Let’s be honest: the debate about same-sex marriage is very personal.
This discussion directly impacts people in same-sex relationships, and it will ultimately determine whether their union should be recognised as a ‘marriage.’
That is why this debate feels personal, even when people try and only address the issues.
Every ethical discussion will directly affect some people, yet we must not walk away from these important conversations.
For example, a discussion about euthanasia or abortion may cause some people to be upset, especially if they are caring for someone who is terminally ill or carrying an unborn child with a serious illness.
Yet, for the sake of good order it is vital that we have a mature discussion about these issues that affect the very fabric of our society.
But remember that people will often pay more attention to how we’re speaking instead of what we’re saying.
That is why we need to do all we can to show love to those we disagree with, even when they might prefer we didn’t speak at all.
When Jesus encountered people with a different viewpoint, he spoke his mind, even though it caused some people to be upset with him.
And the Apostle Paul felt obliged to defend his viewpoint, even though he knew it would cause people to be unhappy.
As Paul says in Galatians:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
This is the difficult challenge we face: speaking the truth in love.
And above all, we want to keep pointing people to Jesus, who “loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…” (Revelation 1:5)