Faith

Christian Marriage in a Campus Culture of Homosexuality and Transgenderism

FORT MILL, SC — Christian newlyweds spoke about their ministry on human sexuality to a secular campus, acknowledging the difficulty of Christian sexual morality but saying that the saving power of Jesus Christ and their joy in God enabled them to follow the path and be an example to others.

“We have a unique opportunity to display what we believe a Christian marriage is designed to look like, in the face of a world that is up in arms about marriage right now,” declared Grant Forrester, a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in an interview with PJ Media on Saturday. “Homosexuality, and transgenderism, and gender fluidity, and not knowing exactly what context marriage should fit into that,” defines the sexual confusion on college campuses today.

Grant and his wife Lexi said they felt blessed to be able to model Christian sexuality in such a confused environment. They head up their school’s chapter of Ratio Christi, a Christian evangelization group on college campuses which hosts discussions on how Christianity relates to key cultural questions. “The biggest question that we’ve received for our surveys for topics that we should cover this semester has been gender fluidity and homosexuality and gay marriage rights and transgenderism,” Grant said.

Lexi addressed “sexuality as a whole … and what it looks like as believers — the fact that it’s God’s good gift, what the world has made it look like and what God has expected it to be.” She explained that “it’s been really amazing to finally have the ability to talk about it, because we’re married, so we can actually talk about it in a way where it’s personal to us, we understand more than we ever did before.”

This experience is key to establishing their credibility on sexual issues, her husband explained. “We don’t just look like bigots who aren’t married and don’t know what we’re talking about,” he said.

The couple admitted that many churches have overemphasized marriage. “The church has placed such a high standard on marriage: if you’re not married, then you’re not quite yet a complete Christian,” Grant explained.

Lexi laid out a good way for Christians to approach those who are not living by the biblical standard (no sex until marriage, and only in marriage): “We understand, but this is what God calls us to, and this is how you can do it. We’ve done it — we’ve been able to glorify God in the way that we’ve dated, got engaged, and then married.”

“We’re not perfect,” the young wife was quick to add, “but by God’s grace we wanted to be an example, and we wanted to create other Christians to be strong examples to our campus, on what it means to be a Christian: to be single, to be married, and just to be glorifying God in both states.”

Next Page: So if Christian sexual morality is hard, how did this couple stick to it?

Lexi Forrester emphasized the importance of putting faith at the center of her life and relationship in order to follow Christian sexual morality and take the most joy from it. “This love is best when we’re teammates for Christ, because ultimately Christ is my bridegroom and his bridegroom,” she said, referencing Ephesians 5:32, which states that marriage is ultimately a symbol for the relationship of redeemed humanity with Jesus Christ.

Matthew 22:30 also explains that there is no marriage in heaven, so earthly marriages will end at death. “We may be lucky to have each other for sixty years, but we’re married to Christ for eternity,” Lexi declared.

When it comes to sexuality, this marks a tremendous shift in worldview. “It’s not about our morality — it’s not about God trying to make things not fun or not easy. What God’s doing is trying to make things the best they can be for us,” the wife added.

“His ‘rules’ are ultimately for us to foster the most freedom we could possibly have, to foster the most love that we could possibly have, the most joyful experience — Christian hedonism,” Lexi explained, citing the theologian John Piper. When believers trust that God’s plan is the right one, they will find joy in submitting themselves to Him, and this joy is better than the happiness of worldly pleasure.

“It sounds like morality, but it’s not,” the wife declared. She explained that submitting to Jesus is like submitting to her husband, and this is motivated entirely by love. “I serve him and he serves me because we love each other deeply — not because I’m obligated to, although I am obligated to — I still want to do it because I just love him deeply.”

Her husband agreed. “I think the beauty of Christian morality or obedience is that it comes from joy, and we’re able to have this joy because we’re not the ones that do the work.”

Grant explained the Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, and laid down his life for sinners, so that when He rose from the dead, he could redeem sinful humanity, offering the way to eternal union with God. This means that Christians do not need to earn their salvation because “Christ is the one that’s already done it.”

“So if we can lean on the work that’s already completed, we don’t have to partner with Jesus, to walk out our perfectly moral lives to get to heaven,” Grant added. “He’s already lived that perfectly moral life and we can have joy from that.”

Christians gain the strength and joy to follow a more strict sexual code by looking at the example of Jesus. “It’s out of that joy and understanding that we can walk the life of obedience, and walk the life that is in God’s eyes properly moral,” the husband declared.

Christians like him and his wife were able to remain pure before marriage and dedicated to one another within marriage because of Jesus Christ. “It’s because of what he’s done that we’re even able to live the way that we’re saying that you should love, it’s not because we’re righteous and perfect and we live this way on our own accord. No, it’s because of Jesus’ work and our trust in that.”

On Saturday night, the Forresters each received the Legatus Christi award, signifying them as ambassadors of Christ on college campuses. They look forward to returning to campus and spending their senior year preaching the gospel with intellectual rigor and conviction on their campus.

Check out the video on the next page.