THE HOMOSEXUAL CONDITION
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
...by Nick Kuiper
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brokenness, please contact:
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