Meaningful Marriage #1
“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
Christians find themselves in some difficulty. With cultural attitudes having shifted in favor of same-sex marriage and other ideologies removed from God’s standard, Christians must look at how they see marriage and how to respond to the cultural shift. We could just complain, but that won’t accomplish anything. We should call out the sins of this world, but it needs to be with the purpose of calling people to repentance through the gospel. In that respect, it matters not what sins are practiced when people are outside of Christ. God calls everyone to repent.
The short answer to the question is 1) “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12), and 2) exemplify what God wants through the relationships that we share, particularly in His will for marriage.
This is not about politics. There may be political implications, and political decisions do impact us as we know. However, our concern here is with God’s will. This is about applying the Gospel to our lives in a way that helps us be the salt of the earth and light of the world, as the Lord has called us to be (Matt. 5:13-16; Phil 2:14-16).
We may feel isolated, angry, and resolved, as we should. At the end of the day, however, are we committed to God and His will, or do we give in to self-will? Do we give in to God, or give up to the world? Do we respond our own way, or do we seek to respond God’s way?
Let’s think about a biblical picture of God’s purpose for marriage, our commitment to marriage, and how this impacts the way we approach the world. Even if not married, the truth here is vital for how we uphold, honor, and talk about this most cherished relationship, which is the backbone of society. If we are to respond to culture, let us do so with love for souls and with a properly-armed view of God’s purposes.
How did we get here?
What are some of the factors that help explain how we got to where we are? While there may be several ways to respond to this, I want to suggest the following as a starting point:
First, factor in the push to eliminate God’s laws from influencing man’s laws. Not only are God’s laws often not respected, but there is a general shift to the notion that man has a right to over-rule anything found in the Bible if he sees fit. God’s will gets relegated to religion only and man’s self-willed laws take precedence. The issue, then, is ultimately about who has final authority. What this means for us as Christians is this: If we are going to be what we ought to be, then we must reaffirm our commitment to the authority of God and His word so that His will has more influence over us than the desires of men. We are servants of Christ over all else (Col 3:24). This must include what we think about marriage and every other issue.
Sadly, God has become marginalized (not unlike what we see in Revelation). People may tell you that if you want to believe in God, that’s your business, but don’t bring God into the public arena. Keep God out of politics, education, work, and the public square altogether. This marginalizes God and His people. This is what we are feeling these days, is it not? This means, then, that no matter what else is happening in the world, Christians must stay faithful to God and His will without being ashamed to be named among His people (see Mark 8:38; 1 Pet 4:16).
A biblical worldview will not allow us to separate our faith from everything else we do. We are Christians always, everywhere, in all circumstances. We cannot leave our faith at the door when we go out to the world. When the biblical foundations are cut away, we should not be surprised at what may follow. We need to know where we stand. Can we sing without reservation, “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord nor to defend His cause”?
We have no expectations that human governments will embrace God’s righteousness. The Roman Empire of Christ’s day certainly was not righteous. Christians are their own counter-culture, determined to live by the will and authority of God. The answer is not to push for an establishment of an earthly kingdom, where worldly power rules by the fist, but to submit to the heavenly king and His spiritual kingdom into which we have been transferred. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14).
To be continued…