Hi James! Right now I’m dealing with homosexuality and pornography which is an absolute nightmare to me because I personally believe against both things and hate it. The worst part of it all is that I feel I have no one to go to. My family is conservative on both issues culturally and religiously and I feel they would judge me. These sins are also really taboo in church and I’m just so afraid to tell my pastor or youth pastor. I really just feel as if I don’t have anyone to help me through this sin I’ve been struggling with for months. It gets hard sometimes not having a mentor I can actually trust in, friends who are where I’m at spiritually, or a family that can empathize and help me. Do you have any advice for my situation?
[A recent privately answered question]
Thank you so much for your vulnerability. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and it takes courage to ask for help. You’ve done both, and I’m really proud of you.
You aren’t alone in how you feel. Every Christian struggles against temptation in one way or another. For you it’s homosexuality and pornography. For me it’s pornography and worry. For everyone it’s something. And even the Apostle Paul dealt with it:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
— Romans 7:15
So don’t let anyone make you feel lesser, disqualified or excluded because of the temptations you face. What matters isn’t what you are tempted by, but how you respond to that temptation.
And so long as you are striving to fight your temptations and surrender your life to God’s leading—as you are—you are exactly where you need to be.
You’re right to seek help. Support from other Christians is so important. It’s why Jesus sent out His missionaries in pairs, and it’s why the early church prioritized meeting together.
The greatest strides I’ve made in overcoming my own temptations have been the direct result of positive Christian influences. People cared about me, came alongside me and encouraged me. They helped me reject the enemy’s lies by reminding me of God’s truth. They showed me love to chase away my shame and fear. And they pointed me to Jesus so I could truly grow in Him.
And I wish that could be the experience of everyone in Christian community. As Abigail Van Buren said:
“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.”
Despite how it seems, there are Christians out there who want to love and encourage someone like you, they just need to know who you are. So find one or two older guys you respect and ask them to meet you for coffee to talk about these things.
…I know I would love it if a younger guy came to me like that.
Make any needed changes
I’m so sorry you don’t feel safe going to your family or church for the support you need. They are supposed be our primary sources for help in life, but sadly that’s not always the case.
You might still want to give them a chance, because sometimes people can surprise you. But If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to someone, don’t. And if you can’t see anyone you do feel safe opening up to, go out and find them.
Check out a new church. Visit a new campus Bible study. Meet up with some cool tumblr Christians that live close to you. Community takes effort, and sometimes the greatest effort is in just finding it.
And don’t feel bad about leaving your current church or spending some time away from your family. Toxic relationships should be kept at arm’s length if not cut off altogether. If your search for Christian fellowship offends someone, that’s on them not you.
They’ve had their opportunity to be there for you and haven’t been, so feel free to find people who will.
I hope that helps. Praying for you, Man.
Peace, love and Jesus,