This post derives from a response I gave to anonymous user who asked me a question on Tumblr.
The question asked if two people of the same sex could have a romantic relationship even though they are not involved in sexual relations and if it was sinful. I admit this particular topic is difficult for me to discuss but in short I concluded that this sort of relationship should not be encouraged even if it is not sexual, because where might that romance lead? Having (sexual) relations of the same sex is sinning. I suggest that however though, affectionate friendships can exist, but it is in no way romance.
Firstly, sexual desire is not sinful (after all we are passionate beings and designed to produce families) , only when those desires are put into action before having a spouse is it a sin. What is an action? The definition is:
“the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.”
So an action in any sense is something that will lead you into something else, which includes anyone’s current actions. Where would someone go with this romance? What could it lead into?
“Asexuality” as the modern world calls it, or celibacy is not a bad thing. Some may argue that they are different and I understand but if you are an ‘asexual’ Christian, you would be practicing celibacy anyway because you are not sexually, thus not romantically interested in someone. What is the point of romance if you’re not going to let it lead into something else?
What about being affectionate to someone of the same sex? That is fine. That can be defined as a brotherly love (in Greek is Philia (φιλία philía)), which all brethren are encouraged to do, which is actually easier said than done, especially if you have romantic feelings, because it can distract you from the pure commandment that has been given. In my own past have been accused of lesbianism because of affection that I showed to my girl friends even though I did not have any romantic desire let alone sexual desire for them. Affection is not a bad thing between good friends.
Going back to the romance. I didn’t know the user who asked the question so I had to make some assumptions as to how one would define romance. If you define romance by that the extent of your relationship is kissing (on the lips) and holding each other for pro-longed amounts of time, that is the start of a sexual relationship. Those actions get the hormones racing and consequently travels throughout your body resulting in other passionate and sexual desires (Eros (ἔρως érōs)). Symptoms of this can be tingling in the arms or legs, heart pounding, blushing and erections. Also simply kissing and holding each other in such a fashion is allowing the bodies to share each other, which we know is only a privilege for those in marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1-40 ) (things like hugging are excluded).
For some people struggling with same sex attraction though, this may not be the case. I’m going to go back to celibacy now.
What do we understand about celibacy? To be celibate means to not have a desire to be with someone else. You are pursuing a life that is the single life. You do not want to commit to someone else. I ask again, what is the purpose for a romantic relationship if these actions will not subsequently lead into something more? Even if you don’t want to be sexual, the fact you are in a relationship does not make you celibate because the relationship you are pursuing is one that should lead to marriage.
For the most important part, God’s plan and intentions for us. What has God shared with us so that we may follow His plan? Are we doing our best to follow the commandments and expectations God has given us? Would someone in this situation be making the right choice?
Where are they going with this romance? What is it leading them into?
I interpret this situation that even despite no sexual relations it could very well distract someone deeply into sin/s.
If you are not going marry, then what is the purpose of the romance?
Remember affectionate friendships can exist.
Looking at this situation, I do not encourage it. I do not mean to blaspheme here, but if God does not encourage homosexual relations, He would not encourage homosexual romance – because it would lead to nowhere and can be of distraction.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:11-14
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. – James 1:12-16
And give no opportunity to the devil – Ephesians 4:27
I hope that whoever is reading this finds it useful. It may not be practicing homosexuality as such, but it is encouraging that kind of lifestyle. God knows that we are not perfect so do not be anxious if fighting this or anything else takes time. He understands our suffering and that’s why He gave Himself in human form.
Another user later made some arguments, to quote:
“Celibacy is the choice not to have sex with anyone because you don’t want to, not because you aren’t attracted to anyone – it IS a choice… Whether or not the Bible condemns homosexuality, no matter what a religious text claims about who you naturally love or like, you are you, and THAT IS NOT WRONG. Nowhere in the Bible is romantic attraction to anyone, regardless of their gender, a sin. The word “homosexual” in the Bible did not appear until 1946 and is a mistranslation of the word “male bed” from Greek and Hebrew, which don’t even have a word for “homosexual.” …Responses like these are what can lead queer kids to try to become straight and fail because their queerness is natural, hate themselves, and believe that God hates them. If you cannot help bring straight, you cannot help being gay, bi, poly, pan, ace, etc. You are not wrong and you are not disgusting or hated for who you are.”
Here is some information on the history of the term homosexual.
We have to realise that not everything “natural” is a good thing or “normal” thing. As humans because of Adam and Eve we are born into sin. Our “natural” self is a sinful nature. God asks us not to sin, but to follow the design which He intended us for.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” –Psalm 51:5
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:1-10
Also I must re-iterate the point of what the purpose of the romance would be.
Following God or not is the choice here. So as Christians are we gonna take up your cross and follow the footsteps and teachings of Jesus?
Talk to Jesus and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in the right direction.
Dear Merciful Lord,
Please help those who are currently in suffering or confusion
May you please give them patience and teach them to understand Your word
Please reveal Your plan to them but by Your will
Helper, move through them to accept Your Way. guide them through these trials and distractions, whether they be big or small
By Your time
By Your will
Which is only Right
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. – 1 John 5:4
May the Lord Bless you and keep you.
Soli Deo Gloria.