When I read about the Supreme Court’s decision which legalized gay marriage in the US, I had trouble wrapping my mind around what had just happened. Reading comments from other believers who do not think they will be personally affected by this decision, I am reminded that we all do not yet fully understand how we will be impacted. However, if we are recognizing what seems to be inevitable, many are paralyzed by fear and despair.
I met a woman several months ago who is pursuing education to become a marriage and family counselor. She proceeded to graciously and sweetly explain to me, as a Christian, she would only be comfortable counseling couples who affirmed the Biblical definition of marriage.
As someone who also wants to work with singles, couples, and families to support marriage as God created and intended, this is something I had thought about before. Now the concerns take on a whole new meaning.
Surely it is her right – the right to freedom and liberty, to freedom of speech, to freedom of religion – to hold these beliefs and allow them to influence her life and career.
Today, however, her country made it more difficult, if not impossible, to follow her convictions. They stole from her the right to live out every aspect of her life consistent with her religious beliefs.
They instilled fear in the hearts of people like her, who may disagree with the SCOTUS decision, now wondering how long it will be until they are forced to set aside their beliefs in order to live and function within our society.
The world wants you to be afraid, dear believer. Satan is using symbols created by God to celebrate His good and perfect gifts to instead strike fear in the hearts of God’s followers.
Ever since the beginning of time the world has been afraid of you, the Christ-follower, and the Gospel you share with others. They have handled those fears by eliminating the threat – whether it’s persecution in other countries or punishment for accusations of discrimination here in America.
The world hated Christ without cause, and so they hate us, too.
But take heart! Christ has overcome the world.
And this is the only victory worth celebrating.
Because true Love won long ago, the love of our Lord which was so powerful it defeated the grave, we are no longer held captive by the sinfulness of this world.
So as we take a moment to mourn for those who do not yet know Christ and while we decide where to go from here, let’s not allow fear to invade our hearts. Although the world may press on us from all sides, they can never take away this gift Christ has given us. They may shame us but they cannot revoke our call to go and make disciples. They may do everything they can to silence us but they won’t steal our joy. We know that no matter how hard this life may be, nothing compares to the glory which will be revealed in the end.
So we wait with eager anticipation.
In the days to come, I pray the love in our hearts for Christ will overflow to our words as we communicate with others. I pray He gives us strength when the fight against sin is overwhelming – that He will give us wisdom to know how to proceed, grace to represent Him well, and patience as we rest assured in the fact that He will win in the end. I pray He will renew in us a fire to do His work and an unwavering focus on His calling for each of our lives. I pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, married or single, that they would understand the testimony Christ-centered marriage displays and we would honor it as the sacred institution it is. But above all, I pray we daily celebrate the victory won by Christ, setting us free from the eternal consequence of our sin.