Marriage | Page 243 | Focus on the Family Australia
Understanding What’s Going On
By Amy Tracy
Whats in this Article

Love is essentially a movement of grace to embrace those who have sinned against us (Matthew 5:43-48). It is the offer of restoration to those who have done harm, for the purpose of destroying evil and enhancing life. — Dan Allender, author of The Wounded Heart.

You'll eventually need to deal with the inevitable weight of guilt over your spouse's or parent's actions — and other challenges such as forgiveness and the relinquishment of a loved one, in order to move forward. "You are not the problem; you did not create the problem; you are not responsible for the problem. But you've inherited it all the same," says Joe Dallas, author of When Homosexuality Hits Home. "You've got work to do to protect both you and your family."

Coming to terms with your spouse's "double life," it's important to realise that, almost always, homosexuality roots are born in childhood. Many Christians marry believing that homosexual inclinations can be eradicated by time and the love of a family. The shame that accompanies homosexual struggles keeps many from facing them, so they remain hidden and unconfessed. Often it is years before the struggles are exposed.

Homosexuality is a complex problem that's largely about identity and unmet childhood needs. It's a form of brokenness that often has deep roots. While it can take some time to overcome, many have found healing — and when marriages survive, they're stronger than ever. The goal is to not come out of homosexuality per se, but to grow closer to Christ and be changed into His image.

I've learned that it's not my fault. That it's not my sin to carry. I've come to the realisation that I cannot protect my parents. To love them is to be real, but not to own their stuff. There are days I still cry. There are moments that are still painful and hard. The last two and half years the Lord has said, 'Wait for me! I have control over this.' Jesus is the one loving my family when I can't do so. — Lyndsey

At the same time, Stephanie, whose marriage weathered the storm, says, "Part of the healing process involved me being willing to deal with my own issues. Why would I be attracted to a man who wouldn't be attracted to me? If he was going to have to change, I was going to change along with him." Joe Dallas, author of When Homosexuality Hits Home, has great advice for the spouse who has been hit with the revelation that his or her partner struggles with sexual identity:

What is my role in my husband's (or wife's) recovery? Your role remains what it has always been: To be a life partner, lover and co-parent — all the roles wrapped up in the concept of 'spouse.' You are not, however, your spouse's counsellor, pastor, parent, accountability partner or official nag. In other words, let your spouse use the proper resources for recovery: a godly accountability group, a pastor, a counsellor and so forth. You be what you agreed to from the beginning — nothing more, nothing less. That's enough work for anyone.

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