The discussion around this new TLC show ought to be interesting…
It’s called “My Husband’s Not Gay,” featuring Men with same-sex attraction who DELIBERATELY CHOSE to ignore those impulses and marry women, because they believe it’s right…
In other words, these gay-tempted (but-not-gay-practicing) men are committed to loving their wives, even though their bodies often want to do something different.
This used to be called “self-control” or “not giving into temptation”–but the concept is foreign enough to qualify as a reality TV show in today’s culture.
It positively scandalizes my generation because we believe everyone should Do What They Feel, because What They Feel Equals Who They Are. (And no one has the right to judge you. Amen?)
But I don’t want my kids to be as confused about self-control as my peers are. So I’ve already started teaching my babies about choices.
I talk about the Flesh vs. Righteousness concept with my 3-year-old daughter all the time.
When I notice that she’s getting angry or frustrated with something, I let her know it’s a struggle for me, too. I’ll say, “Your body really wants to hit your brother, doesn’t it? My body gets angry sometimes, too!” OR, “You didn’t have a nap, so your body wants to cry and cry and cry, doesn’t it? Sometimes my body feels tired and cranky, too.”
BUT, I make sure she understands her heart still has a choice.
Even when it’s difficult–especially when it’s difficult–we still have the responsibility to think and act on what’s right.
For my little girl, the lesson sounds like this:
“You need to ask God to change your heart. When you’re weak or tired or angry, be careful! That’s when your hands might try to get you in trouble! You have to stop them. And even when it’s really, really hard, God can give you the strength.”
These talks are starting to pay off. My daughter regularly says things like, “Uh-oh, I think my hands want to be bad!…” or proudly declares, “Mommy, I made a good choice!” She’s already starting to recognize the difference between what she desires and what she ought to do.
And she’s not even in Kindergarten, yet.
That’s why I’m never intimidated when someone discovers that I’m a “homophobe” and excitedly demands, “JUST WHAT WILL YOU TELL YOUR CHILD, IF HE/SHE TURNS OUT GAY?!?!?!”
The answer is simple. We have been preparing for that situation her entire life. I’m also ready if one of my kids “comes out” as a shoplifter or a compulsive liar or someone who battles with any type of deviant sexual impulse…
“What do you expect, Mom? I can’t help who I am!”…
“And who are you, my love? Are you basically a tangle of impulses and emotions? Are you defined by your body’s temptations? No–you are what you do… And, unless you choose to practice the gay lifestyle, you’re not gay.”