There is no way I expect this post to completely cover the topic of gay marriage and the impact it has on Christian parenting.
I hope you’re not expecting that.
What I am hoping is that my comments here can open up a very candid conversation between you and me and the LORD.
It’s a conversation between CHRISTIAN PEOPLE. Please understand that. I’m speaking to fellow Christ-followers here.
In this post I want to challenge you as a Christian parent: Take the time to deeply consider how the recent SCOTUS ruling regarding gay marriage impacts the future – and the way you need to go about parenting in light of that fast-approaching future.
What I’ve found in over 40 years as a Christ-follower…
Is that we Christians can be a bit simplistic at times.
Granted, we have the simple truth of the gospel, a truth that enables us to blow away all the chaff and see what’s really important. That’s a very good thing indeed.
But I want to use this gay marriage ruling as an example of how we Christians can be TOO simplistic in the way we approach cultural issues.
Our tendency is to say (to ourselves and others)…
God said homosexuality and gay marriage are wrong, so that settles it.
There are a handful of problems when we take such a simplistic approach to the gay marriage issue:1We live in a culture where such a statement, though true, does not settle the issue. The recent Supreme Court ruling is proof of that sad fact. Those being led astray by this and other ungodly beliefs, push and push to get their “relaxed” version of morality imposed on the rest of the society. In this case, they have succeeded with this recent ruling on gay marriage.
Our “God said it, that settles it” mindset will not help us deal with that fact in any way that helps the culture or improves the situation. If anything, it will tend to make us combative when we should be compassionate.2In the months and years to come society as a whole will come to see homosexuality and gay marriage as a “normal” thing, because it’s been legitimized by the law of the land. Think through what that means for the days ahead. It will soon be commonplace to see two men or two women walking hand in hand, kissing in public, acting as if they are a legitimate couple – and society as a whole will accept that they are.
A “God said it, that settles it” attitude does not equip us in any way to deal with that reality. If we remain there, we’ll live in the coming world with scorn in our eyes and contempt etched on our brows. And “those people” (homosexuals) will see it, and feel very justified in their demonization of us, our Savior, and our faith.3The “God said it, that settles it” attitude makes us think we have the issue settled and there’s nothing more to say about the matter. While we may have it settled in terms of personal conviction, it’s not at all settled in terms of practical action based on that conviction.
How are we to live in light of God’s truth and in light of the fact that we rub shoulders every day with people who blatantly reject His truth in such an obvious, public way? How are we to parent our children in light of the fact that our children will grow up in this “new world” where evil is called good, and good is called evil?
Do you see what I mean? The gay marriage issue has complicated implications that our simplistic approach is not equipped to address.
As you can tell from the title of this post, it’s the last line of point #3 where I want to focus our attention, because one of the most important responsibilities we have been given as Christ-followers is the responsibility to raise up the next generation to fear the LORD and obey His word.
And that doesn’t happen by sending them to Awanas and Sunday School and Youth Group (though those are great things to do). It happens when parents take their role seriously enough that they are willing to spend the time to build Christ-centered relationships with their children – relationships strong enough to support the burden of weighty, significant, life-giving conversations about life-in-Christ and the culture we live in.
It’s called “Godly parenting.”
Or you could call it “discipleship.”
And it’s your highest priority as a parent.
So that leaves us with a few questions to ponder in light of the gay marriage issue we’re facing
Are you aware of the fact that this gay marriage ruling MUST be addressed in your parenting?
- Your kids NEED your intervention, your wise counsel, your guidance in order to know what this ruling means for them as a Christ-follower. You can’t assume they will naturally get it. You can’t assume they’ll figure it out. They won’t.
- It’s your responsibility to guide your kids through the thinking process, building Godly maturity into them through how you teach them to think about this issue. You’ve got to demonstrate, and talk about, and teach how to respond to such culture-changing events.
- The gay marriage issue is exactly the kind of situation where you must act for the sake of raising kids who are steadfast in godly convictions in the face of a quickly-changing world.
What are the possible outcomes if you don’t address the gay marriage issue with your children on an ongoing basis?
Think this one through.
- If you don’t take the initiative to begin consistently addressing this kind of cultural development, your children will grow up IN that culture without any significant godly direction. They will be like a ship adrift in a hurricane. The natural result is that they will be pushed wherever the cultural storm takes them.
- As a result, your children will likely come to accept gay marriage as “good” just like the world they live in. At the very least they will see gay marriage as “not quite as bad as all that.” As a result, they will hold God’s word in less regard than they should.
- That will have massive impact on the entire spectrum of their lives. Don’t underestimate the significance of this point.
How will you prepare your children to think and act as the light of Christ in an increasingly dark world?
The HOW is often the hardest part because it varies depending on the child, their maturity, their age, and the situations your family is exposed to.
But you can count on one thing: by the time your children are grown, gay marriage WILL be the norm and they WILL have to contend with it.
As parent, you have to do something to prepare them for that future.
Following are my suggestions for a handful of situations. Like I said at the beginning, there’s no way I can address every aspect of this issue.
What is your plan? How will you engage in proactive parenting relating to the gay marriage issue?
As I said at the beginning of this post, my hope is to open a very candid conversation about this issue, for all of our benefit.
Would you mind sharing your response in the comments below? I’d love to hear from you.by