Robert* grew up in a strong Christian family and attended a large, conservative evangelical church. In high school, he was active in his church’s youth group. and after graduating, attended a conservative Christian college and got involved in ministry.
By all appearances, Robert was a well-adjusted and healthy, young Christian man. Yet during college, Robert confessed to his family and Christian friends that he struggled with attraction to other men.
Robert’s family and Christian friends responded with love and compassion. His parents didn’t shun or shame him, but instead expressed support. Similarly, Robert’s friends continued to include him in their social group. And his church responded with open arms, allowing him to serve in leadership, so long as he resisted acting upon his same-sex desires.
Yet no one seemed to know how to help Robert.