The Supreme Court has declared that gay marriage is now the law of the land. As a sign of postmodern politics, this new law was not voted upon by the people (in fact, where the people had a choice, they overwhelmingly rejected the legality of gay marriage), nor was it enacted by the peoples’ representatives in Congress.
While there has been discussion of protecting the church’s religious beliefs, there has been little discussion of the protection of the individual’s rights or of the family’s rights. Families are going to have to navigate some interesting territory in the coming years. Let me give you some suggestions.
First, the family was God’s first institution, created before the fall of Adam. It is not a Western invention or a concept invented by the Jews or the early church. The family is as old as humanity. This gives us confidence that we are on the right side of history!
Second, because we live in a culture that argues that anything someone thinks is true must be accepted as true, parents need to teach their children the reality of absolutes. I am not necessarily restricting us to Biblical absolutes here. God, who is absolute, created a universe that has absolute laws that cannot be violated. No matter what someone’s philosophy or belief states, there are some things that just are not going to change. Step off your home’s roof without a ladder, and you will fall. No matter how fervently a child believes in the truth of his Superman cape, he will fall. Stop eating and your body will begin to shut down. You can declare yourself to be a fish and hold fervently to that belief, but you can still stay under water for only so long. Our children need to learn that God has created a universe filled with absolute truth to demonstrate that He is an absolute God. Therefore, when He makes a declaration in Scripture (functioning then as the Lawgiver for the universe), we have only two choices – believe and obey or disbelieve and disobey. Now, I understand that in some places in Scripture there are hermeneutical issues at stake, but God’s definition of marriage, given early in Genesis and repeated throughout Scripture, is clearly the union of one man and one woman. Any sexual activity (or even the desire for sexual activity) outside of this definition is deemed by God as sin. This definition is absolute. Since God is the absolute Lawgiver, we have no right to rewrite God’s commands or expectations.
Third, I would encourage parents who are sending their children to public schools to consider a Christian school or a home school. The gay movement won the legal battle, but they understand that they have not won the hearts and minds of America. If they had, the state and federal legislators would have passed laws making gay marriage legal. They chose instead to force gay marriage upon the nation. That means, then, that they are not done with their agenda. To gain full acceptance in society, the gay marriage must be shown to be a normal part of human life. Gay marriage will become a part of the curriculum of every secular school in the country. Story books in the elementary grades will have to show two fathers or two mothers (or, to be politically correct, I guess, two parents) doing family activities. History books will have to promote the homosexuals (and we will probably find that at least some historians will castigate the straight “heroes” of the past as they do now with the “white” heroes or “Christian” heroes of the past). Students will be taught safe gay sex alongside safe straight sex in the public schools. Gay marriage will be required to be demonstrated as a normal part of American life.
Fourth, we need to teach our children to stand up for their beliefs. When the Supreme Court declared that abortion was legal, the abortionists thought they had won the battle. Now, however, decades later, the abortion battle is still being waged. The marriage battle, I suggest, is only beginning. Because something is legal does not mean it is moral, and Christians are more interested in the moral than the legal. Political liberals want nothing more than to marginalize Christianity and restrict our freedom of religion to the four walls of our homes and churches, and Christian families should do everything possible to disappoint them!
Finally, Christian families, real Bible-believing families, need to be part of a true Bible-believing church. Numerous evangelical churches are going to bow to the gay community (see, for instance, http://goo.gl/mMdyZ3 or http://goo.gl/MXyfE3 ). The fellowship, encouragement, support, and assistance provided to the family in a good church can be invaluable in standing for the truth, for properly understanding the teaching of Scripture, and in raising our children to be lights in a darkening nation.
When England was at one of its lowest spiritual points, God use two brothers to change the nation. John and Charles Wesley were raised by parents who sought to teach their children truth. I do not agree with all of the Wesley’s theology, but these men and others were used by God to bring a revival that changed England for decades. May God give us godly families to stand for truth. We do this, however, not by attacking individuals with whom we disagree, but by being gracious and compassionate toward them. When the Bible says that God loves the world, it does not mean that God loves the straight world (or any other segment of the world). Christ’s death on the cross and God’s gracious offer of salvation are universal. Jesus came into this world to save sinners. When a prostitute came to Jesus, He did not condemn her; He saved her. If we are to follow the example of Christ, then our families, including our children, must love the lost and be gracious and kind to them, but at the same time share the truth of God’s judgment on those who reject His truth and of God’s free gift for the sinner.