Men and women with SSA
LifeGuard Ministries Austin is a safe place for you to come and listen, learn, share, and grow as we talk about Christ’s grace for all our lives. A lot of people who trust in Christ and attend church have SSA (same sex attraction); many of them attend LifeGuard on a regular basis. We don’t believe having SSA is a sin, but we do believe that acting out on these temptations is not something our heavenly Father wants us to do. Wherever you may be on your journey with SSA we are not here to judge you, and we want you to know that you are not alone. We encourage each other to rest in His love, and receive the peace we all desperately need. Below is an encouraging video from our British friends at Living Out:
Parents of a son or daughter with SSA
We want to encourage you to continue to love your child unconditionally, just as Christ loves us. At LifeGuard parents of kids with SSA help one another process through this experience together. We are here to listen, counsel, laugh, talk, pray or cry with you. LifeGuard is a safe place for parents too!
Spouse of someone with SSA
We understand that SSA puts additional challenges and stresses on a marriage. It is far more common in churches today than many would believe for one member of a couple to have SSA. At LifeGuard we will offer our support, acceptance, respect, love and friendship to either or both of you.
We trust in the power of Christ’s grace alone for all of us. It’s time for the church to leave our Christian bubble and drop the unique stigma that many apply to gays and lesbians. We’ve all fallen short in so many ways, and we can only rely on the grace of Christ for all our sin. Thankfully that’s enough. Beating people over the head with the Law will never help those with SSA to receive and enjoy the peace of Christ. It’s time we stop!
We heartily agree with our friends from Living Out over in the UK about how churches can support Christians who are same-sex attracted. Here are quotes from their site:
1. Make this easy to talk about – “When the issue comes up in the life of the church, it needs to be recognized that this is an issue Christians wrestle with too, and that the church needs to be ready and equipped to walk alongside such brothers and sisters. Many Christians still speak of homosexuality in hurtful and pejorative ways. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard Christians (many of whom should have known better) use phrases like, “that’s so gay” to describe something they don’t like. Such comments are only going to make their same-sex attracted Christian brothers and sisters feel unable to open up. Having made it easy for someone to talk about their same-sex attraction, we must not then make the mistake of always talking to them about it! They may want us to ask about how things are going from time to time, but to make this the main or only thing you talk about with them can be problematic: it may reinforce the false idea that this is who they really are, and it may actually overlook other issues that they may need to talk about more than same-sex attraction. Sexuality may not be their greatest battle.”
2. Honor singles – “Those for whom marriage is not a realistic prospect need to be affirmed in their calling to singleness. The church needs to uphold and honour singleness as a gift and take care not to unwittingly denigrate it.”
3. Church is family – “Those that open up their family life to others find that it is a great two-way blessing. Single people get to experience some of the joys of family life, children get to benefit from the influence of other older Christians, parents get to have the encouragement of others supporting them, and families as a whole get to learn something of what it means to serve and be outward-looking as a family.”
4. Avoid cultural stereotypes when addressing masculinity and femininity – “Battles with same-sex attraction are sometimes (though far from always) related to a sense of not quite measuring up to expected norms of what a man or woman is meant to be like. One of the factors that can lie behind same-sex attraction is actually fear of the same gender, a feeling of not quite belonging in maledom or femaledom. So when the church reinforces superficial cultural stereotypes, the effect can be to worsen this sense of isolation and not quite measuring up. To imply that men are supposed to be into sports or fixing their own car, or that women are supposed to enjoy craft and to want to talk about everything, is to deal in cultural rather than biblical concepts. It may also actually end up overlooking many ways in which people are reflecting some of the biblical aspects of manhood and womanhood that culture overlooks.”
5. Provide pastoral support – “Pastoral care for those with same-sex attraction does not need to be structured, but it does need to be visible. Those with same-sex attraction need to know that the church is ready to support and help them, and that it has people with a particular heart and insight to be involved in this ministry. There may be issues that need to be worked through, and passages from the Bible that need to be studied and applied with care and gentle determination. There may be good friendships that need to be cultivated and accountability put in place, and there will be the need for long-term community. These are all things the local church is best placed to provide.”