong” way. And Jesus is certainly not going to leave me if I marry my beloved gay partner.
Jesus will never leave me; I will never leave Him. Forevermore.
Jesus: “Whoever comes to me, I will not throw out. Whoever takes me into themselves remains with me — and I will remain with him. Everyone trusting in me will have life forevermore.”
My Story #2: I discovered God’s relationship blueprint
She was the first (and as life would later prove, the last) woman to whom I was sexually attracted. Her hair was auburn red, rust-colored. Gorgeous. I wanted to see her nude; I wanted to experience her body. She smiled easily and had an immediately sharp sense of humor. I knew that other men wanted her — yet she made me feel particularly valuable. And I would end up marrying her.
From the time we first met until eight years later (when I came out to her), our relationship was mutually perfect (as though we were in the Garden of Edan). We both wanted to provide for the other sacrificially. I missed her whenever I was away — and I longed to be back together. When we were together, I wanted to treat her to very special dates; to talk all night long, to touch her. I was intoxicated by her — deeply in love with her. I wanted nothing less than to spend the rest of my life in this blissful love with her.
But, oh my gosh. It’s happening again. This time, however, I am sexually attracted to a man. It sounds corny, but it was love at first sight. Gosh, he is handsome — and sexy! I was initially taken by his “little boy” shyness and humility. We share the same personality and values. I found I could talk easily — and forever — with him. I want to see him nude, to explore his body. He laughs a lot, and I laugh right along with him. He is the only man I have ever danced with (cheek to cheek, I might add).
But how can this be? He is a man. I already had loved a woman. But the love relationship that I had with my wife was being repeated — with a man. I longed to be with my man, as I did with my wife. I ached when I was away, as I did with my wife. I felt more “whole” when I was with him, as I did with my wife. And I want to be with him, exclusively, until I die — as I did with my wife.
First, a woman. Then, a man. God was teaching me something important. God showed me through my life experience that God has a “relational blueprint” for humans. And this blueprint follows the same pattern — regardless of the gender of the people. Experientially, I have learned that the blueprint was God’s intentional design that maximizes love as a committed couple.
Thus, I now am fully certain that God delights in romantic, erotic, committed love between two humans in a monogamous relationship. A gay man with another gay man is just as romantic and acceptable to God as is a man with a woman. At the expense of being cliché, “love is love.”
God designed humans to become in love. And I am so very glad that I could experience my wife’s love and my gay partner’s love with equal value.
It’s all part of God’s blueprint.
My Story #3: I trust my joy
I borrow the above principle from my pastor, Ken Wilson. Thanks, Ken.
For me, being in romantic love is a feeling of joy. I have been romantically in love with my wife and now with my gay partner. And I had experienced joy when I was in the presence of either person. For me, the joy feels like a “lightness” in my spirit — playful, inner happiness. I have discovered that I tend to hum or sing when I feel joy. For me, the joy feels like internal energy that cannot be contained — it bubbles up, ready to burst forward.
“Joy,” of course, is a sure sign of activity of the Holy Spirit. It is a fruit in which the Spirit graciously provides inside us.
“For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, …”
For years I was taught to believe that gay love is bad. Two gay men should never be in a relationship with each other and certainly must never become married. At least, that is what my pastors told me. Sigh.
But now I know differently. I know that love is the evidence of one’s proper alignment with God (via the Spirit). So is joy. When I felt love and joy with my wife, my pastors would delight. Yet, when I shared about my love and joy toward a man, my pastors frowned and told me that such a feeling was from Satan. Sigh.
So, I choose to apply Ken Wilson’s motto. I just trust joy.
My Story #4: Love is THE answer
As a Catholic for the first 24 years of my life, I knew the local priest had the answers to all of my questions. After all, the priest represented the Pope — and the Pope received divine inspiration directly from God. So, the answer to all of my life’s questions was to be holy and avoid sin. I believed that if I died with unconfessed sin, I was banished from heaven — and sent to Purgatory. My sins would be burnt off there, allowing me to go to heaven finally.
When I became an evangelical Protestant, I then knew that Jesus is the answer to all of my questions. Indeed, the bible cites Jesus as having declared:
“I am the way, the Truth, and the life.”
Jesus’ equation seemed gloriously simple (especially after all of the minute laws within Catholicism). Seek Jesus for the Truth. I still believe that declaration today.
However, my evangelical leaders gave me a dual answer somewhere along my 40+ years as an evangelical (of which I am no longer). Yes, we are saved by grace alone, not by our works. However, leaders seemed to emphasize that my sins would prevent me from going to heaven (i.e., just as the priests had preached).
Evangelical leaders said that if I am a homosexual, I must repent of my sins in order to go to heaven [note: how does one repent of an automatic, involuntary attraction?]. Thus, I attempted (as an evangelical) to confess to God (and male accountability Brothers) every time I engaged in homoeroticism. Mind you; I had never actually erotically touched a man (and certainly I abstained from anal intercourse). Still, I had thought about doing so! And such thoughts required confession and repentance to go to heaven.
Later still, I was told by evangelicals that to have a romantic relationship with a man was sinful — and that I must never allow that to happen. And if (God forbid!) I did fall in love with a man; leaders told me that I needed to repent of that sin (i.e., by breaking off the romantic relationship). The most heinous sin was, of course, marrying a man. Certainly, such a union with a man violated my marriage with Jesus — and jeopardized my ability to go to heaven.
So, guess who I turned to for help? That’s right — Jesus!
And here is what Jesus told me:
“The most important command in the bible is love: love God with all you have to give, and love all others whom you encounter in the way you want to be treated. And here is My newest and final command: love others in the way you have seen Me love people (i.e., sacrificially offer-up kindness). If you love others, you will have satisfied every command, every rule, every directive. Love is the way to live. It is the greatest virtue of all. And if you want to demonstrate your alignment with Me, then love others. Love is THE answer.”
Wow. That answer resolved all of my questions!
So please allow me to recap.
I am permanently united with Jesus; I will never leave Him. Jesus is always attached to me; He will never leave me. And I demonstrate my love for Jesus by providing loving-kindness to all people.
It is easiest for me to love my family (my kids and grandkids). It is also easy for me to love my beloved, gay life partner. And it is easy for me to show kindness to any gay man.
But additionally, Jesus asks me to show respect and loving-kindness to the conservative Christian who warns me that I am headed to hell. Yep, I am supposed to love the person who hates me because I am gay, who hates me because I believe in gay marriage. And this type of person genuinely believes that he is defending Jesus in hating me.
I choose love.
And, indeed, love is THE answer.
GAYoda is a publication to uniquely and specifically support gay Christian men. Click here to learn more.
Dr. Mike Rosebush is the founder and author of GAYoda. He has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor with 45+ years of mentoring thousands of gay Christian men. Read a short synopsis of his story here.
Read Dr. Rosebush’s complete set of articles here.
Dr. Rosebush provides friendship support to gay Christian men across the U.S. and can be contacted via Facebook or email@example.com.