Most people think of homosexuality simply in terms of the sexual act. This

includes Christians as well. Reaction will, therefore, range from a lack

of understanding to often repulsion. Debate on the issue of homosexuality

has traditionally focussed therefore on whether homosexual acts were

legitimate or not. In our society, the underlying structure once provided

moral guide-lines which would not even entertain the idea of this

expression of sexuality; has now moved into a more subjective approach if

"if you `love' the other person it is alright". This has provided the

climate whereby homosexuality, although still not readily understood, has

become more acceptable as a life-style. In recent times however, this

approach has been subjected to question with the onslaught of AIDS and

other sexually transmitted diseases.

Traditional Christian thought has drawn a clear distinction between

homosexual orientation and its expression in homosexual activity. Whilst

this has been a useful and significant distinction, it has still been used

with the objective of defining what can and can't be done, whilst avoiding

the real issue and providing a more positive approach.

The real question which we should be asking is: ...

"What Is The Type Of Personality Structure That Underlies The Possibility

Of Homosexual Behaviour?"

The latest scientific research has clearly established that a homosexual

orientation does not depend on a genetic predisposition or on a hormonal

imbalance. However, many claim to be `born gay' and are quite genuine in

their convictions. The question quite rightly posed is: "Why the apparent

contradiction?" Upon closer examination, what is really being said is,

that as long as they can remember they have been `that way', that from

earliest memory there was something `different' about them. I propose

that, whilst there is a multiplicity of factors involved in the causation

of homosexual orientation, the real roots lie in the difficulties

experienced in the parent-child relationship, particularly in the early

years of life.

The homosexual - whether man or woman - has suffered from some deficit in

the relationship with the parent of the same sex; and that there is a

corresponding drive to make good this deficit - through the medium of same-

sex, or homosexual relationships.

To place this concept within a Biblical perspective, we need to examine

God's intention and purpose with regards to the family. Historically,

until about 180 years ago, the family unit was much larger than exists

today. Then it consisted of Grandparents, all their male offspring with

their spouses and perhaps some single female offspring, and all the

grandchildren all living together as one family. Then came the Industrial

Revolution, and with it came into existence what is known as the Nuclear

Family of Father, Mother, and Children. Then in the 1970's came the Sexual

Revolution and with it has come into prominence the Single-parent Family.

Certainly, what has been happening has been a breaking down of the family

structure. Yet it is this structure which God has purposed in which

children are to be raised. The Bible clearly outlines an authority

structure which places responsibility for the children with the parents.

The way a child perceives his parents, with the consequent bonding and

relationship that is established is critical to the way that child in later

life as an adult, perceives God and establishes a relationship with Him.

Within that family structure, any lack in relationship between the child

and the parent of the same sex does not always imply wilful maltreatment by

the parent in question. Hurt experienced in it's relationship with the

parent can often be quite unintentional or accidental. However, in each

situation, something of a traumatic nature, whether ill-treatment, neglect,

or sheer absence, has in these particular cases led to a disruption in the

normal attachment.

This in turn implies that certain drives/needs that are normally met

through the child's relationship to the parent are left unfulfilled and

still require fulfilment.

It is important that no parent of a homosexual should necessarily blame

himself or herself on account of this disruption of the relationship.

Allocation of responsibility can be particularly complex. Sometimes there

will be direct culpability, i.e. a father makes little time for his son, or

belittles him or ill-treats him. A divorce may damage a child's relational

capacity without the parents wanting this to happen - although the parents

must accept some responsibility, as any hurt experienced by the child is a

consequence of their actions. However, sometimes separation from the child

may occur for good reasons i.e. employment, prolonged illness, or


Causation Of Homosexuality

Any incident that happens to place a particular strain on the relationship

between the child and the parent of the same sex is potentially causative.

At the same time, the effect may not always be actualized. A child may

genuinely get over a hurtful situation. Or alternatively, other damage may

result rather than a disruption in the child's relationship to the same sex


Whatever the particular incident may be, it is something that has been

experienced as being hurtful by the child. Difficulties arise when such

hurt is accompanied by an unwillingness to relate any longer to the love-

source that has been experienced as being hurtful. This implies then, a

continuing defect in the child's relationship with that parent, and

subsequent behaviour by that parent will be completely irrelevant. Even if

love is offered, it cannot be received.

It must be emphasized that this relational defect may not be evident at the

conscious level, an adjustment may be made leaving few or no signs of

disturbance. This is why family relationships in families of homosexuals

seem good; indeed at the surface level they are.

Homosexuality is not an independent entity or condition caused by

difficulties in the parent-child relationship. Rather, the homosexual

condition itself a deficit in the child's ability to relate to the parent

of the same sex, which is then carried over to members of the same sex in


God has placed within each one of us needs for love, affirmation, security

and identity. They are placed there in us so that ultimately we are drawn

into a personal relationship with God, Who is the original source for all

these things. They are intended to be met within the family. Indeed, in

the very early years of it's life, a child's only concept of God is it's

parents. Only as it grows older is it able to look further than the

natural realm to have some idea of God. However, if these needs / drives

are abnormally left unmet, the fact is that they still need to be

fulfilled. Then, as the child grows into an adult, it will begin to look

to other sources in order to have these needs / drives met and this will

involve a rejection of God and His provision, as well as a rejection of

it's parents, in particular, the parent of the same sex. These `other

sources' can be as simple as a preoccupation with certain interests or

hobbies, or a career; or more extreme such as drugs, alcohol, criminal

activities, or sexual relationships. This can include homosexual


Needs for love and dependency on, and identification with the parent of the

same sex are met through the child's relationship to the parent. If the

relationship is disrupted, the needs that are normally met through the

medium of such a relationship remain unmet. This has two consequences:

1. A resistance to restoration of that relationship which is then

generalized to all members of the same sex. This is what marks the abiding

effect in the person's actual relational capacity, that long outlasts the

initial occasion of the hurtful event.

2. A corresponding drive towards restoration of the relationship. It is

this that is involved in the homosexual impulse, that is that this impulse

is essentially motivated by the need to make good earlier deficits in the

child's relationship; i.e., the unmet needs of love and identification

which the person was unable to receive, whether it was offered for not.

The Healing Process

The healing process involves ...

1. Undoing the root cause(s) of the disruption in the parent / child

relationship which were experienced as being hurtful.

2. Meeting the unmet love needs from the parent / child relationship,

i.e., restoration of missing growth.

Areas Of Ministry

1. Authority problems

Outworkings include defiance, hatred, and competitiveness.

The Male Homosexual

A resistance to restoring of relationship from the parent of the same sex

will be marked by hostility - either hidden or plainly obvious, towards the

same-sex love source which will then be generalized towards all other

members of the same sex i.e., male. Such other persons would include

authority figures as obvious father substitutes, and also homosexual

partners. This will happen, particularly in cases where the father had

actually been hostile towards his son i.e., physical or verbal abuse.

However, this is not necessarily always the case - if a father is

apathetic or indifferent towards his son, this is seen as being hurtful and

naturally anger is experienced.

All figures of authority (including homosexual partners) will invariably be

identified with the father who has been hated and feared. This is the

underlying cause for many male homosexual relationships being so unstable.

When the needs for love, security, and identity, which for so long have

been essentially unmet, and are now being partially met, will also be

marked by the emergence of the underlying hostility felt towards the

father, which is then transferred to the homosexual partner.

In many situations where the homosexual condition is simply marked in the

person's relational capacity, authority figures can include civil

authorities, i.e., police, and can be the underlying reason for criminal

behaviour in some instances. Authority figures can also include Pastors,

which can be at the root of some divisive behaviour within the Church.

The Female Homosexual

Whilst the female homosexual can experience hostility towards her mother,

which is then carried over to all females, this is not nearly as marked as

it is with the male homosexual. This is because, in our society, the male

is seen to have the authority and holds positions of power. Within our

society this has a twofold effect ...

a. Another woman is not generally seen to be an authority threat

b. Men are seen as being a threat

With regards to the female homosexual, her problems concern relationships

with the same sex. There has been no problem in establishing relationships

with the opposite sex. However, due to the imbalance in her relational

capacity bonding with the opposite sex, is seen as being oppressive in the

absence of a compensating relationship with the same sex. This is probably

at the root of the whole feminist movement. It is interesting to note, not

all feminists are lesbian, yet the same authority problem is experienced.

Same sex authority problems - Directly require resolutions of the same sex


Opposite sex authority problems - Require no change in the opposite sex

relationship as such, but only a restoration of the complimentary

relationship that has been missing.

2. Identity

An identity is the end product of a process of identification. Relating to

a parent of the same sex is important in this process. Any disruption in

this relationship will, in turn, affect the identification process. The

blocking of the capacity to receive love implies the blocking of the

ability to identify with the love source i.e., the parent.

Aversion to the parent of the same sex implies an aversion to identifying

with that parent - i.e., a dis-identification from that parent of the same

sex. This then becomes a dis-identification - an aversion to identifying

with the same sex. An extreme form of this is transexualism. There is

little difference between homosexuality and transexualism. There may be

some difference in degree, but none in the nature of the problem. In both

instances the normal process of receiving love from, and hence identifying

with the parent of the same sex, has been blocked by hurt, usually in the

early years of childhood.

The difference between the two conditions lies in the subjective awareness

of the fact of dis-identification. Only in certain instances do we find a

specific awareness of not being psychologically a member of one's own

anatomic sex, which is a sufficiently strong sense of aversion to lead to

the demand for reclassification from one's anatomic sex. It is logical for

a person who experiences a sense of gender dislocation to press for re-

assignment in accordance with this sense of self-awareness. It would be

wrong to regard this as imaginary or illusory. Rather it marks an accurate

and realistic representation of how that person feels, However, where

there is no specific awareness, this is usually expressed in effeminacy in

the male homosexual and quasi-masculinity in the female homosexual.

The important point to note is that, this isn't an identification with the

opposite sex, but rather a dis-identification (or rejection of identity)

from the same sex.

The Male Homosexual

Where there is a lack in a sense of identity, according to the homosexual

condition, there must be a corresponding drive to make good this need. As

male homosexual relationships' most prominent feature is in the area of

sexual expression, so the underlying motivation is within the area of a

search for identity or completion of identity. The male

homosexual's longing for masculine love is, in fact, a desire to attain

masculinity - to resolve and complete the identification process with the

parent of the same sex that had been blocked in a greater or lesser degree.

The Homosexual believes that he may absorb strength through contact with a

man of strength and thus, through contact with masculine men, become

masculine himself.

It is important to note that, simply because a man has a desire to have sex

with another man, does not imply an inability to establish a sexual

relationship with the opposite sex. It must also be noted that, once

sexual expression is seen as a process by which this need for identity is

fulfilled, it becomes a habit. Therefore, whenever the man experiences

insecurity, pressures of work, or pressures of family life, he may only be

able to see a sexual relationship with another man as a form of coping and

getting through those situations.

The Female Homosexual

As with the male homosexual, so the female experiences a corresponding

drive towards completing her femininity. However, sexual relationships

receive less prominence as a means toward achieving this goal. Identity

needs are attempted to be fulfilled by other means; i.e., emotionally

dependent relationships.

3. Dependency needs

Childishness in the psychological make-up of the homosexual is another

feature that deserves comment. If a normal channel of attachment has

remained blocked since childhood, the person is in certain respects, a

psychological child; i.e., there is incomplete growth within certain areas

of their personality structure. If someone behaves like a child, might

this not imply that they still have the actual needs of a child of that age

and that something has occurred at that particular age to prevent further


Two characteristics ...

a. Dependency needs are childish in that they relate to actual deprivation

in childhood.

b. Are only likely to become apparent within the context of a really deep

renewed relationship which is seen to be fulfilling those needs of love,

security, identity, and affirmation. Two main features of childishness are


i. Possessiveness - this marks the urgent desire to retain the restored

relationship - a relationship that is so much needed in that these needs

have for so long remained unfulfilled.

ii. Jealousy - stems from the fear of renewed loss or deprivation of those

needs. Jealousy is likely to involve hostility towards the love source,

and thus may link itself with that of the same sex-parent. The hatred that

may sometimes re-emerge in the dis-identified person indicates how great a

hurt was experienced within their childhood.

4. Inferiority

Not all feelings of inferiority are the product of dis-identification, but

where dis-identification has occurred there is a marked sense of

inferiority, whether fully conscious or not, the sense of personal worth

which the child normally receives from it's parent's love, cannot be

received if the child's capacity for the relationship with that parent has

been damaged and they have cut themselves off from that parent. Whether or

not love is offered, it can no longer be received. If love cannot be

received, then neither can a sense of self-worth.

5. Depression

Consequently, a sense of loss exists with the child cutting itself off from

the parent of the same sex, and therefore not having those needs for love,

security, identity, and affirmation met, may manifest itself in a state of

depression. This is a quite frequent occurrence within the homosexual

scene. Suicidal thoughts or attempts may occur. Some statistics estimate

that as many as one in four homosexual women and one in ten homosexual men

may attempt suicide.

Since the loss is one of relationship as an adult, the restoration of a

relationship with another person which is seen to be fulfilling these

needs, may result in the lifting of the depression, and conversely the

healing up of the relationship - which implies the renewal of the loss -

may result in depression of a greater magnitude or some other manifestation

in response to the loss. Nick Kuiper

For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371-0446


Database Listing - Ministry To Homosexuals.
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web

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