Same Sex Attraction: Introduction

Well, the time has come that I sit down and begin a discussion on the very difficult topic of Same Sex Attraction (SSA). It’s difficult for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s not talked about a lot in the Church so it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s also something that makes a lot of Christians uncomfortable so it’s hard to be honest about it. Because the majority of Christians, myself included, believe that God has establish that proper expression of sexual pleasure ought to be between one man and one woman in marriage, we often approach the questions surrounding SSA with a lot of judgement. It’s also a point of heavy contention between Christians and much of our society. The idea that it would be realistic for someone in the church to be struggling with this is embarrassing to a lot of Christians and the conviction that homosexual acts are sinful is offensive to those who support gay rights. The whole discussion is wrought with struggle and strife between the two sides. But I must take the time to discuss it, and here is why. These are excerpts from several emails we have received over the last little while.

I am a Christian and I am in a really great marriage with my husband of many years. How is it that I would struggle with attraction to other women? It’s not something I want and I avoid the attraction as much as possible but when it’s triggered, I’m reminded it’s still there. The thorn in my side. Is this a topic you could discuss? Bisexuality or attraction to the same sex?

I am married to a wonderful man and have wonderful children. However, I have a very serious struggle. I’ve had it for most of my life and it makes me feel good, yet very ashamed. The struggle is, that I find myself sexually attracted to other women, and I don’t know how to stop it. It makes me feel ashamed and unsaved at times. I try to figure out how this started. There are only two possible triggers…1) being molested by a woman, at a young age, and 2) seeing my share of porn on the past. Could you please try to address this issue? I’d like to have a healthy view of sex before God, and my husband. Thank you.

I have a history of bisexualism and have had bisexual tendencies since I first saw beautiful images of naked women in magazines that I was not supposed to see at a very young age, 8 or so…. I struggle with the tempation of being with another woman.

These women are having a very real struggle between their flesh and what they know to be true about God’s plan for sexual pleasure. Just so you know where I am coming from at the outset of this discussion, this is my conviction about homosexuality. A person who is prone to be sexually attracted to someone of the same gender is encountering a temptation for sin. I do not believe that most people choose to have same gender sexual desires, although bi-sexuality is becoming something of a fad so in some cases I do believe people choose it. I believe that a lot of different factors can influence a person to have very real struggles with SSA that they are not choosing to have, but what I believe is a choice is how the person responds to the struggle. For those who choose to embrace these desires as part of their identity and pursue a gay lifestyle, which I do not agree with, it does not give me licence to forfeit on the command to love. So while I am convicted based on the whole of Scripture that homosexual acts are sinful, I am equally convicted that the higher command is to love. And while I do not accept homosexuality as a legitimate expression of godly sexuality, I do not believe that it should be looked upon as so much worse than others in the church who struggle with marital fidelity, pornography addiction, or even selfish greed and malicious speech. They all tarnish the Bride of Christ and those in the body who struggle with these things need the Church to come along side and create an environment where people are safe to take ownership of their sin so that they can deal with it. I know that people on both sides of this contention-filled issue of gay rights are going to disagree with some aspects of my point of view, but it is my conviction nonetheless.

That being said, where do we go from here in this discussion? What is the solution? I am going to include an interview next week as part of this series on SSA, but in the meantime I want to end this introduction by presenting some questions for you to ponder and interact with.

1. Do you have people in your life who struggle with this or who have embraced homosexuality for themselves?

2. What would you do if you found out that someone in your church congregation was struggling with this?

3. If you found yourself feeling an attraction to someone of the same gender, what would you do?

If you wish to participate in the discussion I ask that you keep your comments respectful. Comments will be edited or deleted completely if they are an attack towards others. Feel free to share your opinion without accusing other commenters.

Weekly poll #95: How often would YOU like to make love?

Love and Respect: Chapters 5 – 7

Please only participate if you have read the chapter for context. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read these chapters, you are welcome to return to this post when you have.

Chapter 5 Observations and Quotations

1. When a husband and wife are in the Crazy Cycle, who should be the first to turn things around? For Eggerichs, the Lord lead him to this conclusion: the one who sees himself or herself as the most mature. My immediate response is different. I believe that the one who first recognizes that they are on a cycle of disrespect and a lack of love should be the first to make a change. What is your conclusion?

Page 76 Some wives fear that taking a respectful attitude during conflict with their husbands will render them powerless. These women do not believe a husband will change into a loving man unless he is awakened to his flaws. And the only way he will awaken to his inadequacies and faults is to hear his wife’s grumblings, corrections and contempt.

2. Do you think it is possible to mention flaws that you see in your husband without grumbling and contempt? In other words, can you maintain respect and also bring correction at the same time? I can. I think a wise woman can pick her timing and create an atmosphere of humility so that correction can be given and received.

3. Do you identify with the suggestion that when you get angry and lose your self control, that it comes from a place of wanting to be loved? While I agree with it in part, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. I think a lot of variables influence our emotions during conflict.

Chapter 6 Observations and Quotations

1. As mentioned in this chapter, do you feel a tension between unconditional respect and being a hypocrite? How does your heart respond to respond to the idea of respecting your husband even when you are not feeling like it?

Page 90 I am asking the Lord to show me ways to show [my husband] genuine respect. I have definitely seen a difference in his attitude toward me. 

I believe this is the key. The Lord knows you. He knows your husband. He knows how you can show genuine respect in your marriage in a way that will be authentic for you and meaningful for him.

Page 91 Showing respectful behaviour when we don’t “feel respectful” is evidence of maturity, not hypocrisy.

So true. Amen?

2. On page 92 Eggerichs presents some verbiage that helped him more clearly communicate with his wife. “Honey, that felt disrespectful.” This is the sort of language that allows you to express yourself honestly without it becoming an attack on your spouse. What other phrases have you used with success?

Chapter 7 Observations and Quotations

1. On page 110, an excerpt from a letter recounts how God brought breakthrough to a marriage by softening the man and woman’s heart. I believe that any time we can humble ourselves and maintain soft hearts, there is going to be good fruit in our relationships. It has certainly been that way in my home with my husband, but also between us and our children. Have you experienced this good fruit?

Please feel free to share your own insights and questions below. Please be ready next week to discuss chapters 8 through 10.

Sentence Starters

Finish the following sentence in the comment box:

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If I had a magical body eraser, I’d love to erase ______.

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Sex Headaches

While I don’t believe that I have ever experienced this personally, I have heard of women who have headaches during or soon after intercourse.   I decided to do some reading on this topic to find out some more information.

Sex headaches are headaches brought on by sexual activity — especially an orgasm. You may notice a dull ache in your head and neck that builds up as sexual excitement increases. Or, more commonly, you may experience a sudden, severe headache just before or during orgasm. The most common headache happens with basically no warning and usually during the build up of an orgasm.   You may notice a dull ache on the sides of your head, jaw clenching, neck tension, and can intensify as sexual excitement increases.  They can last for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

What causes these?  The head and neck muscles can tighten up during sexual activity that causes a headache to start.  It could also be a response to increased blood pressure and heart rate during orgasm.  I know I would probably be more susceptible to headaches while I have sinus infections, too.

In some cases, your first sex headache may also be your last one. And many sex headaches last for such a short period of time, the pain is gone before any pill you take can work. If they are severe and/or chronic, you will want to consult your doctor.  Your doctor might prescribe either beta blockers daily (if you are prone to them a lot) or indomethacin or triptans can be prescribed and taken as a preventative.  Only your doctor can choose a plan that is best for you.

So, what is your experience?  Have you ever had these?  How do you manage them?  Let’s get your feedback!

Weekly poll #94: Would you consider having breast augmentation or reduction surgery?

Love and Respect: Chapters 3 and 4

Please only participate if you have read the chapter for context. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read these chapters, you are welcome to return to this post when you have.

Chapter 3 Observations and Quotations

1. One of my motivators for wanting to read this book was that I wanted insight into how to be respectful even when my husband is not acting in a way that is worthy of respect so I really appreciated the focus in this chapter on unconditional respect.

Page 43 A simple application is that a wife is to display a respectful facial expression and tone when he fails to be the man she wants.

Do you agree with this? What about our hearts? Is it respectful to have a smile on our face and contempt in our hearts? I think it’s fairly easy to hid contempt by putting on a “good Christian girl” mask. What is a respectful facial expression? Is it just making sure you always have a pleasant look on your face? Can you be angry and respectful at the same time? These are important considerations for us if we want to respect our husbands as the Lord commands.

I loved this quote from page 44: When the wife flatly says her husband will have to earn her respect before she gives him any, she leaves the husband in a lose-lose situation. Now he’s responsible for both love and respect in the relationship. He must unconditionally love his wife and he muss also earn her respect.

This makes so much sense to me. While I believe that unconditional love and respect ought to both be present in the heart of a husband or a wife, as specific commandments to husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands, this quote is a good reminder that love and respect in marriage is not to be earned. It is to be freely given with confidence.

I think we have spent so long hearing messages about unconditional love, that unconditional respect seems less honourable. It seems reasonable for us to love one another unconditionally, but to respect each other unconditionally doesn’t seem worth acquiring. What do you think about the notion of unconditional respect? Do you think this transfers over to how we treat one another in the kingdom of God?

2. On page 47 Eggerichs points out that even though both men and women need love and respect, there is a primary drive in each sex that a man’s higher need is respect and a woman’s higher need is love. Do you agree with this? Personally speaking, I think I get more triggered negatively when people treat me disrespectfully than when they treat me unlovingly. Many of my hurt feelings in my marriage were caused because I felt disrespected. I can not relate to the idea that I seek to be loved more than I seek to be respected. I really value them both, BUT I do value frequent reminders that my husband loves me over reminders that he respects me.

3. I am confused by the references in this book like the one on page 49 that typical wives are “lovingly critical and complaining.” Is this confusing to anyone else? I certainly know a lot of wives AND husbands who are like this, but I would say that it is far from typical. Most of my friends treat their spouse with a lot of kindness. “Lovingly critical” seems like a great oxymoron to me. Do you know people who criticize out of love? I do not.

4. At the end of the chapter Eggerichs takes the time to address the concern that some women have that if they offer unconditional respect to their husbands, they will become victims of abuse. If a woman fears this it is even more important that she reflect on the questions I posted above about what it actually looks like to be respectful because I think that it is possible for a women to respectfully put up boundaries about how she is treated. I think it is possible for a woman to be angry and respectful at the same time. As Eggerichs points out, husbands and wives are equals. While the husband is called, even to the point of death, to protect his wife, neither one is above the other.

Chapter 4 Observations and Quotations

Page 58 Men need to feel respected during conflict more than they need to feel loved.  

1. This quote was Eggerichs’ response to a survey question that during conflict most men or more inclined to feel disrespected than loved during a conflict. How does this knowledge influence how you approach conflict with your husband?

2. On page 60 the author shares what he has observed in a lot of couples. I can not relate to it as my husband and I are completely opposite so I am curious how this has played out between you and your husband. Eggerichs says that a wife sees tense exchanges as opportunities to potentially increase love between them so she presses in, but the husband finds the conflict to be an argument that he wants to escape from so he becomes quieter. What has been the pattern in your marriage? I found the end of this section particularly negative towards women and not overly helpful. Telling women that they are complainers and that if they keep it up the marriage will probably end in divorce isn’t a good way to motivate them in my opinion. What do you think?

3. On page 65 Eggerichs says that he has asked a lot of businessmen if they would prefer that their associates love them or respect them and they all say that they want respect. As a businesswoman myself, I think this is more a reflection on the context of business rather than a reflection of their core need for respect. In business, respect is always more important that love. Do you agree?

Page 69: When a husband feels disrespected, it can provoke him so quickly he doesn’t see his unloving reaction, which would be obvious to any woman.

4. When your husband responds to you in an unloving way, what strategies have you found most helpful in quickly getting the two of you back to a place of unity? How do you effectively restore love and respect?

Page 72: I’m not trying to hammer wives – I’m trying to help them, because I know how pivotal the wife’s respect can be in slowing down the Crazy Cycle. Yes, many men are unloving clods to one degree or another, but they can change. In fact, many of them want to change, and the best way to get them to change is treating them with unconditional respect. 

5. I am really confused by this. WHY is the author putting so much more emphasis on disrespectful wives, while so quickly excusing their “unloving clods” for husbands? It seems that he believes men desire to learn to be loving, but women do not desire to learn to be respectful. I just do not understand the communication efforts of the author at this point.


Your comments are welcomed. Please be prepared to discuss chapters 5 through 7 next Monday.

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