We all saw the onslaught of social media outlets explode as soon as the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was overthrown. The comments on my social media feeds ranged from outrage, sadness to absolute delight…many declaring the ruling a victory for Love.
This left me wondering a few things? How I should respond to this recent ruling? Does my belief that marriage should only be between a man and a women, mean that I don’t believe in love? I was pretty sure that I believed in Love: I believe in the importance of sending cheesy Hallmark cards and buying sweet surprise gifts for others. I believe in bringing dinner to people who are sick or just had babies. I give lots and lots of hugs and smiles to people around me, I intentionally listen to people and ask questions of people to show my genuine care in others….and I am head over heals, butterflies in stomach with just one glance, over the moon in love with the most handsome man in the world, Rene!
Then I realized it all depends on your definition of love. What kind of love are we really talking about?
The best place to go when we are searching for answers to questions that can seem complex, overwhelming and punctured with political agendas and raw nerves is God’s Word.
What is Love? 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
So the question really becomes Who is Love? God.
How can we experience true, authentic love that shapes and inhabits every fiber of our being?
1 John 4: 9-10 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
When I talk to God about how to respond to rulings that favor same sex marriage He always tells me to love. The only way I can express that love is through knowing God and His Son Jesus – by encountering and walking with Him throughout my everyday life.
I would welcome your comments below about how you feel like we can respond in love even when we don’t agree!!!!!!!
Here are a few of my thoughts:
Recognize the heart issue: We have all been created with a longing and a need for intimacy, connection and community with God and one another, we are also made to be in covenantal relationship with God and for most in a marriage relationship. This is a right and true need.
Yet, we live in a broken world. People are hurting and people are not perfect (and I am talking about myself just as much as anyone!) We are human and we are sinners and so people look to fill this need in a variety of ways that are destructive. One of these destructive ways is through homosexual relationships. It is not easy to write or say these words to people that are longing for an intimate covenantal relationship, because I understand that desire to be covenanted with another. It is a Holy and deep desire and I honor it. However, we must look to the giver of our desire and longings and ask Him how to rightly fulfill those.
(As I mentioned earlier, I believe that marriage should be between one man and one women. I don’t feel that the specific purpose of this post is to go through every scripture explaining why I have this belief, but if you are interested in understanding more about the Biblical context of what I am saying this is an excellent article. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/social-issues/progay-revisionist-theology/talking-points.aspx)
Keep the Main thing, the Main thing: Jesus was tortured and ridiculed. He endured the unspeakable shame of death on a cross, a death that was reserved for the worst criminals. This happened to Him only a few days after being thrown a parade in His honor and being heralded a King. Yet even in the midst of His unimaginable physical and emotional pain, Jesus looked around Him and found the one that needed His truth, and the one whose heart was soft to hear it.
Luke 23: 39-43
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
You are a person of influence, if you are a follower of Jesus than I encourage you to look around you. Who has God put in your classroom, neighborhood, workplace, community, or social media world that needs to know Jesus Christ?
We have to share about Him. We have to be connected to Him DAILY to share about Him most effectively. Only Jesus can change people’s hearts and set them free. When we share about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus we provide the ONLY WAY people can have their deepest heart longings met.
Our Words: Our words are powerful and can have a lasting impact beyond what we sometimes realize. When we use words, tell jokes or watch you tube videos that degrade and mock other people’s lifestyles or beliefs or enter into arguments using vocabulary laced with hatred and disdain – we destroy our trust with that person and we are NOT showing the love of God.
I love the example Paul gives us throughout the New Testament when He writes, often STRONG WORDS of correction to the new churches that he is shepherding. Paul shares hard truth but he shares with words of complete affection.
1 Corinthians 4:14: I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.
Galations 4:8-11, 19-20: Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[d]? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? (….)My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Paul loves the church as a passionate yet gentle Father. He believes so much in them and everything that God has for them that He declares He is “perplexed” – not bitter or angry – but overwhelmed with the care and concern He has for them to know the Truth.
I want to be like Paul – unashamed to speak truth, yet for my heart to be so in tune with the love of our Father God, that my concern is expressed as a desperately loving parent who wants only life for another.
Your Marriage or Future Marriage: The way that you love and communicate with your spouse matters. The commitment you keep in your heart to stay together even in hard times, even if you don’t “feel in love” anymore matters. Letting unmarried people into your life and home to see what a marriage that is a reflection of Christ’s love for His bride matters. It matters because divorce, abuse, addiction, absent parents, co-habitating couples, and the legalization of same sex marriage is leaving few homes where you can find healthy marriages. Fight for your marriage to thrive, pray for your spouse, ask them how you can love them better (and do it), forgive quickly and ask forgiveness even more quickly.
Pray: Your prayer matters. We are all called to respond to the same sex marriage issue in different ways. Some will run for office or tackle the legal aspects of the DOMA case, some will show the love of Jesus their classmate and some will develop an even healthier marriage that changes a childs and many children’s view on healthy marriage. But if you are a follower of Jesus, you need to pray, regardless of the other roles you play (2 Chron 7:14) Prayer is simply a partnership with God where we learn to hear His heart and then ask for it and often declare it.
If you are interested here are few great posts about how to respond as Christians to the DOMA ruling.
I welcome your comments below as we navigate through a tender issue. As always, I ask that although this topic can bring up very strong opinions and emotions to please leave comments that are respectful and kind. Any comments that are not, will not be posted.