“Being single sucks!” That was the mantra I had for a long time. I’m in my early thirties with 2 brothers, 1 niece and 5 nephews. Everyone in my immediate family was happily married by the age of 22. I am the black sheep. Your thirties is that time of life when everyone seems to be getting married and you seem to be waving goodbye to them all from your dusty shelf. What do I have to look forward to?
Choosing celibacy over same-sex attraction is a good thing according to God's infallible word. For me personally choosing celibacy was like a bereavement. Saying "Bon voyage" to my sexual expression and identity, the hope of finding a long term partner and physical intimacy. Feeling that something I loved was being taken away from me. For a number of years I couldn't help but experience this as a major loss.
In our culture people still assume everyone wants a husband or wife, or at least a partner. The majority view is that being in relationship is preferable to being single. We often refer to people as happily married. But when did you last hear someone described as happily unmarried? Sadly, this is a foreign concept even in the Church. This piles pressure on unmarried believers and particularly those who face same-sex temptations, for whom heterosexual marriage may never be viable.
It is true that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And in the very next verse we discover one of the major benefits of any form of suffering and struggling. God’s big plan for our lives is that we “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).
Some people with same-sex attraction would like their sexual orientation to change. But is being 'straight' a godly goal? For the Christian, exchanging one set of sexual temptations for another set is not really progress towards living a life that gives glory to God. Rather, God calls every Christian to behave within the sexual boundaries set out in the Bible. And God does not promise to take away our struggles - in the Bible, Paul's experience was that God gave him the grace to endure his "thorn in the side" (2 Cor 12:8-9).