If the Bible teaches, as it does, that the woman is the glory of the man, what follows from this? Among others things, we find an answer to one of the central challenges of our culture wars — by which I mean the cultural infantilism of homosexual marriage.
“the woman is the glory of the man” (1 Cor. 11:7).
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Prov. 12:4).
Now if the woman is the glory of the man, if a man turns to another man instead, he is refusing to be glorified. And by the same token, if a woman turns away from a man to another woman, she is refusing to be a glory.
One of the prime characteristics of our generation is that of being in revolt against maturity. This shows up in food issues, in architecture, in our treatment of the elderly, and so forth. And of course, it shows up here, with this issue.
We do not want to be glorified. God’s intent for the human race, established first with Adam, and reestablished again in the last Adam, Christ, is the glorification of the human race. That is His settled intent.
“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30).
This is where God is taking us. This is the whole point of humanity. That being the case, the point of every human life should be to point to this larger point. We are each of us called to yearn in the direction that the whole creation is yearning.
But in our sin we don’t want to be glorified, and we don’t want any lesser glories that remind us of our ultimate glorification. We want to be left alone, left right where we are. We don’t want the risk that comes with the godly ambition to be glorified.
This means that gays and lesbians are therefore not the cool kids. They are the footdraggers, the hangers-back, those afraid of success. They are not the future. They are the embodiment of failure to launch. Now some conservatives might argue that I am minimizing the “abomination” factor (Lev. 20:13). Not at all — but I am saying that an abomination involves much more than the ick factor. For any human being, created in the image of God, to refuse glorification is appalling. There are heterosexual refusals of glorification too, of course, but homosexuality is a high profile example of this.
The fact that we are created in the image of God is central to this idea of glorification. We are stamped with His image, and the process of glorification of sinners is the restoration of that image, defaced by the Fall. But what did that image consist of originally?
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).
Among other things, Adam was created with a crown. Among other things, Adam was attended with glory. How could it be otherwise, when he was fashioned in the image of the glorious God? Male and female together constitute the image of God in man. This does not mean that those who are unmarried in the providence of God are sub-human, obviously, but it does mean that those men who reject the gift of being glorified, and the women who reject the role of being a glory, are in high rebellion against the blueprint established for us.
The rejection of this glory is, not surprisingly, followed immediately by the pursuit of glory’s opposite — degradation. Because men refuse to glorify God (Rom. 1:21), the end result is that they refuse to imitate that glory. And when they refuse to pursue that glory, what happens? “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections” (Rom. 1:26).
Now someone might object that all this objectifies women, making them trophy wives. Well, yes, rightly understood every wife should be considered a trophy wife. But not one of those plastic ones you got in third grade for winning the three-legged race at the all-school picnic. Rather, a wife rightly honored reflects the gospel in ways that nothing else can (Eph. 5:25-27), and in her triumph she portrays the eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17) — as terrible as an army with banners (Song 6:10). A trophy wife, all right, but a trophy well worth having. In order to bear a crown with that kind of weight, a husband has to have (by grace) a strong neck, which means that it cannot be a stiff neck.