OBEDIENCE MADE THE DIFFERENCE
"Up on your feet so I can knock you down again!" I stood
horrified in the middle of our circular hallway as my father
shouted those words at my mother who lay at his feet. He had
just knocked her to the living room floor. My parents'
altercation had awakened me in the middle of the night.
This was one of my earliest
memories as a five or 6-year-old child. I believe I
unconsciously made a promise that moment,
I--will--not--be--like--that--man! Thus began my rejection
of masculinity and embracing of homosexuality.
Chaos characterized the place
we called 'home.' Tables were overturned and traumatizing
profanity echoed throughout the house. It was not uncommon
to find shards of glass covering the floors many mornings, a
domestic battlefield from the night before. On one occasion,
dad struck the side of mama's head with a shoe and burst her
eardrum. She cried in horrible pain! The next night he vowed
to do the same to the other ear if she did not stop crying.
So intense was the atmosphere
I began to sleepwalk. As related to me by my mother and a
brother, I would walk to that circular hallway, kneel facing
my parents' bedroom, clasp my throat and make choking
sounds. My nightly routine would bring my mother to utter
horror; my father slept through my unconscious cries for
help. Neither parent recognized their youngest son might
need counseling, though they probably did surmise their
perpetual rages contributed to my growing fears.
Several decades have not
erased the memory of a summer afternoon, playing alone on a
hill beside my house, and desiring to be held by a man. I
was a small boy. There were no erotic feelings then, just a
distinct desire for male intimacy and protection -- a
God-given human need that had gone unmet during my early
I knew I was "different" even
then; something did not fit.
Rarely did I experience my
father's approval and love, and my mother, whose own needs
went unmet, turned to me for counsel and help. I became her
surrogate husband. She openly expressed to me her disdain
for my dad and disgust for sex. She frequently berated me in
order to get me to be a mediator between her and dad. (It is
important to note I have never heard or read of a case where
a parent consciously tried to make their son or daughter
I was extremely self conscious
and excessively modest; as a child I had never felt I
belonged. My self esteem was pitifully low.
On reaching puberty, I
recognized an attraction for guys at school. Listen up! I
did not consciously choose to be attracted to the same sex;
one of life's mysteries is that we don't get to choose what
we are tempted by, but I DID consciously choose to
eventually give in to those temptations.
My emotional pain was so
severe I wore a tiny piece of paper under my watchband for
years on which I had scribbled almost microscopically:
I am trusting you for healing. Although at age nine I had
given my heart to Jesus, knowing He died for my sins, my
emotional turmoil continued.
When my parents' ballistic
tirades reached an intolerable level, dad left us and went
to his parents' house for several months. Mama invited me
into her bed for emotional support. Eventually our utilities
were turned off. On one occasion, dad stopped by for a brief
visit; as he left our rented house to return to his parents,
mama hit him in the back with a flowerpot.
an occasion in my early teens, dad became so angry with me
that I fled to the bathroom and locked the door. He pounded
the door, demanding I come out. "Please stop", I screamed!
When I refused for fear of being beaten, he began to kick
down the door while mama stood alongside him pleading for me
to come out; "everything will be all right", she said. I
knew everything would not be all right! As the door
shattered under his strength, I jumped out the second floor
window and ran to safety, hiding in a nearby vacant house.
It was about this time that I
gave in to my same-sex attractions. I had been friends with
a guy from school for years. His pleasant and approving
smile fascinated me; he liked me. For the first time in my
life another male liked me. Thus began my sporadic
involvement in homosexual activity. I quickly found that
homosexuality provided excitement, but not fulfillment. It
gratified, but never satisfied.
Life at home remained hell.
Mama manipulated me to get at dad. When I did not cooperate
with her wishes, she would accuse me: "You love him more than
me, don't you?" I didn't want to choose between them; I
simply wanted them to love each other and stop fighting.
On another occasion she and I
argued over an incidental matter. When dad came home from
work, she demanded he punish me. The resulting purple whelps
on my legs were conspicuous, so much so that the following
morning I woke my mother before going to school and asked
her to write me an excuse from dressing out at PE. I was
ashamed to dress out for track, knowing the belt marks would
My homosexual activity
continued until my early twenties, when I decided that
although I honestly did not know how not to be homosexual, I
did know how to be obedient.
Although the Bible gives no
explicit steps for coming out of homosexuality, the Bible is
replete with principles I could apply to my life. The
Psalmist wrote about turning his eyes away from temptation.
I refused to look at pornography and averted my gaze from
anything which might cause me to stumble. I had to make
major adjustments in my life. To focus on God's best for me
rather than my psychological pain I meditated on Paul's
admonition, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true .. . noble
. . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . admirable- if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such
things." (Phil 4:8). I asked the Holy Spirit to become my
personal mentor and to guide me into all truth. More
importantly, I asked The Holy Spirit to teach me the right
way to relate to other men.
I recall reading about Jesus'
first miracle at a wedding of a man and a woman. When the
good wine was gone, Jesus' mother told Jesus about the
dilemma. Jesus said, "My time has not yet come."
But a moment later Mary tells
the servants of the house, "Whatever Jesus tells you to do,
do it." I do not believe Mary recognized the eternal
significance of her advice that day; when we do what Jesus
tells us to do, then the miracle occurs. I've often wondered
if the servants of the house expressed any hesitation about
bringing barrels of water into the house. Is it possible
they feared the master of the house might fire them for such
a stupid act, offering water to wedding guests?
But they followed Jesus'
instructions and the water became wine.
At age 22, I knew God was
saying "Tim, go back to college" and I did. During those
years I became aware that God had a purpose for me. Living
in a men's dorm had a healing effect on me. I was forced to
interact with other guys on a daily basis, to become their
peer, to learn appropriate relationships with them. I
excelled in music, receiving five music awards during my
During my college summers, I
served as a music/preaching evangelist and youth director
through my state denominational convention. I went from a
shy, introverted, self-conscious wallflower to an assertive
man who boldly proclaimed the authority of God's Word. The
boy who despised oral book reports in high school was being
transformed into a godly man who unashamedly shared his love
During one of those summers
while I preached across the state, my parents separated and
divorced after 33 years of marriage; our beautiful home was
sold. I learned all this after the fact. The news shook me,
but it did not deter me.
From college, I went to
Southwestern Seminary, to study the Bible versus music. When
my college choral conductor learned I was not going to
pursue music ministry, he voiced his opposition in pleasant
but firm words. "Tim, you have excelled in composition,
music theory, choral arranging; why are you not pursuing
music in seminary?" All I could say was, "This is what God
wants and that is sufficient for me."
On beginning seminary I was
like a dry sponge thrown into a huge lake; I soaked up
everything. The Bible became increasing alive to me. Not
only was I receiving a great theological education for a
future ministry I knew nothing about, I was applying
biblical truth to my sexual brokenness.
Same-sex attractions continued
throughout college and seminary, but to a lesser degree. I
remained steadfast in refusing to give in. In fact, by this
time I had told God, "It does not matter if I am ever
attracted to a woman as long as I get You!" That prayer was
a milestone; it did not matter if I was ever attracted to
the opposite sex. What mattered was becoming a follower of
After graduation I was called
to a pastorate in my hometown-- a single man living in a
four-bedroom house. During this time my father went through
a foreclosure on his home, a separation from his second
wife, alcoholism and near suicide. With all the
responsibilities of a young single pastor weighing on my
shoulders, I took my father into the parsonage and tended to
him until I could enter him in an alcohol abuse facility,
;none of this known to my congregation.
I eventually resigned from
that pastorate, disillusioned and depressed. I cried out to
God "what do you want from me? I've lived a life of celibacy
for more than ten years now. I've followed you as closely as
I know how. What do you want from me?"
I was about to find out! A
lady friend from seminary visited my city. I remember liking
her in seminary, but had never pursued her. We spent several
days together. We were affectionate, nothing else, but that
was enough. On that November day I experienced for the first
time in my 33 years a dramatic, ecstatic and romantic
attraction for the opposite sex. What had God wanted from
me? The faith to trust Him unreservedly!
I wanted to tell the world
what God had done but couldn't, for to do so would mean I
had to divulge my past homosexuality and that was
This lovely lady and I did not
marry; today she is married to a wonderful Christian man and
they know the story and are very supportive. (You know who
Five years later, on a
Thursday, September 17, 1992 at 7:19 PM, Lisa came into my
life. We met at a single's event and sparks flew, in the
best way. Lisa was everything I longed for, a beautiful
godly lady with a smile from Heaven. The Bible is right!
"Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the
desires of your heart."
Before we were engaged, I sat
down with Lisa for a long talk. "Lisa," I said, "You need to
know something about my past since it may influence our
future." With a firm voice the words emerged, "I used to be
Lisa never wavered in her love
for me. Unknown to the two churches I had served as pastor,
I had specifically studied and preached biblical texts I
could apply to my healing process. Those sermons and
exegetical material were stacked on the coffee table for her
and I married August 21, 1993. I was 38.
I rejoice to say,
"Although I'm no longer gay,
I'm the happiest I've ever been
and I owe that to Jesus Christ."
More than a year later, when
Lisa and I were convinced I should go public with my
testimony, several prominent Christian friends advised
against it. One told me "But it will ruin your testimony" to
which I replied, "But this is my testimony." I was reminded
that after Jesus healed a man from Gadara, Jesus told him
"Go and tell what great things the Lord has done for you and
how He has had mercy on you." I have been doing that ever
God has blessed us with more
miracles-- three daughters--Clare, Grace and Ellie. As the
song says, "God is good, all the time! And all the time God
Addendum: God has graciously
provided healing within my family. Mama, now with the Lord,
is sadly missed; "O God, I long to hear her voice again."
And I will! And prior to Dad's death, we finally became what
God had intended from the very start . . . "father and son."
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?
If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die?
You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your
home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours
sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God
on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of
Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing
with God? We plead with you ... please
don't make such a tragic mistake.
To be at peace with God; to
have your sins forgiven; to
make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that
you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click
here to help understand the
importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled
to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.
Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever
make in this life.
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Answers to Prayer