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The Bisexual Reflection of God

Detail of stained glass window featuring two men embracing. One has long hair and looks exhausted, resting against the other man, who is bearded and appears older.

(The passage below is an excerpt from my Sex With God devotional.)

The Hebrew Scriptures include an extraordinary love story between two men: David and Jonathan:

When he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and wouldn’t let him go home to his father’s house any more. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David with his clothing, even including his sword, his bow, and his sash.

(1 Samuel 18:1-4)

Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, greatly delighted in David.

(1 Samuel 19:1)

As soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another, and wept with one another, and David wept the most.

(1 Samuel 20:41)

I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan.

You have been very pleasant to me.

Your love to me was wonderful,

passing the love of women.”

(2 Samuel 1:26)

The ardency of the love described between the two men is unusual. There’s nothing like it in any other books of scripture. Some scholars read eroticism into the ardor repeatedly expressed. Yet David was quite clearly attracted to women. So was he bisexual?

Being bisexual simply means that you find both males and females sexually attractive. It’s that straight forward. But bi people battle a lot of negative stereotypes and false conceptions. One is that bi folks want to have multiple partners of both males and females. Another is that they can’t be satisfied in a monogamous relationship, because they’ll perpetually miss experiencing sex with the gender their partner isn’t. A third is that bi people engage in sex indiscriminately. They’re often slut-shamed before ever having sex.

The reality is that bisexuals are just as invested in monogamy as heterosexuals, and I mean this literally. You probably know someone who is married or in a long-term relationship but cheats on their partner. You know others who view their spouses and partners as cherished treasure and would never consider having sex with someone else. Bisexuals are no less interested in or able to be fully committed to a single person, and no more interested. They are just like anyone else.

Do some bisexuals desire (and have) more than one sexual partner? Sure. Just like straight people. Do all bisexuals? Far from it.

As discussed in the early pages of this book, God desires union with each of us intensely. Their love burns with passion; for you, for me, and for every created being. They find males attractive, and females, those who are in between, and those who are neither.

People who are bisexual more closely match the image of God than those of us who are straight. If anything, their sexuality is more holy. The potentially bisexual, polygynist called David shows us this.

He was, after all, a man after God’s own heart.

The time has come, I think, when we must recognize bisexuality as a normal form of human behavior... we shall not really succeed in discarding the straitjacket of our cultural beliefs about sexual choice if we fail to come to terms with the well-documented, normal human capacity to love members of both sexes.

Margaret Mead


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