Christians and the Sanctity of Marriage

A Chick-fil-A in Huntsville, Alabama on August 1. Photo by Glenn Baeske/AP Photo
So a couple of weeks ago there was a pretty big political/cultural/religious firestorm concerning gay marriage and Chick-fil-A. Perhaps you heard something about it.

I didn’t write anything about it at the time because (a) I was traveling, (b) Everybody in the world seemed to be writing something about it, and (c) When it comes to emotionally-charged issues, I think it is sometimes less helpful to talk about them when we are so fired up. So I have waited until now to post a brief thought for reflection.

I have no problem with a company executive expressing his views on marriage. I happened to agree with his views, but even if I didn’t, I support his freedom to express what he believes—that’s one of the neat things about our country. And speaking of freedom, I also support the freedom of those who disagree with him to boycott his company, and the freedom of those who agree with him to Eat (even) Mor Chikin than usual to show their support.

But here is what I wonder: in a society plagued by divorce, where Christians don’t do that much better than non-Christians at staying married,1 what is the most effective way for Christians to protect the sanctity of marriage? Is it by eating at Chick-fil-A (or getting in debates on the internet, or holding up picket signs), or by actively cultivating healthy, God-glorifying marriages with our spouses?

Of course, it doesn’t have to be an either/or decision—you can affirm the value of biblical marriage by working hard to make yours conform to those standards and at the same time, you can also use your political and economic voice to support it as well. Unfortunately, I think that the tendency is for a lot of people to follow the latter options (which, admittedly require less effort and less sacrifice) instead of the former rather than in addition to it.

By all means, let’s protect the sanctity of marriage—but let’s also admit that homosexuals aren’t the only ones who are bringing damage upon it.

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1This article talks about how the oft-quoted fact of Christians divorcing at the same rate as non-Christians is a myth. However, even this article puts the divorce rate among American Christians at about 42%, while that of non-religious Americans is about 50%. As Christians, are we really going to pat ourselves on the back about that level of difference?


Adam Noles 8/16/12, 9:52 AM  

Good point. Facebook posting is the most often way I see people "standing up for the truth." (I wonder how 1st Century Christians stood up for the truth without the internet and without voting privileges?) Like voting, Facebook posting takes little sacrifice, time, and effort. We must conform our marriages to the Biblical pattern of love, sacrifice, and submission to show to others that we care about God's plan in marriage. Thanks for posting.

Luke Dockery 8/17/12, 5:21 PM  

Hey Adam, thanks for the comment.

Regarding “Facebooking for the truth,” I know what you mean. It can be frustrating to me to read people write un-Christian or anti-Christian things, but in my experience, getting in an argument with them via Facebook is rarely productive and if we're not careful, can damage our witness as well.

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