Last spring, John* asked if we could meet at the Hive, our college campus snack shop. After a bit of small talk, he confided, "My friends said that you're someone I'd feel safe talking to. And this is what I wanted to tell you: Since junior high, I've known that I am gay. I don't think I'll ever change. If you lined up one hundred of the most beautiful women you could find, I'd maybe be somewhat attracted to one."
"Have you told your parents?" I asked. "Yeah. I came out right before I returned to school this year. I'm not looking forward to going home."
Last year, Hope* told me that she struggled with homosexuality. Hope grew up in a legalistic Christian home where an older sibling had sexually abused her. Her parents have no clue about her struggles, and based on past experience, Hope believes her mom would turn suicidal should she discover her daughter's same-sex attraction.
This semester, as we sat and talked in my apartment, her eyes beamed. "I actually had a crush on a guy who I worked with at Christian summer camp! I don't feel so gay anymore." But she also related how her ex-girlfriend recently ridiculed her faith in Christ, and how a female co-worker had confessed to having a crush on her. "The thing is, I have never told anyone I was gay. I don't even know how she knew. Please pray that I would be protected from temptation."
As a resident director and spiritual mentor at Cedarville University, a Baptist evangelical school in the Midwest, I interact with students in almost every facet of college life, and delight in encouraging them to follow Jesus closely in the midst of their struggles. I live with my husband and 2-year-old daughter in an apartment attached to a women's dorm at Cedarville. In the past few years, the ...1
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