I'm a sexual being. But my sexuality isn't the only aspect that defines me. I'm also an intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual being formed in the image of Christ. My choices are influenced by all of these impulses and leanings.
As a heterosexual woman, I can't deny that I'm attracted to the opposite sex. My natural desire for men doesn't make me sinful, but my desiring men doesn't give me license to have sex just because my natural orientation tells me so. God made it clear that sex is for husbands and wives. On my wedding day, I made a covenant not to go outside my marriage to meet my sexual needs. Before I was married, I was held to the same standard—to the purity of my body.
For some, it seems unfair—even cruel— that God makes us sexual beings, but then he tells us that only the marrieds get to enjoy this aspect of ourselves. Where's the good sense or grace in that design? Sex reserved for marriage between a man and woman only? Can anyone even live up to such a standard?
God set the bar for sexual purity high, to be sure. The scriptural passages regarding sex are not easy to deal with, and the ones regarding homosexuality are even tougher to digest, especially if you're the one experiencing it. In this issue, we hear from three people who faced the challenge of discovering God in the midst of their homosexuality or same-sex attractions.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield caught the world's attention when she came out with her tale of leaving academia as a gay woman and becoming a believer who went on to marry a man. Don't miss her interview with Allison J. Althoff, "From Lesbian Professor to Pastor's Wife."1