I love the story of the prodigal son, the way his father ran towards him with open arms, ready to welcome him back after his years of wasted opportunity. No rebuke, no questions asked, just pure love and acceptance. And that’s exactly what God did for me four years ago, just before my 49th birthday. After years of rebellion and destructive behaviour, God welcomed me back into his family.
Written by American mental-health counsellor and ordained minister Jay Stringer. The book explores the processes of how we begin to “understand our lust”, seeing our present-day sexual fantasies and behaviours as road maps that can help us to understand our unresolved experiences from the past.
David Bennett describes his life both before and after he became a Christian. He was attracted to other boys from the age of 14, and so had issues with Christianity because he felt if he was to become a Christian he couldn’t act on his romantic inclinations. He became a gay activist in Australia in support of gay marriage. Despite all this, David writes, “Jesus did not stay tidily out of my life.”
I recall feeling envious of girls during my childhood - prior to adolescence - and seeking to mimic their play and appearance; I would have preferred to be a girl rather than a boy.
Christians can still struggle with gender stereotypes. Unable just to choose a different gender, as some would now advocate, we can be left wondering how to navigate any struggles with gender stereotypes while still remaining faithful to our biblical worldview.
Jeanette writes in this article of how, in her early years, shame weighed upon her and left her feeling isolated. Later she came to see herself through Jesus' eyes and this liberated her from this most crushing of emotions.