Keeping a firm grip on God’s ideal plan for marriage between one man and one woman can be difficult in these modern times. The forceful winds of political correctness are always pushing against this marvelous and enduring gift from our Creator. None of us likes being ridiculed and marginalized because of our beliefs. But Jesus told us that it would be that way (Matthew 5:11-12). Defending traditional marriage requires getting a firm grip on Truth and refusing to let go.
For the best advice and encouragement on doing this, I like to start with the wisdom found in the Scriptures. One of my favorite passages is 1 Peter 5:8-11 in The Message Bible. “Keep a cool head. Stay alert.The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
These verses provide the foundation upon which to build a solid position for a practical and effective defense of traditional marriage.
1. “Keep a cool head.”Maintaining a calm demeanor and thinking clearly when confronted about your belief in traditional marriage is key for God’s people today. People with opposing points of view will push you to think outside your comfort zone. Don’t get rattled with agitation. Respond radiantly by expanding the conversation to include God’s loving and compassionate wisdom for traditional marriage and why it’s the best plan for an enduring and satisfying marriage relationship.
2. “Stay alert.”Paying attention to unexpected opportunities to engage individuals in conversations about God’s ideal plan for marriage makes our daily lives more interesting and dynamic. Practicing alertness prepares us with a spontaneity that is both impactful and impressive. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you’ll be able to discern when you’re in a situation that is divinely orchestrated for you to speak about traditional marriage.
3. “Keep your guard up.”In Ephesians 6, Paul the Apostle reminds his readers that our adversary, the Devil, is firing flaming arrows at us, trying to accuse, mock, intimidate and discourage us from living fully and boldly for God. Investing time in prayer and Bible study is crucial to being aware of his harming influence over us and others. Let’s cultivate awareness of God’s presence to increase our ability to resist Satan’s attacks against us in our fight to defend traditional marriage.
4. “Keep a firm grip on the faith.”Sometimes when we’re around other people, we’re tempted to cater to their expectations—real or imagined. Our interest in winning their approval inhibits us from speaking truthfully about God’s ideal design for marriage, and we find ourselves floundering in unproductive conversation. When we resolve to stay true to God’s design and instruction, our courage is bolstered and the Holy Spirit brings awareness and understanding of how traditional marriage offers the greatest possible fulfillment.
As pastors and church leaders, we know Scripture teaches that true freedom and genuine fulfillment can be found only when we live in harmony with our design. The traditional family and marriage, as defined by our Creator, are among the few institutions that have stood the test of time and are still worth our utmost efforts to protect and defend.
With the heated marriage debates happening all around us, let’s all get into these conversations and lovingly, winsomely, graciously, but truthfully speak and live in defense of traditional marriage and the family. As Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. says, ”It begins with us.”
Okay, that’s it. Stay awesome in Christ. Good things are coming!