Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Whole Relationship Thing

I've been quite amused by the amount of "relationship discourse" in the news lately. Lively debate around the age of consent, gay marriage, divorce law and others combined with a great new series on Family and Relationships at church have really gotten me thinking about one point:

God has an answer for all of this.

I cannot believe that there are people actually arguing AGAINST raising the age of consent from 14 to 16. Heck, make it 18, sez I. I cannot imagine ANYONE under 18 wanting to get married and there are so many Biblical references describing sex as something that God intended to be limited to married couples. Proverbs 5:18-20 reads as follows:

"May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a gaceful deer-
may her breasts satisfy you always
may you ever be captivated by her love.
Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?"

1 Corinthians 6 and 7 is all about sexual sin and 1 Cor.7 verses 3-5 state specifically that the mariage relationship is the only place God intends sexual relation to occur. Now, I am not going to claim I am puritanical. I struggled and lost prior to marriage many times, but I'm darn sure going to try to teach my kids not only God's plan for sex, but also the risks and dangers of sex outside marriage. If I have laws of the land to help support me, so much the better.

As far as gay marriage goes, I see it the same as common-law marriage. Marriage is a Biblical institution and involves one man and one wife united under God until death do they part. THAT'S marriage. Anything else is, at most, a civil union. See, here's the problem I have with gay marriage: it is called "detestable" (Leviticus 18:22) and "perversion" (Romans 1:27). That's the New AND the Old Testaments bringing it under fire. To marry someone of the same sex implies a lifetime commitment to that person. That is a public announcement that you are rejecting God's instruction not just for today, but for the duration of your life on Earth. Therefore, you are willingly (and publicly) choosing a lifetime of sin. Common-law marriage is, at its heart, a marriage without God, so I don't see it any better.

Now, divorce IS allowable, but I think the fact that the Christian community has a divorce rate similar to the non-Christian community is just shameful. Nobody said this would be easy. By simply getting married, we are opening ourselves up to another person in ways we would never open up to most anyone else. Having said that, if God is in the relationship, then He had a hand in putting that person in your life and, by being accountable to your husband or wife, so are you being accountable to God. Sure, there will be cases of poor judgement, but in a Christian community, we would show forgiveness to our spouse and work through God to heal the relationship. I would even say that the only way for a marriage focused on God to fall apart is if either the husband or the wife chose to renounce God through seeking a relationship or lifestyle change that was entirely sin-based (e.g. an adulterous affair, a life of crime, etc.). The trinity relationship is then shattered and the bonds broken beyond repair. Then, divorce is an option, so the spouse whose path has not strayed can preserve and protect his or her relationship with God.

All of this is laid out in the Bible and, while it has been through numerous translations by imperfect human hands, I think the basic foundations of how to live, create and grow relationships and develop real community are right on. I see no reason to doubt this. I know that this is going to come down on the wrong side of the scale for some, but I have spent a great deal of time worrying these matters in my heart, because my spirituality is more relational and less doctrinal. God has provided us with a relationship roadmap in the Bible that, if we follow it, will allow us to have deep relationships with others that will allow us to encounter real, authentic community within a body of believers. We can have strong marriages, relationally healthy families, true and loyal friends and neighbors. We can call each other "brother" and "sister" and appreciate what it really means to use such words. Underage sex, sex outside of marriage, gay/common-law relationships, divorce, even such things as lies, "false faces", gossip and behind-the-back talk all work to undermine these things and, in God's eyes, are sins as egregious as murder.

Pretty heavy stuff, I know. This is why I don't post much anymore. I have tons of this stuff rolling around in my heart and mind. Thank you God, for challenging me.


At Saturday, July 08, 2006 4:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"gay/common-law God's eyes, are sins as egregious as murder"

you seem like an intelligent person, as judged by previous posts you have made, but i have trouble understanding how you can make such an audacious claim like this.

honestly, don't you think conceptually, this is an unfair characterization of what God actually believes?

- Geoffrey

At Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:43:00 AM, Blogger Brian said...

What people seem to miss is that, in God's eyes, sin is sin is sin. We tend to try to put things into a human perspective because it makes things easier to understand. Murder is worse than robbery to us. To God, it's equal.

At least, that's how I interpret the Bible and those who have taught it to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home