Proposition 8: Look what a mess Christians have made of marriage [God Talk]

Look what a mess we’ve made
We’ve got ourselves to blame
Look what a bomb we’ve made of love

“Ammunition” by Switchfoot

As the pundits gear up for the public relations battle to “protect” marriage, I can’t help but wonder if Christians bear some (most) of the blame for the confusion around what marriage is, why it exists, and who it exists for.

For the last 60 years (roughly), American Christians have made marriage all about them, instead of submitting their marriages to the lordship of Jesus. The message: Jesus would rather be an inspirational figurehead than a living, active member of your family.

In the last 40 years (again, roughly), divorce rates have soared, with Christians keeping pace with non-Christians in the number of unions dissolved. The message: many marriages are doomed to fail, and Jesus doesn’t have the power or desire to redeem them.

During the AIDS epidemic of the Eighties, Christians had the chance to reach out to sick and dying people that lived a homosexual lifestyle. Instead, we segregated ourselves with stereotypes and taboos. The message: there are some people that Jesus and his disciples are unwilling to love.

We’d love nothing more than to blame the godless heathens, or the turncoat politicians, or liberal media, or secular society for attacking the institutions of marriage and the family. Let’s be honest with ourselves before we throw stones and temper tantrums. Have we really honored marriage as a gift worth protecting?

If we turn off the news commentaries and the talk shows and the blogs, and I think we’ll hear Jesus calling Christians back to humility and obedience.
  • Jesus wants to call the shots in our daily thoughts, words and actions.
  • Jesus wants to be the lord of our churches, and he wants our churches to be models for healthy marriages.
  • Jesus wants to call the shots in our marriages. He wants to express himself through our marriages.
  • Jesus wants husbands and wives to lay down their “rights” in marriage and serve each other in gratitude and humility.
  • Jesus wants husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.
  • Jesus wants wives to respect their husbands.
I’m sure there will be a time when Christians need to express their opinions of same-sex marriage in public debate. When that time comes, let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. In the meantime, let’s live as receivers of a great gift, rather than guardians of an exclusive right.