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By Jeff Foerster
The Supreme Court is the highest court in all the United Sates. Composed of nine justices, its rulings supersede those of any county, state, or federal court. Its decisions stand as final and serve as guidance for actualizing theory and implementing written law. Recognizing America’s status as the most powerful nation on the world’s stage, greater authority is exercised nowhere else. It has the last word, right?
A few days ago the Supreme Court of these United States declared biological gender irrelevant in regard to establishing marriage. This stands in stark contrast to the declared Word of God. “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
So, what to think? I could take you on a ride through the land of reason and logic, down paths of historical textual reliability and walk with you beside streams of archeological evidence to make a case for Marriage as the Bible describes, but that is not our journey today. I will instead trust that you have come to a like-minded conclusion that God has authority to speak timeless truth and has done so in a way which we can plainly understand.
Through grace, we have been given the window of Marriage through which to peer at a mystery too great to contain with mere words of man. Our lives are intertwined in relationship, not simply by necessity, not only for practical purposes, but because God Himself is a Being existing in relationship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we, we are like Him. When God richly dwells in us, we reflect to others the love that He has so generously and sacrificially poured out upon us through Jesus Christ. At the pinnacle of all human relationships is Marriage.
When a man and a woman come together as one, independence is laid aside for a commitment to pursue sacrificial service for the good of their mate and the glory of God. When a man and woman come together they declare the goodness and provision of their Maker. When a man and a woman are joined together by God (Mark 10:9; Matthew 19:6) they begin to picture the relationship between Christ and His Church. This is a profound mystery indeed, but one that we are commanded to live out before a watching world.
So, what to do? The Bible and Supreme Court are at odds with one another. Are we to obey man rather than God (Acts 4:19)? May it never be! This may prompt you to take a stand for righteousness, and I urge you to do just that. Here’s what I suggest: Repent, Love One Another, Rejoice, Rinse, and Repeat. It requires no letter writing or stamps, no boycotts or fundraising. It is very simple and extremely difficult. “Love one another as I have loved you,” Jesus declares (John 13:35). By these actions you will be known and Christ will be exalted (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:15).
To everyone I say:
Repent. Turn away from sins sexual and otherwise, not being stained by culture and its priorities. Live lives of purity and seek reconciliation and restoration of relationship where it has been damaged. Don’t be quick to attack, using Scripture or sharp tongues. Speak truth from a foundation of love, the same love that led Jesus to the cross, saving helpless, deluded sinners like us.
To the married:
Recognize God as of first priority in your life and the life of your husband or wife. Elevate your spouse to second place, beneath God and above yourself. Men, your wife is a rare jewel, one of beauty and wisdom. Listen to her. Women, your husband is a man of honor and courage. Tell him you value his leadership. Be purposeful as you pray for God to conform you both into the image of Christ. Reach out to other couples and singles that they may see the work God is performing in and through you. Rejoice that God is in the midst of your Marriage.
To those raising children:
Teach your children what is good, what is holy. Teach them about God, about His awesome, His unchanging character, His extravagant love and sacrifice. Then, show them. Be purposeful as you discipline, gently correcting as the Lord does for you. Use wisdom as you provide, as you counsel, as you are generous, as you teach them truth, as you love your husband or your wife sacrificially, as you take joy in one another, and as you pray in times of plenty and in your distress.
To those who are single:
Lead a life of purity. If Marriage is in your future, await your spouse. If you are not looking toward Marriage, take joy and comfort in the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly. Demonstrate to all that your sexuality does not define your identity, but the foundation of belonging to Jesus Christ directs your will and desires.
Rejoice! Give thanks to God that you live at such a time as this (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Know that God is working all things to the good of those who love Him. And you have been invited as His fellow worker to bring many in to celebrate at the family gathering of the Lord. No announcement, no declaration from any earthly authority can change the need that the hurting and the hungry have for Jesus. Each person in our community, our nation, our world is seeking relationship, identity, and significance. And these are all found in Jesus. Invite them to come and see where they can find rivers of water for their thirsty souls. Then, show them. Pour out the love that you have received and tell others why you are able to do this without draining yourself dry. Live such good lives that no one find fault, and God be glorified (1 Peter 2:12).
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