God Healed My Marriage
Alan Medinger (USA)
During a recent quiet time, the Lord showed me what my life might have been like today. I envisioned myself living alone downtown--lonely and desperate, still going after that which could not satisfy, seeking from other men that which they did not have to give.
Willa, my wife, was living somewhere else, the anger and hurt in her life still hidden beneath the surface. I saw our younger daughter, Beth, daily expressing an anger towards a father who had never understood her needs and who had finally abandoned her. Our older daughter, Laura, carried a deep sadness for a father she loved very much. Our son, Steven, had not been born at all.
A New Man
But that is not the way my life is. On the night of November 26, 1974, a new man was born. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a boy was reborn and started to grow into a man.
In my background were most of the ingredients typically seen as contributing to homosexuality: an unplanned child, parents who were hoping for a girl, an older brother who met the father's ideal more than I, and a father with severe emotional problems which caused him to barely be able to cope with life himself, much less meet the needs of his son. Now I know that these factors did not cause my homosexuality. Rather, my responses to these factors influenced me in that direction.
Lifelong Attractions to Men
My attraction to men goes back almost as far as I can remember. I suppose I was about twelve years old when I started acting out my homosexual attractions. But, growing up in the 1940's and 50's, there was not a visible gay subculture, a homosexual lifestyle, to which I could aspire. I always assumed I would marry and do the best I could. My wife Willa and I had grown up neighbors, dated through high school, and then in college became more serious.
She was a wonderful, popular girl and I believed we could have a good life together. We were married and things went well in the early years. But about the fifth year of marriage, after our two daughters were born and the normal family and career pressures started to build, I again became homosexually active. I was involved for the next ten years.
During those years I believed that, except for this one great, dark area in my life, I had it all together. I was successful in business, a pillar of the church, and had a wonderful family, including foster children we took in. Theologically, I had it pretty well figured out. All men and women commit sin, and this was my particular area of weakness.
Hating My Homosexuality
This may be hard for many to understand, but I hated my homosexuality more than anyone could imagine. But even worse was the thought of giving it up. I don't know why. Was I really seeking love from another man? To be worth something to a man? To possess another's manhood? Perhaps it was all of these, but sex with another man met some need, provided some relief or escape that I felt I had to have.
I figured that if I just kept it moderately under control, God's scorecard on me would tally up in my favor and I would be okay. But everything was not under control. The compulsion was increasing and my going out became more frequent and reckless. My marriage was coming apart at the seams. I finally was no longer able to function heterosexually. Willa figured out what the problem was, but decided not to confront me.
The Power of Prayer
My wife, of course, was desperately unhappy during those years. She joined a prayer group of mature Christian women who were true prayer warriors. Although she did not tell them the specific nature of the problem, they started praying for our marriage. Willa began sensing that she should let go of me. If the marriage were to fall apart, and me with it, she was to let it happen. She was able to let go of me, spiritually and emotionally.
Not long after this, a friend asked me to attend a prayer meeting. I resisted for a long time, but finally agreed to go. He told me, "What the Lord has for you is far better than anything you could imagine." When I heard that, a great peace came over me.
A Great Change
To a casual onlooker, nothing spectacular happened that November night. But inside of me, a great change occurred. As the large group of two or three hundred people were praying and praising God aloud, I quietly surrendered my life, including my homosexuality, to Jesus Christ. I admitted my helplessness, that my life was a wreck, that I was willing to let Him do whatever He would with my life.
Beginning the following day, I started to recognize that a whole bundle of miracles had occurred. Gone were the homosexual fantasies that seemed to have seldom left my waking mind over the previous 25 years. I felt a love for Willa that I never knew was possible.
Perhaps most important of all, God was no longer a faraway scorekeeper. He was a Savior who had come down from His heaven and brought me salvation. Jesus loved me and I loved Him so very much. I know for the first time what it was to love and be loved in return.
At the time, I felt that what God had done was a total healing, and it is true that the sexual pull towards other men was gone. But homosexuality is more than having sex with someone of the same gender. Closer to the root is a deep brokenness, almost a stillbirth in our manhood or womanhood. Somehow as a small boy, I had closed a door to my growth into manhood. God helped me open it again.
Growth Into Manhood
My conversion marked the resumption of my growth into manhood. God has worked wonderfully to remove my great sense of inadequacy around "straight" men, those who have never experienced homosexuality. He has enabled me to become an initiator and a leader, roles which I dreaded at one time. In a beautifully gentle way, God has been shifting the roles my wife and I take, so that I can assume my proper headship in our family.
Because of the sudden nature of my healing from homosexuality, I am often asked, "How complete is your healing...really?" In reply, I can say it has stood the test of time and has borne the fruit of a blessed marriage.
I have not been homosexually tempted during the past ten years. By temptation, I mean seriously desiring or considering a sexual act with another of the same sex. I did carry beyond my initial healing some desire for an older, stronger man to "take care of me." That too is now gone, and I see men as brothers, not as father-protectors.
Naturally, I have avoided literature, movies and other situations that could arouse homosexual lust. When they are encountered, as they will be, or when someone I am counseling describes the circumstances of a sexual fall, it does sometimes give rise to some sexual feelings. However, those are minor and are diminishing with the passing of time. I may still take a look at a good-looking man, but God has shown me in the past few years that this is based on envy and habits from the past. As I repent of the envy and continue to thank God for the way He made me, this too is becoming less frequent.
I am frequently asked the question that unfortunately is often considered the acid test: "Are you sexually aroused by women in general?" No, I am not. I love my wife, and we have had a wonderful and enjoyable sexual/ romantic relationship since my healing. But she is the only woman with whom I wish to have sex. Sexual intercourse is meant to be an expression of love between two people in the context of a lifetime commitment. It is only because of the Fall that men have problems lusting for women outside of that committed relationship. Therefore, it seems unlikely that God would replace my homosexuality with a fallen heterosexuality. I thank Him that He has spared me that battle.
I'm so thankful that the picture of "what might have been" in my life today has not occurred. I am involved full time in ministry to homosexuals. Willa and I are working together in this ministry. We are looking forward to celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Our two daughters are now in college and Stephen, our son who "would not have been," is eight years old and doing well. And his father loves him very much.
Copyright 1985, Alan Medinger. Alan is author of the book, Growth into Manhood, published in 2000 by Harold Shaw Publishers.