How the same-sex marriage verdict can change YOUR marriage

How the same-sex marriage verdict can change YOUR marriage June 26, 2015

rainbow white house

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an historic ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all American states and jurisdictions. The White House was lit in rainbow colors following an official statement announcing a new chapter had begun in our nation.

There has been (and will continue to be) fierce debate around issues related to same-sex marriage. Whether you are thrilled with the verdict or you’re disappointed by it, one thing we can all agree on is that today marks a defining moment for how our culture views the institution of marriage.

As a pastor and as the Founder of The Facebook Marriage Page, I’m asked all the time what my views are on same-sex marriage. I’ve already written My beliefs about gay marriage (which you can read by clicking here), but instead of adding more of my commentary to the debate with this particular post, I’d like to do something more constructive. I’d like to talk about YOUR marriage (and mine).

When it comes to marriage, I should more concerned with what’s happening in MY house than what’s happening in the White House. I think we might be putting too much emphasis on court rulings about marriage and not enough emphasis on our own marriages.

When I stand before my Savior one day to give an account for my life, I don’t think His first question will be, “So, why didn’t you get more involved in the whole gay marriage debate?” But, I’m pretty sure He will want to know, “Did you love your wife the way that I love my church?” 

 

So, here’s my challenge for us (it’s pretty simple)…

What if we took all the energy we’re tempted to spend debating, condemning or celebrating the verdict, and used this moment instead to bring a time of renewal and rebirth in our own marriages.

God created the rainbow (it wasn’t created by the LGBT community or anyone else). It was created to be a symbol of renewal and rebirth, so let’s use this moment not to focus on all that is wrong with our society, but rather, let’s focus on what could be renewed and made stronger within our own marriages. That’s a cause worthy of our best efforts!

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have spirited discussions and debates around these and other social issues; I’m simply suggesting that the most practical approach you and I can take always starts in our own homes. If we truly believe in the holy sacredness of marriage, let’s live it our in our own marriages.

For some practical ways to help you begin a new era of renewal in your marriage, check out our free 7-Day Marriage Challenge (by clicking here).

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Seola

    The problem is that seeking to fulfill our own marriages is often brought into this conversation. The short answer to the question of “How will this impact my marriage?” is “It doesn’t”. Only YOU can own the sanctity of your marriage and it’s (and your) relationship with God. I’ve read your views and don’t necessarily agree with them in the WHY but much of your advice is very powerful. Marriage wasn’t created by the Bible, we have historical evidence of this predating the Bible by centuries, nor does it even stipulate monogamy. Many men in the Bible were specifically polygamous or in the case of Rebecca, a small girl was chosen by Abraham himself to be bound to Isaac. Of course, that would NEVER happen today (rightfully so). I can’t imagine any Christian agreeing with giving a very young girl as a wife to a nearly grandfather-aged man as a wife. I believe in monogamy as the right choice for me and my husband, but it’s certainly not a Biblical belief. The Bible clearly states several grounds for a husband to either take another wife, a mistress or cheating if the wife isn’t up to his snuff. It is only “new” versions that have quite literally replaced words to change to husband and wife/man and woman or to add words that didn’t exist in the Scriptures. Actual translations and the vast majority of even the KJV do not have these specifics or in some cases, the directive at all – so at the very least, in the teachings of monogamy and homosexuality, those views have changed from the Bible to fit modern society suggestions, and not the Bible itself.

    One of the oft-cited passages of Mark 10 states “and two will become one”, but it never states ONLY two will become one but rather in the bonds of companionship, that they are one. In Leviticus (where the homosexual passages are often cited from) there is a ban only on taking a woman’s SISTER as a second wife, not a second wife as a whole. There was a specific command on who was off-limits in polygamy. In the surrounding passages to the “not with man as with woman” section, of who in the family was off-limits as it would be incest. Why list all the cases where it is not acceptable, if there weren’t cases where it was?

    In fact, the Bible has more passages *against* the wedding ring than it does “against” homosexuality (studied Biblical scholars add historical context to the passages – as they should since we obviously no longer kill or maim each other as punishments taken from the Bible). Obviously, in modern Christianity, the wedding ring is a very strong symbol – often times even blessed – to a marriage. Ironically, most Christians also don’t heed the next passages in not eating from their gardens, then donating it’s 4th crop to the church before they can finally take the harvest for themselves in the 5th go-round.

    My point in pointing out the above is that we must look to the good parts of the Bible to direct us in our relationships and our marriages, but condemning others for not adhering to marriage rules of the Bible is inhumane. Even across the teachings found here that are plentiful and helpful – they directly contradict the Bible because Christians being of sound mind have advanced in how we view our spouses. That treatment can cause conflict in marriage itself. As women, as nurturers, as mothers and sisters, we see love with a special eye that only a woman can hold. That love is recognized even by many of the most Christian women between the of the same sex. When a hetero-couple (of any Christian denomination) is in disagreement, it can cause strife. If we allow others to decide the strength of our marriages, then we are not confident enough in our own. We cannot pick and choose to condemn other marriages, as reasons to strengthen or justify our own. If we are married before God, to only each other, then these social changes should mean absolutely nothing. To decry that a marriage before God is weakened by a sanctioning of a government contract is to say the words you spoke before God and to Him in the ceremony to celebrate are hollow. It is to remove the power from Him, and take it upon yourself and I think we can all agree that none of us has God’s power or His Judgment.

    It is by accepting that our marriage is between us and God, that our marriage can stand on it’s own, before Him.

  • Beth White

    Thank you so much for such a well written article. You are right, while it can be overwhelming to some of us that this is what our country is now going to accept, it is more important that we focus on how our own marriage is progressing. I have been married to the only man I have ever loved for 25 years. He loves me as Christ loved the church and I adore him more than anything. I will continue to keep focused on my marriage and while I am not thrilled at the direction our country and the leadership is going, I realize that we all must look within ourselves to see how WE are doing, not how others are doing. Thank you for reminder this morning and God bless.

  • Beth White

    He’s not saying that gay marriage will affect our own personal marriage, he is saying it’s time for everyone to focus on their own lives and their own marriages and even if you aren’t “for” gay marriage, this new act can make everyone take the time to look closer at their own relationships. It’s a good message, it encourages people to quit looking at what they possibly feel is wrong with the world, but look within ourselves to makes sure we are doing what we need to do to make our own world better.

  • retrogeegee

    This is the kind of response I would like to make and I congratulate Seola for having the patience to write out all the emphases that some people put on some parts of scripture while ignoring other parts that are quite close by in their context.

  • Freethinker02

    Polygamy is coming. There’s no stopping it. In fact, with “consenting” and “adult” as the only criteria for affirming sexual behavior, there’s no logical reason to oppose it. Anyone who does is bigoted.

  • Lori Anne James

    From the other side of the whole debate about Marriage Equality, I wish to say thank you for your sincere words about family. I also agree with he way Seola has phrased her comments here. It is refreshing to see that some Christians get it, even if they don’t always. It gives me pleasure to see that although I’ve turned my way down a different spiritual path, yes, I’m one of those pagan heathens, I can still look back with some love towards others that divert from mine. So, thank you, and those that wish to pray for me, that is fine, I accept in the spirit given. Blessed Be, and it harm none, do as ye will.

  • Jeremy Hofer

    This is advice I wish the Christian community would have taken when this whole debate started. Instead Christians have come across as judgmental and even hateful toward others who are just wishing to have the same rights to marriage in their homes as we have in ours. Let’s start practicing this lesson and be more concerned with our own marriages than what goes on in other homes… Remember ‘We see through a glass darkly’ and should not be so quick to judge.

  • One word – AMEN!!

  • agadofive.leti

    The rainbow is God’s promise that he would not destroy the world by flood. Gen 9:12-14.

  • Luke Bogash

    Yeah…and the LOGICAL conclusion is that bestiality has to follow.

    Believe it or not, gays also fall in love in one person.

  • Iowa10

    Good advice, but we have to also work for the society that will
    not work against God’s plan. Too often, we talk about our feelings or someone else’s feelings while forgetting how much we ignore and mock God. Church services and music now are more focused on us than on giving thanks to and worshipping God. We have the rest of the week to backslap each other and worship ourselves.Give God at least that one hour a week, and respect His wishes–not our desires that run counter to His. You can–and should–have a great home life, but if you ignore your deteriorating neighborhood, that neighborhood will overtake you. Love your neighbor, so also love your neighborhood by caring for it.

  • anomaly

    This

  • anomaly

    The reason banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional is because it discriminated based on sex. That’s a constitutionally protected class. The government cannot discriminate against a person based on certain characteristics like race, sex, ethnicity..
    So I don’t see how polygamy falls under the same rule? Unless it was legal for a man to have multiple wives but not legal for a woman to have multiple husbands, because then that would be discriminating due to the person’s sex, this polygamy argument you’re trying to make doesn’t work.
    Yes consenting and adult is the requirement for affirming sexual behavior and that is already legally recognized. As a married couple who are swingers can have sex with multiple people and that is not against the law. People are free to engage in all the sex they want with as many consenting adults as they want, and that was the case even before same sex marriage was legally recognized by the law in all 50 states.

  • Robert Ivey

    Actual Christians have no issue with gay marriage its only the fake Christians who failed basic bible study that have issue with Gay Marriage. They forget the whole “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” “Judge not lest ye be judged.” “Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.”

    The core values of Christianity are love, acceptance and tolerance anyone who claims otherwise isn’t Christian at all..

  • JanetS

    Basic Bible study would make it obvious that God never condones sin. He never celebrates the normalizing of sinful behavior. His followers are to love everyone, but condoning and celebrating ANY sinful behavior is not part of loving. Jesus certainly didn’t. Even friends don’t let friends drive drunk! Also in basic Bible study, a person would find that the whole of the Bible is a love story between our Creator and His creation and the plan of redemption to restore that relationship. Jesus died to set us free from our fleshly urges and sins. We’re to lay them at the foot of the cross and allow the Holy Spirit to change and purify our lives so that we live for HIM and not for our own lusts – to whatever or to whomever they be directed. That is basic Bible study. He also says that judgement will begin in the house of God, so those who have a Bible and say they follow it better understand what it really says.

    The core values of Christianity are God is God, we are sinners. God paid the price to save us from our sin. Jesus died, but then was raised powerfully to new life. Receive His payment for our debt in order to be set free to a new life of service to Him (not in the pursuit of our own self-interests). Love others and point them to God to find peace and reconciliation for eternity with Him. He promises to give people the desires of their hearts – which is found when one’s heart is rightly aligned with His.

  • JanetS

    Your understanding of scripture is very misguided and I just want to warn you in love. For one, how can any historical evidence predate the Bible since the Bible begins with “In the beginning”? Secondly, I recall no legitimate reasons in the Bible God gave for taking several wives. Can you give me an example? Even divorce was only granted by Moses because of man’s hardness against doing the right thing. Jesus made provision for adultery, but that even included just looking, not even acting upon our sinful thoughts! Everyone is included in God’s definition of sinner.

    Where did you get the idea that Isaac is a grandfatherly age and Rebecca is a young child? She’s carrying heavy water jugs and offering to water the servants animals. Either someone is teaching you the scriptures with a skewed agenda, or the version you are using is not authorized by translators who know the cultures of which they are translating.

    As for Mark 10, let’s look at the passage in context from the NASB: 2Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. 3And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6“But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. 7“FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, 8AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

    This passage makes it clear that we are talking about a man and a woman, God made male and a female, and that God is joining them together in one flesh. You mention companionship. Where is that interpreted here?

    Finally for now (because there are so many misunderstandings to discuss) where does the Bible say anything against the ring? You need to qualify your statements with verses in context and enter into dialog if you are indeed interested in understanding what God teaches in the Bible, making right decisions based on the original Greek and Hebrew languages it was written in, and within the context of those times.

  • JanetS

    I find it fascinating that God created the rainbow as a promise that He will never again judge and destroy the earth by flood waters (not as a symbol for renewal and rebirth). He also provided a Savior Who died to set us free from our sins – it cost Jesus His life to pay our debt and give us a new life! Now we have a group of people using the same symbol to mark their celebration of sinful behavior, turning their backs on God’s gift of forgiveness and real rebirth! I wonder which side will win in the end? I am making an observation. I do not condone sin, of which hate is one of many.

  • JanetS

    Here’s a great understanding a Christian’s place to judge (remove spaces): isawthelightministries . com/ judgenot. html

  • JanetS

    Seola doesn’t know her Bible. Make sure you know what you’re really agreeing with. Just sayin…

  • Robert Ivey

    So why did God not Smite David, Saul and Jonathon when they were having Gay sex with each other in the Old Testament? I really want to know why Saul could have sex with David and neither of them were punished for it. Please explain.

    Actually the cardinal commandment Jesus gave was Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or in other words treat people like how you want to be treated. So the question becomes how Christian is it to treat people poorly based on the sins they commit? Keep in mind Jesus also makes a pretty strong case for not condemning people for thier sins with his whole let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    I think you need to study your Bible some more and revise your understanding of what it is to be Christian.

  • Robert Ivey

    The question isn’t does Seola know her Bible the question is do you know yours? Let me give you a hint Your body is your temple does not in fact refer to keeping your body pure.

  • JanetS

    Hi Robert. Would you please give the Bible verse references to these homosexual activities you allude to? I do not think they exist, but if you’ll share what you’re reading then I can look them up in the Hebrew and get back to you.

    Perhaps you’re thinking of Jesus’ Greatest Commandment, which is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. I don’t see where I’ve said anything that could be interpreted as “treating people poorly”. Is it treating your friend poorly to take his car keys away after a drunken binge?

    A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ – completely grateful for the new life that has been received after the old life (of worldly, fleshly sinning, only concerned for one’s own happiness and satisfaction) has been crucified with Christ on the cross. All of the early followers of Jesus were killed for their devotion to God rather than their friendship with the world’s ways. Maybe your definition is something of your own thinking? Jesus was anything but sweet and kind to all He knew. He certainly didn’t celebrate sinful behavior, but instead warned people of the wrath of God to come and urged them to find their best lives in living submitted to Him in devoted service, love and humility. Yes, He definitely cautioned the legalistic priests from casting the first stone when it came to defining actions pleasing to God, and He equally told the adulterous woman in the same scene to, “Go and sin no more”.

    I hope my explanations help you understand what the Bible really says in context. It doesn’t say what you want it to say and for that you have to talk to God about it and decide if you love Him enough to bow to His will for your life, knowing that He is loving and has your BEST life planned for you in advance.

  • JanetS

    If you’re referring to the fact that the “your” in that verse is plural you’d be correct. My former church had that phrase and the next one engraved in the front of the sanctuary. It means the church body as a whole (worldwide) is the temple of God and we’re to be set apart (which means HOLY) in order to serve Him with devotion, of which purity in each member, everyone who follows Jesus, would be expected and/or assumed.

  • JanetS

    Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You so much for this forum where we can share our hearts and thoughts with each other in love. I thank You for Lori’s honesty in how she is living her life now, and also for her open invitation to accepting prayer. I do lift her up to You and ask that You would surround her with Your perfect and fulfilling love. I pray that she would FEEL Your love and SEE your love all around her until she cannot deny that You are who You say You are, and that she has to confront the decisions she is making in her life to either live for herself or to join the most exciting life imaginable in living wholeheartedly in gratitude to You for sending Jesus to die for our sins, to cleanse us of all unrighteous living and to grant us the power of the Holy Spirit to live lives that please You and bring You the glory You deserve. We know Jesus is coming back and desires a bride (all Christian believers) of incredible strength and beauty and integrity and purity and holiness. I pray that Lori will be there for that great day as you’ve given me great love and compassion for her as I’ve prayed this prayer. It’s Your kindness, Lord, that leads people to repentance. I pray that Your kindness would be seen all over her life in these coming weeks and months and years. I pray in Jesus’ name, the Lamb of the world, slain for the sins of each one of us. To Him be all glory and honor and power now and forever more. To our King and to Your Kingdom to come to earth which we watch and wait expectantly for. May we all be ready. Amen.

  • Dizzyl3mon

    You defy your own logic. We are to love and accept. God is the one to judge, not you. So let those people live their lives and have peace.

  • Dizzyl3mon

    What do you mean its coming? It was already here. Mormons *cough-cough*

  • JanetS

    “Warning” is part of loving. If someone feels judged it’s not by me. I am a sinner, just like you and everyone else. Some might be feeling conviction by the Holy Spirit to submit their lives to God, or they might be using “you are judging me!” as a deflection defense to avoid dealing with their life’s choices. It is God’s kindness that leads to repentance and I am being kind, just as you would be if I was drunk and you took away my car keys. That is not judging incorrectly — that is judging with wisdom, humility and sound judgment, which is what the Bible says we ARE to do (if you read the whole passage in context). There is nothing in scripture I’ve ever read that says we’re to accept (much less celebrate) sinful behavior. Love, yes, absolutely, but not care enough to warn of God’s coming judgement? Allowing/Accepting sinful behavior into your life and home and community? No way – Jesus did a lot warning and calling us to be holy (set apart from the world’s ways) as He showed people how to walk God’s way, such as “Go and sin no more”. If He said it then it is possible, by the power of a changed life, allowing the Holy Spirit to reside in each one of us.