We live in a lawful universe. Everything around us on this planet and everything we observe out in the cosmos works according to laws. And these laws are very strict. Think about the law of gravity. It is a very strict law—if you break it you could die. You can overcome gravity through adherence to other laws, such as the laws of aerodynamics. But if the jet’s engines fail, gravity takes over and the plane falls to the earth. Natural laws cannot be cheated.

Many men seeking to diminish same–sex attraction (SSA) become frustrated and discouraged when they find that their feelings and attractions don’t change as quickly or substantially as they had hoped. I believe these men are getting stuck because they aren’t following the laws, or principles, that allow growth out of SSA to happen. These men may be very sincere and even committed to the idea of change, but if they don’t follow the right principles, change won’t happen.

To experience growth, we have to follow all of the pertinent laws. To make this clearer, let’s go back to the laws related to aerodynamics. If we want to make an airplane leave the ground, we have to overcome the law of gravity by adherence to several other laws, such as the laws regulating motion, lift, propulsion, and so forth. What do you think happens if you obey some of these laws and ignore others? The law of gravity wins.

The same is true in the process of diminishing unwanted same–sex attraction. We have to follow all of the pertinent principles. If we fail to do so, gravity wins. The laws that seem to govern growth out of same–sex attraction can be grouped into four essential principles:

  • Masculinity — seeing ourselves as masculine and distinct from females and feeling connected with other men.
  • Authenticity — knowing and understanding ourselves and being fully genuine in our relationships with others.
  • Need Fulfillment — having those relationships, experiences, and opportunities that enable joy and personal satisfaction.
  • Surrender — releasing from our lives everything that prevents growth from happening and bringing into our lives the things that foster growth.

The acronym of these four principles (MANS) makes them easy to remember. The four principles are interdependent and synergistic. They are interdependent in that, in many instances, one principle cannot be lived without another being lived at the same time. They are synergistic in that they effect and are affected by each other, and it is the interactivity of all the principles that causes substantial and lasting growth to occur.

Splitting the growth process into these four principles is somewhat like splitting white light into its various colors by shining it through a prism. Just as the prism reveals the secret wavelengths contained within the whole beam of light, the four principles illuminate for us the secret elements contained within the whole growth process.

My hope in splitting the process out into its four “wavelengths” is to empower men to create whole growth processes so they can avoid the frustration so many others have experienced.