Rarely are the words erection and God used in the same sentence. Why is this? If God invented sex, sexuality, sexual desire, sexual orientation, erections, and orgasms then why is there such timidity in discussing such topics openly during a Sunday school discussion or even during a sermon?
Why is there such an uncomfortable mood when speaking frankly and unabashedly about the joys and challenges of sex within the spiritual context in which we live and breathe especially within the black gay/lesbian community? Sex isn’t just for procreation and reproduction, but was also created as an intimate spiritual exchange between two people for their mutual enjoyment and understanding.
However, within the same-gender-loving community, there is still a staunch resistance to the idea of marrying our spirituality with our sexuality especially when it comes to our gay/lesbian dating and relationships.
Many still believe that “God won’t bless this mess” so why pray about our romantic relationships and the sexual expressions that come from it. There is still fear and shame from gays/lesbians in coming to God in complete honesty and asking for his guidance and advice in ordaining and blessing their same-gender-loving relationships.
It is this mental resistance that we must finally shed as we pursue healthy, monogamous, same-gender-loving relationships within a growing spiritual relationship with God and with each other. Hence, we as black gay/lesbians must now learn to pursue a “Spiritual Romance” with one another and not just a sexual one.
So what is a Spiritual Romance? It is the fullest integration of one’s spiritualism and one’s romanticism. It is the dynamic merging and crystallization of one’s faith/belief system and one’s emotional and erotic connection with the opposite or same gender.
Spiritual Romance is the “how to” of meeting, greeting, dating, and committing to one another within a covenant relationship under the spiritual auspices of God. And for the same-gender-loving community there is no difference. Spiritual Romance is the “how to” of how Adam and Steve and Ruth and Naomi, meet, greet, date, and commit to one another within a covenant relationship under the spiritual auspices of God.
There are three major steps we must take in order to enter into the realm of Spiritual Romance.
1. Focus first on your relationship with God and the rest will follow Let God define who you are, never allow anyone else to do it. Learn to submit to him, lean upon him, listen to him, and trust him for your every need and desire in life. Allow God to complete you and bestow upon you your purpose in life. Seek to discover and to live out your spiritual gifts and talents without shame or denial of who you are in the process.
Understand who you are in the entire universal plan. Meditate and pray often. Become a completed, whole, confident being before even thinking about engaging in a serious committed same-gender-loving relationship.
2. Pray asking God to direct and guide you to the same-gender-loving person that you are seeking. Obviously this step is a very difficult one for many. As a result, too many people needlessly toil and suffer in their dating and relationships because they feel too guilty, ashamed, and unworthy to ask God for direction and romantic guidance concerning a person of the same gender.
By clinging to their unworthiness state, many gay/lesbians truly miss out on an opportunity to be blessed by God. They forget the word says to step boldly to his throne and to also ask anything in Jesus’ name. They forget the scripture that says to delight yourself in the Lord and he will bless you with the desires of your heart.
If you sincerely want a monogamous, loving, trusting, and spiritually grounded relationship with a person of the same gender, then you must pray to God, sharing with him exactly what your desires are.
You must pray before this person comes into your life, pray during the relationship both separately and together, and then continue to pray in the event the two of you should separate. Prayer should be a constant in all of our lives, and not reserved for special moments of need.
3. Opposites may attract but like personalities with a spiritually yoked person is a much wiser choice.
A relationship is a ying-yang, push-pull, complementary, thriving, and continued growth experience. As your mutual love for God grows, so does your relationship along with your ability to withstand the slings, arrows, darts, circumstances and events that will impact against your relationship and each other.
Being both spiritually yoked does not mean that you must believe and understand identically, but instead it means that the two of you hold very similar belief systems and approaches to life. When you have these things in common, growth occurs. When growth occurs, it will happen to both of you and not just to one of you. Further, the growth will occur in the same direction, binding the two of you together.
When people grow apart it is often because one has grown into a new dimension in their lives while the other one hasn’t. The change happens gradually over time and is often unnoticed. Gays/lesbians must take a special effort to do more spiritual screening and consideration before going forward into a relationship.
Internalized homophobia is a major hurdle to overcome. If one of you has overcome it spiritually and the other one still thinks homosexuality is a sin, then you must consider the strain and stress upon your relationship.
Finally, there are no guarantees that a spiritually yoked same-gender-loving couple will remain together. There are still many other factors that weigh heavily upon the success of your relationship. However, a spiritually yoked same-gender loving couple has a much better chance of staying together trough thick and thin over the course of time because of their like belief systems and approaches to life.
Herndon L. Davis is author of the book Black, Gay & Christian: An Inspirational Guidebook to Daily Living, published in 2004.