Advocates of same-sex marriage have something right: Love wins!

As the #LoveWins celebration spreads, I’ve seen fear and panic spread like wildfire among many of my Christian friends. Although I am disappointed that the Supreme Court did not uphold and defend traditional marriage, I doubt any of us are really surprised. The question is… what will we do now?

Although the legal battle is over, the courts can’t change God’s law. However, many of us desperately need to change our approach to this sensitive subject. Confrontation, refusing to provide business services and hatred will never work. Those aren’t Christian tactics anyway.

In His effort to save us, Jesus Christ did not yield a sword.

The Sadducees did that.

He did not turn away the sinners who sought His time and works.

The Pharisees did that.

He did not shout and rally for the persecution of another.

The Passover crowds did that.

Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind, was gentle, soft-spoken and patient. He never sinned and He never approved of sin… but He fed and embraced sinners, knowing that the only way to truly change hearts is through genuine love and gentle persuasion.

In His earthly ministry, He showed us a better way of saving sinners. Our Savior didn’t turn away the sinners who sought His assistance – He dined with them, He defended them from mobs, and eventually He died for them.  Actually, for us – because we are all sinners. He showed us mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering. But most of all, He showed us love: a perfect love, unfeigned.

First, He loved them…

then, He served them…

and that’s how He changed their hearts.

If we are really his disciples, shouldn’t we do the same?

"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..." -John 8:7

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” -John 8:7

This ruling is not a defeat – it is a challenge. It is time to embrace the harder and higher road ahead of us – the path of genuine love and gentle persuasion.

Our views are no longer mainstream or common. Traditional marriage is no longer the default. In many ways, we are seen as an outdated minority. Because of the actions of a few so-called Christians, some people even consider Christianity a hate group.

We need to change that.

As Christians, we should be known for our genuine love. We know that each person on this earth – regardless of who they are or what they’ve done or what they are doing – is beloved of God. We know that He loves them, cares for them and eagerly awaits their return to Him. We also know that we are all sinners – yes, even you and me. How is it that we can know all this and still mistreat those who think differently than we do?

If you are a Christian who works in the wedding industry*, I understand that it can be difficult to bake cakes, provide photography services or otherwise participate in a same-sex wedding. Homosexuality may genuinely violate your religious convictions.

But our Christian calling isn’t about cakes or wedding photography. It’s about souls – all souls, but especially the souls of sinners. As Christ once told us, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick” (Luke 5:31).

Bake that cake – maybe even bake two! Take those photos. Offer your services with love and compassion. Be an example of a faithful, open-hearted believer wherever you are and you’ll have a much greater positive impact for Christ.

wedding rings photo

If we really believe that the ideal marriage is between one man and one woman (and I do), then we need to prove that it is. We need to magnify our marriages. We need to practice what we preach. We must fill our marriages with patience, forgiveness, gentleness, compassion, kindness, service and love. We must be faithful. We must be long-suffering. We must speak kindly about each other and to each other. If we want the world to believe that the Christian marriage is the ideal, we should be the best husbands, the best wives, the happiest couples this world has ever seen.

People notice when our actions don’t live up to our ideals. You can’t defend traditional marriage if you are unfaithful to your spouse. You can’t proclaim the joyfulness of family living when you constantly complain about your kids. If you want to influence this world for Christ, your actions need to match your beliefs.

We need to live like our families are forever.

We need to make our homes like heaven on earth.

Now is the time to show the world what makes traditional marriages and families great. It’s time to spend more time with our families, to enrich our relationships with our spouses, and to live joyful. We need to prove that our Christian life really is the good life – because it is.

It is your example, more than your words, that this world needs.

It is your actions, more than your prayers, that will change hearts.

We need to live lives of love.

Love is a verb.

And love always wins.

 

*For the record, I do not believe that members of clergy (including LDS Bishops) should ever be coerced to participate in a same-sex wedding. Churches should not be asked or expected to change their doctrine to accommodate this new civil law. The statements here only apply to photographers, bakers, florists, etc.