Show Hope’s Biblical Context for Understanding Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

In everything Show Hope does, we strive to be guided by the gospel and God’s word (See Show Hope’s Statement of Faith). As sinners in need of a savior, we endeavor that all Show Hope operations and decisions reflect our risen Savior’s sacrifice for each of us, enabling and actualizing our eternal adoption into his kingdom.

Above all, Show Hope seeks to live out Jesus’ commandment in Mark 12:30-31; “30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Jesus commands that we are to love God first, living authentically and true to his word, and then love our neighbors, serving and supporting them in accordance to his truth.  Every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31).  Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the beliefs of Show Hope.

In an effort to properly articulate Show Hope’s definition of marriage, the beginning point must be God and his revelation to humanity through Scripture.  Show Hope believes marriage is the sacred union between one man and one woman, as defined by Scripture.  As humans, we bear the image of the divine.  We are made “after the likeness” of God, who by nature of existing as three persons bonded together in eternal oneness (Trinity), created relational counterparts, male and female, to bear his image (Gen. 1:26).  Genesis 1:9 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  All is declared good in the Genesis account of creation except the aloneness of the first male (Adam), for which the answer is God’s creation of Eve, earth’s first female (Gen. 2:18, 20).

The Bible continues, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).  This verse sets forth the biblical pattern for marriage as instituted by God in the beginning: one man is united to one woman in matrimony, and the two form one new family.  Within the context of marriage, the dynamic interplay and biological complementarity between male and female is imperative, as deemed “good” by God himself.  Jesus confirms all of this in Matthew 19:8, pointing toward marriage’s existence as a male/female, one-flesh union “from the beginning.”

Furthermore, we believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4).  We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

Marriage is used throughout the Bible as a reflection of Christ’s relationship to the Church itself (Ephesians 5:32).  Just as adoption points us to a deeper understanding of all believers being adopted into God’s family through Christ, biblical marriage and families point us to a deeper understanding of the Church as the bride of Christ.  As such, we seek to support and equip biblical families.

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