It is the one subject that marriage & specifically Christian marriage bloggers are slow to talk about. Say anything about same-sex marriage and you open the door to the possibility of serious repercussions. I have felt that anxiety – I have it right now. But when it starts hitting close to home, you have to address it.
That is what I did yesterday, when a question came from the back seat of my car, “Do some men marry men and some girls marry girls? Because “a classmate” told me it is ok.”. Talk about being caught off guard. I am just driving along, fighting through traffic and all of a sudden I am in this heavy conversation with my child. A few years ago I would not have thought I would be having this type of conversation so early. He is not even in Kindergarten yet. But the reality is, this is the world we live in and it is probably the third or fourth time this has come up.
So, I figure I can either bury my head in the sand and recite my own beliefs dogmatically or begin to constructively teach and talk to my son about same sex marriage. After all, in the state we live in, the answer to his question is “yes”, they can, and it is legal. So what do I teach my child, what do I need him to know as a Christian that believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman?
So I took a minute to gather my thoughts, prayed for some wisdom to say the right thing in the right way and then I talked to my five year old in as straightforward a manner as I could. Here are a few of my take away thoughts about sharing and educating your child about same sex marriage for those parents that don’t agree with the legalization of same sex marriage.
- Be honest. We can talk about difficult things with our kids, in ways that meet them where they are, and we can do it honestly. Yes, people of the same sex do get married. However, daddy & mommy don’t agree with or practice it (obviously). We believe that God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman. And here is why…
- Teach them to be fair. One thing this debate over “marriage” has done is create such a divisive atmosphere that insists that any disagreement with same sex marriage is intolerance or hate. Which I strongly disagree with! So, I taught my son that we can disagree and yet easily display unshakeable respect for those in the gay and lesbian community. So I stressed to my own child that LGBT people are people and deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that you would show to anyone else. We don’t bully, disparage, or disrespect in anyway. Don’t be hesitant to befriend or be friendly to people of different perspective…
- Teach them to be firm in their faith. At the same time that we build friendships and accept people that think differently than we do, we also hold firm in our own faith. Acceptance of people doesn’t mean that we close our Bible. The clarity of the Bible, speaks for itself. In my writing, I have had the opportunity to study every marriage in the Bible. There are 60 heterosexual marriages and 0 same sex marriages. That is pretty much without dispute, and lays out a pretty good pattern, that even a 5 year old can grasp. It has been tough in recent months to watch and listen as same sex marriage advocates tell Pastors what the Bible says or does not say, and the Pastors don’t know enough to point them back to the truth of what the Bible does or does not say. If we want our children educated and ready to stand firm in their faith then we have to educate them, to be firm in their faith. That is not the school system, the government or media’s job, it is ours. Simply, telling a child don’t do this or that is not right, is not enough. Teach them the truth to the best of your ability.
- Leave the door open for discussion. Kids are impressionable. It is the role of a parent to impress on a child the things that they believe are important to that child’s development. So it is important to leave an open door of communication about issues that they have questions about. In the same sex marriage discussion, the love a parent displays goes a long way to being able to guide them toward the truth of the Bible. So…let them know that it is an area that you remain open to talking to them about and discussing further as questions arise at different points of their development.
I know there will be some objections to my teaching and thought to my child. But something that came to mind as I was writing this post. As much as consenting adults have the right to marry – now under the law in some places, those that believe that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman have the right to teach their child as God leads them to teach. So then, EYM what are your thoughts, What do you teach your children about marriage?