Not sure if you can help me because I am older then the guys you are helping but any advice you could give would me much appreciated.† I am single, 32 year old male †and have struggled with gay thoughts and urges most of my life.† I have never given into this urges and never hope to, but afraid I may slip.† I do struggle with masturbation and am attracted to fit muscular men.† I think about men starting off thin and growing large muscles, also sometimes I think about men growing really fat.†† I think about these things while masturbating.† †I have tried working out to be more like these guys that I envy but I can never seem to stick with it.
I also find women very pretty, but find that I am very scared and don’t know what to do around them or how to interact with them. This is troubling because I want to get married and have kids
I have prayed to God about this, but I still feel very lost, any guidance or input you could give me would be most helpful.
Sometimes I wonder if behind some of these feelings is a fear of dealing with the opposite sex and so people escape by turning their attention to what they are familiar with -- their own gender.
What you are dealing with is lust -- a strong desire for something that isn't moral. In your case the lust is for homosexuality. In the sense of sin, this is no different than a guy lusting for fornication, adultery, stealing, murder, or a host of other sins. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23). You are right to be concerned about this because the desire for sin comes before the committing of sin.
Lust is more than just being tempted with a sin, though a lot of people confuse the ideas. Temptations always exist and that includes the temptation for homosexual sex. But when a person gives credence to those temptations and begins to justify in his mind that the sin could be acceptable or justified, then it has moved from a temptation into lust.
You've been reinforcing your lust by masturbating to various homosexual ideas. Since you know homosexuality is wrong (Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10), the first step is stop connecting ejaculating to homosexuality. You have to put up a resistance. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). If you have been using pornography, that has to stop. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). If you must masturbate to get relief, then do so without any particular thoughts. This is hard at first, but it can be done. If you find your thoughts drifting into forbidden territory, stop and wait until another day. Between the increasing need to ejaculate and the self-control over your thoughts, it will eventually work.
The second half of this struggle realizing that God made women to be men's companions. "And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him"" (Genesis 2:18). It isn't about sex, though that will eventually enter the picture after marriage. This is about finding someone who is different from you, yet who can be your very best friend.
You see, one of the biggest problems that you have and don't realize it is that you look at relationships solely as a means to get sex. You don't think of the other person as person with character. They are merely an object to express your desire for sex upon.
I have a challenge for you this week. I want you to start a conversation with three different women. Your goal is not to ask them out for a date or anything like that. I want you to learn one fact about each woman, something general such as who is their favorite team, what is their favorite food, what is their favorite store, etc. Let the woman do most of the talking, but listen to what is being said and ask good follow-up questions that lets her know you heard what she said and are interested in her answer. That's it. Nothing more. But I believe you'll be surprised at the result.
Thank you for your fast and very thought provoking response. I really appreciate it.
Three things you said really made me think:
"Sometimes I wonder if behind some of these feelings is a fear of dealing with the opposite sex and so people escape by turning their attention to what they are familiar with -- their own gender."
I have heard that before and have often wondered if that has been one of my problems. It most likely is.
"You see, one of the biggest problems that you have and don't realize it is that you look at relationships solely as a means to get sex. You don't think of the other person as person with character. They are merely an object to express your desire for sex upon"
You're right. I never knew that I was doing that, but upon reflection I do that all the time, no wonder I have such problems interacting with women
"when a person gives credence to those temptations and begins to justify in his mind that the sin could be acceptable or justified, then it has moved from a temptation into lust."
Right after that quote†you mentioned porn and masturbating. While I don't look at porn itself, I look at fit, muscular men in pictures or in movies. They are never naked but usually have their shirts off.† I was thinking about that and I was justifying looking at those pictures by saying, well it's not porn and it's what I want to look like so it is OK.† But it's not OK, and it's trapping me to this masturbation and gay thoughts. If I want to get rid of these thoughts, I need to stop looking at these pictures and to stop thinking about them while masturbating.
I accept your challenge to talk to three women and just have a conversation and to listen, both of which are hard for me, but the lesson I do believe will be good.
Thank you again for your thought provoking and very helpful answers and for including the Biblical passages pertaining to my problems. Any other thoughts you may have would be much appreciated.
Looking at other people's body doesn't get your body fit. It is always a danger to compare yourself to other people, since each person is unique. It can become a source of envy and bitterness, and, yes, it can be warped into a distorted view about people and sex. I'm glad you see this now.