“Whether sexual orientation can change or not, hearts can change and turn any sexual orientation into an occasion for the glory of Christ.”

That’s a pretty incredible quote, and it’s coming from someone who is, to me, a pretty fantastic source. John Piper wrote those words in this recent post, and I’ve wanted to write about them for a few days. Work and school have gotten in the way—the thesis revisions are kicking my butt—but it is truly a great post, and I wanted to give it a shout-out.

Piper’s words remind me my last post, where I mentioned that my same-sex attractions aren’t necessarily “unwanted.” That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that they are disordered, as Piper calls them in his post. Nor do I see them as immutable. Like I wrote in “Unwanted,” I have friends in godly, beautiful heterosexual marriages, and I love and celebrate them.

I suppose what I like about Piper’s post is that it represents “a wise and cautious balance.” He’s right when he says that there aren’t just three groups: homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. Sexuality is complicated, and even though I may sometimes call myself a homosexual for the convenience of using a single term, I know there’s more to me than that. I’m celibate. I’ve been in nonsexual, but real, romantic relationships with women. I’ve also been in nonsexual romantic relationships with men. I’ve been both promiscuous and chaste. My attractions are complex, and they wax and wane like the moon. I could be married with children one day, but I could still be attracted to men in general, the same way that a typical heterosexual man still finds women other than his wife beautiful. These attractions are temptations for both the homosexual man and the heterosexual man, but the ability to say “no” to them indicates regeneration.

It’s just tough to figure out the terminology. I still struggle with it, to be honest. Maybe my career as an English teacher makes me struggle. I want everything to be defined clearly. Change is inevitable. A soul touched by Christ cannot remain the same. It’s not possible. Even if that change doesn’t include a shift in sexual orientation, it will include a shift in outlooks, attitudes, ideas, and behaviors. Since we’re all on such a vast spectrum, how do we define each other? Should we even try to? That’s something I’m still thinking about. Obviously, we have to communicate about these issues, and words like “gay” and “straight” are helpful parts of the conversation, even though they also limit individuals.

These issues are always somewhere in the back of my mind, and I’m glad I have a blog where I can write them down.

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