Today is an historic day for America. That might be the one and only thing that everybody can agree on right now. The Supreme Court of the United States has declared same sex marriage the law of the land. Many in our country are celebrating. Many are outraged. Christians are looking for help in shaping their response.
Here’s how I’m thinking and feeling:
Sad. I’m sad on three levels. One, the Supreme Court of the United States has made a decision which will hurt a country I love very much. Today is not a good day for America. Two, I’m saddened by the arrogance of five justices who think their opinions on marriage should hold more sway than God’s clear teaching on the subject. The Supreme Court of the United States doesn’t define marriage. That was handled thousands of years ago and far above their pay grade. Three, I’m saddened by the certainty that many who claim Jesus as their Lord will respond with hate and ignorance. I know the social media posts that are most likely to make me cringe will come from people who share my sadness but express it very differently.
Relieved. As a country, we’ve been headed in this direction for so long that it’s nice to be able to get this one behind us. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming. Now we can move on to figuring out how the church operates in this new landscape.
Determined. The greatest contribution I can make to this debate is not my words but my example. As a husband, I’m commanded to love my wife as Jesus loves the church. (Eph. 5:25). I am called to love Laura so deeply, so sacrificially and so selflessly that our marriage preaches the gospel as clearly as my sermons. This is how the country will come to see that American and Biblical marriage have come to mean two very different things. The former is the stuff of permanent roommates, tax breaks and survivor benefits. The later is the stuff of covenant, laying down your life and the mutual pursuit of something greater than ourselves. Christian marriage isn’t ultimately about the relationship of two people. It’s a demonstration of God’s relationship with His church.
Dependent. I don’t have it in me to create such a countercultural marriage. I gravitate to ease, convenience and selfishness as much as the next guy. Only the power of God can make me the man I need to be to have the marriage I want. It’s not the law of the land that breathes life into my marriage. It’s the power of God.
Hopeful. Light shines brightest in the darkness. A sad day for America can be a good day for the church. We have the opportunity to respond with love, grace, truth and hope. We have the opportunity to show that we don’t hate the world but want the best for those around us. We have the opportunity to live our lives and conduct our marriages in such a way that everyone sees that the best is always found in Jesus, His Word and His ways.
Biblical marriage and American marriage have come to mean two very different things. I pray many will be inspired to reach for the beauty of marriage as God designed it and not settle for the emptiness of the way the Supreme Court defined it.