Heterosexuality and Homosexuality

Heterosexuality and Homosexuality

God designed men for sexual union with women, and vice versa, and no other options exist…Really, we only need the words “male” and “female” to describe the patterns of sexual desire and behavior that befit the created structures of our human bodies. What the sexual revolution calls “heterosexuality” is what God calls manhood and womanhood.

“Heterosexuality” and “homosexuality” are familiar terms, with apparently simple meanings. However, they often carry unbiblical implications, so Christians should avoid using these terms, or at least use them carefully, to ensure that we speak truthfully, clearly, and consistently.

To see what I mean, consider the root word “sexuality.” This word can refer to at least three distinct, yet closely related, things:

  1. Actual sexual practices, or patterns of such.
  2. Qualities related to sexual practices, such as identity, desire, lifestyle, fashion, and manners.
  3. People who engage in these practices or adopt these related qualities.

These shades of meaning are present in the more specific terms “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality.”

Homosexuality

“Homosexuality” refers to practices, qualities, or people characterized by sexual desire for someone of the same sex. It describes a type of sexual behavior, as well as qualities related to such behaviors and people who engage in them. The advantage of using this term is that it is more objective than the euphemism “gay,” and more specific than terms like “LGBTQ+.”

Still, we must be careful to distinguish between homosexual practices, related qualities, and homosexual people. When these three are conflated, misleading or confusing statements may ensue. For example, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 describe homosexual practices as abominations, not homosexual people.

Heterosexuality

On first glance, the meaning of “heterosexuality” is obvious: it is the opposite of “homosexuality.” It refers to practices, related qualities, or people marked by a desire for the opposite sex.

“Heterosexual” and its less formal synonym “straight” can be useful to describe patterns of sexual desire and behavior approved by God. We have all been designed for sexual union with someone of the opposite sex, and not with anyone of the same sex.

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