Church Needs to Repent for Failing to Model Strong Marriage

bride and groom
(Mreasystart / Creative Commons)

The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Windsor v. United States, which was announced Wednesday, effectively allows federal marriage benefits to be extended to same-sex couples who are legally married in their states. In its accompanying decision, in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the high court declined to rule on whether California’s ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional by rejecting the petitioners’ legal standing to challenge the lower court's ruling, which had declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

These decisions do not establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage; nor do they settle the issue, and with good reason. Regardless of how future courts and legislative bodies decide on the definition of marriage, we affirm that as Christians, our final touchstone for truth on this issue—and every other cultural issue—is the authority of Scripture, which contains God’s revelation of His design for marriage, family and human sexuality.

Jesus Christ clearly identified God’s creational design and plan for marriage when He stated, as recorded in Matthew 19:4-5, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female; and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’?”

Calling a relationship between two members of the same sex that is based on personal affinity and psychological attraction “marriage” does not change reality. That relationship can never be a marriage, which is uniquely characterized by the sexual union of two heterosexual individuals—one male and one female—who have taken vows of sexual fidelity to each other and to the exclusion of all others. This reality, which is rooted in God’s creation order, cannot be changed, regardless of whether or not any court or legislative body attempts to give its legal imprimatur to relationships that are based solely on personalistic definitions of love and attraction.

As those who seek to uphold the lordship of Jesus Christ over all of life, we strive to daily demonstrate our love for Him by obeying His commands. From the beginning, God, the creator and giver of life, ordained the intimate bonds of marriage between a man and a woman to serve as witness and testimony of the ultimate example of His love for His bride, the church, which Jesus Christ purchased with His own precious blood. The frequent failure of many members of the church to live out and bear witness to this truth does not contravene God’s commands and design in regard to marriage.

Therefore, even as we unequivocally affirm that we will continue to stand for marriage between one man and one woman as God’s design for the ordering of human society, we acknowledge that there is much work to be done to rebuild this understanding of marriage in our culture. To that purpose, we join with those who have signed the Marriage Solidarity Statement, pledging to stand in defense of marriage and the family and society that is founded upon them.

In addition, we call upon the church to acknowledge and repent of its failure to provide the strong example of biblical marriage that our society so desperately needs. When divorce becomes common, even among those who claim to be followers of Christ, the example of marriage as the relationship of Christ and His bride (which the apostle Paul writes of in Ephesians 5), is marred and lost to the wider culture. The church has been lax in protecting marriage, and society is paying the price. We have failed to point troubled marriages back to God, to appropriate His strength and comfort, and to cling to His Word.

Finally, we state the resolve of Truth in Action Ministries to continue to equip and encourage members of the body of Christ to live out the wholeness and healing that only Jesus Christ can bring to any area of life. Our human sexuality is at the core of how we understand human nature and the ordering of human society. It gets to the core of how we relate to one another and of how we build culture and civilization. Therefore, we challenge all followers of Christ to honor God’s beautiful design and purpose for marriage and to be intentional in protecting our own marriages. And as a ministry, we pledge to continue to make every effort to come alongside those who are struggling to find the healing, wholeness and peace that Christ alone can offer through knowing Him and following His perfect design for marriage and every other area of life.


Truth In Action Ministries is a Christian media outreach that seeks to mobilize the body of Christ through television, radio, print and the Internet to actively advance God’s kingdom in every sphere of life.

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