This is an excerpt from CWA’s March issue of the Prayer/Action Newsletter.
No, not the popular song. The title refers to the Biblical principle that what we do matters, perhaps more than what we say. Remember Jesus’ Parable of The Two Sons in Matthew 21?
- A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, “Son, go, work today in my vineyard.” He answered and said, “I will not,” but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, “I go, sir,” but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?
It is not that what we say is not important. It most definitely is. But what we do reflects what we truly mean by what we say.
The principle is found all throughout the Bible. I reflect constantly on Jesus’ words, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15). I struggle these days to impart this principle to my children. They are quick to charm you with love when they know they’ve done something wrong, aren’t they? “I know you love me, Mia. And the way you can really show that love is by obeying me. Do not trap your brother in that box, he will suffocate.” I’m still working on my delivery there
The reason I bring this principle to mind is because of a troubling trend we are seeing in our efforts to protect God’s model for marriage, especially among Christians. It is this idea that we should be satisfied with protecting the word marriage, while allowing homosexual and other types of intimate relationships to have the same “rights” but with another name, usually civil unions. This seems to be the “compromise” many states reach, and Christians are not only accepting it, but encouraging it.
Do not misunderstand me. If this is the battle (just protecting the word marriage) that you find yourself in, it is a worthy and crucial cause. We will stand with you in that fight. This will at least give us the ability to teach our children more appropriately. But don’t forget that if what we say we believe is true, the consequences of the state promoting homosexual behavior will come to pass, whatever they call it. It is a bit like the father who wants his children to abstain from cursing, while he continues to curse freely.
So our work must not end with just protecting the word marriage. We must stand for God’s model, not only for marriage, but for sexuality, also.
Remember, the reason the state is in the business of marriage in the first place is because of its interest in the future of the state: the children. The best environment for children to develop into productive citizens is with a mom and a dad who love each other and their children. So the state promotes its interest by encouraging the reproduction of its citizens within the confines of marriage.
The state does this type of thing in many contexts. It wants to promote charitable donations, so it gives a tax exemption to those donations to encourage that behavior. Similarly, by sanctioning other types of relationships, homosexual, polygamous, etc., the state effectively promotes those behaviors and will inevitably feel the consequences of promoting that type of policy.
The state will be only saying that it protects God’s model for marriage, since it preserves the word marriage only for the union of one man and one woman, when in reality it is doing the exact opposite by treating other relationships equally and just calling it something else. It is like the polygamist who has many women, but says only one of them is his wife; the others are concubines or whatever he wants to call them.
Let us not be fooled by this fade. Words matter, but so does our actions.
We should never be satisfied with just protecting a word. We must also protect the principles behind those words.