I wish you could know a dear woman I know. I wish you could visit her farmhouse. I wish that you knew the way the corn waved when you drove up to her front porch. Because in times of Supreme Court rulings over homosexual marriages and confusion and sleepy churches, it is good to know the way the corn waves. It is helpful to know that it is rooted firm in brown soil and needs watering to sprout golden kernels. Because we are going to need the roots to get up tomorrow and the next day and the next.
My stomach still hurts about the way we have redefined marriage. God is angry. We have spit on the beautiful picture of the union between man and woman. There is no going back. History is changed, but this is true, even though the roots seem different, they’re not. The roots stand firm. God stands firm. Let’s not forget.
When you meet with Fern in her home past the corn, you know that she has been with Jesus. And I love women like this. Because, dear girl reading this that doesn’t know God, know this — Jesus is the best. He has the power to give you the most exhilarating freedom. I may not represent Him well every day, but I try. But Fern — Fern has more than just Jesus — she has years. She has years and years and years of walking with Him. Fern is ready to go to Heaven. If you ask her, she will tell you that she is ready to see her God. I can see why, she has loved Him on this side of Heaven for too long.
In all her years, Fern has seen Roe v. Wade. She has witnessed the 40 years that it passed and what has happened since then. She has seen the church grow and she has seen it dwindle. Through it all, she has remained faithful. I watch Fern most Sundays walk down the hallway to her pew. It’s probably not easy to get there every Sunday. I am sure she is tired most days. But she comes anyway. Because Her Jesus. Because Her Church. Because she believes and it compels her to action.
It is time, church, to be compelled to action.
One day, I went to visit Fern with my babies. We sat in her living room and the air grew thick, like the Holy Spirit sat with us — because He did — because He is real. While sitting, Fern looked up at me after staring at my girls and said one question that has radically transformed my life. It is the question that made me start running toward my imperfectly brave life. One question — and it is time that we all start answering it.
Fern stared at me and said, “How did we get here?”
I knew exactly what she was asking. She was saying, “Whitney, how have we come to a place where our babies are expendable? How have we come so far to kill life inside the womb?” I don’t remember much, but I remember being stunned by her question.
And since this woman is the wisdom woman, I sat under the weight of glory and asked her right back, “I don’t know, Fern. How did we get here?”
And then there was silence because sometimes you need silence before the storm hits. She said five more words and my tornado came to life. She said,
“We just weren’t brave enough.”
Fern didn’t point her finger anywhere else except for inside. She didn’t look anywhere outside of her own realm of influence. She didn’t condemn Washington. She didn’t post mean things. She didn’t throw stones. She pointed back at the one person that she could control. Herself.
Girls, the problem we face now won’t be solved through politics. That’s not the argument. The church is when we start making a difference. We have fit church and God and Jesus into our life, rather than wrapping our lives around the power of Christ alone. There is a big difference and we are facing the repercussions. This was a slow fade. We didn’t just wake up and see that marriage between a man and man or woman and woman was passively legalized in our Supreme Court. This is the tip of the iceberg from a church that has been asleep.
Oh Church that has been asleep, wake up. We have to wake up. And many believers are confused because we seem to be getting the same “wake up” message. LOVE. Yes. Love. And dear girl, it will be love. But how? I need someone to flesh this out for me. Love in what ways? How do I have the conversations? Give me some tools.
I am going to give you one. JESUS.
We have to love our neighbor for one reason. Jesus. We have to be intentional with everybody in our city for one reason. Jesus. We have to walk mightily in the Spirit for one reason. Jesus. This is how we saw the early church walk – who only knew persecution – they woke up in the morning with one passion. Advancing the gospel. It is time that we do the same.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16-17
So dear friend who is celebrating this ruling — Jesus. I will not be ashamed of the gospel. I am not going to try to figure out all the ways to love you well. I am not going to get all kinds of fearful over what could happen to me. I am not going to be afraid about what to post on Facebook or what not to post on Facebook. I am not going to wreck myself over how to win you over because I am going to believe one thing. I am going to believe in the name of Jesus. And know this, I have to tell you that I won’t be perfect. I won’t represent Him perfectly. But I am going to try. I am going to give you my best. But no matter what, I am going to keep saying the name of Jesus to you because He is your only hope and I am going to be your hope-bringer.
I know we can’t have great conversations over black and white type and I hope that above all things this ruling spurs all Christians to start having beautiful conversations about our Savior. I love all men and women, gay or not. But I am going to act the way Jesus would. I am going to walk up to you kindly, draw a line in the sand and ask people to stop throwing the stones, but then I am going to be the bravest and say some hard words. I am going to say,
“Go and sin no more.” Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
Jesus loved them all. He loved me enough to look kindly upon me while I was just a mess. And when my eyes turned to Him, He said, “For you, Whitney, I have given eternal life. Now go and sin no more. ” I believe He has the same words for you. But there is one thing — one beautiful pursuit — to go and sin no more.
Oh great Church, would we love well. Would we love relentlessly. Would we have good conversations about our Jesus. He will bridge gaps and He will divide, too. That is not for us to decide, but we can decide not to be silent. There is no more time to straddle the line. We simply can’t anymore. It is time to choose where you stand and sleepy, Church, it is time to wake up. Let us believe in a living God. He will rule and reign as He finds fit. He is mightier than you. You are merely His messenger. He is the message. Let Him convict the hearts. And let me just assist in the place I feel the strongest. The battle won’t be won here. It won’t be won in the words. It will be won in the actions. It will be won when the Church stops grieving the Holy Spirit and actually begins believing in the power that exists under His name.
Never before has their been a time that people are aching most for God. There will be a lot of articles. There will be a lot of strategies. There will be a lot of confusion. Among it all, I hope that we become intentional people who seek God first. Let us know Him well enough to bring Him well enough. Let’s be good pursuers of Him, not because we will ever be good enough, but because the world needs the only Good One. Let us walk in the Spirit because the power of God is mightier than our own power.
And remember: There will be a time that you will sit alone in your home looking back on your life. There will be a time to ask whether or not you lived for Christ. There will be a time when all the worldly pursuits will seem shallow and you will need to know you lived well. The challenge lies here — let us be the ones that say over our lives — we were brave enough. Now is the time to be imperfectly brave, Church. Let us be imperfectly brave in the Name that is enough.
Some ways to pray about this new ruling and your place in it:
- Do you have any homosexual friends?
- How can you be in your city and bring the name of Jesus to those that need to know Him?
- Is your life wrapped around one thing – knowing Jesus and bringing Him to others?
If not, take some time to get on your knees and ask God to show you who you can bring Jesus’ to. Ask God to embolden you with the Holy Spirit. Walk in His ways. And He will bring people because He longs for people to hear His name.
Some great scripture to understand what the Bible says about homosexuality if you need further resources:
- Romans 1:24-27
- Philippians 3:18-19
- Colossians 3:5-6
- Psalm 119:136
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-20