Thursday, April 18, 2024

I CONFESS: How can I serve God and my body?

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I WANT TO USE this forum to continue the debate on what I think is a major issue in the church that is not being adequately dealt with. It is about sex and Christians.

Let me say upfront that I am a born-again Christian and I strive every day to live by God’s word and praise his glory.

But I have a dilemma; it relates to my sexuality.

I am attracted to women and I want to be with them.

Yes, I want the relationships I develop to lead to marriage, but at the same time, in the courting process one makes love and has intercourse – which is wrong in the sight of God. Worse, you may do this with a girl and then she and you don’t really hit it off, so the relationship does not work out.

So my difficulty is, how can I honestly praise the Father and avoid doing the things of the flesh?

It is a dilemma that I have been wrestling with for some time and I know I am not the only one. From conversations that I have had with other young Christians, they, too, have been fighting this war between their desire to serve the Lord and their physical urges.

What compounds this problem is that there are few pastors, priests, or elders in the different churches that we, as young people, can turn to for non-judgemental guidance and advice.

I stress the non-judgemental part because while there are counselling services readily available at most churches, the fact is that those who are supposed to be professional and caring in their advice often tend to be too subjective in viewing your circumstances.

Raging hormones

It’s often a situation where they seem to forget that you are a young person with raging hormones surrounded by talk, advertisements, and images of sex 24/7.

So instead of walking away from a counselling session where you are given practical advice on how to handle a matter, or some realistic option on how to deal with your emotions, you are preached to, or talked down to, and sometimes even admonished for having these natural urges.

But worse than that, sometimes those same respectable Christian leaders tell other senior people like them about you; and you pick this up with their changed attitude towards your involvement in some aspect of your church duties.

This happened to me, and I have heard other young people say similar things, so I am convinced about what I am saying.

When it happened I had just turned 19 and was involved in just about everything in the church. I was still a virgin and I really believed that I would have a fairy tale life where I would meet a girl who was innocent like me, we would get married, have children and live happily ever after.

What happened instead was that I became friends with a senior pastor’s daughter, whom I met at a crusade. We would call each other on the telephone and visit each other’s church. She introduced me to her parents and they seemed to like me as I was attending the University of the West Indies, while she was in sixth form.

After that I thought my fairy tale would become a reality. I used to dream of us completing our studies, then marrying, and after a few years having children. I dreamt that I was going to have the perfect life and people would always look at us as a model couple to be emulated.

But my reality turned out far different from that.

First, she was not as innocent as I was. She had had boyfriends before and actually had sex. I never knew this until one day during a vacation she invited me down by her house to help her do some house chores.

When I got there her parents were not home.

You could imagine how nervous I was then. Though I had been to her house quite a few times before, I never got past the living room. Besides that, one of her parents or older siblings was always at home. But this day no one was there but us.

Feared her parents

I was scared of going to her bedroom because I feared if her parents, brother, or sister came home it would not look good for me to be in there with her alone. But she convinced me it would not take long and asked me if I did not trust her. Since I trusted her, I went.

Shortly after that, she came on to me telling me I should not be afraid to show her my feelings for her.

Before I could respond, she kissed me. To be truthful, she taught me how to kiss as I had never done it using my tongue before. As I hugged her close to me, for the first time in my life I felt sensations in my body that I did not understand.

It was so overwhelming that I just did not know what to do.

From there she placed my hand all over her body and told me what to do; and I did it. I could not resist doing it because of what I was feeling.

When she tried to take off my pants I resisted because I knew I was doing wrong, but she persisted and begged and begged until eventually I just gave into her. After that we had intercourse.

What I went through that day changed my life completely. I felt happy, sad, and guilty all at the same time. She was a few months shy of her 17th birthday, but was experienced enough to seduce me.

One part of me wanted to hug her and thank her for what she did to me, while the other part of me felt she had betrayed my trust, her parents’, and had sinned.

With all those conflicting emotions I could not function, so a couple of days later I went to my pastor about it and told him what had happened and asked him for guidance. Big mistake!

That pastor told the girl’s father, who beat her and banned me from coming near his daughter or his church. When I confronted my pastor about disclosing such confidential information, he told me he did it in both our interests as we were young and misguided.

I left that church.

Since then, I have been to other churches and have had a few experiences with other “Christian girls”, who like me were looking for the right person to settle down with. In each case they too shared my dilemma of loving God but wanting to be with and experience their lover before they get married.

And, like me, they feel more needs to be done by the church to help young people deal with their sexuality.

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