We're spending a few weeks thinking about how to engage with our friends and family about difficult issues of gender and sexuality in a compassionate yet truthful way. One of the most helpful things that will bring us to a place of compassion rather than fear, worry, or judgment is understanding where they are coming from.
KNOW THEIR STORY
When reaching out to someone struggling with their sexuality or gender, keep in mind that every person has a unique story. Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. Be genuinely interested in their story, knowing that we all have a story (including you) that is full of good times, struggles, pain, trauma, suffering, and victories. When speaking to people, be caring and compassionate in your approach, without compromising biblical truth.
Sexuality is a complex issue and is not as simple as some make it seem when they say they were ‘born this way.’ There is no scientific evidence for such a statement.
Here are some factors that can affect a person’s sense of identity, causing them to come to certain conclusions:
labels placed upon them by others (bullying)
abuse and trauma
exposure to porn
family culture and dynamics
influence and pressure from others, including friends and family
affirmation or rejection experiences from the opposite sex
media and entertainment (movies, YouTube, anime, TV shows, commercials and marketing)
When we understand how complex these issues are and how every story is unique, our response can move from fear, condemnation, worry, and confusion to compassion and hope for healing, restoration, and reconciliation in Christ.