“You’ll Never Be Satisfied” . . .

This was one of the mantras I picked up and promulgated during my ex-gay days.  I truly believed it.  Every time I had that strong desire to deeply know another man, I recited this platitude to calm the anxiety and assure myself that being gay was not the healthy choice for me. 

It’s the ultimate salve to any gay “temptation.”  Well-meaning (but ignorant) mentors would assure me that my deep ache would never be satisfied.  It’s not what God wants.  It won’t lead to a healthy life.  It is a deep hole from which you’ll never emerge, because you’ll perpetually seek the nonexistent bottom.

I still commonly hear this warning from Christian leaders today to those needing encouragement to stay on the ex-gay path, or those who are questioning which path to choose: “That ‘lifestyle’ will never satisfy you.  It is sin, and will only lead to death.”  Most mean this in emotional ways, but the even more ignorant will connect it to physical death, in an attempt to convince others that being gay will likely lead you to early death (by way of STDs). 

Nevermind the fact that there’s not an ounce of veracity or reason to the physical dangers of being gay.  The real issue, I discovered, is that the statement “you’ll never be satisfied” is simply not true.  When I was finally brave enough to plot another course in reconciling my sexuality with my faith, this was one of the first lies I addressed.

The real truth – the whole truth – is that anyone who seeks their completion in another is sure to be disappointed.  This is a quality of humanity, not a quality of homosexuality.  To seek definition in “the other” is natural.  It’s actually the way God designed us, for he wants to ultimately be the one to give us that definition, as we move into his being and his love.  However, humans (gays, everstr8s, lezzies, and bi’s) often seek to make some other fallible human “the other” from which they find meaning.

But notice that this hasn’t much at all to do with one’s pursuit of companionship.  The fact of the matter is, I would never be emotionally satisfied with a woman, because women simply do not offer the amazing, comforting companionship that I desire.  My boyfriend, on the other hand, satisfies me completely.  I love him dearly, and more than anyone else on the planet. 

But my sense of completion is not found in him.  This I have discovered to be true.  And yes, I can admit that I’ve tried to make him “the other” who defines me.  I’ve made the mistake of wanting him to be my all in all, instead of our great God.  Indeed, the most significant emotional growth I’ve made (and my counselor, Lance, would corroborate this) has been in learning how to relate in a healthy way to my guy . . . in learning how to not place all my needs in his basket, with the expectation that he fulfills them.  I’ve had to learn the painful lesson that My Love (i.e., boyfriend) cannot complete me, but he does indeed satisfy me.  My heart is full of him, and happy to be so.  My salvation and definition, however, is found in Christ. 

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6 thoughts on ““You’ll Never Be Satisfied” . . .

  1. DJ – I’m going to read and re-read your post and then come back with some offline questions if I may.  Not to dispute but to dialogue.  Maybe by the morning when I have some more time online.

  2. Very interesting…  I remember repeating that mantra in my head many a time during the journey as well.  And I totally agree…  if you’re looking for your happiness and completion in another person – I think you may be disappointed at some point.  Where does that leave me as an agnostic?  I don’t believe in God…  but to be honest, I was telling my boss just the other day…  my life is perfect right now.  Although my typical neurotic self says… oh no, where’s the catch?  when will this end?  is this just a phase?  I don’t know if I need God so much as I need to remind myself of how lucky and blessed I am – and to learn to be content.  As a fellow backpacker once told me in India when we were talking about the gap between rich and poor in this world – “truly, we’ve hit the jackpot in terms of the cosmic lottery.”  So does one need God to be satisfied?  Hmm…..

  3. @carleton1958 – sure, please feel to email your questions to djfree79@yahoo.com if you don’t want to post them online.@ThatCanadian – it’s an interesting question, and simply put, i would say that you don’t need God to be satisfied.  indeed, i found satisfaction in my relationship with my boyfriend.  but that begs the question of what exactly we’re trying to satisfy.  if what you’re really asking me is “does one need God to feel and be complete?” then i think as a theist that i’d have to say yes.  i don’t think there’s a person on the planet who feels that they are 100% “right” (i.e., i think that we all get the sensing that something is not quite right within us, or in the world as a whole).  now, we could argue ad nauseum about what the causes of that discontent really are, and we could talk of myriad solutions (e.g., pray more, positively think, remind yourself you’ve hit the ‘cosmic lottery’, etc.)  but that doesn’t at all answer the question of what the ultimate source of healing the discontent is.  again, as a theist, i’d say that God is a necessary part of that equation (though not necessarily the full equation).  my personal experience with God as a salve to my own internal ills leads me to this conclusion, but i can’t deny that there are probably plenty of folks out there who would deny the notion that God is needed to play any part in it.  at the very least, i could say that *I* certainly need God (or the concept of a God) in order to feel at peace with myself and the world.  the other alternative relies on the power of humanity – which, i think i’m just too much of a pessimist to place full hope in.  i understand that you’re perfectly comfortable with the power of humanity, and i respect that, but it just doesn’t give me any comfort.  thanks for the comment! 🙂

  4. It’s true that many straight Christians think that their wives will satisfy them. That is why the straight world is in such a mess. Also it is ridiculous to say that if something is against God’s plan it won’t work out. Sometimes it does, but in the end…So it works both ways.

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