1. Teach your congregation to avoid anger, outrage, or despair. Jesus tells us marriage has existed as a male/female one-flesh union “from the beginning.” This means marriage is resilient, regardless of what cultures do to minimize it.
2. Love your gay and lesbian neighbors. They aren’t part of an evil conspiracy. They are, like all of us apart from Christ, seeking a way that seems best to them. Be kind, and respect all persons as image-bearers of God.
3. Preach and teach on the integrity of conjugal marriage. Don’t assume your people understand the gospel foundations of marriage. Take this opportunity to point to the formation of healthy, gospel-shaped marriage cultures within your congregation.
4. Repent of the ways our congregational cultures have downgraded marriage. If your church hasn’t addressed divorce, cohabitation, or fornication through proclamation and discipline, now is the time to repent and rework.
5. Make your marriage convictions clear in your confession of faith. If your church assumes a definition of marriage, your confession of faith is now irrelevant. Defend your religious liberty by making your congregational conviction clear in your statement of faith. Make your marriage convictions clear in your church by-laws. Address what repentance and gospel fidelity looks like for those seeking membership, for those in good standing with your church, and for those who wish to be married in your church building or by the officers of your church.
6. Stop laissez-faire wedding policies. Your church building is not a public space and your church ministers aren’t justices of the peace. Make clear that you will marry, and host weddings, only for those who have accountability to the people of Christ and to the Word of God.