YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR SEXUAL IDENTITY
We live in a society of great debate over sexual orientation and sexual gender identity. But as a follower of Jesus Christ, you and I are more than our sexual identity. Don’t get me wrong, our sexuality is a vital part of our existence and how we view ourselves here on earth but in heaven this is a moot point.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Angels are not sexual beings. They don’t reproduce. This will be true of us as well in eternity.
Sexuality and our sexual identity are temporary. Your soul is eternal. It is important that we not sacrifice the eternal for the temporary.
You and I will live forever somewhere. The resurrection will raise us to eternal life with Jesus or to eternal separation from God if we reject Jesus. Our sexuality, marrying and being given in marriage will end when this earthly life ends. However, our souls will remain and continue forever.
Considering Jesus statement about the temporary nature of sexuality and gender, it should cause us to pause and make sure that the discussions and debates about sexuality and gender are held in their proper context.
Sexuality and gender are very personal and shape massive amounts of our lives here on earth, but please know that it will have no impact or effect on our eternity. Our souls are shaped by Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. Our future is marked by a nonsexual existence. Our relationships will not be complicated, marred, or shaped by our sexuality. We will be in complete and perfect union with God and humanity without the need of sexuality or a marriage relationship. We will be in essence married to Jesus. He is our groom, we, the church, are his bride.
God uses this language in Revelation to describe Jesus’ relationship with us at the end of time and the return of Jesus to claim His bride, the church. Revelation 19:7 says,
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. 8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”
Your sexuality and gender are important, who you are now matters, but whose you are is more important. Our possessive pronouns are more important than our personal pronouns. I know there is great temptation in our society to forfeit whose we are for who we are. We are currently consumed by personal pronouns but in the end this debate is temporary at best. I know our identities hinge and are massively impacted by our sexuality and gender identity in this life, but I implore you not to make this issue more important than Christ makes it in your life.
If our sexuality and gender is temporary and our soul is eternal, then it is important that we explore our souls more than our sexuality. You may not be comfortable in your sexuality and gender. You may find yourself tempted to engage in same sex or multiple sex relationships. You may be lost and confused by your gender identity and feel trapped by your desires.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:15,
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
This brings me great comfort to know that Jesus understands every temptation of my life. This verse tells me Jesus understands all temptations that would include same sex temptation and the desire to be a different gender than what God the Father created me to originally be.
You do not have to be ashamed of your temptations. Temptation is not a sin. It is evidence you are human like Jesus was. Jesus was tempted just like we are. Honestly, you can’t control what tempts you, but through Jesus you can decide what you give into. God always gives us a way of escape. He always makes a way forward if we look to Him, because greater is He that in us than He that is in the world.
Some have suggested that it is possible to change what tempts you. I have not found this to be true in my walk with the Lord these past 43 years. There are some sins I am never tempted to commit and some I am consistently tempted to commit. I do know God can take away the desire or the temptation, but I have not experienced that in my life. What tempts you does not determine your spiritual maturity. Your spiritual maturity is determined by your surrender to the Spirit instead of the flesh. This is what Paul teaches us in Galatians 6 and all throughout the New Testament.
You do not need to be ashamed of what tempts you. But you do need to submit it to the Lord, and you need to decide if your sexuality and your gender matter more to you than your soul that Jesus died to redeem. There are parts of our sexuality that may never be fully free from the temptation of this world. We may have to breathe our last breath with trial and temptation in the area of our gender and sexuality, but this does not mean we are not Jesus’ bride. He wants to present us as spotless and without blemish, but if we make our sexuality and gender more important than our relationship with Jesus, we will miss out on this redemptive work.
I implore you, whose you are is more important than who you are.
You are more than your sexuality. You have a soul that Jesus died for.
C.S. Lewis said it best, “You are a soul with a body.”
I would just add, “You are an eternal soul with a body that has a temporary sexual identity.”
Live as such!