How you speak the truth in love is challenging.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Perhaps you should read our articles on what the Bible says about gay relationships and why shouldn’t I identify as bi? before considering what it means if someone in your friendship group says that they are gay. Our response is likely to be slightly different depending on whether that friend has a Christian faith or not.

It is important to remember that how we express our sexuality is a big deal. This is why Paul writes, ‘Flee from sexual immorality (which giving in to any sexual temptation involves). Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.’ [1] . Any sexual activity has a profound effect on the core of our very selves – our mind, body and soul.

And consider this too. If the person is of your sex, then the declaration may have an effect on how you relate them, since it opens up the possibility of sexual desires towards you.

Of course, Christians are called to be loving in all circumstances. But what does this mean in practice? The Bible helps us here. How we love people should be shaped by God’s word and not how the world understands love. In 1 Corinthians 13 the definition of Christian love includes these words: ‘It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.’ Remember that complete honesty is essential to any God-honouring relationship.

So it is loving to be concerned when a friend makes themselves vulnerable to sin and it is good to want to communicate this to them but this needs to be done in the right way with gentleness and sensitivity and at the right time. With the right attitude and thoughtful timing, it may be appropriate for you or someone else to explore with them what the Bible says about sexual immorality. You may also want to warn them of the potential damage – spiritually, emotionally and physically – that any relationship that does not follow God’s design can cause.

How you ‘speak the truth in love’ [2] is challenging. As you think about how to do this, it is important to bring the situation before God in prayer, asking the Lord for your friend’s well-being as well as providing the strength for you to be faithful to God’s word and self-controlled in your emotional reaction to the situation. Remembering that ‘love is not arrogant or rude’ [3], you must raise the matter with a humble and gentle spirit. Practically, find a time when you are unlikely to be interrupted.

On a practical level, be careful what you affirm with your ‘likes’ on social media.  You may also need to consider whether you can attend certain celebrations if you would be affirming a gay relationship by attending [4].  It would be worth thinking this through carefully so that you can explain to your friend why you can’t attend [5].

In all this your classmate may respect your honesty and may want to continue the friendship. They may even be willing to reconsider their position. Supremely you will be praying that they seek forgiveness from God and find a new identity in the Lord Jesus. On the other hand, you may face rejection for your comments, which they may find offensive or even hateful, leading to a breakdown in the relationship. Jesus warned his faithful followers that they would suffer hostility for speaking the truth [6]. And even if you sense rejection, continue to show kindness to them whenever you can.

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
  2. Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:5 “or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…”
  4. 1 Timothy 5:22 “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.”
  5. Invited to a wedding?
  6. John 15:20 “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”