One of my friends came out to me. He said he was in a same-sex relationship.

I found it a highly uncomfortable experience; it shocked me because this friend was a friend in Christ.

What was worse was how unhappy he was. All Christians are hypocrites, he said, talking about the harm and hurt he’d been through over other issues.

I’m Christian. It felt like those accusations were fired at me, too.

But the more I talked to him, the more I realised that all he was saying came from a position of hurt and pain. Deep down within him, he was struggling and wrestling with many different hurts in his life.

How should I respond, I wondered.
I thought about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. The Samaritan woman was sexually broken, marginalised, ostracised. She drew her water at noon, possibly to avoid people. She shunned the attention.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, she met Jesus (John 4).

We learn that the Samaritan woman had had five husbands and was carrying on with a sixth man. I’m guessing she was driven by a desire for intimacy, so she went from one man to another. She sought a man who would truly love, understand and care for her. Unfortunately, she found herself disappointed time and again.

Jesus met her at where she was, and immediately identified her thirst for intimacy.

Though she sought intimacy with men, Jesus gave her intimacy with God.

She was going from one well to another, one man to another – drawing from “wells” that did not satisfy. She was looking for love at all the wrong places.

Thought she was afraid of being alone and yearning for someone to know her, Jesus invited her into intimacy with God through worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24).

Though she sought water, Jesus gave living water.

Though she sought intimacy with men, Jesus gave her intimacy with God.

Though she sought the natural, Jesus gave the spiritual.
The Samaritan woman’s issue was not her sexuality, but her relationship with God. Jesus knew everything the women ever did, but neither rejected nor condemned her, instead revealing who He truly is – the Christ.

Jesus loved unconditionally.

But unconditional love does not equate to unconditional approval. Love acts as a moral compass, to discern between the good and bad, the truth and lies. Love is bringing truth to light.

As we bring out the truth, we do it with love.
There are two big misconceptions I see in our culture. One is that we have to compromise on our convictions in order to be compassionate. Two, if we love someone, we have to approve of their actions and beliefs as well.

However, truth and love are not inconsistent. We tell the truth about God’s design of human nature, marriage and sexuality not because we hate or fear people but precisely because we love them.

The ultimate focus should be on God and who we are in Him. We are all created in the image of God. If they are believers, their identity should be as a child of God whom Christ has died for.

We are not defined by our sexual orientations, sexual behaviour, sexual past.

The Church must be a safe space where people know they can come and share about their past and present struggles without the worry of being judged.

If anything, our backgrounds should be seen as what we did before we come to know Christ, and were sanctified and justified by the Spirit of God. Our histories should not be our identity, but our testimony.

Sexuality is broken in this sinful world, but it is not the only form of brokenness. While we must address the issue of sexuality, we must avoid addressing only this issue.

There are many other sins, apart from homosexuality. The Samaritan woman’s sexuality was not the biggest issue. Her relationship with God was of greater importance.
As the Church, we must be family, an authentic community for everyone, married or single, whether struggling with sexual or any other issues. The Church must be a safe space where people know they can come and share about their past and present struggles without the worry of being judged.
This is how God loves. We should love even if it makes us uncomfortable.

I recognise the rainbow as a promise from God – a promise that He will not destroy us all. A symbol of His grace and His son.

People now see the rainbow in the context of the legalisation of homosexual unions. That is presented as a victory for love – but we already know Love won 2,000 years ago on the Cross, when Jesus died and rose again.

Love won when Christ restored our relationship with God. Jesus has already given us the most perfect love. No human relationship could ever compare.

Every single one of us struggles with the issue of loneliness; the ultimate loneliness comes when we are separated from God. When we have that fellowship with God, we need not be lonely again. It is this love that we are called to share with everyone out there.

You have messed up, so have I. Go to Him – He gives us rest.

Love has won.