Share similar interests and outlook on life. Matthew Vines is the author of God and the Gay Christian and is the founder of The Reformation Project, a Bible-based non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples. Interacting with your partner should be fun, encouraging, natural and nurturing, a blessing. The objective is to live an honest, holistic, Godly life based on Biblical principles of faith, trust, integrity, commitment, loyalty, joy and sacrificial love. If you're going to spend your lives together, easy communication is essential. That's another way of saying, commitment. Like other ancient writers, Paul described same-sex behavior as the result of excessive sexual desire on the part of people who could be content with opposite-sex relationships. That translates to recognition of the partnership, emotional, spiritual and sometimes financial encouragement and a sense of belonging to a close-knit group. Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to the LGBT community. Marriage is about commitment. Until recent decades, same-sex behavior was placed in the same category with gluttony or drunkenness — as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to — not as the expression of a sexual orientation. Many gay men struggle with intimacy issues. There are right ways and wrong ways to argue and disagree with each other. The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all — but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice. Sometimes I feel like I'm not getting through to you or, Sometimes I feel like you don't realize how important this is to me.
For heterosexual couples, getting married usually means becoming part of an extended family. Accept their sexual orientation without experiencing discomfort. If one or both partners feels uncomfortable with their same sexuality, that discomfort can keep the relationship from maturing into the joyful union it ought to be. If they were sexually promiscuous prior to getting partnered, they may have learned to associate their sexuality with anonymous sex. Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples. Interacting with your partner should be fun, encouraging, natural and nurturing, a blessing. Mainstream denominations like Presbyterians and Episcopalians now ordain openly gay clergy, and there are seeds of change in evangelical churches as well. Life has a way of challenging the strongest relationships. Can you give some practical advice about gay relationships? Great relationships require work and nurture and prayer and time and trust. For homosexual couples, getting partnered may not provide any of that family support network. Some gay men experience difficulty getting close to another man because the closeness sometimes becomes a competition. Provide support for each other in such a way that life is enhanced instead of feeling more stressful because you've become partners. Share similar interests and outlook on life. Learning to discuss disagreements leads to personal growth and better understanding of where your partner is coming from. Great relationships are the product of intention, not serendipity. The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all — but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice. Recognizing this pitfall and paying special attention to meeting each others sexual needs can help to re-orient thinking so that a fulfilling sexual life is associated with loving your partner and only your partner. The Bible explicitly condemns Sodom for its arrogance, inhospitality and apathy toward the poor — not for same-sex behavior. Embrace the art of conversation and gentle persuasion. Many gay men struggle with intimacy issues. Matthew Vines is the author of God and the Gay Christian and is the founder of The Reformation Project, a Bible-based non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Matthew lives in Wichita, Kansas. Having the support of your friends, colleagues and spiritual community can fill in the gaps when your family is not supportive.
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