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Attractions of the Heart

Just yesterday I had the blessing of being alone in the car with my high school daughter. As she has gotten older, times like these can be rare. We both enjoy our time together, but we’ve accepted that as a teen she has a lot of commitments and expanding responsibilities, so we cherish these moments dearly.

During our drive, my daughter briefly shared how she was attracted to a boy, and she hoped he would be in attendance at an upcoming party. Instead of accepting her witness as a news release, I asked her a follow-up question: Why are you attracted to him? I had no idea this question would create so much confusion and doubt.

She carefully responded, “I don’t know.”

She thought really hard in amazement, as she didn’t understand how she got there in the first place. She knew there was something different about him, in comparison to the other boys in school, and liked him on a deeper level. But, aside from that reflection, she began to question if there was any attraction at all.

I calmed her nerves and explained that attractions are natural and necessary, but it is important to evaluate them carefully. When God created us in his image and likeness, he also created us for community – to be members of one body (Corinthians 12). A necessary part of community and friendship is attraction.

So, we are designed to be attracted to others – both men and women.

But today, many confuse attraction with romantic love. Just because I desire to spend time with a person, does not mean that I want to be romantically involved with them. This was an important lesson for my daughter, as she mulled over whether or not her attractions were for friendship, or something more.

A good friend of mine once told me that he was led into same-sex relationships partially because he was encouraged by those around him to romantically follow his attractions.

Looking back, that wasn’t what he was seeking at all.

What he desired was friendship and love from God our Father, who will love us unconditionally, and comfort the wounds of our heart. It didn’t seem this was what my daughter was looking for, but I’m grateful for planting a seed of curiosity in her heart, so she can meditate on her attractions going forward.

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Jo Holt

Jo is a carpooling, multi-tasking wife and mother of three whimsical teenagers, who frequents the sacraments and finds humor while juggling her complicated life and praying for the gift of bi-location, so she can enjoy the art of simplicity.

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