One of the things we need to recognize is that it is not at all an accident that the very judicial ruling which overturns the will of the people as expressed in the constitutions of the 30 states is also simultaneously a ruling of sexual confusion. The deep, laugh-your-head-off irony of the ruling is the farce of sexual promiscuity seeking a sexual covenant. The whole point of sexual promiscuity is to throw off the so-called bonds of restraint and authority. It’s like teenagers asking for permission to sneek out at night to make out in the woods. Uh, so you’re asking for your parent’s blessing to *sneek* out?
But that’s why Christians need to sit up and pay attention. On the one hand there are good reasons to believe that part of the agenda (even if unconscious) is to pull the institution apart from the inside, like driving your monster truck into the dining room. Maybe you can get a judicial ruling that commands the validity of driving into the dining room, but once you get there will there be anything left of it? But the good news is that marriage really isn’t quite like that. Social constructivists think that everything is culturally and socially constructed (including marriage), and so they are under the delusional assumption that marriage is the sort of thing that you can fit anything into or just disgard it like last night’s pizza box when it seems obsolete. But since altering marriage really is like trying to alter gravity, it just ain’t happening, people. So what we also need to recognize is that this is an announcement about authority and this is because it is a ruling about marriage. Marriage is always a public announcement that this free woman is promising to submit to this one man. Marriage is always an announcement about authority.
So then, in the face of thirty some states voicing their considered opinions that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, our Extreme Court has looked us in the face in defiance and given us a nanny lecture about equality and rights and the evolving meaning of liberty. But the question we need to ask at this moment in our nation’s history is: who wears the pants in this relationship between our governing authorities and We, the People? I’m afraid that if we cannot yet make our leaders end the slaughter of millions of babies every year, we do have an uphill battle here. But just because it’s uphill doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it. But uphill means hard, difficult, bloody, painful. And for many American men it’s a lot easier to pull another Budweiser out of the fridge and get back to the game than to actually do any leading. Because you can be sure, she’s going to put up a fight.
We are at a moment in our nation’s history when our government has just made a vow saying that she will not fear the God of heaven, she doesn’t care what we think, and from now on 2 plus 2 equals 5. But the Bible speaks to this: “If a woman vows a vow in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void in the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall fogive her.” (Num. 30:10-12)
In other words, we the people find ourselves in a position of having heard a blamsphemous vow that our government has made regarding men and women and marriage. And the question is, will we hold our peace and allow this vow to stand? We, the People, do not derive our authority from the evolutionary soup. We do not derive our authority from the whims of our feelings. We derive our authority from our Creator, and He has spoken clearly in His word that He made us male and female in His image and likeness, and only the two shall become one flesh. And in this form of government, we the governed, delegate our God-given authority to certain men to represent us and to do justice and love mercy on our behalf and for the common good. But if these representatives or the officials they appoint bind themselves to some blasphemous vow, we have the right and the obligation to nullify their decisions, to veto their vows.
In other words, the question before us is whether America, and the American Church in particular, will play the man in this covenant relationship. Will we let these vows stand? Will we love our neighbors, love our cities, love our nation enough to sacrificially lead the way out of this dead end? The way is uphill, and at the top of the hill there are crosses waiting. But the beginning of the battle is embracing the calling to be men, to be the collective husband of this rebellious wife. It is better to live in a corner of a housetop then with a brawling woman in a wide house (Prov. 21:9). It is better to dwell in the wildnerness, than with a contentious and angry woman (Prov. 21:19). We are fast approaching a time when this will be true of our Old Lady. But Jesus didn’t abandon us. He did not remain on the rooftop of His heavenly home; He did not move out to the wildnerness permenently. He came for us. He came for His rebellious bride and laid His life down for her, leaving us an example. Our government took oaths on our wedding day to submit to us in the Lord, to respect us, to obey us in the Lord. But this means that we must understand the nature of a covenant relationship. It is no accident that the very same ruling that dismisses the leadership of the people of this land simultaneously insists that there is no difference between men and women in marriage. The judges who penned this ruling are embodying that very same logic in their ruling. They are saying that there is no difference between the government and the people. They are interchangeable parts. Bride, bride, or groom, groom — it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same.
But of course it really isn’t the same. Try as they may, rebellious heterosexual couples and rebellious homosexual couples cannot escape the world God made, and that world requires leaders and followers. Someone will wear the pants. Someone will lead. The only question is whether they will lead in submission to Jesus and His word. The only question is whether the leader will lead with the sacrificial love of Christ. And as night follows day, someone will always follow the leader. Someone will always submit and obey. The only question is whether they will do so in the Lord and under the blessing of God. The only question is whether this will be their glory and their crown or whether it will be a bitter poison in their gut, rotting out their souls with resentment and shame. But this requires that we actually listen to what the Bible says. This requires that we take it seriously, and repent of deciding what it may or may not possibly mean before we even open the cover. And this is the only way of true equality and unity. There is no other way. When people demand equality and grasp for unity, the only thing garaunteed is that you will not have equality or unity. But when we accept the givenness of the world, the asymmetry of the image of God in male and female, and those respective glories as they take shape in the marriage covenant, we begin to glimpse, in a mystery, that glorious unity and equality found in the Triune God. And that’s the kind of glory worth fighting for, the kind of glory worth sharing with our neighbors, the kind of glory worth dying for.