In my last email, I shared a little about my family. Today, I also want to get a little personal.
I want to proudly share that today marks my 10th wedding anniversary.
That’s right. Today marks 10 years since my wife, Spencer agreed to do the unthinkable… spend the rest of her life with me.
What a joy and privilege it has been to share life with her. There’s been no shortage of challenges and plenty of difficulties. Life hasn’t been easy. She’s come along with me as we moved to new places, chased new dreams, and grew a family. I’m not sure that, at any point, I’ve made it easy.
Yet, every step of the way she’s been supportive – even when I told her I had this crazy dream of building a Christian organization in Georgia, which would involve leaving our successful business to come run a non-profit.
I cannot begin to describe the ways she has blessed my life over the last 10 years.
And, that’s what we’re here to defend.
God’s design for family, for marriage, for gender, and for the most pure institution He created is on the line. It’s under siege. It’s not the American “normal” or “ideal” anymore.
So, what’s our response?
Scripture calls us to take action. It calls us to take action for Him – our love of God and what He has made. It also calls us to take action for our neighbor.
Despite how many in popular culture want to portray marriage (as a burden), there is nothing that brings more joy – except for walking with Christ – than the privilege of being married to someone committed to being a godly spouse.
What He has made in the marriage covenant is for our good and for the good of our neighbor. Marriage is for our joy, and it’s worth protecting.
As we prepare to announce some changes in our ministry, there is something that will never change: this organization is about serving the Living King and defending His first institution, the family.
I also want to, selfishly, ask for 2 things in light of my 10-year anniversary:
- I want your prayers and accountability. As the head of an organization focused on the family, it’s imperative that I not just talk about it. It’s imperative that I live it and I walk it. I confess to you that I’m a sinner, and my wife will tell you (she’d be HAPPY to tell you) that I’m FAR from perfect. That’s why I’m asking those associated with our ministry and partnering with us to pray that my life and my marriage is pleasing to God and a joy-filled example of the gift God has given us.
- Pray for my wife. (Yes, there’s a lot of “cuz she has to deal with me” jokes that can be inserted here). She has sacrificed a lot along the way for this ministry. She does so because of her love for me, love for Jesus, and her passion to see Him glorified. She does so joyously. Yet, while I run around the state doing this work, she’s often doing the more important job – teaching and training our 4 kids. I would just humbly ask that, as you pray for this ministry (which I hope you do), that you pray for her as well. I could not do what I do without her.
I appreciate you allowing me to share this personal point and these requests with you. The greatest thing I ever did was convince my beautiful bride to marry me, and I’m awfully proud that I’ve, somehow, managed to keep her for a full decade 😊
Because Marriage Matters,
President and Executive Director
One of the great pleasures in my capacity as the Director of Advocacy is the numerous opportunities to speak in churches on the importance of Biblical Citizenship. Recently, on one such occasion, a young man entering his junior year in a public university approached me after the sermon and said, “You made your position very clear.” My initial reaction of his compliment was one of perplexity. I mentally rehashed my message to scan for any key points that were purposely persuasive enough to account for his comment. As he continued to share his points of agreement and even disagreement with me, I was able to identify the specific claim that caused him to approach me and inquire further about my position.
Christians should pursue good public policy, in particular, the Biblical family structure as the foundation of society. In other words, every child has the right to live and experience the love of a father and a mother.
Yes, it is true. I firmly believe the biblical family structure is a non-negotiable position for Christians who claim devotion and loyalty to Christ. I am derided by some for remaining faithful to God’s perfect creative order for the family as established in the opening chapters of Genesis. These core universal, historical, and orthodox views include:
- Human life at all stages of development and existence must be honored and protected.
- Marriage is the lifelong covenant relationship between two unrelated adults of the opposite sex.
- Sex is a biological binary reality.
- The relationship between parents and their children should not be violated by the state.
- Parents have the responsibility to raise their children according to their family’s faith and tradition without interference from the state.
Yet, these long established acceptable and mainstream views are now scorned and routinely overruled in the pursuit of progress. Postmodern activists want to erase what they perceive to be archaic oppressive ideas – such as male and female, as they reorient society for their new world. They are relentless in their effort to redefine and reimagine every institution.
I refuse to allow those who seek to dismantle and destroy the biblical family unit to go unchecked and unchallenged. Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® will advocate for your position because the future hinges on our joint engagement.
“Christians need to understand what is at stake. The end of parental rights
is the end of the family, and eventually, the end of human
civilization as we know it.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, The Gathering Storm – Secularism, Culture and the Church.
Director of Advocacy
Our allies at Family Action Council of Tennessee have just launched a new initiative that could reshape the marriage debate in Tennessee and eventually the nation.
God-Given Marriage informs Tennesseans on the true nature of marriage and gives citizens practical steps toward restoring that understanding of marriage.
With the backing of leading constitutional attorneys, this initiative clarifies what marriage really is – and the legal limits on courts that try to re-define it.
- Where does marriage come from – government or God? If government, we can make anything a marriage. If it’s from God, then, as Chief Justice Roberts said, “Just who do we think we are” to redefine it?
- Court’s don’t make laws, and federal courts surely can’t make them for the states. They don’t “legalize” anything, but only issue judgments to resolve specific disputes between parties. The legislature is the body that makes laws and “legalizes” things.
- Licenses require laws, and Tennessee has no laws for issuing licenses for a marriage defined without regard to the sex of the parties. Current laws only allow for the issuance of licenses for marriages defined by the two sexes. Yet Tennessee and other states are just issuing licenses as ifsuch laws were passed.
Please visit God-Given Marriage today to learn more and find out how you can reshape the marriage debate right now in the Volunteer State!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
By Stephanie Curry, Policy Manager
What do Bermuda, California, and Colorado have in common?
Even though the media didn’t really cover them, three recent stories were big victories for families—coming from three very different parts of the world.
Last week, Bermuda became the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. Although Bermuda’s Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last May, the overwhelming majority of Bermudians opposed it. The legislature—the branch of government that should be enacting (or rejecting) laws, not the courts—responded by repealing the judgment! This should stand as a great encouragement and reminder to Americans that the people we elect into office do have the power to uphold the beliefs of the people, even if that means changing the law or fixing a court’s bad decision.
In a surprising show from the California Superior Court, Judge David Lampe ruled that Tastries Bakery could decline to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. Judge Lampe ruled, “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace. . . The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking. Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.” If the creation of a wedding cake is a form of speech, silence—declining to create the cake—is just as much a protected right under the First Amendment. Judge Lampe even wrote that the creation of a wedding cake is one of the greatest symbolic expressions in our culture and should be adamantly protected.
Finally, in Colorado, a Joint Budget Committee decided to defund the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Normally, a Senate budget committee decision would be about as exciting as waiting in line at the DMV, but this decision actually is exciting—and matters to families in Colorado and across the country.
You may remember the infamous Colorado Commission from its involvement in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, now at the Supreme Court. The Colorado Commission said that Jack, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had to design custom wedding cakes for same-sex weddings (regardless of his religious or moral beliefs) or else give up that large portion of his business altogether. The Commission’s decision forced Jack to take his case to courts.
The Supreme Court will likely release its decision in June, and the Court will decide the same question Judge Lampe just decided in California, “Can a baker be forced to create a wedding cake?” We hope and pray that the Supreme Court agrees with Judge Lamp in California and upholds artistic expression as a fundamentally protected right.
So, the Colorado Budget Committee’s decision to cut funding from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission because of how they targeted Jack and his faith is great news! The members of the Budget Committee are elected by Coloradans to represent Coloradans, and Colorado families believe that what the Commission did to Jack was wrong. Thankfully, these Colorado legislators listened to the voice of Colorado families who are fed up with our First Amendment freedoms being trampled. With a vote to strip the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of its funding, Colorado sent a loud and clear message: freedom of religion and freedom of speech are worth protecting.
We hope this “Bermuda Triangle” of great news encourages you as the family of believers. The work of restoring a nation where God is honored is hard work, and the results don’t happen overnight. But, it is work believers are each called to with a unique role to play, and as you can see, partnering together to protect and advance our basic freedoms—life, religion, speech—does make an impact.
The Nashville Statement thoughtfully describes God’s timeless design for marriage and relationships.
Initial signers of the detailed document include Al Mohler, Francis Chan and our own Paul Weber.
In the Family Policy Briefing, the president and CEO of Family Policy Alliance explains to Stuart Shepard the need for such a clear statement. He also invites you to read it, consider whether it resonates with your beliefs, and, if it does, to sign your name to it as well.
Read and sign The Nashville Statement.
This week, a coalition of Evangelical leaders released a historic declaration about biblical sexuality: the Nashville Statement. The statement consists of a preamble and 14 affirmations and denials related to human sexuality, particularly homosexuality and transgenderism.
The effort to craft the Nashville Statement was led by Denny Burk, who explained that the purpose of the statement is not to say something new “but to bear witness to something very ancient.”
In a press release, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s co-founder John Piper said, “The Nashville Statement is a Christian manifesto concerning issues of human sexuality. It speaks with forthright clarity, biblical conviction, gospel compassion, cultural relevance, and practical helpfulness. It will prove to be, I believe, enormously helpful for thousands of pastors and leaders hoping to give wise, biblical, and gracious guidance to their people.”
“I am signing The Nashville Statement because I stand with biblical orthodoxy, the only witness for hope and peace and God’s blessing,” author Rosaria Butterfield said. “By God through the merit and power of Jesus Christ, here I stand.”
In addition to Piper and Butterfield, the list of those who have signed the statement includes evangelical figures J. I. Packer, James Dobson, John MacArthur, Russell Moore, Wayne Grudem, Tony Perkins, D. A. Carson, Albert Mohler, Francis Chan, R. C. Sproul, Sam Allberry, and Marvin Olasky.
As well as Paul Weber, president of the national Family Policy Alliance organization, and our state allies across America.
Recently, a kindergarten teacher in California read her class a picture book about transgenderism to affirm a “gender dysphoric” boy who switched clothes in a “gender reveal.” In times such as these, the Nashville Statement is an important contribution to the witness of the Church about what is true, good and beautiful.
This past Monday, Ruth and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. To some of you, 30 years may seem like an eternity to be married. To others who have been married longer, you may see us as just “kids” and consider 30 years a good start. Regardless, I have been truly blessed to share my life with my best friend, the loving mother of our two wonderful children, and someone who has celebrated the good times and been my partner through the tough times. I often joke that Ruth has earned many jewels in her eternal crown by being married to me. She has undoubtedly demonstrated God’s grace and more than a little patience these past 30 years.
I’m sure you have heard that half of all marriages end in divorce. This figure is often hotly debated, but it’s undeniable that a significant percentage of marriages currently end in divorce. Marriage is often simply regarded as just “a piece of paper” or a societal construct that has outlived its relevance. So, is marriage still relevant in our secular culture?
Marriage was instituted at the dawn of creation by our Lord between Adam and Eve. That union was the beginning of the family. While marriage has become marginalized in our culture, our Lord established it as the basis for the family, community, and society. As Christians, we want to honor our Lord’s plan for our lives, and marriage is one important part of the plan.
This reason alone should suffice in establishing the relevance and importance of marriage, but there are other more practical reasons too. Couples in a committed marriage live longer than those who are single, cohabiting or divorced. A healthy, functioning marriage can provide stress and anxiety relief in many cases and help reduce the chances of depression. Finally, married couples experience lower levels of heart disease, cancers, flu, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Despite these benefits, not every marriage is healthy. For example, physically, mentally and emotionally abusive marriages are not what God intended.
And others have come to realize that God’s plan for them does not include marriage.
For these, and other reasons, marriage is not for everyone.
But still the question remains, is marriage relevant today? For Christians, the answer is a resounding yes. Even for those who are not Christians, it is relevant and desirable for simply many of the aforementioned reasons.
Marriage for Ruth and me has been a journey. Do we ever get on each other’s nerves? Of course we do. Do we sometimes have disagreements? Absolutely. Nevertheless, we complete each other and walk this journey together, and I cannot imagine having spent the past 30 years without her by my side.
So, to you my dear, I say thank you. Thank you for all the love you’ve shown, the support you’ve provided, your laughter, and enduring faithfulness.
Is our marriage relevant? I can think of almost nothing more relevant!
TAKE ACTION – Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fights for God-given biblical marriage. If you share these values, please consider supporting our organization in this important work. Together, we can protect and preserve the sanctity of marriage.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve challenged two entities to fight for pro-family policy engagement: the Church and the business community. This week I challenge families.
Because the family was the first and most fundamental form of government established by God, it is the foundation for communities, societies, and national and state governments. Given the importance of the family in God’s plan, we need to not only teach our children our Christian values, but also explain why it’s important to embed these values into public policy. Here are some current topics that families should discuss together:
Sanctity of Life: God creates individuals as unique persons at conception and values them at all stages of life. This means that practices such as abortion and assisted suicide are not part of His will and any policies advancing these practices are antithetical to our Christian values.
Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity: God creates us biologically as male or female. The biblical mandate is to preserve and honor His plan for our lives, and that includes being a man or a woman. Anything other than this is a misrepresentation of God’s plan. This also includes honoring the biblical definition of marriage as a union between a husband and wife.
Religious Freedom: We have been endowed with inalienable rights by our Creator. They come before any rights granted by government. As our Founding Fathers clearly understood, God’s laws are foremost. Religious freedom encompasses everything from the right to teach our children from a biblical foundation, to the right to operate our businesses based on our religious beliefs.
Compassion and Humility: God commands us to treat all persons with compassion and humility, including those who disagree with our principles. We must hold fast to our Christian values, but recognize that Christ loved all: those who agreed with Him and those who didn’t.
These are just a subset of values we as Christians need to pass along to our children. They are our legacy and our children will live according to these principles long after we have passed on. Let’s make sure our children understand that these values touch all of life, including public policy, and that they are worth fighting for. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fights for these values on your behalf, and you and your children can join us in this effort. Let’s leave a legacy of biblical values and do what we can to ensure the next generation cherishes and is willing to fight for them!
Family Action Council of Tennessee is moving forward with a lawsuit seeking to get clarity on the Supreme Court ruling that redefined marriage.
The Obergefell case of two years ago left many state marriage statutes in limbo and David Fowler, president of FACT, tells us that he’s calling out the court to, in Justice Antonin Scalia’s words, “remind the court of its impotence.”
Find an allied group in your state.
It’s hard to believe President Trump has only been in office for 60 days. Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance, tells us there’s good news and better news when it comes to the issues we hold dear.
We take a look at what’s been accomplished when it comes to life, marriage, family and religious freedom.