On April 28 of this year the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court will see whether marriage equality is a Constitutional right or not. It will determine whether states have the duty to conduct same-sex marriages and whether the states that ban equal marriage should accept same-sex marriages conducted in other states. Currently, there are 13 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee) that still prohibit same-sex marriages. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, all these 13 states will be obligated to conduct same-sex marriages.
Now, this issue that we are facing as a nation is not really cultural or political but religious, for it relates directly to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage. As a Christian, I uphold traditional marriage (a marriage between one man and one woman only). Scripture tells us that God ordained the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:18-25). As such, the idea of marriage did not come from man, but from God. And since marriage originated from God, only he has the right to define marriage. Ultimately, it is not the Supreme Court justices that should tell us what marriage is and what marriage is not. Since it is God who has ordained the institution of marriage, he alone has the right to set forth the meaning of marriage. The justices should therefore define marriage in God’s terms, not in their own terms.
God created marriage and he also provided a manual for its use. That manual is his Word. I once bought a small table for my printer. When I bought the table, it was not yet assembled. I had to assemble it with the help of the manual. But, I thought I would not need the manual because it looked easy to put the parts together. After I was done, the table did not turn out to be strong. It was shaky because I did not follow the manual. Similarly, many marriages today (whether homosexual or heterosexual) are shaky because husbands and wives do not follow God’s manual for marriage as revealed in the Scriptures. What does this manual tell us regarding marriage?
- Marriage is a union between one man and one woman only. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Marriage is a sacred union between a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve), not between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman. Marriage is never intended to be between two people of the same sex (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9).
- In marriage a husband must love his wife, as Christ loved the church; and a wife must submit to her husband, as the church submits to Christ (Eph. 5:22-25). When a husband does not show love to his wife, the wife will find it hard to respect him. Conversely, when a wife does not show respect to her husband, the husband will find it hard to love her. Thus, a marital problem starts when a husband and a wife stop doing their duties toward each other.
- Marriage serves as a picture of the glorious relationship between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31-32). As a husband and wife are united through marriage, so we are united to Christ through faith. We, Christians, are collectively the bride of Christ and Christ is our bridegroom. In the gospel, Jesus is in us and we are in him (1 John 4:13). Same-sex marriage fails to portray this sacred union between Christ and his bride. The relationship is between the bridegroom (male) and the bride (female), and not between two men, or two women, as same-sex marriage portrays.
- Marriage is not only intended for our happiness but for our holiness as well. God gave Eve to Adam not only to satisfy him but also to sanctify him. Sadly, some homosexual couples think that marriage is all about happiness. They say, “Well, what is important is that we love each other and that we are happy together.” My question is this: “How can you be truly happy when you live in sin, for homosexuality is a sin? How can you be actually happy when God is unhappy with the kind of relationship that you have?” It is when we honor God’s ordained order of marriage that we can really experience true happiness in holy matrimony. In his book Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas asks, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” Have you ever thought of that question?
In conclusion, I think same-sex marriage is a rejection of God’s ordained manual for Christian marriage. Now, if you are reading this article and you happen to be homosexual, please don’t think that I hate you. In fact, I wrote this article out of love for you. And I want you to know that you and I are both sinners (Rom. 3:23). I even dare to say with the Apostle Paul that I am the worst of all sinners (1 Tim 1:15). But our God, who is rich in mercy, saved me from the power and penalty of my sins. In Christ I become a new person, for God graciously forgave me and cleansed me from all my iniquities. Through faith in Christ, you too can be a changed person. Jesus Christ can set you free from the bonds of the sin of homosexuality. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Note: This post also appears on Christianity21st.com.