Our recent outreach to colleges and universities has been an incredible encouragement to us. We've met so many young people who have exactly the right heart for this issue. In a way, these first years of our youth and student division are a lot like the inception of Exodus itself back in the 70's. It wasn't just one person's idea that started it, but rather God bringing together many strangers who He had already been teaching and guiding. It's truly amazing.
After one of our speakers gave a talk at a Christian university, we received an email from a student.
I recently heard you speak at a conference here. I found out the Monday after the conference that my roommate struggles with homosexuality. The news concerning my roommate wasn't entirely a surprise, as I had my suspicions for a little while.
The reason I tell you all this is because I am unsure of how to respond to my roommate's struggles. How to I show my care for him without condoning the sin? Also, what can I do to get around the "weirdness factor" myself? Sometimes it makes feel a little weird having a roommate who struggles with homosexuality and I don't want that to get in the way of ministering to him.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
It's important to see him not as 'a homosexual,' but to understand that his true destiny is to find genuine manhood in Christ (now, I am answering under the assumption that 'he struggles' means he is desiring change). Have assurance that God created him to be a man, and see that potential. As a struggler, I know it is hard for us to learn to look at ourselves the way God intended. It helps to have loving friends who intentionally see those qualities and affirm them.
As for the "weirdness factor," I would encourage you to read a book about the journey to freedom. You Don't Have to be Gay by Jeff Konrad or 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley are great resources for people who want to take part in someone's healing process. A little knowledge goes a long way in alleviating fear. Also, contact one of our member ministries and see if you can set up a face-to-face with someone who's overcome homosexuality. They know the common pitfalls, and they are experts at answering those tricky questions!
Depending on the depth of his struggle, an Exodus ministry might be right for your roommate, as well.
Once you're both comfortable talking about the subject openly, let your roommate know that you want to offer help and encouragement, and he can let you know how to. Keep open communication because you both have a lot to offer each other. Have faith that God has put you two together for a reason--for each of your benefit.
Most of all, It's a good thing to just treat him like any other guy. Relax and be casual. Sometimes people think it's comparable to sharing a room/apartment with someone of the opposite sex. It's not. Help him accept the fact of his masculinity by accepting it yourself. As trust builds between you, the 'mystery' of men will lose its power over him, and that makes this struggle so much easier.
Thanks for your desire and willingness to minister to someone with this issue in their life. It seems that, even within the Body of Christ, there is a shortage of men who will pursue and care for relationships with other men. The irony is, that is the answer to homosexuality!