Masculinity Verses Sainthood

When I was between five and seven years old, my mom asked me to help clean

up the kitchen, and I responded with, "That's a girl's job." She replied,

"But I don't have a daughter, so until I get one you have to do your part."

I perceived her meaning to be "I not only need a daughter, but I want a

daughter more than a son." As a result I pursued domestic activities and

avoided masculine ones because I feared her rejection.

I was not very macho in high school. I was a failure at sports, and the

guys called me a fem and a fag. I didn't know what those words meant, but

I did know they were bad and described what I was.

The root of deception had begun to develop in my life regarding who I was

as a person and as a male. It was the voice of the deceiver who said,

"You're just not like other boys. You and your dad have nothing in common.

You are so different, it's proof that you are gay."

Bitterness began to grow in my life. I was hurt by my peers and hurt by my

own misperceptions. I nurtured and cherished those hurts and they grew big

and ugly. They built incredible walls between other men and myself. I

said, "Straight men are all alike, insensitive, rude creeps. I want

nothing to do with them." It was this attitude that catapulted me into the

gay subculture, looking for some kind of role model.

I've always viewed myself as a loving, caring, and sensitive person. But I

grew up in a docile family and in a Christian community where "Thou shalt

not become angry" was the eleventh commandment. That meant that hurts and

problems were never dealt with. They were just pushed under for the sake

of maintaining peace.

I allowed others to walk all over me and influence me to act against the

values I had. Instead of acting as an adult with other adults, I was

always the compliant child, doing what a "parent" told me to do. It

created a deep anger in me for being so wishy-washy. And it created an

even deeper hostility toward those who walked on me.

In counseling I've found, to my shock, that my major involvement in

homosexual behaviour has been due to a need to release my built up tension

and anger. It was through the homosexual act that I was able to break out

of the "nice boy" role. Instead of giving, I could take. Instead of

serving, I could control and manipulate and get away with it.

When I deal with others as my equal, and when I stand up for myself and

what I believe, a lot of my anger dissipates. At other times anger is

dealt with when I forgive someone who has hurt me. And at still other

times, having some new perspective on a situation eliminates a good deal of

my angry feelings.

I've also had to deal with anger towards God When I first purposed to give

my life to Him, including my homosexuality, I went for quite a while

without being bothered by homosexual issues. But then, I fell again,

"God," I screamed. "I thought You had taken care of this, Why can't you

heal me?"

Tears flowed, and frustration, anger and confusion poured out. I remember

praying many times that God would allow an accident so I would become

quadriplegic and no longer be able to go out and fall.

That would have stopped the behaviour, but it wouldn't have been the

solution to the real problem. The solution involves learning about God's

true character. His love, forgiveness, and grace ... and a lot about right


I also had to learn that anger does not equal sin. The Bible says, "Be

angry, but do not sin ..." (Ephesians 4:26). This means developing

responsible ways of communicating my feelings and releasing my anger.

I've been in conflict because of the two images I've been offered to

"measure up" to. Jesus has been presented as the Lamb led to slaughter,

the ultimate servant, the paramount martyr (although I run a close second).

The world, on the other had, has said, "Be macho."

That involves emotional or physical dominance. It also doesn't allow for

any show of emotions, let alone emotional bonding. Being tough and using

people is the standard. There's no communication other than a few grunts

(given in reference to good food or hot women).

In my spirit, I know that God has made me as a man, to be masculine and to

be a Christian. But these images pose my conflict. They are like oil and

water. They don't mix. When I'm right with the Lord and being sensitive,

caring, and loving, I don't feel masculine. Ironically, in the past, I

have felt masculine when I've been abusive, crude, and insensitive, that

is, involved in homosexual behaviour.

A sense of who I am as a man has been coming as I learn to express

strength, anger, self-control, and assertiveness as reflections of God's


For instance, as a waiter I have to cope with customers who complain about

their food. In the past, I would practically grovel at their feet,

apologizing profusely even though the problem might not be my fault.

Now I'm better at saying, at least internally, it's not my fault. I don't

take responsibility for all the things that go wrong, and I'm standing up

for myself more consistently.

In relating to men at church, I push myself to overcome feelings of

intimidation. I will go to events like a fellowship dinner by myself, and

if there's a circle of men talking, I'll go up and join the conversation.

This is breaking down the myth that I'm so different. Plus, I'm

discovering that these men don't fulfil the stereotypes I had of

masculinity. They have individual strengths and weaknesses, too. Straight

men are not all alike.

I didn't know then what I do now: that I desperately need communion with

God and fellowship in the Body of Christ. In developing relationships that

provide valid means of sharing and touching, I am getting my legitimate

needs for love met in a Christian context.

In those early days waves of loneliness would wash over me. "I don't want

sex," I would think, "I just want someone to hold me and be close." But it

always set me up for a fall. My efforts to repress those feelings were

futile because they were based in very real needs for love and

companionship. Those needs were not put within me to isolate me from God

and the Body, but to draw me to them.

Believing that I have been created in God's image as a man has given me new

eyes to see myself and others. I'm not as bound by the old ways of viewing

myself as I was. The new as come! (II Corinthians 5:17)

If I am made in God's image, then He is the source of my identity. If sin

separates me from that source, then I begin to look to others and to things

to define who I am and who I should become. That distorts my identity.

Then I have to go back to Isaiah 51:1:

"Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the Lord; Look to

the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were

digged." (RSV)

--Tom Unger


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


G.P.O. Box 1115


Phone (08) 371 0446


This article is reprinted by permission from

Metanoia Ministries

P O Box 33039

Seattle WA 98133-0039



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