BY JACOB ARANZA
After a high school assembly in Wichita, Kansas, a young attractive girl walked up to me after everyone else had left the gym. “Jacob,” she said, “I have to tell you something I have never told anyone before.” Looking around to be sure no one was in sight she whispered, “I’m gay.”
“Who told you that you were gay?” I whispered back.
“No one; I just know that I am.” “Have you ever been involved sexually with another girl?” “No,” she replied. “Well, then how do you know you’re gay?” She thought for a few seconds about how to respond and finally said, “There’s a girl I like here at school. Whenever she goes out with a guy, it makes me angry. I want her friendship just for myself.”
I asked about her parents. They both live at home, and she even said that they were pretty close. “When was the last time they told you that they loved you?” I asked. “Well” she began, but paused as if she was searching through her past, trying to find a way to explain, “We don’t say things like that in my family.” “When was the last time your mother hugged you?” “We don’t do things like that either,” she confessed.
I was amazed and continued to probe. “Has your mother ever hugged you and told you she loved you?” “Not that I can remember,” was her answer. “Sweetheart,” I said, “I don’t think you’re gay; you’re just looking for some motherly love at a time when you’re also going through a hormonal explosion.”
Her story was a familiar one. I’ve heard many such stories from hundreds of young people whom I have counseled over the years. Their stories have three characteristics in common that cause great sexual confusion in teens, which in turn has led some to conclude that they are homosexual or bisexual. These three factors are:
1. No strong father figure present in the home. What happens to a boy who is raised by his mother and never bonds with a father or a father figure? At puberty the hormones kick into gear, and he longs for an outlet for his sexual desires. At the same time he is yearning psychologically and emotionally for the love of a father. The longing for a father figure can sometimes result in inappropriate sexual behavior in both young men and young women, including promiscuity, bisexuality, and homosexuality.
2. Childhood molestation or abuse. The memories of childhood homosexual encounters can follow a person into adulthood, and damage both the victim’s sense of self-worth and his or her sexual identity. Victims of these types of crimes often have deep-seated roots of anger and fear that cause additional confusion.
3. Parental abandonment or neglect. Some kids resort to inappropriate sexual behavior as an attention-getting device, to get the adult attention they crave. For this reason, bisexuality has become a cultural trend among kids today, much as biracial dating was prevalent in their parent’s generation (the difference is that homosexual and bisexual relationships are wrong according to God, whereas arguments against biracial dating are often based largely on social prejudice).
Pop culture icons openly flaunt their sexual “preferences” for shock value. But think about it. Twenty years from now, after the shock wears off, will these celebrities still be idolized? Or will they be drowned out as the stars of the next generation take their place? Ask your parents who their “teen idols” were. You’ll probably hear names like Santana, Elvis Presley or the Beatles. By today’s standards their music is pretty tame. But years ago parents were shocked by these teen icons. The music was a reflection of the Sexual Revolution that had exploded and shaken our culture’s values at the roots. We discovered too late that “free love” was neither free nor love. And we continue to pay the price.
Homosexuality and bisexuality are products of a culture that no longer has defined sexual roles. Many couples have abandoned the belief that protecting, preparing, and providing for their children is their primary responsibility in life. This value has been replaced by the quest for power, pleasure, and possessions.
This was not the case twenty years ago, and in most cases your parents were not raised this way. Unfortunately for you, these changes in our society make developing sexual identity more difficult now than ever before. Difficult, but not impossible. It’s up to you: who are you going to look up to in life? And what can they teach you that one day you will want to pass on to your own children?
YOUTH WORKERS: Many of our Hispanic young people are struggling with identity issues and role confusion. We as Christian youth leaders must address the issues of sexuality even in the church! Even issues such as bisexuality, homosexuality, masturbation, etc. Our young people deserve to know that God’s Word even addresses the sexual arena of our lives.
The bisexual victim of abuse needs to gain a clear biblical perspective of the differences between love and sex. For example, passages such as I Corinthians 6:13b and 13:4-6, and Titus 2:11-14 are great news for them. The bisexual student who has opted for that lifestyle needs to see that a clear moral code is an expression of God’s love and care.
If we don’t dare to address these issues honestly and biblically, we will further communicate that the church is irrelevant and out of touch with this generation – this at-risk generation.
Jacob Aranza is a national youth communicator. Addressing the needs of over two hundred thousand students annually, his message is packed with hope and loaded with humor. His unique message and approach has resulted in positive media coverage on CBN, ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. He has been a guest speaker with the Billy Graham Crusade, Campus Crusade, Youth for Christ and Promise Keepers. Jacob is a best-selling author with five books in print and the founder of Aranza Outreach, an organization that challenges teens to be drug and alcohol free, sexually pure, and to restore relationships between themselves and their parents.