Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life … Philippians 2:14-16a
As we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s declaration of independence from oppressive government, for many of us, the decisions the Supreme Court handed down last week seem to have dimmed the bright hope of religious freedom and “the pursuit of happiness.” In ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was conceived to impose inequality and indignity upon homosexuals, the law’s definition of marriage as one man and one woman was struck down as was the California voters’ endorsement of Proposition 8, which also defined marriage in the traditional way. Both judgments seemed to be a giant step backwards from the biblical norms upon which our Constitution was founded.
However, while the legal experts theorize where all of this is taking us, there are some truths that are still valid: God is still King of Kings. And although our courts have made seriously flawed judgments in the past, decision have been struck down, or modified, etc., “… the word of the Lord stands forever.”
At a time when marriage was not being held in honor and arbitrary divorce was rampant, Jesus confirmed what Moses had recorded in Genesis: “From the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” In Jesus day, Christian marriage attracted people to the Gospel in places like Corinth and Rome where slave concubines, co-habitation, and easy divorce abounded in the absence of a sound moral system promoting healthy marriage.
We can take heart, dear friends, from those early examples of the power of godly lives and marriages to attract in the midst of darkness and chaos. From the beginning, marriage was instituted for display purposes—to reflect the love the Heavenly Bridegroom shares with His Bride. Strong, healthy marriages have a more illuminating effect on a watching world than any state or federal law could ever have.
Light shines brightest in the darkness. Together we can light up our world by issuing into our marriages the light and love of Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, not all women know the powerful effect they can have in their marriages and upon their culture. Jesus is calling each of us to be culture-shapers. We challenge you to “shine like a star in the universe by holding out the word of life” for a friend through The Cry of the Hidden Heart. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!