What is Grief?
By Joanne Highley
I have been learning much about what grief is through the loss of my husband, Ron. We loved each other in very meaningful, intimate and romantic ways for forty-five years. We worked together, laughed together, prayed together, sang together, ate together, lived and loved friends and family together. It was a godly union, a covenant relationship that was God’s plan to show His approval and blessing on us. When Ron passed on to glory, I had such pain and loss that I went into this period of grief I now experience. God is comforting me, but the loss is great and the grief is ongoing and appropriate.
This has brought to my mind the stark difference between my true grief and the feelings I had when my lesbian partner and I broke up. There was pain and crying because I had had sinful sexual connection with her for ten years plus enormous emotional dependency and exclusive possessiveness. However, the separation and dissolving of this relationship was good, a real step out of sin and unreality, and a step into God’s creative design of heterosexual relating. Should we call the pain I experienced at the breaking of this idolatrous relationship grief?
In his book, “Pursuing Sexual Wholeness” by Andrew Comiskey, the position
Is put forth that we should mourn the loss of an idol, which is in the form of a homosexual lover, and to truly die to the relationship, we must experience death. This, he says, entails a process of grief, mourning the significant loss at hand. He goes on to say as you mourn the loss of a lover, you should also mourn the reality of sin and deception that has captivated you. He outlines the five stages of grief which he believes we need to experience to accept the death of an idol. He compares that grief to the grief of a man who lost his wife, and then advises that we mourn the loss of past lovers and potential future ones.
The problem with this teaching is found in the viewpoint that there is significant loss in separating from a homosexual lover. This relationship was not one of love or friendship but the addictive use of a person to calm and repress old childhood emotions and feelings of ungodly reaction to pain. This is not loss because loss implies something of value is gone. The use of a person like a drug is not something to grieve over. It is rather to be seen for what it is and turned from. The inherent pain of separation is that of withdrawal and not grief. To imply one needs grief to “mourn the loss of an idol” is to join with the lying emotions of unreality and counterfeit “love” that held us all in the bondage of homosexuality. It elevates homosexual relationships, which are truly sexual abuse, to a place of value, which is totally false. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in getting rid of a homosexual relationship. It benefits you, the person with whom you were sinning, the society, the church and the world. The absence of it brings light and hope and creativity. It begins to open the person to the possibility of normal heterosexual desire and living a godly life. It keeps the two people from losing their inheritance of the Kingdom of God.
The reason many ministries have given up and believed one can never be totally free of the evil desire for homosexual connection is linked to this fallacy in teaching. If we see homosexuality as God sees it, we will turn from it without any need for grieving. We will see it as totally worthless, harmful and enslaving. Of course, we have to work through the lying emotions from childhood that come up when the relationship is broken. After that, the truth comes in and sets us totally free. This requires a new set of the mind from the carnal to the spiritual as put forth in Romans 8:1-14:
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do
not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin; He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be
fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, not can it be. So then, those who are in the flesh can not please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For, if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
There is no experience of death when we break an ungodly homosexual relationship. We are getting rid of sin and its, wages which is death. Getting rid of homosexual relationships brings life and peace. We should always say, “getting rid of a relationship”, not “giving up a relationship”. The relationship was worthless, harmful, deceptive and getting rid of it is a glorious step into freedom, reality and truth. No matter what our old lying emotions may tell us.
I pray this delineation regarding grief and withdrawal pain will help to clarify our feelings and responses when we separate from a homosexual relationship. It is vital that we separate from such a relationship and see it for what it is.