Leslie Chambers Tackles Heterosexuality, Hyper-Grace, and Offers Hope

Leslie croppedCross-posted from the Exodus Blog.

Have you ever wondered what people think of you? As my husband is Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, I have. At present, he is somewhat of a conundrum for a lot of people. There seems to be some confusion about who he is, what he is saying and what he stands for. Here it is in a nutshell: while he has repeatedly stated his biblically orthodox view of sexuality, he has also stated his belief that one particular sin is not some how more offensive to God than another. As his wife, I have stayed out of most of the chaos but there are a few things that I cannot be silent about any longer. So here it goes…

It literally astounds me that there are some who would still point Alan, or other same sex attracted people, towards “heterosexuality”. Heterosexuality by definition is “sexual relations or attractions between opposite sexes”. Alan has openly admitted his same sex attractions. As his wife, I can honestly say that the last thing I want him to pursue is heterosexuality. Why, you ask? How am I not threatened by my husband’s same sex attractions? If he pursued heterosexuality, wouldn’t I be more fulfilled in my marriage? Truthfully, I know plenty marriages where “heterosexual” men and women have made very poor choices as they endeavored to fulfill their heterosexual desires. I do not want Alan to be more attracted to people of the opposite sex. I am thrilled that he is attracted to me and that I am the only person he chooses to direct his attraction toward. What wife doesn’t want that from her husband? Heterosexuality doesn’t guarantee that in any marriage. What would happen to the divorce rate if it did? He is a man after God’s own heart. He is the head of our household. He is my very best friend, my lover and he knows all of me. He is the father of my children, the very best son and son-in-law to our parents. Pursuing “heterosexuality” wouldn’t help him do any of those things better. None of them.

While we are talking about our marriage, there is consensus between two polarized groups people as to the probability of the demise of our marriage. Their differences lie in what will cause that demise. Some say it will be the inevitability of Alan’s inability to repress his “true gay identity”. Of these folks, some have pitied me. Some say the demise will come as a result of a “hyper-grace” mentality and at any moment Alan will take advantage of God’s good grace and sin all over the place. Of these folks, some have said that I must be on the verge of a total breakdown.

The truth is that both groups are making these assumptions based on the reality of their own personal lives.

I actually don’t need pity because I’m incredibly fulfilled in my marriage. As for “hyper-grace,” how can being in awe of God’s grace destroy my marriage? It is the hope for my marriage. The peace that comes with knowing that I am a daughter and Alan is a son of the King, the peace that comes with knowing I can trust the God who is in Alan and trust the God who is in me, far exceeds any insecurities that come with unrighteous thoughts or deeds either of us experience in our flesh. It is in God’s grace that our marriage is secure.

While we are talking about God’s grace, I’d like to comment on the belief that true repentance and forgiveness and right standing with God only come when we desperately seek Jesus and desperately try to or at least want to fix what is broken. This simply does not logically fit into my heart and mind as a mother. I do not need my children’s desperate pleas for forgiveness in order to forgive them. I do not require them to fix anything they break in order for them to be in right standing with me. Do I want them to recognize when they have done wrong. Yes. Is it good for them to apologize? Yes. Is it good for them to try to fix things they have broken? Yes. Is it good for them to change their minds, learn from their mistakes in hopes of not making them again? YES!! All the while, none of that is required for them to be my children. The moment they became mine, they became MINE and nothing can change that! If I, as an earthly mother feel this way about my children, how much more so does our Heavenly Father feel this way about us? There isn’t anything hyper about that. It’s simply giving God credit for being at least as good a parent as I am…. Knowing all the while He is infinitely better!

When it comes right down to it, I don’t feel “desperate” for Jesus at all. I am not desperate to fix things that I have broken or what is broken in my flesh. I have no ability to do either, even if I “desperately” wanted to. The definition of desperate is “without hope.” Microsoft Word lists the following words as synonyms for desperate: frantic, anxious, despairing, worried, and fraught to name a few. A Google search for desperate synonyms lists “atrocious, careless, dangerous, fool hardy, frantic, frenzied, heinous, and violent”. That does not represent how I feel towards my Savior. I seek Him with hope! Because of God’s good grace, I’m actually in agreement with the antonyms listed for desperate. They are: confident, content, satisfied, secure and unworried.

I am unworried about who Jesus is and who I am in Him. I am unworried about who Alan is in Him. Jesus in Alan is the hope for my marriage. That is Alan’s hope concerning me. That is my hope for my children. That is my hope for my friends and neighbors. That is the hope for the Church and for Exodus…. I am cleansed by God’s grace even if my efforts towards repentance of sin and my conscious need for Jesus falls short of what they should be. We can be confident, content, satisfied, and secure in Him. If we are relying on anything within our flesh or on anything we can do to earn or to receive any part of what He has to give away… we are without hope and should feel desperate!

Instead, show me a rooftop where I can shout… THANK YOU JESUS! Christ in me … I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in me and in Alan and in all of us who believe in Him, He will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!! He will do it. He has done it. Amen!

Alan served as the final president of Exodus International from 2001 to 2013 when together with a core team of leaders and board of directors he closed the organization and began making great strides towards building relationships with the LGBTQIA community and encouraging the global Church to do the same. With a goal to reduce fear, establish trust, and inspire hope on both sides for the sake of the Gospel, Alan and his wife, Leslie, spend their time being available to anyone who desires to talk. He has been featured on every major media outlet across the globe. Alan and Leslie’s first book together, My Exodus: From Fear to Grace (Zondervan, 2015) releases on September 29.

The Chambers spend the best part of their lives with their 10 year olds, Molly and Isaac, and the rest having conversations about all things gay with anyone and everyone over lunch in Winter Park, Florida or in other locations throughout the world.
Follow Alan and Leslie on Twitter: @AlanMChambers and @LeslieMChambers

I value your honesty and critical review. Please refrain from attacking others.

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15 thoughts on “Leslie Chambers Tackles Heterosexuality, Hyper-Grace, and Offers Hope

  1. Very contradictive this affirmation “I do not want Alan to be more attracted to people of the opposite sex. I am thrilled that he is attracted to me and that I am the only person he chooses to direct his attraction toward”.
    You are his wife…a woman or not? We women (I am sure speaking for a big majority) want our husbands not to be attracted to other women, as much as we don’t want them to have same sex attractions. Your testimony is weightless. What is worst is to use a personal battle (I agree is a loving supportive battle between you and your husband) and make it a movement against the Holy Character of God.
    Take the problem like alcoholism or gluttony and replace it in your article and maybe you will see how wrong it will read. These two are also sins but we don’t have active campaign to promote them as a life style.
    I agree with this comment from by Denny Burk on JULY 16, 2012
    No one in our churches is arguing about the moral status of gluttony and alcohol abuse. Everybody agrees that those are sins. But that is not the case with homosexuality. There is an active campaign to subvert the Bible’s teaching about homosexuality. There are people both inside and outside our churches urging us to abandon Christ’s teaching on marriage and sexual morality.
    The reason for the current controversy is not that Christians have become especially prickly about homosexuality. The reason for the controversy is that the forces of darkness are leveling an attack against the Bible on this point. Faithful Christians are going to have to stand clearly for biblical truth in the midst of this controversy. There is no neutral ground.

      • a big ole wtf to that one. alcoholism is a disease. gluttony is a choice and/or food addiction is a disease. homosexuality is a state of being. not a choice. when did you choose to be straight? if god made homosexuals, what makes them less holy in the lord’s eyes than straight people? they were born that way. is that a holy accident? did the lord make a mistake? no, and they are free to love who they love how they love so long as they don’t hurt other people or themselves. i happen to be straight but for goodness sake, who are we to judge other people

        • Well the research that showed that people are born gay was a very limited study and not repeated. Secondly, God made men and women, however at the beginning of creation, before sin, it was one man and one woman. When man and woman made the choice to sin they were removed from the Garden of Eden. God did not create humans to be homosexual. However, once we are born, we are born into a world of sin. That means any sin; lying, murder, stealing, cheating, assault, etc. Does God love people even though they are homosexual? Yes. Does God love their sin? No. He hates all sin, it is all the same in His eyes. And just one sin, one, separates humans from Christ for eternity. Now Christ came to Earth, not to condemn it but to save it. Christ did not say that it was “ok” to live in sin. In fact, one of His common sayings when a person was healed was “go and sin no more.” Now He knows that we will make mistakes (who doesn’t?) but if we are one of His children, adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven through confession of sin and asking Christ into our lives, we are to walk in the ways of Christ. Of course we will make mistakes. I struggle with a particular one that could really end up hurting me but I have finally asked Christ to help me in that area I struggle because it started small but is now so large it is eating me alive on the inside. Thirdly, the statement, “they are free to love who they love so long as they don’t hurt other people of themselves”. First, it does break some families’ hearts and some do not react in a loving manner. However, there has been bridging those gaps not through “acceptance” but through “tolerance”. The difference is that “tolerance” is respectfully disagreeing with someone while acceptance, in this case, means to accept their lifestyle, therefore if a person is a believer, it is a struggle. Why? Because God has a set of laws that were established to keep us safe, not just physically but spiritually and emotionally. If I may pose a question; If a married man (married to a woman) loved another married man (who was also married to a woman), would their love be wrong?

    • The minute you guys have an anti-gluttony or an anti-alcoholism national campaign, I will believe that you give as much weight to these sins as you do to homosexuality. To deny that the church is fixated on sexual “sin” is to not take an honest appraisal of your role in the culture wars. You may say that lying is just as bad as being gay, but no one from Focus on the Family or another of these organizations is running a nationwide “Stop the Dishonesty” campaign. Get real, people. The reality of the church’s place in our national discourse does not match your rhetoric.

    • HER TESTIMONY CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT. she is married to Alan. she demonstrastes amazing grace by accepting her husband faults and all. that carries more weight than any one line criticizism coming from out of no knowledge of the people. she knows Alan. temptation is not sin. and same sex attraction is not identity. “confess your faults to one another so that you can be healed” i see that alan’s abstinance from the gay identified lifestyle as a powerful testimony of God’s behavior change in his life. NO christian will every be free from temptation as long as they live. we all have thoughts and desires that need continual surrender and grace from God and to God, from God’s people and confessed to people. I am very inspired by Alan’s trust of GRACE SO MUCH that he would bare his soul and struggle to the world. THIS DEMONSTRATES he lives in the light and trusts grace fully. what a strong example his wife shows to publicly defend her husbands beliefs, integrity and identity.

      Many arrogant people spout off about homosexual struggling christians with no knowledge or compassion. Jesus sympathizes with our weakness because he was tempted in every way that we are but was without sin. WE have a high priest in JESUS who intercedes for us. his righteousness is our righteousness despite who we were as unredeemed people. “If any man is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed and the new has come” ALAN and every believer has died with Christ and is ressurected a new creation in CHRIST JESUS.

  2. Leslie, I want to somehow send a big hug through the internet to you. I think that when people truly understand grace – things do become simpler. Christ in us is the hope for any of us to live in alignment with our convictions and values – and to continue to love well, give of ourselves, and honor our commitments.

    I am grateful that in my journey with Jesus and my years in ministry my sense of God has become more generous and more spacious ….. not something to be afraid of, but something to rejoice greatly in. I hear that joy in you – and I bless you in it.

    And as someone who knows how crazy Alan is about you, and how committed you both are to your beautiful children, I hope that any negative speculations by those who do not know you will run like water off a duck …. and that you both will find yourselves hidden in the shadow of the Almighty One.

    While I do think that your story is your unique story – and cannot be universally projected on every one’s experience ….. knowing your story as I do, I continue to pray loads of grace and blessing for you both – and for the four of you as a family!

  3. Could you please clarify: I cannot find in any of your material online–Do you believe that God and Jesus believe that Homosexuality is Sin? Do YOU, Alan and Leslie, believe that Homosexuality is sin?

    True 150% that God loves ANY AND ALL those who are homosexual.

  4. Beautiful Leslie, just beautiful.

    I am a married woman, and I totally agree- Christ in my husband is the only hope I can have in him, and in me. I love that he choses me over and over again.

    Here’s to many happily married years with your husband.

  5. Outstanding points Liliana and Ponder! The point of wanting to choose heterosexuality is not because one wants their spouse to be more faithful to them. It is because the Bible says homosexuality is sin. God ADORES EVERY person He created and desires for ALL of them to be in heaven with Him for all eternity. While on earth He wants us to be free FROM the weight of our sins and to be FREE to serve Him more unhindered–Heb.12:1 He CAN free us from the burdens of emotional pain that cause persons to instead seek false comforts and shallow means to meet our legitimate emotional needs.
    with

  6. Beautifully written expression of just how big our God is, and how His grace is sufficient when we accept it. Thank you for sharing and being transparent!

    Much love in Christ,
    Lisa

  7. Wow! This is beautiful. Gods love is enough… We don’t have to work out or fight for our salvation. To say otherwise would belittle His work on the cross! Love this, Leslie!