Sunday, 27 April 2014

How leaving an abusive marriage changed my attitude to homosexuality

I recently came across this blog post. It’s one that this time last year I would have probably agreed with. Today I found it truly offensive.

I could spend a long time going into detail about each question but I’ll just address the one that particularly irked me. It was Question 3
“What do you say to those people who are genuinely ex-gay or to those who are still same-sex attracted but have chosen to separate themselves to the Lord unless He changes them?”

It irritated me because it suggests that someone who is struggling with being gay can pray and if they pray hard enough and have enough faith then they will be made heterosexual by God, even if they have to wait sometime.

A while back I read an interview with Justin Lee, a gay Christian in which he explains how he felt exactly that. He describes how earnestly he prayed to not be gay, and when he still was gay he felt that there must be something wrong with him that God didn’t answer his prayers.
I identified with his comments so much. It reminded me how earnestly I prayed for God to fix my marriage. Just like Justin Lee knew he wanted to be straight because "God disapproves of homosexuality" I knew I wanted to remain married to my abusive husband because “God hates divorce” (it says so in the bible)

And just like Justin Lee felt about being gay, I felt shame and embarrassment that my marriage didn’t work. I felt that if I had enough faith God would transform my marriage and I was reminded of a testimony I heard as a child about an abusive husband transformed by God who fixed his marriage.

Just as the gay Christian hears stories of ex gay Christians I had heard stories of miracles within marriage, of marriages restored by Jesus.

So when I left my husband I felt I had failed. And I know there are Christians out there who do believe that a wife should stay with her abusive partner. In fact it is something I would once have believed, because I would have believed that God would put the situation right if she honoured her vows, especially if her husband was also a Christian as mine was.

But I learned that my beliefs around marriage and divorce were wrong.  I learned  through being in a situation where I was abused, where I am divorcing. It was not a case of me bending scripture to suit my situation, it was a case of God using my situation to instruct me, to transform me how HE wanted to transform me and most importantly to love me, just as I am.

If I can be wrong about marriage, I can be wrong about homosexuality. I don’t know if I am or not. I do know though that when I was wrong about marriage God loved me, when in my error I ignorantly behaved sinfully, he loved me. That he loves me now whether I am right or wrong, and he loves me when I get it wrong and don't even realise I am sinning. That whether our doctrine and the way we live our doctrine is right or whether we’ve got it horribly wrong, if we’re genuinely walking our journey with Christ then we are not eternally damned for our mistakes, but that in God-time we will be instructed, gently, lovingly, not by preachy Christians on blogs but by God. And this is why, if I believe another Christian has got their doctrine completely arse about face, if I believe that the way they are living is utterly sinful I’ll still be patient with them, I will still trust in their relationship with Christ and I will trust Jesus to do his thing, because it might not be them he gently shows the error of their ways, it might just be me. 


  1. I think we should always look at ourselves and question both our certainty and our motivation before we start questioning someone elses. That said, there are also times when we are getting something wrong and we need our friends to be bold enough to tell us so - just as we may need to gently speak out to our friends.

  2. I agree, But only to our friends, not as huge proclamations to vast swathes of strangers, and also we need to do it with love and respect, and not question whether or not they are even saved in the process. I have more of an issue with people who say "you can't be gay and a Christian" than I do with people who say "homosexuality is a sin" .....if that makes sinse....


Thanks for your comments and encouragement.