Category: Gay Marriage

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Complementarity and Gender Clarity

Wholeness in marriage requires two distinct parts, or complements. Maleness and femaleness define marriage; the two together create its essence.

That is more than a practical means to procreation. Before babies, the duality of male and female creates the basis for authentic awareness of who one is as ‘the other’.

Adam and Eve are alike in that both bear the Creator’s image. She was taken from his side and then returns to him, bearing her humanity in distinction from his own. Her very difference from him has power to mirror back who he is as male. In his reflection, she too becomes aware of her difference.

There can be no maleness without femaleness, and vice-versa. Gender would be stripped of its meaning without the reality of gender difference. We simply would have no awareness of our own essence as male or female without the dance of difference we experience in relation to the opposite gender.

That awareness operates on two levels. The first is realizing what we are not. Image-bearing is humbling. And it reveals a mystery: the elusive and yet profound aspects of the other that we cannot fully understand because we do not possess those aspects in full.

We can only marvel at the difference. And recognize our need for the other. His/her awesome and at times perplexing otherness draws us into wholeness.

Similarly, as we reflect upon the difference, we become aware of the unique and essential gift that our own gender difference imparts to the whole. The presence of the other helps us to know what this gift is. On emotional, spiritual and physical levels, we become aware of our own essence as male or female.

May we recognize its essence and its import to rounding out the whole of God’s image. With increasing clarity and confidence, may we realize the good gift of our own gender to the other. And continue before both God and our fellow humanity to humbly recognize our need for the opposite gender.

Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo: “One learns so much from the constant comparing of the masculine figure from the feminine, which are always and in everything so totally different. It may be supremely difficult, but what would art and life be without them?”

Let us honor gender difference and the valuable role it plays in clarifying self-awareness and self-giving. Marriage requires gender difference. It is its very essence.
Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“God humble us and grant us confidence to be good gifts for the opposite gender.”

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Marriage is Male and Female

Gender matters in marriage. As we saw yesterday, the distinctly masculine and feminine dimensions of marriage reveal something about God to us, His very image revealed on the earth.

Let us explore this further. Marriage involves the joining together of two distinctive parts: male and female. Wholeness requires ‘otherness. The oneness of body, soul, and spirit that marriage embodies requires essential maleness and femaleness. There is no one-flesh union apart from the two genders becoming one.

Marriage is not just about friendship and intimacy. It is about the sexual merger of maleness and femaleness. Or according to the Judeo-Christian tradition, a sexual re-merger. My favorite author on the topic of homosexuality, Robert Gagnon, writes:

“The creation story in Gen. 2:18-24 illustrates this point beautifully. An original binary, or sexually undifferentiated, adam is split down the side to form two sexually differentiated persons. Marriage is pictured as the reunion of the two other halves, man and woman.

This is not an optional or minor feature of the story. Since the only difference created by the splitting is the creation of two distinct sexes, the only way to reconstitute the whole, on the level of sexual intimacy, is to bring together the split parts. A same-sex erotic relationship can never constitute a marriage because it will always lack the requisite sexual counterparts, or complements.”

Marriage is exclusively the domain of two becoming one. At core and in essence, that involves the joining of male and female. The comprehensive sharing of life in marriage is founded on bodily union. And that union, as we have seen, is made possible only by the sexual complementarity of man and woman.

I will explore that theme of wholeness in two halves further. Suffice to say, ‘gay’ marriage is a contradiction in terms. To seek to become one with the same gender undercuts the Creator’s unwavering intention for marriage. That involves ‘otherness’–male and female.

A wise-man said: “The corruption of society begins by a failure to call things by their proper names.” ‘Gay marriage’ is a fundamental contradiction in terms. To validate a misnomer is to contribute to the corruption of California.
Vote YES on 8. Honor Marriage for the Good of All.

“Help us see things as they are, O God. Raise up the foundational truth of how You see marriage. Open our eyes to the good of man for woman, woman for man.”

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The Greater Love Story

Marriage is pre-political. It did not originate in any one nation, under any one government. It was born in the heart of the Creator. He created humanity as male and female and described them together as manifesting His image upon the earth. God dared to represent Himself in the union of one man for one woman.

That is audacious! Knowing our propensity for misusing power in the name of love, God entrusted humanity to manifest who He is in how man honors woman, and how woman honors man. Marriage is the main and plain of that manifestation; it is the window on earth of something akin to God, the Creator Himself!

But creation is only the first part of how significant marriage is in the divine plan; redemption rounds out the powerful good of man for woman and woman for man.

Jesus describes Himself as the bridegroom who gave Himself up (His death on the cross) for His bride, the Church. He will come again in order to become one with her. In the meantime, He as the bridegroom is serving and loving us, His bride, in order to make us ready for His return. That return is the consummation of God’s plan of redemption that began on the cross.

Marriage matters: it conveys the essence of who God is, and how He is towards us, His people. Theologian Christopher West writes in The Love that Satisfies:

The Bible begins in Genesis with the marriage of the first man and woman, and ends in Revelation with another ‘marriage’: the union of Christ and the Church…The whole story of our salvation is contained between the love initiated by the bridegroom and the response of the bride…These nuptial bookends area key for interpreting all that lies between. (p.12)

In other words, marriage manifests God. Marriage supports and protects a whole union between a man and woman; that union is a window to God. As we shall see, marriage reveals something about Him. It makes known an aspect of His personhood.

How a man loves a woman in marriage helps us to understand how God wants to prepare us, His bride, for an increasingly pure, passionate relationship with Himself.

As a man initiates and loves a woman, and as a woman responds to that love, rounding out the whole, so does God seek to love us into wholeness.

Marriage is one key to knowing and honoring God. It reveals His plan for creation and redemption. California, vote YES on Prop. 8. Honor Marriage for the Good of All.

“Who can know Your mysteries, O God? Thank you for giving us marriage as one of the keys that helps us understand who You are, how You love, and what You plan for us.”

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Marriage: The Most Important Relationship on Earth

Every human being is deeply and persistently impacted by the relationship shared by his or her parents.

Most had parents who were married; the man and woman who created the child made a decision to not only join bodies but lives. Invoking both the authority of the state and God, most parents committed to a permanent and faithful relationship.

Marriage is the most influential and creative unit on earth; it is the building block of human civilization. One may be secondarily impacted by numerous institutions. None will leave its mark more profoundly than who father was for mother, and who mother was for father.

That’s why every culture recognizes marriage and elevates it over all other erotic unions. We are wise to do so. Marriage provides the best chance humanity has to provide the boundaries for men and women to create a stable and loving context for the fruit of their union—a child, the beginning of every human being on the planet.

Mike Mason writes in his excellent book The Mystery of Marriage:
“A good marriage is the closest thing on earth to the realization of a practical, enduring, and loving coexistence between people. It is a sign of love, patience, and forgiveness that is unknown in other spheres of life…Marriage is the test case, the leading edge of love in the world…Good marriage is the foundation of society.” (p. 86)

We honor every human being on the planet by fighting for marriage. That fight can occur on many fronts including the political. That means ensuring that the state and its laws do everything possible to recognize and support marriage. The state should protect marriage: it is the foundation of the family, the unit most responsible for producing solid citizens.

Marriage, defined universally and historically as one man for one woman, pledged to permanence and fidelity, is under fire. Gay activists and their sympathizers are seeking to make it their own. That alters the DNA of the most important relationship on earth. In shifting the boundary lines for holy matrimony, same-sex ‘marriage’ looses confusion and deception into the foundation of real marriage and thus into our civilization.

For the sake of everyone, let us make every effort to reclaim the powerful good of marriage. Yes, the institution is battered. Struck down by myriad opponents, including the California Supreme Court who in May legalized gay ‘marriage’, we who have ears to hear and eyes to see have an opportunity to defend her and honor her. We do so for the good of all. California, vote YES on Proposition 8. Honor Marriage for the Good of All.

“O God, give us sight. Show us Your vision for marriage. Free us for hindsight–the long view behind us of traditional marriage. Free us also for foresight–the millions yet to come who will be powerfully impacted by their experience of marriage.”

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Why Marriage?

Marriage is the most powerful and civilizing institution in the world. At its best, marriage possesses a unique authority to teach spouses to love, to channel their sexuality constructively, and then to love the fruit of that creativity (children) well. Marriage impacts everyone. For that impact to be as beneficial as possible, we can agree with the writer of Hebrews on behalf of all people when (s)he says: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.” (Heb. 13:4)

Many with same-sex attraction do not submit their desires as a problem to be solved but rather as a civil right to be asserted. That has manifested itself today in gays claiming marriage as their own. We must not concede this to them. Instead, we honor marriage and we honor gays by refusing to change the boundaries of marriage. Amid the many moral decisions all citizens face, we must remove the choice of ‘gay marriage’ by praying for Californian citizens to vote yes on Proposition 8.

Starting on September 26th I will be posting devotions and prayer topics on the subject.  I hope and pray that you will join me for these very important 40 days.

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