Illustration by Emilia Ting
Written By H.Y, Singapore
The first time I had feelings for someone, I was only 14. I remember her being a little older than I was. She wasn’t particularly pretty, but she was tanned, had very cute dimples when she smiled, and was good at sports.
But there was one problem: I am a girl too.
It was only years later that I realized I was attracted to both genders—I have had crushes on guys as well. But somehow, the attraction towards females always felt more prominent. Naturally, I struggled to come to terms with what I was feeling. I was confused and couldn’t make sense of it. I mean, all my other female friends were talking about the boys they had crushes on—why was I different?
In the beginning, I tried to convince myself that what I felt was admiration, not romantic feelings. After all, she was cooler than I was and I probably wanted to be like her. I was in self-denial and refused to acknowledge the fact that I had feelings for her.
However, as time went by, I realized that I would find opportunities to see her more frequently or speak to her. I found myself walking past her classroom for no good reason at all or pushing my group of friends to sit closer to her group of friends at break time.
At the time, the feelings were foreign to me. I felt alone in my journey, as I didn’t have any friends who struggled with the same thing. Also, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) movement hadn’t caught on then, and not many people had “come out of the closet”. I was (and still am) very apprehensive about sharing my feelings—till today, my parents do not know that I experience both opposite-sex attraction (OSA) and same-sex attraction (SSA).
However, in the midst of my confusion, there was one thing I was certain about—what the Bible says about homosexuality. I grew up in a Christian family and went through Sunday School and Youth Group. My church pastors did not mince their words on what the Bible constituted as “ungodly”. Although I don’t recall a particular sermon or Bible class study on this topic, I knew for a fact that homosexuality was not what God had intended for mankind.
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Throughout the Bible, it is clear that God created male and female for marriage and destined for sexual relations to happen in the context of marriage (Mark 10:6-9).
We are instead told to “flee from sexual immorality” and honor God with our bodies, which are the temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:17-20). Hence, I know that it is against His will and design for me to act on my same-sex desires.
In the beginning, I was confused and questioned why God thought it was wrong. Why did He create me to experience attraction to both genders if it was wrong? Why didn’t He make me normal?
I will turn 20 this year and I still struggle with my feelings. I cannot say that I am out of the woods yet. In fact, I’m far from it: There is not a single day when I am not reminded that I still experience both OSA and SSA.
Attractive people are all around, whether pretty girls or cute guys. They still catch my eye and I am still tempted to indulge in my own fantasies of what it would be like to get together with them.
I’m still an imperfect work-in-progress and I definitely do not know everything about this topic. Nevertheless, after reading many Christian articles on it and reflecting on my own journey, here are three reminders I’ve found to be helpful when I’m struggling:
1. Anchor my identity in Christ
I must admit that the growing acceptance towards LGBT individuals in our society and increasing calls for them to embrace their “real identities” is very tempting. However, as a Christian, I remember that I’m first and foremost a follower of Christ, not a follower of men or myself.
Once we get our identity right, everything falls into place. Since I’ve embraced my true identity as a child of God and not a bisexual, I’m no longer easily swayed by how I feel. Jesus came to die for my sins to make me His and give me new life. My new-found identity in Christ can now take precedence over my feelings. Hence, I have never really felt the need or the urgency to “come out”.
Being conscious of my identity in Him also reminds me that I now have the power to resist sin. Although I admit that it is difficult to do so, I have the ability to choose to behave like His child, and not pander to my own desires.
2. Acknowledge that I am unable to resist temptation through my own efforts
Of course, I need to take active and intentional steps to prevent myself from falling into sin. For me, this involves not meeting someone I find myself developing feelings for exclusively, and unfollowing certain attractive influencers on Instagram.
However, such methods are never enough. Thankfully, we have a lifeline: God. When we cry out to God in prayer, He hears us. Matthew 26:41 tells us to be watchful and prayerful so that we don’t fall into temptation.
Jesus reminds us that although “the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.” Because we are human, sin is so natural for us that we need supernatural strength to turn away from it. And this strength can be found in Christ.
When I’m tempted, I’ve learned to pray and commit my sinful desires to God. I cry out to God and ask Him to grant me His strength to obey Him. Sometimes, I’ll take time to be still and say a silent prayer of repentance and a request of willpower to resist the temptation.
3. He is pleased when I obey
Of course, it is very difficult to turn away from what seems to be the most natural thing to do. But I don’t resist sin simply because the Bible says it’s wrong. It’s also because I know that my Father is pleased when I obey Him.
In fact, God delights in our obedience more than He delights in our sacrifices and acts of service (1 Samuel 15:22). Our obedience is an act of worship and is evidence of our love for Him (1 John 5:3). This motivates me to obey Him.
Like many Christians struggling with bisexuality, I wish God would take these feelings away altogether. That would make my life much easier. I would not have to struggle to turn away from temptation.
However, I believe that I will be truly restored only when I meet Him in Heaven and sin is removed from me. For now, God gives His children the power to resist temptations and achieve victory over our sins (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sin is no longer our master (Romans 6:14) and we can choose to no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). We can choose Jesus over sin.
One day, I will finally hear my Abba Father say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). I look forward to that day, when my earthly sacrifices will finally be all worth it.