Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Vice President at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Religion Today on July 19, 2013.
Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II "gave her royal assent to a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry." Perhaps this comes as a relief to Her Majesty; the "Defender of the Faith" now has much less faith to defend.
Human sexuality, from the very definitions of gender and sex to pedophilic pornography to the "mainstreaming" of graphic sexual imagery, is under attack. What evil scheme could be shrewder than confusing and eroding our most fundamental identities, particularly at a time when the family in America is in crisis. According to a recent study by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, "45 percent of U.S. children on the cusp of adulthood have grown up in an intact married family. The mother and father of the remaining 55 percent of 17-year-olds have at some time rejected each other as husband and wife."
Consider some wise comments by leading Christians about the nature of male and female sexuality, marriage and purity. This is not a comprehensive selection, but should provoke thought (and prayer):
"Sexual expression within a marriage is not an option or an extra. It is certainly not, as it has sometimes been considered, a necessary evil in which spiritual Christians engage only to procreate children. It is far more than a physical act. God created it to be the expression [of] an experience of love on the deepest human level and to be a beautiful and powerful bond between husband and wife" (Rev. John MacArthur, Commentary on First Corinthians).
" ... Each man is a part of the human race, and human nature is something social, and has for a great and natural good, the power also of friendship; on this account God willed to create all men out of one, in order that they might be held in their society not only by likeness of kind, but also by bond of kindred. Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk" (Augustine of Hippo, "Of the Good of Marriage").
"The Bible defines 'family' in a narrow sense as the union of one man and one woman in matrimony which is normally blessed with one or several natural or adopted children. In a broad sense, this family also includes any other persons related by blood (the extended family) ... These aspects of marriage - the complementarity of male and female, and the irreplaceable role of male-female relations in reproducing the human race - are part of the original order of creation, and are evident to all human beings from the enduring order of nature. These common elements of marriage are at the heart of our civil laws defining and regulating marriage. Therefore, people of all cultures and religions - including those who lack faith in God, Christ, or the Bible, are capable of participating in the institution of marriage" (Andreas Kostenberger, Ph.D., "The Bible's Teaching on Marriage and the Family").
"It is my view that our society can be no more stable than the foundation of individual family units upon which it rests. Our government, our institutions, our schools ... indeed, our way of life are dependent on healthy marriages and loyalty to the vulnerable little children around our feet" (James C. Dobson, Ph.D.).
"It is important to note, in light of the fact that family brokenness is widespread, that the incidence of child abuse is not randomly distributed; rather, it strongly correlates with 'disrupted and disturbed families.' Conversely, being in a marriage relationship is protective against both child abuse and intimate partner violence..." (Patrick Fagan, Ph.D.)
"Christians must not go with the flow. They must instead love the advocates of same-sex marriage better than they love themselves precisely by refusing to endorse it" (Jonathan Leeman).
Want to be truly countercultural? Love God. Love your spouse. Love your children. Be loyal to them. Die to your own selfishness. Stand for marriage as it is taught in the Bible. Model servanthood.
You'll be thought, by some, at least, odd, old-fashioned, and out-of-date. That's OK; you'll be content. Not a bad thing, that.