Cheat Sheet On Marriage

When “Marriage” hits the fan, as it appears scripted to do, when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down the decision in June or July, when the predictable reconfiguration occurs to adopt same-sex unions, you’re going to need a cheat sheet.

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The avalanche of data- historical, civil, judicial and practical definitions of marriage- seems to be exceeded only by the cultural forces against traditional marriage. Into this sophisticated mess, you better have your answer well-thought-out. Simple, short, powerful. Let me offer a sticky note, from which you can edit and create your own:

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P – Pleasure has been surgically removed from procreation and repackaged by itself. This has led to an endless drop-down menu of sexually deviant options. Once removed, pleasure has no generational future because it avoids procreation. Porn, masturbation, contraception, hook-up, abortion, same-sex. They all create a work-around to God’s original design.

2 – “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). The intentional blurring of gender (male and female) has produced a wild menu of over 50 categories to choose from. But the beginning was very, very simple. It involved 2

P – Procreation is the inseparable result of a conjugal relationship between husband and wife, providing the future and structure of society and ensuring the stability of child-rearing.

Robby P. George says it this way:

Do you believe, as I believe, that the core social function of marriage is to unite a man and woman as husband and wife to be mother and father to children born of their union? Do you hold, as I hold, that the norms that shape marriage as a truly conjugal partnership are grounded in its procreative nature- its singular aptness for the project of child-rearing? Do you understand marriage as the uniquely comprehensive type of bond- comprehensive in that it unites spouses in a bodily way and not merely at the level of hearts and minds- that is oriented to and would naturally be fulfilled by their conceiving and rearing children together?

To think that we’ve arrived at a place of societal suspension, where we actually have to think through what marriage is, where we must define, defend and demand it, is almost in itself….unthinkable. But so it is.

What does your cheat sheet say?



It wasn’t all that complicated. Just check one or the other right?

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Then, a lot happened within a short time:

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Now it’s complicated.

When gender was distinctively masculine and feminine, the rules of engagement were finely tuned and everyone operated within those boundaries and expectations.  But take a 20-year-old girl and put her on a college campus today where she literally crosses paths with guys all day long:

  • Is she to live expectantly, in awareness of her femininity?
  • Should she dumb down her gender until casual becomes….really casual?
  • With marriage and dating out of favor, should she defer vulnerability until she’s a senior?
  • How should she navigate the two preferred girl options for self protection: 1) hook-up target or 2) man-hater?

What isn’t complicated is that you’re needed more than ever. Call it customized coaching: 

I’m hearing from several girls, either outright or implied, the desire for focused female identity development, relational mentorship from older & wiser female “sexperts” if you will. Especially those females who’ve navigated the single/dating/engaged community in their mid-to-late 20s. (29-yr-old Audrey)

What is a Sexpert? Are they charged with staying up to date on Facebook’s custom gender options (currently over 50 to choose from)? Do they carry around a small booklet of definitions and characteristics so as to always appear relevant?

“…at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4)

Sexperts understand something about masculinity and femininity.



They promote God by exploring the created expressions of being made in His image: male and female. When sexperts cross paths with those who are younger, they forge the type of relationship that allows the learner to gaze into the mystery. They enter the eye of the storm together where motion stops, where knowing God is risky business, where spiritual life is transferred in gender flavors.

They hang out.

They rub off.



Erotica is the new game in town, toying with intimacy and longings through literature- titillating words designed to awaken desire. Picture pornography and erotica as two sides of the same coin.

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A recent book offers great clarity as to why the genre is exploding, linking the longings of a woman with the fiction of our day. Pulling Back the Shades (Gresh/Slattery) says:

The definition of erotica is “art or literature intended to arouse sexual desire.” Why is this a spiritual issue? Because sex is inherently spiritual. (Pg 44)

The word “spiritual” simply means that at our core, we were created for security and significance. Notice how the authors give further definition to a woman’s longings:

  • To escape reality
  • To be cherished by a man
  • To be protected by a strong man
  • To rescue a man
  • To be sexually alive

In the imaginary world of erotica, the reader both 1) gets saved and 2) becomes the savior. That’s the power. That’s the formula. Security and significance.

“Enter erotica. No man needed, no risks of heartbreak involved, you don’t even have to put on makeup….just start reading and you can have your body and mind awakened any time you want.” (Pg 24)

When Jesus says…

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

….he is talking about this very tendency. Whichever side of the coin we tilt towards does the same thing. It attempts to arouse our mind and body. The big question we’re left with is what exactly was Jesus implying? Was he taking the established code (no adultery) and simply ratcheting it up a notch? An impossible idealism? If you hold to that position, you may as well check into to the local despair unit.

Jesus is our security. And our significance comes from partnering with his agenda. This revolutionary intrusion into human history finds the Son of God invading our private space. We get saved and he is the one doing it. The savior.