Is it Possible to Change Homosexual Behavior?
Question: I’m quite fearful, honestly, to leave my homosexual lifestyle behind because it’s the only lifestyle I’ve lived that is comfortable and makes me feel good about myself and loved.
Answer: First of all, I understand that thinking about leaving the homosexual lifestyle is pretty scary for you right now since you feel comfortable and don’t know how to change or what life will be like if you do change.
The fact is that you can change since there is no clear evidence that homosexuality is biological and thus, a permanent condition. The American Psychological Association writes:
“What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation? There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles……”
Let me make an analogy of your situation to the person who has an alcohol or drug addiction or any addiction for that matter. Stopping a behavior, ending the relationships and social connections and lifestyle that go along with the addiction, is going to mean a lot of change … and take a lot of courage.
Let me ask you if you have ever really considered the consequences of your behavior? Have you asked yourself questions like: how is this lifestyle going to affect me five or ten years from now? What kinds of health risks am I exposing myself to? Aids, STDs, herpes? What do I want in life? What is my identity, and what am I missing out on by not living and behaving like a heterosexual person?
My guess is that you really are not comfortable being in the gay lifestyle, or you wouldn’t be contemplating leaving. Maybe things are not too bad for you now, but, what will be the consequences down the road if you stay in this lifestyle?
You are making choices which will affect you forever. The possibility of having a husband and family will become more and more remote. You are making choices about sexual preference which run against the grain of societal norms, and might I say, the very nature of how God made you.
Your lifestyle will prevent you from knowing God personally. I’m talking about knowing the God of the Bible. In your heart of hearts, you may be defending your choice to remain in this lifestyle even as you read this message. My question is: what makes you feel defensive? Usually, people feel defensive when they are not confident about what they are doing or confident about the choices they are making.
Let me say upfront that I do not condemn or judge you. You are accountable to God – not me. How do you feel about your relationship with God? Would you like to learn more about Him and experience a personal relationship with Him? If so, read about faith on this site.
Considering God’s Will and What’s Next:
Secondly, I’d like to say that it is your conscience that is speaking to you about leaving this lifestyle. A still, small voice inside is telling you that it is not right. I want to urge you to follow that voice. Take a risk. It will take courage, but it is not an accident that you feel the way you do. I believe it is God who is also telling you to leave. God is the One who will grant you the supernatural power to leave.
You are really afraid to stay any longer – to keep living this way because ultimately it is not fulfilling. So, if God is telling you leave, then He will go with you into new territory. Just like an alcoholic who makes the “break”, leaves the bar and starts going to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings — you too can leave and start going to meetings sponsored by Homosexuals Anonymous .
Visit Restored Hope Network for more resources.
You can also start going to a church where you will get encouragement and spiritual strength to live differently. To live according to the way God made you to live.
Obviously, there are no easy answers for overcoming any addictive or unhealthy behavior and lifestyle. But underneath your addiction and lust is a deep thirst. A seemingly unquenchable thirst for something to satisfy, something to take away pain, something to bring excitement. In any addiction there is emotional pain that needs numbing, a psychological and physiological need for a high, and a deep spiritual thirst for answers to life and relationship with God.
You are looking for answers to your deepest needs in all the wrong places. In the Bible, Jeremiah 2:13 God says, “My people have committed two sins: they have turned from Me the living water and dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (NIV).
Who quenches the deep thirst for something satisfying in life? Only God. People try to fill that thirst with everything but God and they dig trenches, bigger, longer and wider, trying the same things that don’t work, don’t quench their thirst.
Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”(NIV), and in John 6:51, He said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (NIV).
You have fallen into a trap and now you need supernatural help to escape. You need to begin with God, counseling and support.
Steps to help set you free from this lifestyle:
1. Finding Freedom in Christ
Start by learning who Jesus is and what He can do to set you free from this behavior by reading the Gospel of John in the New Testament.
Freedom from any bad habit or addiction comes when you begin a relationship with Christ. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19, NIV).
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” we read in Galatians 5:1 (NIV). And in John 8:34-37, we see, “Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’ (NIV).
When a person trusts Christ as Lord and Savior, he or she can be set free because Jesus is God and said in John 10:10, “I have come to give you life and give it more abundantly” (NIV). Jesus sets people free and answers the questions and pain in their lives such as: where am I going when I die; how can I deal with suffering; and what am I living for on this earth? He also gives power to overcome the temptations and the addiction when a person surrenders his or her life to Him.
People need spiritual change from the inside out. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. It is through Him and His power that you will ultimately find true freedom from and victory over this lifestyle and addiction.
People – all of us – need spiritual change from the inside out. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. It is through Him and His power that you will ultimately find true freedom from and victory over this lifestyle and addiction.
You need a new identity. Understanding and building your self-worth on the love and forgiveness of Christ will help you stop looking for your identity in the approval of others or in your performance. Read The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes (workbook included) by Robert McGee.
2. Finding Freedom through Prayer and Fellowship
Prayer is the key. Praying to Christ for the power to change and power to resist the temptation. Jesus said in Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (NIV).
Real Freedom comes when we surrender our lives and hearts to God and admit that we cannot overcome this sin in our lives without His help and intervention. Jesus said in Mark 14:38, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (NIV). Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (NIV).
Find a solid, Christian church to get encouragement and fellowship because Scriptures command us to fellowship with other believers and to pray for one another: Take a look at your life and yourself. Begin to find freedom for yourself before it’s too late!
Get into a support group, get counseling and start over with God – who can give you supernatural help to escape these self-destructive habits!
3. Finding Freedom through choices you make: Plan 3-4 things you are going to do before you cave-in to the urge to go to this sexual behavior.
When you have the urge: Pray for God’s power to avoid this temptation: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
Meditate and memorize some scriptures about Christ’s power in your life: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13. Read scriptures about how to be strong in the Lord and put on the full armor of God such as Ephesians 6:10-18. Read scriptures which teach Christian living and virtues such as Colossians chapter 3: “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above…….set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. … put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry….. Put on the new self……let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. (and in verse 17): and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,….. ”
What choices can you make so that your behavior glorifies the name of Jesus Christ? Read scriptures on how how to be a good steward of your time, talents and resources. Decide to do something else (a healthy activity): leave the scene or your gay friend. Turn your car around and go home instead of the gay bar, etc.
Start a project or begin to clean your house. Call someone or a sponsor to talk and pray with from Homosexuals Anonymous. This person can help you think about what you are doing, how to avoid triggers and start doing something productive and making friends with heterosexuals instead.
Commit to taking these steps before you cave-in. It’s my belief that you have control over this behavior/addiction and that with God’s power you can avoid and prevent it. This activity and pattern is a choice and you don’t have to make that choice.
4. Finding freedom through counseling and support. Christian counseling and support can help you leave this lifestyle. Secular counselors most likely will not encourage you to change as they may believe this behavior is acceptable.
If you really want to change – God will help you and bless you as you take a step to follow Him. God will help you discover real freedom and real life as the person He made you to be.
© copyright 2019 by Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC