Before and since the full legalization of homosexual marriage there has been much discussion as to whether such a thing can or does exist. While this is a sensitive subject, the aspect I want to address with Christians could be more sensitive. Before I begin, let me state that I do not believe that homosexual marriage is in fact marriage, nor do I believe it should be the law of our country. However, this post isn’t intended to be a refutation of homosexual marriage, nor is my target audience those who support homosexual marriage. I am writing to Evangelicals who do not approve of or support homosexual marriage. I want to address my own stream because I have a concern over the inconsistency of the arguments we often make against regarding this topic. Evangelicals often disapprove of homosexual marriage for many reasons, primarily because the idea of homosexual marriage is inconsistent and incompatible with the nature and purposes of marriage from the Bible. Biblically speaking, here are the purposes for which God created marriage.
First, God created marriage for companionship. Marriages need many things to be healthy and God honoring: good communication, proper understanding of marriage roles, quality time, etc. What is often overlooked is the need for companionship. God created us to have meaningful relationships with other people and this is especially true for marriages. While Adam was content in the Garden because The Lord himself was present with him, God said of Adam “it is not good that the man should be alone.” God blessed Adam with a wife, a helpmate and a friend, all in one person. Evangelicals rightly recognize that this companionship is a "like me and unlike me" relationship. A woman is like a man in the sense that they are both human beings and yet they are very much different. As Adam would see the animals in the garden with a mate that was like them and yet unlike them, he had no one simultaneously like him and unlike him. God then blessed Adam with Eve, a woman who is like him yet unlike him. Biblical marriage is meant for companionship with someone who like us and yet unlike us, similar to being in covenant with God. God is nothing like us, yet He became like us in the incarnation. Homosexual marriage can not by definition have this and Evangelicals all agree to this point.
Second, God created marriage as an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The husband is called to display Christ as the head in marriage as Christ is the covenant head of His relationship to the church. A husband displays Christ to His wife through self-sacrifice, humble leadership and dependence on God alone for wisdom and guidance. The wife is called to display the church, by her submission and willingness to follow her husband wherever he leads, just as the church follows Christ wherever He leads, trusting Christ alone for protection, provision and care. By doing this the wife displays Christ, as He humbly submitted to the will of His Father in all things.
Third, God created marriage for sanctification. There is no other relationship that God uses to sanctify us more than marriage, because in marriage two sinful people enter into a relationship where selfishness isn’t an option. The “like me, not like me” component of marriage is also for our sanctification. God uses our spouse to grow and nurture us godly character and where we are weak is seen most with the person which is like me and also not like me. It takes Spirit-filled love to love our spouse as God calls us to. Ephesians 5:21 tell us that we are to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. It is not our natural instinct to live for the betterment and sanctification of another person and to place their needs above our own. But this is how God sanctifies us. He gives us a relationship where we seek to serve another person. By doing this, our need and dependence on the Lord grows each and every day.
Finally, God created marriage for procreation. After God created mankind, He sent them out with His blessing to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Children are a blessing from God because it is His desire to see the earth filled with worshippers and image bearers and this comes through procreation. Children are a physical expression of the phrase, “the two become one flesh.” The two come together and produce another person as God gives this blessing. Child bearing then is one of the purposes for which God created marriage and it is physically impossible for a homosexual couple to procreate. Homosexuality is completely dependent on heterosexuality in this sense.
This the point at which Evangelicals are often inconsistent. In the same way that homosexuals change the definition of marriage by making it between two people of the same sex, heterosexual Evangelicals have assumed the same language and thought in how we believe, speak and act towards the biblical purpose of procreation in marriage. On what grounds can we condemn homosexuals for wanting to change the definition of marriage when we do the same thing in regards to procreation? Evangelicals are among the largest group of supporters and participators in pregnancy preventions and in giving approval of marriages that aren intentionally free of children. We support most means of pregnancy prevention in equal measure to the culture. We speak negatively and cower just like the culture when we see a family with more than 4 children. We encourage young couples to put off having children for reasons of convenience rather than medical reasons or difficult circumstances. We encourage couples to limit their number of children to one or two for reasons of inconvenience rather than medical reasons or difficult circumstances. I fully recognize that there are times and circumstances in which a married couple cannot or even should not have more children. This is not inconsistency nor the inconsistency that I am speaking on. The inconsistency referred to are Evangelicals speaking this way of children while condemning homosexuals for their redefining the institution and definition of marriage. For Evangelicals to oppose homosexual marriage and support pregnancy prevention as described above is an inconsistent argument of the same nature as that of supporting a new and expanded definition of marriage to include a homosexual couple. God's purposes of marriage go far beyond it being for one man and one woman. It is for our sanctification, fellowship, gospel displaying and procreation. God made marriage for a husband and wife but He also made it for children.
The family is the most important institution on earth outside of the church. We spend most of our time with our families and have a deep rooted loyalty to them. If the church is salt and light for a society, the family is the primary place where our salt is tasted and our light shines brightest. As Christians, we must reclaim our love for God’s great gift of children. By doing so, we will be salt and light to a culture that says that children are a burden and a curse by displaying to them that none of God's good gifts are a burden but are a great blessing. All that God would bless us with and in this case, all the children He would give us, let us receive.