Tag Archives: desire

SSA: Secret Longings, Confusing Feelings & Paths to Healing Part 1

I’m a bit behind on posting; a new semester has begun with the subject matter of Senior Counseling; Women’s Studies & Feminism; and Human Sexuality. The latter two courses especially have got me thinking–those along with some conversations I’ve had over time with “church people” about confusing feelings and what they often identify as lust, particularly as related to authority figures or leaders. Given those conversations, it’s evident sexuality has become (or always has been) a topic too important to remain completely private within the church or elsewhere.

Now is as good a time as any to move past our blushes, bring it into the open, and do a miniseries on this topic. To start it off, I’ve asked my friend John Spencer to guest post. I  appreciate and thank him for his transparency and courage as he shares his experiences and perspective. I hope you will too. While readers may or may not agree, I  ask that we respect his journey and beliefs. Our hope is by bringing some of these issues to light, that some might benefit. Here’s John.

**Content warning: this will be an honest account of some of my sexual struggles during my life and may not be appropriate for minors nor for those of a sensitive nature**

I never felt affirmed as a man.  I felt that I was a disappointment to my father and didn’t measure up.  My father-in-law also didn’t see me as a man and whilst I remember joking in my wedding speech that “it’s not so much losing a daughter but gaining a womanly-bloke” the truth is I didn’t feel like a “proper” man.  Getting married didn’t fix that.  Nor did becoming a father.  I felt the constant need for approval of a father-figure that I never received growing up.

During my early marriage I acted out by looking at pornographic images of women. I knew it was wrong and I hated myself for it.  I used to take out my anger on my wife.  Often as a defensive mechanism because if she got too close she would expose who I really was and I didn’t want that.  So I’d make out that it was her fault. However, whilst early exposure to pornography and subsequent masturbation had hardwired my brain to women, the yearning for manly approval grew and became more sexual.

I started fantasizing about kissing certain men when I was talking to them.  I needed to feel loved and wanted by these men.  But I knew that this was wrong too*.  And I hated myself for it.  I tried to suppress it but it kept coming back.  Just like the way I projected my self-loathing onto my wife due to my pornographic addiction, I projected my self-loathing about my same-sex attraction onto gays.  I would see homosexuality as the unforgivable sin and loathe them in my heart.

Some will interject now and say “you need to accept these desires as natural and reject this outdated religious bigotry”.  However, to quote CS Lewis:
“He (Satan) always sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites.  And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse.  You see why of course?  He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one.  But do not let us be fooled.  We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both ‘errors’.”

Instead of denying my desires or just accepting and acting on them, I expressed them to Jesus.

I honestly told Him about my struggles.  As I admitted the truth, I brought these desires into the light and that was when the transformation began.  He opened my eyes to the fact that it was only men in authority that I wanted to kiss.  It was because of my feeling so unmanly, so unworthy, so useless that was the root of my desire to be accepted and loved by authority figures.

Jesus has all authority (Mt 28:18), he is above every power and authority (Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:9-10) and he loves me (Jn 15:9,12).  As I have been receiving the approval of the ultimate authority I have become more whole.  As I have drunk deep of Christ’s masculinity I have become more manly.  As I have received the Father’s love and approval my desires for men have simply faded away.  I have become complete and whole in Him who is my all in all (1 Cor 15:28).

GK Chesterton said “Everyone who knocks on the door of a brothel is searching for God”. God has made us creatures of desire and Jesus is the “desire of the nations” (Hag 2:7) – the only one who can truly satisfy our longings whether they be same sex attraction, pornography addiction, paedophilia, food, smoking or simply the desire to be famous or rich. No finite thing can satisfy our longing for the infinite. Stop drinking out of broken cisterns (Jer 2:13), and return to the source of living water (Jn 4:13-14).

* It’s not the purpose of this article to defend the traditional Christian view of homosexuality.  Others have done that adequately elsewhere.  Any plain sense reading of passages such as Rom 1:26-27 and a correct understanding of hermeneutics will support this.  However, we mustn’t get pushed into the false dichotomy of if I don’t agree I must hate gays.

John Spencer is a child of God, a husband and a father of six children (four on earth and two in heaven). He writes about his journey into wholeness and how parents can communicate a godly vision of sexuality to their children at godlysexuality.org.

NOTE from LifeTree: all comments are moderated but please, do add to the conversation, even anonymously. Discussion helps others come out of hiding and heal.  John was kind enough to revise his original article which you can find here:

https://godlysexualityblog.com/2016/06/17/an-alternative-ending-to-the-orlando-shooting/

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Graced to Fully Know

Graced to Fully Know, Even As We Are Fully Known

“I desire to Be Fully Known”.

It gave me pause. Fully? Would The God of All be Fully Known?

Yet my heart followed after Him, His spirit drawing me.(Song of Songs 1:4)

It had started out a mere single word, FULLNESS, and became a poetic theme, softly echoing and resounding through the chambers of my heart, contracting and expanding, filling my understanding until it found release through my voice,

“I want to Know you Even As I am fully Known!!”

Then He unveiled to my mind what my heart already believed.

‘I Desire to Be Fully Known’

The Lover Unveils for the Beloved

Love unwraps and lays open the inmost secrets of the heart; the hidden becomes the revealed.

Marriage is the imagery He created for us to understand how we are to know Him and whereby we understand that “the one who joins oneself to the Lord is One Spirit” (with Him). 1 Corinthians 6:17

The Two shall become One

I’d known of the word Epignosis, meaning ‘intercourse’-not simply verbal communications, but a communing of heart, an entwining together through the experience of one another. Now another aspect was this reality was being unveiled. His desire is that we continue to know Him more fully in the sense of shared intimacies. Oneness.

What does Being One Spirit reveal to us?iphone 009

Intimate Knowing

In the same way one’s spouse or child could be not be counterfeited, little intimate details known only to the beloved are discernible-a scar, a quirk, a birthmark… the eyes-the soul’s mirrors truth tell, so it is in our union with God.

“Does not a son know the father’s heart? Does not a bride know her husband’s eyes? And don’t best friends tell each other secrets? This is why I am alive…. I want to Know You Lord” Rick Pino

Then He brought into my view another word: Kenosis -from the great kenosis passage, meaning in it’s verb form to empty- “to give outward expression of one’s inner intrinsic nature.”* (Philippians 2)

It refers to the Union of Divine Love and Glory expressed between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each giving into the complete, beneficial experience of the other, and expressed to us through the Spirit of The Son, Jesus.

Love relinquishes Self: Emanuel, God with us

The Philippians 2  passage reads in part:

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. 6 He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. 7 Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a servant, became human! 8 Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death– even death on a cross. (Message)

Jesus further reveals the intent of this word Kenosis in his prayer for us to the Father.

John 17:21….in order that all might be one, even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, in order that they themselves also might be in us,…

22 And as for myself, the glory which you have given me, I have given them, in order that they might be one even as we are one,

23 I in them and you in me, in order that they, having been brought to the complete state with respect to oneness, may persist in that state of completeness, to the end that the world might be understanding that you sent me on a mission and that you loved them even as you loved me. (my emphasis)

“Even As”   

Love in its true and fullest form, is always Reciprocal.

As if this weren’t enough for us to be certain that He desires to be fully known, co-joined to Him, we were caught up in spirit into the existence and experience of this Kenosis-caught up into Christ, into God, seated in heavenly places.   Ephesians 2:6, Col. 3:3 & 10

We are placed into the most secure place, directly into the receivership of the kenosis of God. The heart space of His fullness-His very bosom.

For out of His fullness (abundance) we have All received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one Grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favorand gift [heaped] upon gift. (Amplified)     John 1:16

The fullness o His heart is emptied into the earth, into us; Holy Spirit abiding and indwelling us, gracing us and enabling us to explore the heights and widths and depths and breadths of this vast boundlessness

                           Love revolutions (cycles).

                                                       bring resolutions (clarity)

1Corinthians 2: 10…as the scripture says: “What no one ever saw or heard what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.”

tig, longboards 070To us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through HisSpirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]…….

12 Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered:

Christ knows, and We Have Christ’s Spirit.”

Being secure within the fullness of Divine Kenosis, we understand how it can be true, that there is no room for fear in Love and no withholding. Kenosis, its perfected state, displaces all fear.    1John 4:18 & 19

First we were fully loved; now we may fully love.

As He is, so We Are.

Before the foundations of the world, with great detail and care, He planned to share the grace of kenosis with mankind-

In the face of mankind’s self love, He self-emptied.

Page after page of God’s journal reveals it was always His intent to fulfill our desire above all we would ask or think. How Adam and Eve “knew” each other and how they knew God was a mere “image” of the union He planned with us-the Indwelling Presence joined with ours.

So you also are complete through your union with Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority.  Colossians 2:9

“What do you think the scriptures mean when they say God longs jealously for the human spirit He has placed within us?    James 4:5-6&8

(Greek 1971 ἐπιποθέω from 1909 and potheo (to yearn); to dote upon, i.e. intensely crave possession (lawfully or wrongfully):–(earnestly) desire (greatly), (greatly) long (after), lust.   Strongs concordance.

Or that Holy Spirit placed within us, opposes our envy? (Greek 1971)But He gives us more Grace, (to be satiated; satisfied by Him, (Greek 5485)

Come close to God and He will come close to You

 He’s longing to be Known

Fully