We Are Family
Read 1 Timothy Chapter 5
1Ti 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
Every believer is a member of your and my family. We are all a part of one, big, eternal family, with God as our Father and Christ as our brother. We are family, you and I. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
As we think of our same-sex attractions, it is not likely that any of us have sensed sexual attractions for any members of our earthly families. I know there are some rare exceptions to that statement. They are very rare indeed. Why are we not sexually attracted to family members? I cannot answer that question. The fact remains that most SSA men and women are not attracted to their blood relatives.
This passage from 1 Timothy is a good one for the SSA man and woman to use to help us avoid and resist temptation. More than once we have discussed ways in which we can think more purely about others. The suggestion from Paul, as he wrote Timothy, is simple. We should think of other men and women as blood members of our family.
We should look at older men as if they were our fathers. Who has sexual attraction to his father? We should view younger men as our brothers. Sexual activity with one of our brothers? Not likely to be uppermost in our minds! We are to think of older women as our mothers, and younger women as our sisters. Paul says that as we think of others in that way, we will be thinking in purity, not in lustful ways.
How do we achieve that goal? What can we do to cause ourselves to view other men and women as members of our blood relative family? There’s no easy one, two, three response to that question, but here are a few suggestions as a way of jump-starting our thinking in that direction.
1. We must retrain our minds to think eternally, not temporally. Each person is a spirit and soul. The body is temporary. The soul and spirit are eternal.
2. Our Christian brothers and sisters truly are our brothers and sisters according to scripture. A good dose of spiritual reality will be good for us. Next time we are in a room of Christians, let’s look around us and spend just a little time visualizing each person in the room as being our brother or sister. Allow our minds to consider the truth, that we have a common Father. Every person there has been born again, born eternally to our Father. Picture the spiritual birth of each man and woman. Just as you and I have been birthed by the same Father, so has each believer.
3. Think in terms of Agape love, not in terms of selfish ambition. Self-sacrifice is something which does us and the other person good. Thinking about meeting the spiritual or physical needs of others will result in our doing something to benefit them. In turn, we receive and eternal reward for our earthly sacrifice.
Hopefully, you will also think of ways to put Paul’s admonition into practical practice. It won’t be easy, because our enemy has cleverly devised ways to distract us from God’s purposes and ways. But we can do it, because we have the Holy Spirit living within. His power can do the work if we will but submit to Him and call upon Him in our hour of temptation.
Prayer: Help each of us to be able to see other men and women as our fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers. Help us to see them through Your eyes, and not through the eyes of our enemy.