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A Change in Orientation

 

Everyone’s “sexual orientation” was damaged in the fall. And so, a change in sexual orientation is something everyone needs.

In God’s original design, sexuality included things like: nakedness free of shame and fear, honor and dignity given and received, ability to steward sexual desire rather than be ruled by it, unquenchable fidelity between husband and wife, joy and awe in bearing and raising children. And at the center of all these was unadulterated, self-giving love.

A right sexual orientation (for both marrieds and singles) is one in which sexual pleasure is submitted to these, not the other way around. (We live in a culture that upholds sexual pleasure, self-centered gratification, and an ease of loneliness, etc. above self-sacrificing, self-giving love one to the other.)

In this light, God’s desire for your sexuality is for so much more, not less, than you readily know or experience today.

What about the question of orientation change from homosexual to heterosexual?

If homosexuality is a part of your experience, know that change doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience heterosexual romantic attraction just like others who have never struggled with homosexuality around you. Why? Because others’ sexual orientation is fallen and falls short of the glory of God, too. He does not “restore” someone from one kind of brokenness to another—that wouldn’t be restoration. He wants something more for you than what you see around you.

When Alan Medinger, Regeneration’s founder (who experienced a truly miraculous change in his sexual orientation literally overnight), talked about his own experience, he talked not about a new sexual desire for women in general, but rather that he fell head over heels in love with his wife, Willa, with whom he remained faithfully married for the remainder of their lives.

How many men and women would be blessed to experience this same kind of change, whether overnight or over a lifetime?

Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He wants to bring each person’s sexual orientation into alignment with His faithful, self-giving love—no matter if you are married or single, young or old, and no matter how your attractions currently burn.

Christ died bodily for your body and all its urges. His Passion can transform your own.

I’d love to hear from you! What do you think of the idea that everyone needs a change in their orientation? How might this perspective change how churches address these issues? Leave a comment.

Reorienting,
Josh

8 thoughts on “A Change in Orientation”

  1. Hi, Josh
    Thank you so much for publishing this newsletter; it is such an encouragement to me. I am particularly touched by your comments relating to the difference between what our culture says is “normal” or “healthy” in the context of sexual attraction and what God intends it to be. As a man who, now more than 10 years in recovery, is still struggling to rebuild a healthy, God-centered and God-honoring physical relationship with his wife, I need this type of encouragement. One of the most difficult hurdles I face is striving against what the world tells me my sexual relationship with my wife should look like and what God specifically intends for it to look like for me and my bride. The knowledge that I am the instrument and the cause of most of my wife’s wounds in this area is also difficult to cope with at times. Thanks again, Josh.
    Lewis

  2. Good message Josh! it great to see you are still running after Him! We need to get together and catch up. I am doing well in the Lord and he is keeping me free and strong in Him. I will always be grateful for your help in my time of need. Take care look to talk with you.

    Blessings
    Antonio

  3. Josh- I agree that sexual brokeness of all kinds is short of God’s glory. I also agree that God desires to restore much more than our urges/drives be they for the same or opposite sex. He wants to restore us to a life of finding all that we need in our deepest being in Him. Once that has happened, we can become re-oriented. We gain His perspective. He aligns our desires, so that they’re consistent with His. I agree that this might not result in an overnight transformation- I think this is determined by God Himself- he writes our IEP (Individualized Education Program) based on his infinite knowledge of our person. Wouldn’t you agree that to head into “recovery” with the expectation of losing SSA and gaining OSA is setting a person up for disappointment and disillusionment? Seems to me the focus must be completely on drinking deeply from the satisfying waters of identity, security, value, acceptance and love. Any re-orientation of sexual desire will be a glorious byproduct. A re-orientation of SOURCE is what we all need and long for.

    Thanks for this thought provoking and inspirational article.

    1. Hi John – this is so good. Yes, yes, yes! Great stuff here, thank you.

      One note on “Wouldn’t you agree that to head into ‘recovery’ with the expectation of losing SSA and gaining OSA is setting a person up for disappointment and disillusionment?” An important part of anyone’s journey is submitting all expectations to Christ. Hold fast to the power of Christ to change us, submit what change looks like to Him. This means we don’t demand and we don’t despair.

  4. Josh, you and I seem to be different in terms of how we express ourselves. I tend to prefer precise language, that’s why I queried you on what you really meant when writing about “religion”. For “orientation”, again I want to challenge you a bit on the importance of the right language. My friend Mario (Bergner), is always precise on this point, and rightly so. So, I’ll just quote from him on it:

    “I do not use the term ‘homosexual’ as a noun or the compound noun ‘homosexual orientation’ because they are not true to biblical anthropology. Such terms imply an internal mapping of human sexuality. The Bible speaks only of male and female homosexual activity. Therefore I think it is important that we recognize that Scripture always considers homosexuality a behavior.

    Having said that, I would say that there are only two types of people according to the Biblical worldview, male and female. Homosexuality is not biologically predetermined. None of the scientific studies aiming to find a biological basis for homosexuality have been successful.” –Mario B
    http://www.redeemedlives.org/pdf/Summer04Questions.ASP

    1. Matt, I love Mario Bergner’s reasoning for not using “homosexual” as a noun nor “homosexual orientation.” His clarity on this is so important in our culture. I do not use “homosexual” as a noun for the same reasons–it suggests a person’s sexual inclinations are a source of his or her core identity, which it’s not. As I did in this article, I do sometimes use the phrase “homosexual orientation” in reference to the experience of having sexual or romantic desire for one’s own gender rather than the other. I do not mean by this that homosexuality is predetermined (it’s not), nor do I mean that those who experience attractions to their own gender are a distinct category of people (they’re not). What other language have you found more helpful?
      Thanks for your feedback!

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