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FIRST-PERSON: Prop. 2 passed — now what?

MELISSA, Texas. (BP)–By going to the voting booth, the citizens of Texas have spoken. On Nov. 8, Proposition 2 passed by a margin of more than 3-to-1, adding an amendment to the Texas Constitution that explicitly defines marriage in our state as only between one man and one woman.

I and other Christian leaders encouraged people of faith to vote in support of Proposition 2 because we believed that this amendment took a stand for God’s design for marriage as described in the Bible. I voiced my support for Prop. 2 in several newspapers and in radio interviews, because I was convinced it represented not only the biblical view of marriage but also the opinion of the majority of Texans.

The opponents to this proposition voiced their disapproval of Prop. 2 by arguing that it would do nothing to fix problems facing marriage, such as high divorce rates, adultery and child abuse. These liberal groups stated that if the “religious right” wanted to protect marriage, steps would be taken to eliminate these evils and the “civil rights” of homosexuals would be left alone.

While I disagree with the underlying worldview of those who would seek to redefine marriage as between members of the same sex, I agree that the homosexual agenda does not constitute the only cause for the failure of traditional marriage. As people of faith, we would do well to avoid boasting about the results of an election and instead we should focus on our own actions. In the words of Jesus, we should forget about the speck in our brother’s eye while worrying about the logs in our own eyes.

Now that the people have spoken and told our legislators that the majority of Texans believe in the traditional, conservative view of marriage, we must ask, “Now what?” Should we who voted for traditional marriage stop now and simply gloat as we wait for the next controversial item on the ballot?

The answer is obviously “no.” To protect marriage, we must stop arguing with our political opponents and begin asking the hard questions. We should strive to conform our own marriages to God’s biblical standards, even while societal forces work to devalue our morals and redefine wrong as right.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we must begin asking questions like these:

— What are we going to do to strengthen marriage?

— How are we going to live out God’s design for our marriages?

— When will we begin living up to the standards we preach?

— What must happen now to continue improving our society and making marriages and families the bedrocks of our society?

— What should we be teaching in our schools about love and marriage and how can we, as people of faith, be involved in making those decisions?

I know that those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ can be better parents and better role models. I know that our churches can do a better job of preparing and assisting parents who struggle. I know that dads can spend more quality time raising children who love God and love God’s people. I know that moms could prioritize their responsibilities to prepare the next generation of Texas leaders over other, more selfish, endeavors.

I am asking you to improve our society by improving your marriage. I am asking you to be a better parent or grandparent because the values we vote are the values you teach the children in your life.
Trey Graham, a writer, speaker and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Melissa, Texas, is the author of “Lessons for the Journey” (America House, 2001) and “Light for the Journey” (PublishAmerica, 2004). He can be reached at [email protected].

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  • Trey Graham