Emotions were high again yesterday as the city of San Antonio voted for the inclusion of sexual orientation language in its non-discrimination policy. While supporters of this move are naturally thrilled, I see this as very problematic and even a dangerous move. I know that some will say I’m responding in this manner because I’m hateful even though I’ve not uttered a nasty word toward those with the LGBT philosophy. Rather, my somberness is because I’ve connected the logical dots along the line of purposefully abandoning a Biblical world view in favor of relativity when it comes to truth. Take for example the implementation of unisex bathrooms to appease those who have a propensity toward transgender feelings. That kind of reasoning will only bring pain on the innocent and the case last year of a man who feels like he’s a woman is a perfect example. In that situation, the man in question was awarded the ability to change in the women’s locker room of a college even if girls were there because the school ruled it was his “Civil Right” to do so. This is just the latest round in a culture where right is called wrong and wrong is called right and truth is relative to the eye of the beholder.
Indeed one can see chaotic times looming as the natural and logical progression of moral relativity continues to shape values and then laws. However; my purpose in writing today is not directed toward those who oppose Biblical sexuality and marriage, but rather to offer up a challenge to those who are truly trying to follow Christ. In short, it’s one thing to point a finger at those who clearly reject Christ and call their action sin, which it is. It’s much harder though to take a step back and examine our own hearts and ask if we’re striving to work out God’s design for marriage and sexuality in our own lives. The point is not to cease speaking the truth in love about the sin of homosexual practice, but rather to examine our own hearts as well. The real answer for our world when it comes to human sexuality and marriage is not first in the legal battles, but a profound demonstration of authentic Christ followers leading the way and showing that God’s design really does work.
For Christ followers, we have to ask ourselves if we are truly pursuing the marriage God designed for our own lives. While the divorce rates among those who wear the name Christ are lower than the general populace there are still problems. Divorces are still present in Christendom and marriages often fall short of divine expectation. Pain still exists where freedom should thrive. We see the effects on children due to the breakup of God’s design for the family. Just ask anyone who grew up under “No-fault” divorce rulings because their parents chose to split up instead of doing the hard work to make things right. The unfortunate thing is that many times today true Christians get their Biblical theology right on the issue of gay marriage and sexuality but seem to drop the ball on their own marriage and all that God has intended it to be. Maybe one place to start in this resurrection of bliss is to start asking ourselves some hard questions. Consider:
-How often do Christ followers give into sexual temptation before marriage? We live in a culture where pre-marital sex is considered the norm and expected but yet God calls His children to a higher moral standard.
-As husbands, how often have we been jerks to our wives and how often have wives treated their husbands with disrespect while all the time singing songs of praise to Jesus on Sunday morning?
-How often do husbands escape to the hills on weekends or loose themselves in NFL playoffs while their wives drown in tears of loneliness?
-How often do wives dishonor their husbands with negative words and disregard for their guys innate desire to offer protective leadership for the family?
-When it comes to sex, why is it that so many Christians have allowed Hollywood to highjack something that was part of God’s original creation and designed to be good beyond simple conception? Yes, the Puritan philosophy of sex in marriage was legalistic and no, there is no verse in the Bible that says buying something at Victoria Secrets, Fredericks at Hollywood, or shipping the kids off to their grandparents for a romantic evening away is sinful. Read Song of Solomon lately?
-How often do we fight over issues that are merely the fruit of our own selfishness?
-Why is it that we will spend thousands of dollars for a one moment wedding ceremony but don’t seem to have the cash for marriage counseling?
-Why is it that we say yes to Jesus being the Lord of our lives but still do what we want when it comes to marriage and sexuality?
These and more are all valid questions. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I’m the perfect husband or that marriage is easy. The fact of the matter is that marriage is hard business and Satan is out to kill what God created to be good. It’s hard and times are tough. But yet there is hope in Christ to restore God’s design for marriage and all the joy that accompanies it. God created marriage and sexuality to be good in so many ways. In the modern cultural war over sexuality, one of the greatest ways to share the love of Christ in the world is to offer up what a godly marriage really looks like. This can be done when we choose to go back to His playbook and work out what God had in mind all the way back in Genesis. “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”. . . Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. . . That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Yes, I care about the institution of marriage and human sexuality. I care about my marriage and those of others. I still get sweaty palms when I perform a marriage ceremony because of the weight of the occasion. It’s a big deal not to be “entered into lightly or unadvisable, but rather deliberately and soberly in holy reverence before the Lord.” Yes, it’s a big deal. So when it comes to marriage, how are you going to be salt and light in the world around you?
PS: If you’re in Houston over the next month, come visit us at The Crossings as we’re looking at Magnificent Marriages beginning this week:
1. The Origins of Bliss September 8th
2. The Divorce Dilemma September 15th
3. Terrific Team Work September 22nd
4. Victorious Secrets of Sex September 29th
Sometimes we Christians forget that we are not alone in our struggles to seek, achieve and maintain a life style that glorifies God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to seek a Holy life. That said, how do we do it even if we are willing?
First, our presuppositions must be in a proper order. Does the Holy Spirit dwell in you? Our bodies –those of us who are born again Christians — are the Temple of the Holy Spirit -in short, He dwells within us. One of His roles is to convict us of our sin of unbelief. At least one 20th Century theologian stated to me that unbelief is the foundation of all sin. So, working in us is His power is working to convict of daily of the sin of unbelief.
Second — David said: “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” So, here we are enjoined to memorize at least portions of the Bible. My experience is with myself and with others that I have watched — when we commence memorizing portions of the Bible, sin tends to lessen its hold and grip on us.
Third: “We have not because we ask not.” Why do we not simply ask our Heavenly Father, through Christ, for help. Jesus tells us that He sits at the right hand of the Father and daily intercedes for us. Can we ask this: “Jesus, please have your Holy Spirit apply your words that I have memorized to my heart that I might not sin against thee in the following particulars; [then list the worst ones such as lusting and fantasizing the bodies of beautiful women that are not your wife; showing anger for small and insignificant matters, especially to your wife and children; being lazy; failing to be generous with your money, time and talent; being greedy; being judgmental; failing to forgive; hating your enemies etc., etc., etc.
Be very specific in your prayers for help to stop sinning and to become the man that God wants you to be and to be the husband that your wife is entitled to have.
Read and study your Bible in a systematic way under good teachers and/or using good study guides so that you can understand what it is that God wants out of you.
Set very specific goals concerning allocation of your time and thoughts. Discipline your life, study habits and actions. Stop acting as though your are helpless in the face of temptation and sin.
I can go on at great length but let us start here.
Friend in Christ.
Walter Wolfram, Sr.