Allan Edwards is a pastor with the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s also married to Leeanne Edwards and the couple is expecting their first child in July.
Allan has also admitted to struggling with same-sex attraction.
In fact, he recently shared his story with National Public Radio. In the midst of the conversation, Allan said the reason he’s never acted on the attraction is because he believes homosexuality is a sin.
Some have suggested that Allan is denying his true identity and that he and his wife couldn’t possibly be happy.
And yet, from the report, you don’t get the sense this husband and wife are feeling sorry for themselves.
Rather, you sense you’re meeting two people who are confident in the God they serve, who they are and why they live life the way they do.
It’s evident in the matter-of-fact way they talk about Allan’s same-sex attractions.
Interestingly, they frame their situation just as a married couple might talk about any sexual issue – acknowledging that all husbands and wives have to deny certain urges to make a marriage work.
“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” says Pastor Edwards.
Marriage doesn’t automatically turn off attractions. Husbands and wives still have to go into the world and interact with others. Many will, at one point or another, feel an attraction to another person.
And that’s when a choice must be made. Sadly, some stray – yet most choose to stay.
For Allan, his decision to adhere to a biblical sexual ethic was made long ago, when he decided against joining a gay-affirming denomination. He made his decision based on what he read in the
“I studied different methods of reading the Scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the Scripture as divined from God,” he says. “So if Jesus is who He says He is, then we kind of have to believe what He believes.”
It’s obvious this foundation gives the couple security.
This is how he explains it:
“Everyone struggles with discontentment. The difference, I think, and the blessing Leeanne and I have experienced is that we came into our marriage relationship already knowing and talking about it. And I think that’s a really powerful basis for intimacy.”
I understand Allan’s chosen path isn’t for everyone in his situation. Many men and women who experience same-sex attractions and who want to live their lives according to their orthodox Christian beliefs choose to serve the Lord with their celibacy instead.
But there are those, who, like Allan, make the decision to wed. They want that intimate companionship. They want the joys of parenthood.
They’ve realized what many of us come to understand about marriage: it’s about choosing your spouse again and again, day after day.
No matter the temptations.
No matter the circumstances.
No matter what the culture says.
I’d welcome your thoughts and comments.