In my school days, I noticed something disturbing about the Christians I knew -- even myself. Now, I knew a lot of people on different sides of the major social issues. Back then (as now), Christians were taking fairly harsh criticism from certain camps for being pro-life and for insisting that sex was reserved for marriage. "Should a woman be punished the rest of her life for a single mistake?" people asked about abortion. "If we're living together, that doesn't hurt anybody; you all should mind your own business!", couples would say. The Christians often seemed embarrassed and defensive.
The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why in the world Christians should be embarrassed. Any faith that can stand up and say without shame that human life is sacred -- and that children are a blessing rather than a punishment -- this is a faith which has reason to hold its head high. Christianity can say to the over-eager couple: "Who gets hurt? You do. You involve your hearts and lives and sign a lease contract on the basis of a hormone-based relationship, and the one who gets hurt when it falls apart is you." But the Christians are often embarrassed. We were not standing up and saying, "Marriage is to save you from being that broken-hearted -- from being over-involved with someone who wasn't right for you. Why would you want to be that involved with someone if you don't know if you're right together? How many years before you're cynical? How long before you stop trusting? How many things will you do that you wish you could take back?"
Instead, we Christians often show little appreciation for the strength of our own position. What we call "morality" is God's way of creating a livable world and a life we're glad to have. "Morality" says our sexuality is meaningful, that children are worthwhile, that the burdens are outweighed by the blessings. Too often, we Christians cower in the corner.
In this light, I think I will always remember two particular days: one day in high school when a friend of mine asked me for an opinion on whether she should go all the way with her boyfriend; I "didn't want to offend her" so I "let her make her own decision" -- I sat on the fence. And another day a good few years later, after the same friend was cynical and broken-hearted and had had two abortions, and she reminded me about that day when she had asked whether I thought she and her boyfriend should go for it. She told me: she had been hoping I would talk her out of it.
I hope I never again forget that there is a human price tag to being unwilling to be unpopular or to be called names. I hope I never again forget that the point of morality is that God is trying to bless us with better lives.