Are same sex relationships wrong if they are non-sexual?




Does it make any difference at all if the girl - girl or boy -boy relationships are not sexual? What I am trying to ask is would being infatuated or "falling in love" with someone of the same sex be a sin?

Oh the mess our over sexualized world has made of relationships between individuals! The difficulty in answering your question lies in the definitions people place on the terms. This becomes particularly difficult when talking between national cultures. I'm from the United States and you are in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to spend a month in the countryside in the Philippines about five years ago. I was teaching the material from my Growing Up in the Lord books, which deals with sexual matters. I enjoyed getting to know a number of people there and I continue to correspond with a few. I'll do my best, but if something comes across oddly or unclear, please let me know. Perhaps I will be able to clarify things.

It used to be that the word "love" did not necessarily contain a sexual connotation. Oh, you would expect a husband and wife to be in love and that they would engage in sex, but the two ideas did not necessarily connect. Let me show you this with a story from the Bible:

"Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this young woman as a wife." And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing which ought not to be done." (Genesis 34:1-7).

Notice the order of events:

  1. Shechem noticed Dinah.
  2. Shechem had sex with Dinah.
  3. Shechem fell in love with Dinah.
  4. Shechem began to woo Dinah.
  5. Shechem wanted to marry Dinah.

Dinah's brothers were upset with Shechem. Why? Because it was a thing that ought not to be done. Girls are often surprised by this story. Shechem didn't fall in love with Dinah until after Shechem had sex with her. The proper order is love, marriage, and then sex. Even in our decayed societies most girls imagine that when a guy has sex with a girl it is because he is in love with her. However, the truth is that guys can and do have sex without love entering the picture. It is wrong. It is sinful. But, it does happen far too often. Thus we see that sex does not necessarily imply love.

Nor does love necessarily imply sex. If proof is needed, consider that parents are to love their children (Titus 2:4), but we rightly become upset if sex enters into that relationship. I Corinthians 13 is often cited as the best passage to describe love, but the love Paul discusses is the love Christians are to have for each other. The words are appropriate for the love between a married couple, but Paul was discussing a different group of people. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Nowhere is sex mentioned in this passage, but that is because sexual intercourse is not love, nor is love expressed through the act of sex. A husband and wife who are in love with each other will have sex with each other. Because of their love they would never consider having sex with anyone else. However, it is wrong to say that their love is when they have sexual intercourse.

Our world's focus on sex corrupts people's outlook any display of affection for another person is immediately assumed to be sexual in nature, and such is not necessarily so. The Bible talks about the love between two young men, Jonathan and David.

"Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father's house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul" (I Samuel 18:1-3).

"Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted greatly in David" (I Samuel 19:1).

"Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul" (I Samuel 20:17).

"How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women. How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!" (II Samuel 1:25-27).

There are those of corrupt mind who read of the love between Jonathan and David and immediately jump to the false conclusion that they were homosexuals. The truth is that the Bible never refers to homosexual relationships as love. Same sex relationships are described as an abhorrent sin. "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13). But love does not rejoice in iniquity [sin] (I Corinthians 13:6). A person who desires to commit a sexual act on a person of the same sex cannot love that person. They may call their lust "love," but that does not change sin into righteousness or lust into love.

It is possible for you to love another person of the same sex, or even of another sex, and that relationship have nothing to do with sexual intercourse. If it was not possible, it would be hard to fulfill Jesus's command: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).

You also asked about infatuation. Infatuation is a shallow attraction between two people. It is an attraction based on a person's imagination. A boy sees a girl across the room and claims he has fallen in love. It is not love, but infatuation. He could not love the girl because he knows nothing about her. It is only his imagination about what she must be like to which he is attracted. Infatuation will always disappear. It might be replaced with true love or the two will go separate ways. Where love never fails, infatuation always ends.

If by infatuation between two girls or two boys you mean that the girls or the boys find each other physically attractive in a sexual sense, then, yes, you are dealing with a sin. To strongly desire something that is forbidden is called lust. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15). To seriously think about sinning is wrong, even though you haven't had the opportunity to actually commit the sin. It is no different than what Christ warned in regards to the sin of adultery. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with people of the same sex or different sex. A desire for sex outside the marriage covenant is a sin. The only difference is that between a man and a woman there is a possibility of becoming married before having sex. Since sex between same sex couples is forbidden, marriage between same sex couples is also forbidden.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Sexual Relationships
Questions and Answers regarding Homosexuality