Sex became a distorted issue for me at an early age. I was molested about age 6 by a male friend of the family who was baby-sitting me. I was also exposed to some pornography at the same time. The porn was heterosexual, but it was devastating to my understanding of real love and God’s design for sexuality.
At age 7, I was again exposed to pornography. One of my brother’s friends was reading an article about testing yourself to see if you might have homosexual tendencies. The article asked in very explicit ways if you were attracted to men or women.
My mind was reeling from the pictures and the feelings that I was having. Then the older boy showed the pictures to me and asked, “Who would you kiss, the man or the woman?”
I became frightened, convinced that I was going to get in trouble. I remember wanting to answer what I thought he wanted to hear. Well, we are all boys, I thought, and little boys are not supposed to be interested in girls. So I told him, “The man.”
My brother’s friends all laughed and repeated over and over, “You homosexual, you queer.” Their voices of ridicule rang in my mind for days.
Several years later, our next-door neighbors had some out-of-state visitors. I was playing at their house and was followed into the garage by the adult male visitor. He molested me while warning me to keep quiet.
About a year later, my family went on a trip to Colorado. We stayed with friends who had a son several years older than me. That night, I was molested again. A year later, he came to visit at my house and it happened again.
When I was 12, I switched from a private Catholic school to public school and soon was introduced to drugs. I started smoking marijuana and listening to hard rock music. I totally rejected what little I knew of God. I became sexually active with a girl from school and surrounded myself with peers who encouraged me to continue in sin.
About a year later, I went into a deep depression as a result of being bullied and beat up by school peers. The depression worsened, as I kept having homosexual thoughts, desires and dreams. My family and friends became very concerned. One night I decided to kill myself. I probably would have succeeded if a friend hadn’t come over. He correctly guessed my struggle—then told me he was bisexual and that it was perfectly normal. A false peace settled over me as I realized that one of my closest friends understood my struggles.
I broke off my relationship with my girlfriend and pursued a relationship with this male friend. As I went through high school, I met homosexual men and started going to gay bars. Soon I had a new goal: to be “married” to another man.
Over the following years, I pursued a marriage-type relationship with several men. I had one relationship that lasted two years. One of these men, Mike, was wealthy, and we lived in a beautiful home.
Mike introduced me to a priest, who told me that being homosexual was OK with God. “God created us this way,” he said, “and He loves us just the way we are.”
Still, I became depressed again for several months, and I cried out to God, asking Him to show me the truth about being gay.
My relationship with Mike ended in a horrible fight. Before long, I became sexually involved with another man, and then with a woman who was trying to help me out of homosexuality. But being involved in heterosexual sin carried just as much guilt for me.
Then I got a phone call from Mary, an old high school friend. She took me to visit her sister, who was “real religious.” Several people were there, and they talked about Jesus in a familiar way that I had never heard before.
Suddenly I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to accept Christ that night. My heart started pounding.
I turned to a man named Steve and said, “I need to know Jesus like you do.” We prayed together, and I received Jesus Christ into my life.
Later that night, I went to my bedroom with the old family Bible and prayed for God to show me where homosexuality was wrong. I opened the Bible, came to Leviticus chapter 18, and my eyes fell upon verse 22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” I knelt beside my bed and cried out to God for forgiveness. I asked Jesus to totally change me. It was Feb. 6, 1983, and my new life had begun. I have never been the same.
The Lord led me to a church where people really loved Him. My supervisor at work asked his prayer group at the church to begin praying for me.
I told him that I had been gay. “Jesus can change your life if you submit totally to Him,” he told me. His in-laws were so excited to hear that I’d become a Christian that they invited me to live with them while I became established as a new believer. I stayed with them for the next year.
I began meeting weekly with my pastor, who helped me to deal with the underlying root issues of my homosexual struggles, such as lust, anger, unforgiveness and the sexual abuse I had experienced as a child. When the anger and bitterness came pouring out, several men and women in my church prayed with me and ministered God’s healing to my broken heart.
After I had been a Christian for over a year, I began thinking about marriage. “God,” I prayed, “if You want me to be married, You will have to bring a woman into my life who loves You as much as I do!”
Some months later, Robin began attending my church. We became friends and were married on May 25, 1986. We have a very fulfilling marriage and enjoyed raising three children (Robin had one daughter when we married, whom I adopted as my own). All our children are now adults and married, and we have three grandchildren. Our youngest daughter went to be with Jesus unexpectedly at age 21 as a result of complications from a brain mass.
From my own experience, I know that deliverance from homosexuality comes only through a new lifestyle of absolute surrender, completely depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ while processing a history of abuse and pain. God’s blessings never cease when we are open to Him, walking in obedience to His will. ©2019 Stephen Black
Stephen Black is an ordained minister and the executive director at First Stone Ministries, a Restored Hope Network Ministry in Oklahoma City.
The Scripture quotation is taken from The New American Standard Bible.