Home Youth Leaders Love and Truth: Helping Teens Navigate LGBTQ Issues

Love and Truth: Helping Teens Navigate LGBTQ Issues

This division of the internal and external being is not found in Scripture, however. Throughout Scripture, our bodies are presented as a fundamental part of who we are (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, for example). And because God is perfect in all He does (Deuteronomy 32:4), He cannot make mistakes by putting anyone in the wrong body. His gender choice for us is good, and we can experience life more abundantly when we work to embrace it.

To avoid contributing to people’s struggles with gender, we should be careful to faithfully interpret and not go beyond what the Bible says regarding the differences between men and women and their roles. The Bible affirms the equal value of both sexes and allows for far more freedom in gender roles and expectations than most cultures have throughout history. We should do the same, while celebrating the differences that Scripture does outline.

Because the creation of male and female is so fundamental to God’s plan for humanity, it should be no surprise that Satan would work to confuse people in this area. Consequently, gender dysphoria and struggles to discern what it means to be a man or a woman are very real and are often rooted in feelings of rejection. These struggles should be addressed with great compassion, but also with the understanding that fighting against or distorting how God created us can never lead to our thriving in the way God intended.

The Bible and Sexual Orientation

When it comes to sexual orientation and activity, looking back at the Garden of Eden once again can help teens find God’s path through the current wilderness of sexual confusion. Genesis 2:18-25 paints a clear picture of God’s original design for sex:

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

God’s design for sex is for it to be between one man and one woman “till death do us part,” within the context of marriage—not with two people of the same gender, not with more than one person, not with another type of creature. Once again, these are house rules that we may not like or understand, but as mentioned before, they’re based on God’s perfect character and given for our good.

Jesus reiterated these house rules:

“Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:4-6)

Jesus clearly stated that God’s design for sex was that “the two” (a husband and a wife within the context of a marriage) “will become one flesh”—a oneness demonstrated in the act of sex (1 Corinthians 6:15-16). Sex between two people of the same gender does not fall within that design.

There are a number of passages in the Bible that clearly describe same-sex sexual activity as sin. Here are three of them:

Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27)

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Some pastors and teachers today take these clear passages and apply complicated interpretations to argue that the authors were condemning homosexuality only in certain contexts or in certain types of homosexual acts, such as sex outside of a committed relationship, rape, prostitution, or pedophilia. These arguments, however, do not fit with the Bible as a whole, or how it’s been interpreted throughout history. (For detailed insight on the interpretation of passages addressing homosexuality, click here.)