Attention: The Definition of Marriage Has Not Changed

The decision by the Supreme Court to determine that same-sex marriage is legal in all of the United States has created quite a stir.  The LGBT community and their supporters are excitedly proclaiming a victory along the lines of other historic civil rights victories.  The religious communities believe that this ruling will have drastic societal consequences and fear for their own rights to live by the morals of their faith.  When scrolling through social media posts and news stories from all of the different angles – the noise is deafening, even with no sound turned on. What I’m hearing from everyone is:  “You’re wrong! You’re hateful! I don’t like you!”  

I have a news flash for everyone – The definition of marriage has not changed! 

To those who want to panic that these symbolic ceremonies will change what marriage is:  You need to remember who is in control. God created marriage. He defined it and just because mankind decides they want to “re-define” it doesn’t change what it is – and it never will.  Marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman. A covenant that symbolizes the relationship between Jesus and the church. 

And to those who want to celebrate:  Understand that you are ultimately just celebrating the fact that words uttered by some human being along the lines of “I now pronounce you…” will give you the feeling that you are married.  You may have new civil rights tied to a legal union, but you will not have a marriage.

Many of us are sad because we know how much God loves each of us and whenever we individually or as a society decide we can do things better our own way, things get pretty screwed up. And the path we’re on right now seems like an unstoppable train.  We know we’re headed right for the end of the tracks and we can’t seem to find the breaks.  
What we need to remember is that there’s two different trains. The one that the redeemed of Christ are on headed to heaven with God as the conductor.  And the one that Satan is driving, filled with all the people buying his lies neatly adorned with a ribbon that resembles love. That one is headed directly to hell. 

What God wants those of us that know the truth to do is to make sure our friends and neighbors get on the right train. And who wants to get on the train with us if we’re pointing our fingers at their mistakes and threatening an uprising?  We need to assure them that we love them, and even more importantly that God loves them. We need to let them know that we know we are sinners, too, but that our sin makes us sad because it separates us from God. We need to tell them that the only reason we have any hope at all in our eternity with God is because we gave our life to him, which he accepted because of the shed blood of his Son, Jesus. We need to proclaim that, yes, they are wrong and they are sinners – but so are we. The difference is that we have acknowledged that we need the Savior – Jesus Christ.  

And to quote an ever popular and so true phrase:  “Love the sinner, hate the sin!”

  

The Path

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? – Psalm 8:3-4

Lord, you are paying attention. With amazing love you are aware of every moment of our lives. You weep at the sad state sin has imposed on our life, but you rejoice in us even still, as dearly loved children. 

“Come with me.” You say, inviting us into a journey along a path we do not know. But you know it well.

“Don’t be afraid. I’ll be with you.” You remind us when we come to dark and scary parts of the path. 

“See. We made it.” You celebrate with us when we see the clearing ahead. And you smile as you see the changes in us. The way we’ve moved even closer to you. 

Eventually we worry less and less about the obstacles we may encounter along the path. We are holding tightly to your hand and we feel your fingers wrapped around ours. 

And you promise us as we walk – “The joy at the end of this journey will be worth every dark place along the way.”

And we continue – one step at a time, hand in hand with our Savior. 

  

Foresight is 20/20

The Bible says that we should be thankful in all things. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) This means even when things are not going the way we hoped or planned. I’ve always thought I understood this and I did my best to give praise even in the bad times. To thank God for the good in my life. (The fact that I’m alive, that I’m redeemed, that I have a home, food, water, etc.). And this is, of course, a very important part of being thankful. We are blessed daily in so many ways. But what if there’s more? What if we began to thank God in advance for the outcome he already has planned?

Think about it. Hindsight is 20/20, right? How often do we look back on a difficult experience and see how it has brought us to something better? Or how it has changed us in a way that has made us a better witness for Jesus? What if we tried to make foresight 20/20? If we really believe that God causes all things to work for the good in those who love him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28), then the good is already “money in the bank”, so to speak. It is already a done deal! It is already a finished chapter in the story of our life. 

I’m going to give it a try. The next time I find myself in a situation that has seemingly thrown me off track, I’m going to pray: “Thank you, God, for the good you have already accomplished with this situation. I can’t wait to get to that chapter and read it for myself!”

I’ve heard it said that “worry is interest paid on a debt before it’s due”. I guess that would make thankfulness in foresight like getting the trophy at the beginning of the race – because we’re guaranteed to win!