Marriage - Counter Culture

Study outline of Chapter 6 on Marriage from Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography


A. Marriage is Under Attack

  1. The very definition of Marriage: Supreme Court DOMA decision, and so-called same sex marriage
  2. Divorce rates
  3. Cohabitation
  4. Intentional singleness and fornication

B. What does God say about Marriage?

  1. God designed it!
    Marriage is not a man made social arrangement.
    1. God created them male and female, in the image of God. (Gen. 1:27)
    2. Men and women created with equal dignity.
    3. But not identical, rather, distinct. (Gen. 1:28)
      The man and woman, fruitful by distinct design.
    4. Complementary.
      One thing in pre-sin creation was not good: Man is alone.

    Two individuals, equal in dignity but distinct in form, perfectly designed to complement each other.

    ... the family: the great gift that God gave to humanity with the creation of man and woman and with the sacrament of marriage... man and woman alone are made in the image and likeness of God: the biblical text repeats it three times in two passages [Genesis 1:26-27]: man and woman are the image and likeness of God. This tells us that it is not man alone who is the image of God or woman alone who is the image of God, but man and woman as a couple who are the image of God. The difference between man and woman is not meant to stand in opposition, or to subordinate, but is for the sake of communion and generation, always in the image and likeness of God...

    The marital and familial bond is a serious matter, and it is so for everyone not just for believers. I would urge intellectuals not to leave this theme aside, as if it had to become secondary in order to foster a more free and just society... God entrusted the earth to the alliance between man and woman: its failure deprives the earth of warmth and darkens the sky of hope. The signs are already worrisome, and we see them...

    the communion with God is reflected in the communion of the human couple and the loss of trust in the heavenly Father generates division and conflict between man and woman.

    The great responsibility of the Church, of all believers, and first of all of believing families, which derives from us, impels people to rediscover the beauty of the creative design that also inscribes the image of God in the alliance between man and woman. The earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived properly. And if man and woman seek it together, between themselves, and with God, without a doubt they will find it. Jesus encourages us explicitly to bear witness to this beauty, which is the image of God. (1. Pope Francis)

C. Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32)

  1. Marriage was created by God as a means to an end... an illustration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
  2. Husband and wife, Christ and Church
    1. Headship and submission
    2. A portrait to the world
  3. Marriage is a primary means to illustrate the Gospel to a watching world

D. The Church's distortion of the portrait

  1. The very first attack of Satan!
    To disrupt the relationship of the man and woman, and we've suffered since.
    1. Man's abdication of responsibility, then and now
    2. Placing focus on physical rather than spiritual responsibility
      1. A husbands greatest responsibility is the spiritual leadership of his wife!
    3. Men that "ignore" marriage
    4. Men that abuse their authority
    5. Women's opposition to the man's leadership

    Satan's attack, and our sin, has distorted the portrait the Church, christian marriages, display to the world!

E. Fix the distortion!

  1. Take personal responsibility!
    1. Embrace the Gospel for our lives and marriages!
    2. Embrace our God designed roles and responsibilities!
    3. Ask the question: What portrait is our marriage showing to the world?
  2. Display the Gospel in the darkness!
    1. Accept the mission of your marriage
    2. Invest in your marriage!
      It is the single most important investment you can make.
      counseling, retreats, conferences, bible studies, etc...
    3. Joyfully await the marriage supper of the Lamb!! (Rev. 19:6-9)

    "... marriage exits even more for God than it does for us... [it's] not to satisfy our needs but to display his glory in the gospel... if we want to declare the gospel, we must defend marriage."

    Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves...

    And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage. (2. Manhattan Declaration)

    April 24, 2015
    Over 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and other religious leaders have issued a joint open letter affirming their “commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one woman.”

    “The state has a compelling interest in maintaining marriage as it has been understood across faiths and cultures for millennia because it has a compelling interest in the well-being of children,” the signatories stated. “Every child has a mother and a father, and every child deserves the opportunity, whenever possible, to be raised by his or her own married mother and father in a stable, loving home.” (3)


1. "The Complementarity between Man and Woman" by Pope Francis, This item 10885 digitally provided courtesy of

2. "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" Released November 20, 2009


3. "Religious leaders issue open letter on marriage and religious liberty" Catholic World News - April 24, 2015

4. "THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE AND THE RIGHT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: REAFFIRMING A SHARED WITNESS" An Open Letter from Religious Leaders to All in Positions of Public Service, Released April 23, 2015