Last Sunday we began our series on God's Design for Marriage and Sexuality. We began with 4 major premises that are a given in today's culture. 

1) Pornography is a given. This does not mean that everyone is actively engaged, addicted, or looking for pornography. This does mean that pornography is unavoidable. You can't watch TV without seeing scantily clad cheerleaders or a Victoria's Secret commercial. In addition, the internet is fully accessible to everyone through various modes (computer, tablet, & phone). Therefore, it's important for us to be on guard, and also train our children how to live in a sex saturated culture. 

2) Sex is expected. Today it is fair to assume that the average couple is sleeping together, and many times are unashamed in that admission. 

3) Gay is okay. Many grew up in a day when homosexuality was taboo and was just conceptual. Now, many of us have dear friends and family members that are gay or struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA). This  has caused what was once conceptual to become personal. This actually allows us to love them better. If we treat them as concepts and not as people, then we will never be heard. 

4) Marriage is a capstone, not a cornerstone. Many of us were raised with these instructions: "Get good grades in high school. Get into the college that will equip you and give you the credentials you need to get the job you want. Make money and enjoy life. Then, when you've had your fun, settle down with a spouse." This promotes that marriage is settled for the latter part of your life—live first, then get married. The truth is all your life you have been designed for marriage to be your cornerstone unless God has called you to be single.  

We looked at two key passages of Scripture—Ephesians 5:22-33 & Matthew 19:3-9.  We learned:

Marriage is one man, one woman, for life, and practicing gender roles. 

The Purpose of Marriage

1) Marriage is intended to image Christ in the world. Marriage images Christ's intention to mankind, the only proper response of mankind to Christ, and what happens when mankind responds to Christ properly. The husbands call is to image the love of Christ to the church by loving his wife. The wife's call is to receive the love of the husband and submit to him as the church receives the love of Christ and submits to him. The husbands call to love should be modeled after and image Christ's self-sacrificial emptying of himself for the joy of the church. The wife's reception and submission images the church's response to the love of Christ. The benefits of this proper order is love, trust, security, and intimacy. 

2) Marriage is intended to sanctify the husband and the wife. When God's design for marriage is followed, the husband and the wife are sanctified and they become more and more like Jesus Christ. When we fail to walk in God's design for marriage, then we often thwart God's sanctifying purpose for marriage. A spouse is a tool in the hands of God to make you holy. 

his Sunday we will look more specifically to the Supreme Court's decision and how Christians ought to respond. On one hand we must be bold, but we must not ostracize those who experience same-sex attraction. Join us this Sunday.