By Brandon Showalter , CP Reporter
October 19, 2016|2:42 pm

To that end, Zuniga and Gladwin are creating the space to continue sharing stories and explore life with raw honesty. They are not, they emphasize, out to stoke culture warrior sentiment or contribute to the rowdy political or theological debates over these touchy issues.

CP asked the YOB hosts what they want churches that share their views and core convictions about homosexuality to understand about their experiences.

Two things come to mind immediately for Gladwin.

"Men are emotional and need love. We need a good redefinition of biblical manhood and masculinity — men who cry, dance, sing, hug," he said.

Secondly, he added, "I want to ask the Church: What does your faith cost? Because it costs me everything."

"It costs so much to fight against this uphill battle against my flesh. It's hard. And it's daily, and it's hourly. This is hard. But because I believe it is true I do it. And I feel like a lot of Christians don't express their weakness enough and share with others what their faith costs them."

"I am ever aware of what I need to be saved from. But if you don't, how can you share in the sufferings of the Messiah?" he asked.

Zuniga concurred, adding that "churches need to be a space where they can deal with this rather than treating it as 'the Other.'"

And what about the charge that because they have chosen to not act on their same-sex attractions, they are self-loathing, living in denial, or living a lie?

For Gladwin, that is a particularly irritating question because of the double standard of secular society.

"In America, we love and support people when they go against the grain, when they are the underdog, when they go against what comes naturally to them in every sphere except sexuality."

"So, if you're overweight, go on 'The Biggest Loser,' we love that. Yeah, they have this natural inclination to overeat and be lazy, but they are fighting, they are getting up, they're getting on their bike and they are beating their bodies into submission to fight for something of value that they want to go for. And we praise Olympic athletes who sacrifice a normal life to train hard to go after something that is not easy."

"But when it comes to sexuality, our culture encourages people to just embrace whatever sexual urge feels the most natural."

And living for Jesus, he concluded, is worth fighting for.

"One of the biggest lies I believed for years," Zuniga recalls, "is that I was convinced I was the only one who struggled with this."

He has since been convinced otherwise.

Gladwin's and Zuniga's storytelling approach is resonating and they have received heartfelt messages from listeners to their podcast. This one is a typical response: "As you all tell your stories I feel like I'm listening to my own story played back to me. As a community, you guys have been a breath of fresh air."

And building a community of those other brothers on the journey is precisely what YOB is all about. Gladwin and Zuniga have plans to add even more contributions from creative writers to their site in the near future to tell even more stories, and they dream of speaking in churches or anywhere else they will be received.

"It's huge for me when I have a friend tell me that his eyes are now open [and sees] that Christians do deal with this, and he now has this new perspective that he didn't have before. That's affirming for us that we're doing exactly what we need to be doing," Zuniga said.

For more information on Elliott Gladwin and Tom Zuniga and Your Other Brothers, click here. To listen to their podcast, click here.

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