So You Say Your Friend Is Gay

He's not just a friend. He's not an old friend you no longer keep in touch with. He's definitely not the token friend you keep filed away for the times you need to be hip and mention you actually have a gay friend.

No, this friendship is genuine. It's honest. It's forever—you made a pact in junior high and 15 years later you're still keeping it. He's your best friend, the only friend you lavish with phrases like You mean the world to me and I count my lucky stars to know you. You even told him you would lay down your life for him and actually meant it. And as you both grew older and his list of friends with HIV got longer, you promised in your heart that you would drop everything and take care of him if he ever fell ill.

What is your call, then, as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, as someone who has the grace of the Lord in their life, when your friend is gay? What do you say? What do you do? What does it mean to love them like Jesus would? Can you actually love the sinner and hate the sin? You wonder, gazing into the back of your eyelids at night, if this is even possible within the limits of our human capacity to love.

Jesus, you tell yourself, had no problem. He loved the woman at the well. He was not only seen with her, but He handed her living water, the most precious treasure ever given. And Jesus gave that same water to an indecent woman with a scarlet past.

He hung with sinners and so should you, you say. But spending time, spending honest and vulnerable time with someone, means meeting them where they are, knowing about their life and usually withholding judgment unless that friend asks your opinion.

You remember back to the night you and your best friend were floating around in his sister's pool. It was a warm night, you were both looking up at the stars and soaking in the beauty around you—the warm air, the sparkling sky and the sanctity of your friendship. Finally your best friend pulls up out of the water and says: "I don't get you. I shouldn't question it, but I don't even understand how we are still friends. I know you have an unwavering faith in God, a faith that's traditionally in opposition with who I am. I don't understand it, but I count my lucky stars to still have you. You have no idea how much you mean to me. No idea."

You roll over, stuff your fist in your pillow, and replay the responses you've gotten from others. Some twist their eyebrows when they hear you use phrases like "his boyfriend." Some interject, "As long as you're clear with him that his life is displeasing to God, that's great you're able to be friends with him." Displeasing to God, you repeat. Isn't your life also displeasing to God? Others tell stories of Christian lesbians who got straight and are now married to used-to-be-gay men.

But you're not so sure your best friend would be better off straight. That's what keeps you up at night. That's what you don't want to admit when your pastor reminds you to keep praying for him. You know your faith is too small. You know your eyes are blinded. You know you've settled for just wanting temporary happiness for him now, but have side-swiped a vision of eternity and acceptance for him.

Is this really love?

You Might Also Like

You've told him, throughout the years, that you wish he could stop searching. You wish he knew the peace that you find in Christ. You wish he had this power in his life to be healed, to be made whole. He tells you he does believe, he believes everything you believe, but that he's not sure what that God really looks like. And he continues searching.

At what point, you ask yourself, has your love gone too far? You are happy for him when he meets someone who brings him joy, who is stable, who makes him shine and smile like you've never seen before. You remember how bitter he used to be, the pain of junior high and high school, all the hiding. You thank God he didn't succeed when he tried to kill himself in college. You thank God the Holy Spirit changed your perspective enough so you had the instant response to wrap your arms around him when he finally did come out, the day he brought a going away present because he thought coming out would mean saying goodbye. You hugged, you cried, you washed his fears of abandonment. You assured him you would always love him.

And now you're wondering what that love should look like.

Top Comments


Madison commented…

This story sums up my life right now. My best friend is gay, I am a Christian. Our conversation at two in the morning kept me thinking and wondering for two days afterwards, until I flipped to a random page in the New Testament looking for guidance. The line was a pharisee or a sadduccee or someone like that trying to trip up Jesus by asking what the most important commandment was. Jesus' answer was this:

"Love your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. The next is Love your neighbor as you love yourself. There are no other commandments more important than these."

If this doesn't answer the question, I don't know what will. Jesus clearly tells us to love everyone, SINNERS INCLUDED, as He loved us. After all, we were no better than gays or bisexuals or transgenders or liars or theives or prostitutes or any other person guilty of any other sin when Jesus died for us, bringing us not only true forgiveness and grace but salvation.

Being gay/lesbian is no worse than lying to a math teacher about whether or not you did your homework. It's all the same in God's eyes. And if God loved us enough as SINNERSourselves to send his Son to die for us, we owe it to Him, as Christian witnesses, to show all people, not just straight ones, the promise for salvation and love for who they are. We are called to do this, commanded by Jesus to love unconditionally like He did, to 'eat with the sinners' and to love them as our Lord loved us.

I am fourteen years old. I've been a Christian for only one year. If I can figure this out, so can everyone else. It is my prayer that everyone who calls themself a Christian sees this truth and embraces it, encourages those who struggle in a positive way instead of calling them "gay" and "faggot" and such. All we are doing is driving them away from God and becoming enemies of the Lord who gave up everything for us.


R. W. Pennington


R. W. Pennington commented…

Edit on my last comment,

"When you struggle, you fail sometimes."

I also would like to point out that I understand that you weren't being holier-than-thou. I wasn't trying to be holier-than-thou, I was just making a point that you don't my life quite like you think you do.

Jeff Straka


Jeff Straka commented…

Sounds like you ARE leading a life following the emptying path of Jesus. That is wonderful! But I'm sure you would agree that you are in the minority in living this meager lifestyle. The majority of the Christians that call on gay/lesbians to repent are a long ways from repenting from their own sins (like the ones I had suggested). Many, I would say, don't even consider a life of accumulation a sin, since it is such an integrated part of the American culture. So my point was the "log in our own eye" idea.

That said, my original comment on this story is that I don't feel that gay/lesbian relationships/sex is sinful in and of itself. When one side is using the other for their own selfish interests (which happens just as much in straight couple relationships), and there is no commitment to one another, in a marriage (if you are lucky enough to live in one of the few states allowing gay marriage) or equivalent ceremony, that could be another story. Until Christians rise up equally against married straight Christians that blatantly abuse their spouse, their mistress (or mister?), their families, and the sanctity of marriage, we will CONTINUE to be seen as hypocrites. Latest example: Mark Sanford - [url][/url]

Jeff Straka


Jeff Straka commented…

BTW, I was referring to adultery in the last couple of sentences...wasn't totally clear...

R. W. Pennington


R. W. Pennington commented…

I absolutely agree, jeffca, that homosexuality is not any more a sexual sin than heterosexuality in any context besides a loving marriage.

However, I've only met one person who claims that the Canon doesn't deem sex outside of marriage a sin, and that's the inkaboutit guy posting in the masturbation articles. It's just not debatable, so it's not debated.

I have heard the idea that living a Homosexual lifestyle is ok in a marriage, but I don't see that justified in the Old or New testaments at all. In fact, I see the exact opposite; that it's a sin. The Bible talks about sex in many different forms: homosexuality, bestiality, heterosexuality, lust, incest with mother, aunt, mother in law, daughter, daughter in law, forced sex, sex outside of marriage, and a man who has sex with his wife and finds that she isn't a virgin. The only time anywhere that the scripture says "God likes this" is when a husband and wife freely give themselves to each other.

Have you really seen a church that condones any of the things you're talking about? I've never seen a headline that said "The super-duper-mega-church pastor, Guy, was caught in the act with three women who weren't his wife, and the church has decided that it's ok and he can stay."

Of course, that may be just because Relevant Magazine didn't catch wind of it somehow. ^_^

Jeff Straka


Jeff Straka commented…

Gee, Rob Penn: So if we are to go literally by the Bible and read it as a "rule book" that solves it then and solves it now, it is (apparently) OK by God to have multiple wives. It is (apparently) OK by God to own slaves. It is (apparently) OK by God to stone people caught in adultery. Those things are "justified" in the Bible, you know. I'm glad there were/are Christians that saw/see a forward movement of the Biblical story, that it isn't "once said - said forever".

Please log in or register to comment

Log In