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Identity (A Post Completely Unrelated To Parenting)

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

I was drawn to an article this morning: How Celibate Gay Christians Deal With Desire. On Yahoo, of all places. Forget the tabloid fodder, the articles about celebrities or the internet-sensations with dancing cats or crying toddlers. This is what I read while drinking my (third or fourth cup of) morning coffee.

It’s the sort of article that always draws me in, which might seem odd. Me, a lifelong church-goer, a Christian college graduate, a Sunday School teacher, a mother of four, a woman approaching her mid-thirties who has had but one man her whole life, who has never struggled with sexual identity, a happily-married-ever-after sort of woman.

Still. This article (and others like it) speaks to me, because of the words my heart reads in red, not Celibate, not Gay, but: How Christians Deal With Desire. 

And there you see? That’s me.

It might be you too. If I may, How Humans Deal With Desire.

Look, there you are too. Human, like me.

And as a human, as a woman who was raised in a culture of girl-power and who was told to not define myself or my limitations by my gender – I have to ask, why do we so fiercely see the need to identify ourselves by our sexuality at all?

This isn’t a blog for or against anyone or anything. I am not writing this to spark a debate or to take a stand anywhere, I’m just drinking my coffee and thinking aloud, this:

As humans, aren’t we more than who we want to sleep with? I mean, really, aren’t we all at least a little more interesting and purposeful than that? Aren’t we all walking mosaics, each piece, just that, a piece, working toward the creation of the whole?

As a Christian, I choose to believe that I am more than the desires of this body, these bones and muscles and skin, all destined for dirt. This is not me.

I believe I am made for more. You are too.

And I believe that I ought to always see others as more than their human frailties as well.

“Their Christian identities are incredibly important to them, and they would be deeply unhappy if they felt they were compromising those identities,” she said.

It’s the last line of the article, referring to these Side B Christians (who choose to come out as gay, but live celibate lives.) It’s the most important, most convicting line for me. It begs the question, how am I doing at placing my identity where it belongs, how am I at living a life that does not compromise my identity in Christ?

“Every day, Allen wakes up and looks around, and he sees guys he wants to have sex with — and he doesn’t have sex with them because he’s following Jesus,” the male administrator said. “And every day, I wake up, and I see girls I want to have sex with — and I don’t have sex with them because I’m following Jesus. So, we’re both not getting any because we’re following Jesus.”

That could just as easily be replaced with “Every day, Melanie wakes up and has a hundred sinful choices/thoughts/desires before her – but she doesn’t act on them, because she’s following Jesus.”

Or, so I would hope (but in all honestly, I would have failed, more than once. Ever thankful for grace.)

What would be even better:

Every day, Melanie wakes up and desires to be devoted to others in love, helping, honoring, and lifting them up above herself, because she’s following Jesus.

Not there yet. But that will do for a new morning prayer.

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