This is a guest post from Mark Mattar - a proud husband and father. Mark is finishing up his last semester in the Family Ministry Program with the Southern US Coptic Diocese. He volunteers as part of the Connection Team and the Marriage Mentoring Program at St. Timothy & St. Athanasius church in Arlington, VA. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
On June 25, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court made two historic decisions on gay marriage. First, it ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it denies benefits to same-sex couples. Second, it denied an appeal to a federal court ruling that struck down California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
These decisions on gay marriages are causing many heated emotions to surface. There’s some who are joyful, some apathetic and some furiously angry at this defeat. Is this a call to surrender all our unconditional love for others or is this a wake-up call for introspection? I’m not writing to discuss the details of this ruling or to talk about all the intricacies of how someone becomes homosexual. I would like to present an opportunity to you.
But first, we have to agree that we are all sinners.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8).
This is a simple fact and we are made liars if we deny this. Each one of us has his or her own challenge or struggle as we try to hone in on our relationship with Christ. We were each born with certain predispositions and these were either supported or discouraged by the actions of our parents (or parent). Some of us lean toward alcoholism, while some to pornography, while some to “innocent” gossip or self-righteousness. Whatever our idol may be, we’re all in this boat together.
But the good news is that Jesus came as a physician for the sick, not the healthy (check your Bible, it’s in there). He is our only example of true unconditional love. We cannot experience God’s pure love in our lives unless we learn to love those around us who are the most challenging to love. We do this while holding on to our grounded beliefs in what is right and wrong.
We know that God designed the institute of marriage in a specific manner (check your Bible again). Any deviation from this plan is sin, period. We are neither called to passively accept any deviation from God’s plan, nor are we to distance ourselves or berate our brothers and sisters who happened to fall into different snares than we do.
As our friends from FamilyLife® put it, “we need to balance truth with love and compassion.”
Now is the time, if ever, to call on men to lead their families in love as we mirror Christ’s image. Our communities need to see what wholesome marriages look like, and it starts in our own homes.
For more information on the FamilyLife® program, “Marriage Undefended," click HERE.