Is homosexual love without homoerotic behavior okay for a Christian?

Question: You may find this to be an odd question, but is it possible for two Christians of the same gender to remain a couple if they do not engage in sex? My partner and I love each other but our study of Scripture convinces us that having sex is wrong. Now, sex was never a huge part of our relationship anyway, so we’ve committed to abstaining. But we still want to do life together. I can’t imagine life without my partner. Do you think God is okay with this arrangement?

Answer: Let me first say I greatly admire you and your partner for having the openness and courage to let God’s Word convict you on something that undoubtedly introduces a good deal of sacrifice into your life. You are to be commended.

Now, your question is not at all an odd one. It’s a very good one. I wish more people asked it. I’ve found that a lot of gay people assume the Bible’s teaching that homosexual behavior is sin condemns them to a life of solitude, devoid of love. It does not.

While I would advice you to not refer to yourselves as a “couple” any longer (this is the language of romance, not friendship), there is nothing in the Bible that suggests two people of the same gender can’t share a love for one another that is as profound as a love between a man and a woman. David and Jonathan had this kind of affection for one another. At one point Scripture says: “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the LORD call David’s enemies to account.’ And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself” (I Sam 20:16-17).

Then, in 2 Samuel David says to Jonathan,

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women (2 Sam. 1:26).

So it seems like two people of the same gender can share a deep, godly, profound love for one another. The Bible is against homoerotic behavior, but not against same gender love itself.

I have advised several other gay couples along these lines. They obviously have to struggle with sexual temptation, but the ones I know have found the struggle worth the reward of continuing to share life with someone they love profoundly.

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 hobvias sudoneighm via Compfight Stephen Mattson has contributed for Relevant Magazine, Sojourners (Sojo.net) Redletterchristians.org, and studied Youth Ministry at the Moody Bible Institute. He is now on staff at the University of Northwestern St. Paul, Minn. Follow him on Twitter @mikta. Stephen recently published an article in Sojourners titled Seven Lies About Christianity — Which Christians Believe that we really…