Written by Davis Rowan.
Earlier this semester, I had a friend tell me that they were having homosexual feelings. If you have ever had anyone trust you with that information, you know what an honor it is to have a person place so much trust in you. If you feel that way yourself, then you know the fear and anxiety that comes with telling someone about such a critical aspect of your life. Let’s stop and think about that though: Why should a person have to experience two negative emotions — fear and anxiety — just to talk to someone else about the attraction they are experiencing? Yet, too often, people are terrified to tell anyone about these feelings out of fear of being mocked, abused, cast out or condemned to hell. And who can blame them? You hear stories of people being kicked out of their homes by their parents because they feel this way. You hear of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church holding signs on the side of the highway that read “Fags Doom Nations” and “God Hates Gays.” You hear heart wrenching stories of people taking their own lives because of the cruel bile that people spew at them. This is simply not acceptable. This is not how God would want us to treat each other.
We, as Christian servants of a loving God, are called to be better than that. We are called to love people unconditionally, just as God loves us. First John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love.” Love is not shown by marginalizing and mistreating people because you find their sexual orientation to be wrong. Love is not shown by degrading a person because they feel differently than you do. Love is not shown by hurting someone, physically or emotionally, because you find their feelings of attraction to be counter to what you believe in.
Rather, love is shown by being caring and kind to a person when you do not fully understand what they are going through. Love can be shown by listening and being a safe space for someone who feels scared to tell others about what they are going through. Love can be shown by being emotionally supportive, even if you do not fully agree with a person’s feelings. We need to be better at this, especially as Christians. If someone trusts you enough to tell you about these specific feelings that come with so much fear, show them respect by continuing to be a person they can open up to. Whether or not you agree with their thoughts about homosexuality, at the end of the day, you are called to love them.