We stand in a moment of history where decisions are being made which influence our culture, shape our future and define our truths. What is a biblical view of Marriage as it pertains to homosexuality? What should we think about the idea of homosexual marriage and how should a follower of Christ respond?
I don’t expect that all or even most should share my views. Our U.S. and global culture has been on long road of divergence from biblical values. Many of the landscapes we observe now from our viewpoint in time are a result of decisions made years ago which have slowly been eroding our understanding of marriage.
The growing number of divorces within the church and the general absence of voice from the pulpit has both left our congregations untrained in biblical truth on homosexuality, and given the society around us a poor picture of marriage as God intended it.
Why is marriage important to a Christian?
Marriage fulfills a number of functions. For the Christian, these functions are primary:
First and foremost, Godly marriage is given as the most accurate picture of Christ and the Church. From the current viewpoint, many marriages are dysfunctional and falling apart, so subsequently, our view of God is marred. However, a marriage between a man and woman, where the man acts as the head of the household and both man and woman play unique roles and seek to serve the needs of one another, is a depiction of our relationship with Christ. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph. 5:25)
Subscribing the responsibility of “marriage” to homosexual relationships distorts this picture, and muddies our view and holy fear of God and heterosexual marriage.
Secondly, marriage serves to raise healthy families and influence society. While this has also been disguised over the last several decades, healthy marriages raise healthy families.
Fathers impart character, identity and masculinity to their sons. Daughters receive their self-worth and identity as a woman from their fathers. Mothers nurture sons during early years and teach daughters the value of modesty and femininity. Christian and secular psychologists today are discovering and agreeing that the mother and father each play specific, necessary roles in parenting and raising children.
Thirdly, marriage is the primary God-given means for procreation. God commanded Adam to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28) and provided him with a “suitable helper”, Eve (Gen 2:18).
It is a natural function of a healthy marriage, to engage in sexual intercourse, which in turn produces offspring. No other combination of man, woman or animal has the blessing of being fruitful and multiplying. Despite what our culture would have us believe, Children, biblically speaking, are a gift from God.
If, as a society, we bestow the title of “marriage” on any long-term relationship other than a man and a woman, we undoubtedly fail to fulfill these three primary functions. The purpose is lost and the system breaks down.
That’s why marriage is important to the Christian.
Why should the Christian’s view of marriage, or anything else for that matter, be of importance to our society?
There is no prominent reason why society should care what Christian’s think about marriage or any other issue, except that it is essential that we, as a society, come to grips with whether we believe in an absolute truth or not. Does any value deserve to be upheld? By the look of things around us, no — every man is right in his own eyes. Yet, if there is no final yardstick or ruler by which we judge our morality, we fall prey to endless depravity, disorder and pain.
If truth is self-defined, then who is to say that a 30-year old man should not be allowed to have sex with a 13-year old girl? By what set of morals do we decide whether it is right or wrong to marry an animal because that is my sexual preference, or a grown man with a young boy? If sexual preference or mere sentiment are the defining basis for morality, then we are working with a moving scale. In that case, would I not be right to defend my equality? I think so.
Yet, our culture has looked at sexual relations with minors, bestiality or sodomy as wrong and unnatural? Why?
Is it not that there are underlying and inherent truths that we must face and agree upon? Could there be an absolute truth on the subject?
I believe that our culture must make a decision, either to accept that there are absolute truths which define our basis for morality and the laws that govern it, or to deny an absolute truth and let each man govern himself. There is either truth, or there is not — there is no in-between. “A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.” (Prov. 21:2)
How must followers of Christ respond to homosexual marriage?
Our primary desire should be to glorify God and usher His Kingdom here on earth, both by posturing our hearts and lives toward Him, as well as modeling Christ and inviting others into an eternal relationship with God. We are on earth to act as God’s redemptive agents here on earth, and God is at work to return all things to their proper order.
We must follow Christ’s example and seek to love others sacrificially. We must model healthy marriages, because they reflect God’s intended relationship between Christ and the church. We must pray and acquire the heart of the Father. We must utilize the platforms and gifts God has given us to bring His Kingdom and fulfill the will of God.
In short (because it’s easier to remember short things):
Pray for God’s will to be done, that we acquire the heart of the Father and that His Kingdom come. Love sacrificially and with wisdom. Love is not an excuse for immorality or relativism. “The LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Prov. 3:12)
Act on the morals and commands of the Lord. We are not merely bystanders floating along by the currents of society. “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)
It is futile and foolish for a government to believe they may define laws and expect that all men will, at all times, agree and obey them. Not every moral value must be upheld by a law; the Jewish people tried that and have found it impossible to keep them all. For that reason, grace abounds in Christ.
That being said, our laws must originate from some view of morality, or our relativism will guide us into utter lawlessness.
It is one thing for our government to grant tax benefits to homosexual couples on the basis of equality. No man, in their right mind, can argue that a homosexual couple does not have feelings for one another. That is absurd. They can argue, however, that the privilege and title of “marriage” originated from biblical values, and is defined as a relationship between a man and woman.
A man cannot assume the title of “policeman” simply on the basis of equality — the role of a police officer is unique, carries with it particular responsibilities and is bestowed by a higher authority. Nor can a man choose to marry a child on that same basis. While, in their eyes, they may have every right to assume that title or fulfill that role, there are other laws governing the world they live in which prohibit this, for the benefit of the entire society.
What the government decides to do with tax code and same-sex unions is one issue. What they decide to do with the role and responsibility of “marriage” is quite another — one that we, as Christians, should be willing to stand for.
Homosexual marriage is not a matter of equality. As humans we are all created equal in value — not necessarily role or function — but certainly value. The battle to hold “marriage being solely between a man and a woman” is about protecting a God-given role and responsibility.