Your Response to Gay Marriage: Seething, Fearful or Soothed?

The Supreme Court released its long-awaited ruling on gay marriage Friday morning. By a vote of five to four it’s now legal in all fifty states. We are living through a tidal wave of cultural change. How do you respond?

Supreme court gay marriage

Maybe you are celebrating the news. Relieved that the issue will not need to be fought out state by state. Glad for your friends who are gay. Maybe you are working hard to show tolerance in this new social reality but, under the surface, are you seething? (Or maybe not under the surface…)

If you are angry, sort it out…why?

There’s this fine line between righteous indignation and anger over losing our cultural place of Christian authority and respect. If  we’re tempted toward anger over losing our place it’s good to remember John 11:47-48: “So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

The chief priests and Pharisees crucified Jesus in anger and fear over the threat of losing their place. So, if that’s our motive…


Are we fearful? Of what?

Of our kids being taught things in public school against our values? Of wedding photographers and caterers being run out of business with heavy state-imposed fines? Of Christian colleges losing their accreditation? All these things are already happening or, in the case of Gordon College in Massachusetts, being threatened.

Instead of dwelling on fearful thoughts we may need to pray about hard choices and sacrifices ahead.

Today is a good day to remember one of my favorite quotes by Dallas Willard: “This world is a perfectly safe place to be… as long as you’re in the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God, Willard went on to say, is where God’s rule holds sway.

Bird houses

These are not “pretty words,” as Willard would say. They are words of ultimate truth and grace. If God’s rule holds sway in our lives then this world full of brokenness, ISIS and spiraling debt is perfectly safe for us. Like the robin in the cherry tree in this painting, “Consider,” by Teresa Carter, taken from Matt 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

In the midst of darkness, in the midst of bird houses made of newspapers splashed with 2008 headlines of foreclosures and a tanking economy, nothing can penetrate God’s “protective hedge” around our lives except by God’s express permission (Psa 139:5). If he allows it to touch us, it is for our good. Your good. My good. We can take God at his word.

Maybe, like me, you’ve been praying and fasting and asking God to turn the hearts of the Justices to choose to honor his law. If so, then like me, maybe you are quite sad this week.  We’re in good company.Psalm 119:136-137 “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.”

We know that God’s law is righteous, whether people keep it or not. When they do not, then the Biblical response is grief.  “Streams of tears.” Great grief.

With a personal God the sadness is personal. God, you designed man and wife. You designed marriage. You called it good. It’s…beautiful. It lifts us up to your gates.

So it grieves me that the people you made are rejecting these good and beautiful gifts you have given them in favor of something against nature–against your good and beautiful design. 

I don’t have a verse or a bow to stick on the end of this. I am soothed by the safety of God’s Kingdom, but I’m also sad.

I suspect many of you will have different responses. But I am still very interested in what you are thinking and feeling. What are your thoughts?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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16 thoughts on “Your Response to Gay Marriage: Seething, Fearful or Soothed?

  1. If our enemy can get us to focus on sin instead of on the cross of Jesus which is the solution to that sin, he can keep us away from the Lover of our souls Who is able to give us the intimacy we all crave. All rejection of God’s best is rejection of Him, in my opinion, but it is also what He has clearly told us must happen before His return. SO, especially today I am calling out to Him to come quickly!!!!

    • That’s a great addition to the dialogue, Sara Sue. I can’t help but wonder what God is thinking tonight…and how he will respond.

  2. I cried yesterday when I first heard. while listening to Moody radio. I just prayed for God’s forgiveness and mercy on our country. I have friends, a niece and neighbors living in the gay lifestyle. I am loving to them, but we have never discussed it. They know where I stand.
    I rec’d an email from a friend, but haven’t opened it yet. We had worked together for years when she was married to a man. We have remained friends. but she has never brought up the conversation and I have never brought up the conversation.
    When she first emailed about her new marriage and how happy she was I replied with a newsy email and still did not mention it. That is my reason for not opening this new email. I want to respond but I don’t know how. She attended church with me on occasion. She is Catholic. but professes Christ.
    By the way, I began following you because I have all your books and listened to you and Rick on The Things That Matter Most.

    • Thank you for this from-the-heart response, Judith. (And for filling in the connection to TTTMM. I plan to put up more archives on this site.)

      I’m right there with with you. Seeing the White House lit up in rainbow colors on the news last night…’twas a v. sad moment for me. It’s not a power thing…Oh, we lost. It’s usually considered a sign of disrespect to celebrate while others are mourning. I don’t get the sense that our president remotely understands the hearts of so many of his people.

  3. Hi Lael:
    I appreciate your heart & your comments on this as the whole subject has presented a conundrum for me. I’ve long felt the community most rejoicing in this news* is a fertile field for the gospel; not if we singularly focus on sexual sin, but if sin itself is where we’re focused. Generally I believe everyone understands the adage “no one’s perfect” to be true.

    The Constitution is the law of the land, the Holy Spirit illuminates the Lord’s Word & guides believers. There are many, major things that are legal but not consistent with God’s Word.

    I was saved out of a world of sin (not sure if you know but I nearly went out the bottom with a needle in my arm). I wasn’t certain whether smoking marijuana was against God’s law or not but my brother told me a very wise thing: “Jim, you just accept Christ as your Savior. He’ll work with you on what He does & doesn’t want in your life through His Word & His Holy Spirit”**.

    I’m mostly relieve ‘it’s over’ as a matter of US law. Now believers can get on with the more important matter of bringing the gospel to a largely ‘unreached group’ & we can refer the matter to the Lord’s care.

    Am I concerned about Christian & all religious institutes & -owned businesses getting this morality shoved down their throat; yes, of course. But with that threat comes the same rejoinder as my brother gave me: Go to the Lord & work out with Him what the correct response should be in the specific matter you’re wrestling with.

    Thanks for your comments,

    * Homosexuals – I hate using the word “gay” – not sure how they got to highjack such a formerly breezy & happy word.

    ** the way in which God worked to convince me he didn’t want this in my life is actually a hilarious story.

    • Great response, Jim. And wonderful advice from your brother for all of us. I hadn’t thought of the decision as potentially removing a communications and relationship obstacle, but I see the wisdom and the potential. Part of the blue skies around the robin in the cherry tree. Thanks so much for sharing. Would love to hear the “hilarious story” if you have time. Our stories always bring truth to life!

  4. This post, especially the words, “the people You made” has prompted me to prayer like nothing else I’ve read. Thanks for these words.

  5. I have mixed emotions. Angry that 5 justices determined the entire direction of a country with regard to the very foundation of the society, the family. Very sad because we are in for dark days. I understand that people do not want to be fearful. I am not fearful for myself. I am fearful for what lies ahead for the people of this and the following generations. I have children and grand children. What many people do not understand is that God does judge the nations with regard to their conduct. Just read the prophets of the Old Testament. There were three reasons why God cast out the Amorites from the promised land and gave it to Israel. They had defiled themselves with 1) infanticide (the sacrificing of their children to other gods) 2. Homosexual practices 3. Bestiality. You can read about it in Leviticus 18. What is important to realize that we are practicing infanticide with abortion on demand in this country. Also we have now mainstreamed homosexual behavior and capped it off by giving homosexual unions that same status as marriage. Thus we have minimized marriage to the point where it is just a legal thing. We no longer see marriage as the means to multiply and fill the earth. We no longer see marriage as the fundamental building block for having children, raising, children, and establishing order within society. So the second reason that God cast out the Amorites from the land is now firmly mainstreamed at every level in our society. We haven’t gotten to the third yet. So God is more than just a little sad. It’s not like he just had a bad day in court. God was grieved with humanity at the time of Noah. He sent the flood. We forget Romans 1:18. So I am not afraid for myself. I am afraid for our country even as Jeremiah was for Israel. God told Israel that if they did the things of the Amorites he would vomit them out of the land. Which they did, and which He did! So then first of all this should be a wake up call or the church! There needs to be deep repentance in the church and among Christians that allowed this to happen by failing to be salt and light in society. The church does not preach righteousness. It is amazing to me how many Christians do not know the teaching of sexual purity. It doesn’t clearly present the gospel to the lost. We ignore the Great Commission as something central to the church’s mission and simply want to live in our little Christian bubbles. It also has failed to stand firm on the authority of Scripture and allowed culture to influence it’s beliefs. And worse the church has lost all sense of the fear of God. We have made God into a kind of sentimental Santa Claus that is going to simply wink at our wickedness. This ruling should cause some very deep soul searching within the church. We are largely to blame in three ways. 1. We have failed to evangelize and disciple the nation. 2. We have been lukewarm with regard to righteousness even among ourselves. 3. We have failed to be involved in the political process that got us to this point. We have been the proverbial frog in the kettle.

    • Thanks for taking the time to respond, Doug. Yep, I was reading Lev 18 this morning and “trembling for my country.” (Don’t forget incest) Yes, I embrace some of the responsibility you mention at the end of your comment. It’s also true that as lawlessness increases people’s hearts will grow cold. We cannot receive the gospel for them. This whole chapter should motivate us to double down and serve.

  6. I am very, very sad. I was downright distraught by the news that the president so proudly proclaimed. Oh, come quickly Lord Jesus!

  7. 1. Grief
    2. Fear
    3. Soothing
    4. Relief
    Each of the above steps have caught me a bit by surprise. And each requires pages to explain. Maybe sometime…
    Thank you, dear Lael; once again a thought-provoking piece with your imitable word-smithing gift.