Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness (John 10:10). So, obeying his will on sex and relationships should not lead to a miserable life. We do, however, live in a very sexualised culture. A culture where the very notion of forgoing sexual relationships is considered at best strange, and at worst harmful. We must, therefore, honestly ask ourselves; when it comes to our views on sex and celibacy, are we being influenced by God’s Word, or by the prevailing view of our culture?
Where to start…my name is Rob and I’m now 27 years old, so cue mid-life crisis! Although I'm not from a Christian background I did grow up in a loving family with a nice upbringing. I listened intently to Gospel messages when I was 10 years old and started going to the church youth group and other services. I experienced God's love and started to grow in faith.
My first memories of attraction and sexual feelings as a child were towards guys. I didn't realise I was 'gay' at the time as I didn't know what that word meant and had only ever heard that term used in negative ways.
Fear can be a restrictive, negative emotion. The fear I experienced on my first – and only! – roller coaster ride meant that I’ve never risked another one. Fear limits us and can stop us from doing certain things or enjoying certain experiences.
I was brought up in a loving, moral, church-going family and benefitted from Christian input at Sunday School from a very early age. From around about the age of 10 or 11 I became very conscious of being attracted, both emotionally and physically, to my male school friends rather than to my female school friends. I hadn’t chosen to have those feelings and I spent most of my teenage years fighting against them and tormenting myself with guilt over them. Finally, aged 17, I reluctantly started to identify myself, inwardly at least, as being gay.
A well-meaning Christian friend put this question to me and I confess that it made me quite angry. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction and have spent some time subsequently reflecting both on the question and my response to it.