God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. (Galatians 5:22-23)The real enemy of marriage is our pervasive failure to engage/practice/value/honor our primary relationships from the context of faith, and of placing God at the epicenter of our lives.
ack in the 60′s and the 70′s, the so-called “Free Love” movement, and the “Sexual Revolution” were often discussed as a way of freeing human sexuality from prudish and restrictive mores that built a puritanical wall around the subject. The mantra was, essentially, “Too many rules are unhealthy, so ‘anything goes‘ must necessarily lead to freedom, and better relationships, and peace, and happiness.”
History, of course, tells us that “Free Love” didn’t exactly deliver as advertised! History also tells us that this is not a new conversation. Listen to the following words from C.S. Lewis, written in the early 1940′s:
They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last 20 years it has not been hushed up. It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still in a mess. If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it straight… (Mere Christianity)
I love the phrase, “ventilation would have set it straight.” Well, by the year 2013, the subject has been well and truly ventilated, along with visual aids to sear every conceivable image into our consciousness. Yet the evidence suggests that the world of human sexuality is as dysfunctional today as it ever was, if not much, much more.
BACKLASH: Some have reacted with a backlash against anyone, or any practice, outside their own, narrowly defined, norms. However, rather than help, such responses serve to exacerbate polarization and come across as defensive rather than productive. Too many churches, for example, consistently and loudly trumpet what they are against with more conviction than sharing the good news about what they are for.
Enter the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA, 1996), the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by states. To me it has stood as another classic example of backlash, of trying to blame what’s wrong with sexuality in America by pointing away from ourselves (and the sickness of the majority), and by shifting the focus of attention anywhere other than the root problems that compromise all relationships.
MARRIAGE IS UNDER ATTACK! Yes, marriage in America is under attack, that’s for sure; but it’s not gay marriage that’s the problem, and it’s not an open conversation about sex. The real enemy of marriage is our pervasive failure to engage/practice/value/honor our primary relationships from the context of faith, and of placing God at the epicenter of our lives.
The malfunction resides in our failure to love one-another with a mutually self-sacrificial love. Marriage in America is under attack inasmuch as men and women (many of whom fly the flag of “Christian”) relate to one-another absent the principles outlined in Galatians 5:22-23: “God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.”
So you say you want marriages to be strong, and you want sexuality in America to experience healing? Then start in your own home, renew your commitment to represent the self-giving love of God in every relationship, and tell the truth about the Gospel of Love, simply and eloquently via the way that you live.