Over the past week, I’ve had several people ask me, “What can I say to someone who’s in favor of same sex marriage? I want to speak the Truth, but do it in love.” I’ve been pondering and praying about this for a few days. I’ve been seeking the guidance of the Lord for an answer that’s SIMPLE, MEMORABLE and GOSPEL CENTERED. I encourage every Christian to go through the same struggle to summarize God’s Truth in a loving response that works for you. But, perhaps you can either adopt my words or use them as a starting point for your own.
My response summarizes what God’s Word says THROUGHOUT on the topic of marriage, so it’s not a quote of a single passage of Scripture (though there are many, many passages that support it … just read the other posts in this site). If you only have time or desire to say one sentence, here’s what I would say:
God designed lifelong marriage between one man and one woman to be a living picture of the relationship between Jesus and the church.
If you have time and wherewithal to do so, however, I’d strongly suggest the two sentence answer below:
God designed lifelong marriage between one man and one woman to be a living picture of the relationship between Jesus and the church. It’s not about selfish happiness, but leading the couple and all who see them to eternal life in Jesus’ love.
This answer conveys a ton of information and will either leave the other person speechless or open the door for further fruitful discussion. Hopefully, it will lead to some Q & A time that will provide you further opportunity to explain the GOOD NEWS of marriage in God’s way and the joy of salvation through union with the Bridegroom, Jesus. It can provide a chance to address not only same sex marriage, but ALL the other ways we’ve sinfully corrupted God’s perfect intent for relationships. This is really what we’re after in discussions about same sex marriage. We should not be out to attack homosexuals. Instead, we’re to be ready to address the sins ALL OF US HAVE (YOU AND ME INCLUDED) that get in the way of God’s intent for our relationships. Any sin that takes our eyes off Jesus and turns them to our own sinful, selfish desires is to be avoided. Relationships should be lived out in such a way that we’re all directed to the sacrificial, unconditional and incarnate love of Jesus that has won our eternal life. That being said, the short answer above may lead to further discussion. You may find yourself needing and wanting to say more. If so, I’ve drawn up a brief outline that may be useful. It draws on the teachings I’ve shared elsewhere in this site. You may want to go read some of my entries on a “Thumbs Up Worldview” and on the Sacrificial, Unconditional and Incarnational Love of Jesus. But, for now, here’s an outline you might be able to use. Note that it includes hand and finger actions to reinforce the points of the outline:
1. GOD MADE THE WORLD (OPEN HAND EXTENDED WITH PALM UP)
This is the only good answer to our existence. Evolution or imagination just can’t give a sufficient answer.
God made us very good as male & female in His image.
2. WE CUT OURSELVES OFF FROM GOD (MAKE A FIST)
Adam and Eve denied God’s control of our lives and sought to do things in their own selfish way that “felt good.”
They destined us to emptiness, guilt and isolation in all relationships, forever as we follow their sinful lead.
3. GOD SENT JESUS TO BUY US BACK (MAKE A “THUMBS UP” SIGN)
His sacrificial and unconditional love for all led Him to die in our place on the cross … and rise in victory.
Jesus offers us the forgiveness He won for us as a free gift.
4. JESUS CHRIST LOVES US AS THE PERFECT HUSBAND (TIP OF THUMB TOUCHES TIP OF FOREFINGER FORMING A CIRCLE)
Jesus claims us, not out of “feelings” of love or because we deserve it, but out of unconditional choice.
He gives us forgiveness and life with Him forever for free.
His endless love for us is represented by a circle such as we see in a wedding ring.
5. EVERY GODLY MARRIAGE REFLECTS THIS LOVE (HOLD UP FOREFINGER MAKING THE #1 SIGN)
One man loves one woman for life as a picture of Jesus and His bride, the church (see Eph. 5:31 & 32).
A husband shows sacrificial, unconditional, endless love that’s received humbly and joyfully by his wife.
Marriage is designed to be a living picture of the Gospel of salvation through marriage to Jesus.
Only a lifelong marriage between one man and one woman can properly reflect the relationship between Jesus and the church as God intends.
6. ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE TO CONNECT EVERYONE TO JESUS & HIS WAY OF FORGIVENESS, LOVE AND LIFE THAT WILL NEVER END (USE THE TIP OF THE THUMB TO RANDOMLY TOUCH THE TIP OF ALL FOUR FINGERS)
Relationships aren’t about what makes us feel good, but about what connects people to Jesus in humble repentance and trusting faith.
That’s why we cling to and proclaim the truth of marriage in God’s way as the lifelong union of one man with one woman.
That’s why we seek to warn about all of Satan’s lies that cloud our eyes to God’s way for marriage and salvation in Jesus.
That’s why we celebrate the Christian marriage between one man and one woman as a picture of perfect love that will have no end.
If you find any of the above information useful, I’d be eager to hear about it. Or if you come up with better answers that seem to work well, I’m eager to hear those as well. Please add your feedback in comments to this post or contact me directly. My prayer is that this new day will provide us many more opportunities to give a reason for the hope that we have. I pray we can guide many more people to the joy of living every relationship in God’s way … especially by guiding them to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the perfect Bridegroom.
[box] God designed lifelong marriage between one man and one woman to be a living picture of the relationship between Jesus and the church. It’s not about selfish happiness, but leading the couple and all who see them to eternal life in Jesus’ love.[/box]