Learnings from Emily Chase’s book, “What do I say to a friend who’s gay?”

I have finished reading this book lately, although it was published in 2006. Although I may not agree with everything she said in this book, I have learned a lot from her about holding friendships in a Christian way, and now I like to share some of them with you:

  1. “Stay committed to each other. Love each other unconditionally. Be with each other through the rough (even very rough) times and see it through. Christ-centered relationships are supposed to last. Don’t turn your back on those who need you the most. You don’t have to understand homosexuality in order to love someone.”
  2. “Then this is still the person you’ve always known. You’re just learning a new dimension of who that person is.”
  3. “Just being the same sex as your gay friend does not mean that he or she will come on to you. Because a guy is gay, it doesn’t mean that every male turns him on.”
  4. “When a friend tells you he or she is gay, you’re at a ‘turning point’ in your relationship. Will you abandon ship or will you stay around?”
  5. “Gays need friends just as you and I need friends. They need people who’ll support them, pray for them, and help them sort through the tangle of their thoughts.”
  6. “Who were the people tossed aside by society when Jensu walked on earth? The tax collectors, the lame, the prostitutes, the lepers, the orphans, the widows. All were pushed to the margins of the social register. How did Jesus respond to these people? He reached out to them and drew them in.”
  7. “…when two people work through their differences, the final bond becomes stronger than ever. Those friends can be gay or straight.”
  8. “It hurts when people make assumptions about you without getting to know you.”
  9. “The more people who pass along a rumor, the more that rumor is likely to be believed…The simplest way to stop a rumor is to shut your mouth. Don’t pass it on. Let it die….”
  10. “A key warning sign of an unhealthy friendship is a ‘just us’ mentality…When a relationship becomes possessive, and your friend demands that you separate from other people, something is wrong…Another warning sign appears when one person becomes consumed with making the other feel happy…”
  11. “…In our world, society allows women greater degrees of physical intimacy than it allows men. Such allowances, though, instead of making life simpler for women, make it harder. A woman can slide into a lesbian relationship more easily than a man can slip unintentionally into a gay one…”
  12. “God’s first concern is not whether a person is attracted to males or females but whether that person is attracted to HIM! Physical purity is important, but spiritual purity is essential.”
  13. “Another thing you can do is allow your friend to talk. Don’t jump in with answers. Listen. When you do talk, remember that even if you don’t have same-sex desires, you have areas where you’re weak.”
  14. “If your friend has rejected his or her gender role for years, it probably will take years to rethink that identity. In the meantime, hand in there.”
  15. “I ache for the love of Christ and his gospel to be taken to the gay community. I want them to know, to truly feel and believe that no matter what, God loves them and died for them. They don’t have to change their orientation before God will love them and save them. They don’t have to change anything about themselves to earn love, or perform to get his approval. But before this message can be carried to the gay community and be in any way convincing, Christians must learn it themselves.”
  16. “…whether your friend is interested in change or not. You can offer friendship, foster a safe environment for communication, be trustworthy, learn about gay issues, and pray on your own – all without any effort at all on your friend’s part.”
  17. “Same-sex attraction is not contagious like the flu. You can’t catch it just by being around someone who’s gay.”
  18. “If it’s wrong to impose our culture’s interpretations on evens in Bible times, it’s equally wrong to assume that cultural behaviors in the period the Bible automatically remain the same in our times.”
  19. “Instead, point your friends toward Christ. Teach them to depend on God. Too many people speak only of God’s condemnation of sin. You can be the one to introduce them to Christ’s love, his forgiveness, and his power to help. Then, when a friend asks you a question and you don’t know what to say, your friend can turn to Someone bigger than you, to Someone who has a lot more experience than you. That Someone is God.”
  20. “Human friendships are always a gift from God, but never forget that your best friend is God himself”.

Even if you may not affirm their interpretations about sexuality, orientation, gender, and identity, you may relate and reach out to the LGBTQ+ community in the ways Emily has offered here. I also found that her insights can applied to other areas of our Christian living.

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