This post is the first in a five-part series.
Sex Lie #1: My Sexuality is my Identity
Back when I was in college, we never thought of our sexuality as being integral to our identity. We naively thought the word “gay” described what someone liked to do rather than defining who someone was at their core. But today, there is no greater identity than sexual. Forget about your gender, age, race or religion. What’s your sexual orientation?
If this is true, and my sexual proclivity is essential to who I am, then to reject my sexuality is to reject… well… ah… me. No wonder the homosexual activists are so driven to achieve social acceptance. No wonder churches which refuse to “affirm” homosexuals are viewed so contemptuously.
What do you believe? Do you believe your sexuality is your identity?
I urge you to consider that though your sexual urges certainly describe you, they should never define you.
According to scripture we were made in the image of God, a God who has no gonads (Gen 1:26-28). The God of the Bible is nothing like the philandering gods of the Greeks or the multi-bosomed deities of Eastern religions. Admittedly, Jesus was a man (with the plumbing to prove it), but he taught us that Our Heavenly Father is Spirit (John 4:23-26).
There are many characteristics of God that, because we were made in His image, we are driven to imitate and celebrate. God is creator, so made in His image we love to create. He is relational, so made in His image we seek relationships.
But alas, God is not sexual. I think it’s incredibly significant to note that sex is a characteristic we share not with the Creator, but with the animals He created. No wonder our sex drive is likened to animal instinct.
No wonder Romans 1 declares that God’s wrath is kindled against men who exchange, “the glory of the incorruptible God [that would be the God who is spirit] for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures [you know… the part of His creation that mates].” (Rom 1:18-23)
Our sexuality isn’t evil. It’s a gift! But when we make it our identity we make it an idol. This is just as true for the homophobe, smug in his “normalcy,” as it is the homosexual, proud of their “sexual identity.” Sex is key to the continuation of the species and the celebration of marital intimacy, but if we are made in the image of a God who has no sex organs, perhaps we shouldn’t look to our sex organs to tell us who we are.
If we are primarily spiritual beings, then who we are sexually, becomes subject to who we are spiritually. And here’s the exciting implication of this reality, especially for those who feel enslaved by their sexual urges (whether homo or hetero): If our sexuality is subject to our spirituality, then in Christ we can confront and find victory over our sexual struggles.
Indeed, we’re called to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. If that sounds painful, it’s because it is (Gal 5:16-24). However, if you wish to succeed, you must believe that it is possible. And will prove worth it!
On the other hand, if you insist your sexuality is your identity, you’ll find denying that part of you nearly impossible. It’s hard enough trying to crucify a bad habit. Forget about crucifying an identity. In fact, there’s only one identity we should profess.
It’s my prayer that the next time someone questions your sexual identity, you can inform them that you don’t have one. Your identity is in Christ (Rom 8:1-2).
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2 Cor 5:17