South Atlantic District

A Christian View of love, sexuality and marriage. . . Different than the popular view

Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016

“In the midst of this new morality we go back to the morality that is rooted, not even in history, but ultimately in the nature of God himself. Who we are in Christ shapes how we live, and how we live is different than the world around us.” Ed Stetzer (Exchange Blog, Jan. 21, 2016)

February is the month in which our culture highlights the concept of romantic love, culminating in Valentine’s Day, February 14. But as a Christ-follower, I need to be sure to distinguish what I am celebrating in contrast to the dominant yet woefully confused message of the culture around me. Someone has opined that the “new morality” of sexual expression outside of marriage with whomever I choose, as a civil right, looks suspiciously like the classic immorality that the Bible warns us repeatedly to reject, less it kill the soul and ruin our lives.

We have watched in shock and disbelief as Judeo-Christian values related to human sexuality and the definition of marriage have been separated from the Creator’s expressed intent. Scripture has been displaced by the purveyors of popular culture and most recently by the American legal system, supported by many of our elected governing officials. Ed Stetzer’s reminder that “Who we are in Christ shapes how we live, and how we live is different than the world around us” is a particularly poignant reminder.

Over the last few weeks, I have read two books that are helpful resources in helping Church leaders shape a Christ-centered message that effectively differentiates the Christian message on romantic love and marital commitment distinct from the world’s view. I commend them to you for your consideration and hope that you will join me in a renewed effort to help our people understand the difference. Yes, we have a different view than the world and no, we are not ashamed or embarrassed to express it. While freely admitting that we too are flawed human beings, seeking to live into God’s ideals, we commit to a steadfast resistance to the tyranny of cultural conformity with regard to love, sexuality and marriage.

I offer the following for your consideration. Each of them adds concepts and tools for the discipling challenges we face.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader- Peter Scazzero Particularly Chapter 3 “Lead Out of Your Marriage or Singleness”- He urges us to see both marriage and singleness as a prophetic sign of God’s love for the church and the world.

Marriage on Mission- Tom and Sandi Blaylock They introduce their jointly written book, “What would a marriage on mission look like? Today we are partnering in marriage, in parenting, and in real world ministry. Instead of hanging on for dear life, our renewed partnership is giving us new life! After 26 years of marriage we believe our best days are ahead as we pursue kingdom vision from a solid covenant base. Covenant faithfulness precedes kingdom fruitfulness!”