Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romance. Show all posts

Monday, September 10, 2012

Learning to (really) LOVE - a slow process for me

I got an email last week from a guy who seemed at first like he just wanted to argue with me. I ended talking with on the phone and after a few minutes I really wanted to hang up. He was throwing out arguments about "gay love" and gay-marriage etc.

In the past, I would have struggled with wanting to believe those arguments. Now, they just make me angry. I guess a lot of that anger comes from my own emotional wounding. It's difficult to separate that though and not unleash that on someone else. 

I also get frustrated because I really want to show compassion, but I also believe in Absolutes and absolute truth. It is not compassion to withhold important Truths and/or to endorse someone's destruction based on political correctness. To me, when a friend says that they are "happy" about their newest "gay relationship" it is the same as a heroin addict telling me that they are "happy" that they got their latest "fix."  What am I supposed to say? "That's great! I'm happy for you?"  I am saddened and worried for them.

I started asking him more pointed questions and guide the conversation toward his core emotions and wounds. He resisted at first, but more and more he started opening up and expressing his anger, then sadness, and grief. He was in a gay relationship that just ended last week (the day he decided to contact me). He was still holding out hope that the illusion of "gay love" was real and he seemed really angry at me for insisting that it does NOT exist and that homosexuality destroys love

I didn't let go of my position or assent to his, but I resisted the urge to argue as well. I just kept asking questions about HIM and HIS feelings and encouraged him to focus on that for now ("and we can talk about religion and politics later"). 

Without arguing, I found a few opportunities to gently point out that what I was hearing him say was that he wanted real love. He grew up in a Christian home and even briefly visited a local ex-gay ministry.

I pointed out to him that REAL love from our mutual religious background is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as:  
"patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud. does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs,does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I couldn't restrain myself from blurting out though that these adjectives are the POLAR opposite of every gay relationship I ever saw in 12 years. Not because the individuals were bad, but the relationship themselves were based on each person's emotional disorder. 

I prayed and fasted for him (and myself) for two days. I listened to his anger and ranting;
while praying and restraining my own reactions. I wanted to show him REAL LOVE and avoid judgement. I have no room to judge anyone. I was in the same trap for 12 years. I just want him to see the truth and avoid making the same mistakes I made. 

After two days of hearing his anger (which seemed directed at me at first, but then seemed to lessen), he went to grief and sadness. 
He texted me saying:  
"I really just need to cry." 
I called him and encouraged him to go into that grief (something he usually tries to avoid).

He seemed to get a lot better the next day. He said he has decided that he really wants his relationship to God to be more important, but said he wasn't sure if he was ready to let go of his "need" for a romantic relationship with a guy. He seemed to be really aware that his boyfriend's "love" was the polar opposite of 1 Corinthians 13

On Sunday night two JiM brothers invited me to meet them at a restaurant near here. After describing this situation to them, I texted him and invited him to join us. I had explained to him about Journey into Manhood and the groups I lead on Sunday afternoons called M.A.N.S. meetings (Masculinity, Authenticity, Need Fulfillment, and Surrender), but I think he forgot that I had said these were JiM bros.

After they left, he said it was the first time he has "felt comfortable relating to a group of straight guys.” He had no idea that they were SSA. (I thought it was funny that they jammed his Gaydar). He seemed amazed when I explained that they friends from JiM. He seems to be really grasping the concept that real change and growth is possible.

Please keep my friend in your prayers. Also, please pray that I will learn to show REAL love and compassion to others without judging them, but also being authentic with objective Truth. I still have a lot of learning and growth ahead of me before I can be a good instrument for conveying God's love.

Pax Christi,