Sunday, October 13, 2013

Free Kindle Copy of Restored Hearts!

(The following article was first published in 2011 on The Christian Post Bindings blog).

The question, “Who will weep for the homosexual?” has been ruminating in my mind and heart the last day or so.

Is my heart broken for these individuals who through their same-sex thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are longing for a relationship that satisfies?

Those with unwanted same-sex attraction are craving the beauty and pureness of God’s original intent: marriage between one man and one woman for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24-25; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5: 22-33). Moses, Jesus, and Paul tie together the thread of Scripture on marriage, reiterating God’s created design for male and female who are equipped and sanctioned to come together as one flesh. 

The yearning in the heart of one who longs to follow God’s intended model, but feels s/he cannot, creates enormous emotional, psychological, and spiritual conflict.

And rightly so. As with any sinful dysfunction—whether it be greed, alcoholism, compulsive eating, stealing, shopping, or lying—it is conflict that can move the hurting individual to seek help. Pain paves the way for change. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the apostle Paul presents one of the strongest statements concerning the truth that homosexuals can indeed change. In this passage, homosexuality is listed as one among many sins from which the Corinthian believers had been delivered. Paul says, But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. What great hope this offers those dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction.  

However, restoration is not an easy process. The inner need for acceptance, approval, and love can drive a person to seek satisfaction in any number of forms. An addiction is a person’s way of addressing a love hunger for God, temporarily anesthetizing the emotional pain that usually comes from past hurts. The addiction satisfies for a time—Satan’s way of reeling the person in—but sooner or later the addiction results in a sickening spiral down. The ensuing lack of control creates a greater need, and thus the addiction fuels itself.

For my character, Tim, in the novel RESTORED HEARTS, he seeks the male affirmation he missed from his father in eroticized relationships with other men. The Holy Spirit keeps nudging his heart, causing him to realize the deception of his behavior. He runs from Boston back to his missionary upbringing in India in hopes that he can leave his homosexual lifestyle behind once and for all. But he soon discovers he cannot.

It takes the wise discernment of the mission psychologist to help Tim unearth the roots of his sinful dysfunction and enter into a healing process which incorporates a loving relationship with Jesus Christ at the center. Dr. Hauser weeps for and with this hurting young man over his loss of paternal love and approval. As a godly father figure, he stands with him as he faces his brother’s anger and rejection. When others ignore Tim, Dr. Hauser remains by his side as he struggles, fails, and gets back up again. Like Jesus, he presents a mix of truth and grace. Conviction and compassion. He helps Tim embrace his identity in Christ as a beloved, fully forgiven, and totally accepted son of the heavenly Father (Ephesians, chapter one).  

As I developed my character Tim, I, too, wept alongside of him. His pain became my own. I grieved when his brother rejected him, when the pastor ignored him, and when the Indian girl, Esha, loved him, but was ignored by him because Tim could not respond to her affection. I saw myself in the differing reactions, and I was moved to tears.

My prayer is that I will continue to weep for the homosexual. The struggle is great and not to be minimized in any way. It is a cry for relationship with the Father. Something each of us can prayerfully identify with.

Leave a comment below, along with your email address, and enter to win a Kindle copy of Restored Hearts. Winner announced on October 31!


chaplaindebbie said...

Wow, sounds like you really put a lot of your heart and soul into writing this book. I would love to read it. Will I need tissues near by?

Eileen Rife said...

I did, Debbie. At one point I laid aside the manuscript, thinking, "I can't finish this! It's simply too hard, Lord." Eight months later, He nudged me to pick it back up.

Many agonizing moments at the keyboard, but well worth the effort considering those who've responded positively. And for my own healing journey, not through same-sex attraction, but through other issues that pressed me into a deeper understanding of Christ's love for me.

chaplaindebbie said...

Eight months later? You could have easily just forgotten about it...You must have needed that time, to reflect or to simply gather yourself and your thoughts enough to tackle it again. :-)

Eileen Rife said...

God wouldn't let me slink off into the shadows on this project. He kept tracking me down, pulling me out of hiding, so to speak. :)

If ever I was compelled to write a story, it was Tim's.

Rhonda's Doings said...

I am very interested in reading this, Eileen. Rhonda
rhonda_nash_hall (AT) comcast (DOT) net

Eileen Rife said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda. And for your interest in this book.

I'd love to see every believer read this work. It might just change the way we view this population of people. And ourselves.

Michelle Sutton said...

I want to enter. I missed the free day. Wahhh!

Eileen Rife said...

Nope, you've still got four more days, Michelle, before the winner of the FREE copy is announced. So, you're still in the running!

Eileen Rife said...

Congratulations to Rhonda Hall, winner of the Kindle copy of Restored Hearts!

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