Ministering to the Sexually Confused

Sam Petitfils

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."  Ephesians 4:15

In one sense, trying to help the sexually confused can be a daunting task.  Many grow up today thinking anything goes and nothing is taboo.  Where/how do we begin to help such people?  In another sense, we should consider it just another facet of spiritual growth.

For example, I once thought staying home on Sunday and skipping church was fine, especially since everyone I knew did the same.  I once thought that I should speak my mind no matter who it offended.  I now think much differently because my Lord led me in a new direction.  This is how we should approach the sexually confused, as another component of spiritual growth.  They once thought this, but we must help them see things another way, a better way.

Ephesus was among the top five cities of the Roman Empire, and home to many evils.  Paul addressed these evils, including sexual sins.  His approach was twofold:

1.  Speak the truth
When we speak with people about these things, they have a right to know what the mind of God is on these matters.  After all, God’s Word alone establishes right and wrong.  We need to speak the truth.  Soft-peddling the truth leads to compromise.  No one can be helped unless we show them the truth.  Of course, we need to share the gospel, the greatest truth of all.  But people also need to know what God thinks about things, including sexual matters.  To help people, we need to speak the truth.

2.  Speak in love
Our passage above commands us to speak the truth in love.  People must sense that we care for them and their spiritual welfare, and not just trying to win an argument.  This means we must patiently listen to their viewpoints and not shout them down.  Remember, the Apostle Paul never gave up on people, including someone who committed serious sexual sin (see 2 Corinthians 2:5-8).  If we close the door on someone because he or she lives an unbiblical lifestyle, we lose our only chance to help them.

Application

1.  Remember you represent God when you quote the Bible or speak to people about what God says about sexual morality.  Be faithful to His Word and communicate God’s word to people in need.

2.  Ask God to give you wisdom when addressing people about such matters.  Ask Him to give you the words to share and right spirit with which to conduct yourself.

3.  Pray for those trapped in sin, whatever it might be.  Remember, God can deliver them and bring change to their lives.  Ask God to change their hearts and be open to the truth.

4.  Instill hope.  In college I took a course on pastoral counseling and vividly recall the counselor’s first obligation: instill hope.

5.  Bear the reproach of Christ.  When you speak up for God you may lose friends and popularity.  You may find yourselves in a small minority and may even find yourself all alone.  Do not worry, God is with you to give you boldness and courage. 

 

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