"Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." -Hebrews 12:12-13

It is an incredibly hard thing to tell someone close to you about your homosexual struggle. It often only occurs after a very long and torturous process of inner conflict. As a trusted confidant, you must keep these things in mind when reacting to your loved-one's news.

The period following this revelation is the most crucial and sensitive time in your relationship. Taking a week to come around to this new development can quite possibly cause near-irrevocable damage. This is not to say that you must adjust at the drop of the hat. Remember, they have usually had years to process this data, and you will need the same. But, you must carefully watch how you respond during this period of adjustment.

"Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother." -Romans 14:13

Homosexuality is intricately linked to feelings of rejection and aloneness. Any conscious or unconscious aggravation of these feelings can be deadly. It is notoriously difficult to find and maintain a strong balance between not letting your relationship change and seeming to ignore the new dynamic.

It is important not to change in how you treat your loved-one. Please remember -- they have not changed. They have always been as they are now. It is only your knowledge that has shifted. They are the same person you knew yesterday, with the same faults, drives, vulnerabilities, strengths, and character.

At the same time, you must not appear to brush the subject aside. It is imperative that you speak of and about it. The way in which you speak of it, however, is very important.

*More than ever, be aware of tone, volume, word choice, environment, and context. Your loved-one is in a very vulnerable state, and they can and will misinterpret even the best of sentiments. Try to give them as little possibility for miscommunication as possible.

*Do not force conversations about homosexuality, but do not allow them to be avoided. This sounds paradoxical, and it is. Context is everything. Only the two of you and your heavenly Father know the dynamics of your relationship. Allow your history, environment, and context inform your decisions as you place all timing and decisions at the feet of God and His Spirit.

*Do not judge. You may know the truth inside and out, but that does not give you the right to judge someone who is confused. Speak the truth in love, with gentleness, and with discretion. Every bit of faulty logic or confused theory doe not need to be instantly put down. Your enlightenment and that of your struggling loved-one are both formed in process.

*Be persistent and gentle. It may take thirty repetitions over as many weeks for one simple truth to break through, but that truth is worth all of your patience. Patience is a vital asset for everyone involved.

*Remember that they are lost and hurting. Treat them as such, and not as someone who is willfully sinning or rebelling against you. It may have nothing to do with you, and if it does, you're not going to fix it by bringing that up. They need a nurse and a friend now, not a judge or jailer.

These are but a few suggestions to guide you in your evolving relationship. This is just one more step in the growth of your bond, and it can be more beautiful and holy than any that has come before.

In the big picture, it is vital for anyone with a sexual struggle to see a Christian counsellor. This is not where their healing will occur, likely, but it is a needed and blessed opportunity for them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling and uncover and explore some of the roots of their condition.

Do not force this. Again, remember patience, gentleness, and love. An unwilling person on a therapist's couch can be one of the most harmful and long-lasting mistakes in any process. They don't need to caper into the office with a youthful exuberance, but some recognition of the need for help is an absolute must.

Through everything, respect your loved-one's privacy. They are under no obligations to tell you everything about their struggle or lay bare each moment of their day-to-day life. Take an interest. Be lovingly and supportively questioning. But do not cross the line.

I realize that every sentence here hinges on some vague and fragile balance. This is the way of life and human relations. How will you find and maintain this equilibrium? Only through prayer and listening constantly to God's Word and Spirit. He is the One at work. Pray to be used truly and humbly by Him.

And above all, never forget that you don't know anything -- not what it's like, not how to change it, not the why or how or when. God allows us glimpses of wisdom, and these we share, but we are always His humble and unworthy servants.

"Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also." -Galatians 6:1