Click Part 1 to read this series from the beginning.
In the last post of this series, I outline a final danger of repression. Maybe you are not suicidal. Maybe you are not acting on SSA. Yet you have lived a long time with this secret. The third danger is this: the longer you live in the space of repression, the harder you will find it is to begin the process of disclosure. If you are a teen, do not wait another year. In your twenties? Do not wait another day.
What is so tragic about this final danger is that it fuels the other dangers we have already looked at. Suicidal inclinations can rise – driven by long-term isolation and disconnection from those who love you. Acting on SSA can become more prevalent. The risk is that you become entangled in secrecy, spiritual conviction and uncontrollable passions. This is otherwise referred to as the double life.
If you have a pro-gay belief regarding homosexuality, I am not attacking your life. I am speaking to the Christian who already believes that acting on SSA is sinful. For this person, the mix of secrecy, spiritual conviction and addictive acting out is a double life. No judgment is implied. In fact, great mercy is needed because such persons often already feel deep anxiety and guilt.
Bifurcating your life across these multiple allegiances is unsustainable. I have never seen a double life that did not at some point come tumbling down. Acting on desires against your inner convictions is unsustainable. Living a lonely, isolated life of suicidal inclinations is also unsustainable. Engaging in high risk sexual encounters is dangerous – and yes, unsustainable. Keeping all this under wraps? Simply impossible; especially over the long-term. This trap that seems like a protective covering will one day expose you.
Your life does not have to tumble down. Today, you can step out of the double life and into the light of Christ. My sixth affirmation is this: You will live the healthiest, happiest, most connected and sustainable life when you expose your own secret and accept the good life God has for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Sharing your secret is not the end of your life; it is the beginning of a brand new life.
I encourage you to embrace the biblical or faith-based view of freedom. It starts when you share your struggle with those who love you. You can start building a network of support today. For additional guidance, contact me. Tomorrow, Justin will share his experiences and insights as a PK who struggles with SSA. He chose the path of disclosure in his teens and has never regretted that decision. There is so much to be learned from his example. I hope you will join me.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While most parents respond with grace, some of you may come from families with a history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, addiction, verbal harassment, shaming attitudes or homophobia. If this defines your family, I invite you to contact me for a free assessment of the risks of sharing this struggle with your parents. My primary objective is always to build support via parents. While this is possible in the vast majority of cases, it is not possible in every case. If that is your situation, you still need support and there is always a way to build a network of support. Reach out for help today.
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