By Margaret Court - Senior Pastor of Perth Victory Life Centre and a former world No.1 tennis player

Editor's note: With the anticipated tabling of a private members bill to legalise same -sex marriage into Federal Parliament next week, the battle to preserve Christian marriage moves to its most critical stage yet. This article which first appeared as an opinion piece in the Melbourne Herald Sun is reproduced with permission. The author Margaret Court is well known across the nation both in Christian as well as sporting circles and here she puts the case for the protection of marriage between a man and a woman and issues a call for a return to biblical values.

We live in a blessed nation but Australia is on a steep moral decline. Everywhere you look we are making excuses for a sliding lifestyle and more people are blind to it than ever before. Our Constitution is based on biblical principles and our nation is great because of it. We are a country with a moral fabric and families and marriage are at its core. But increasingly our kids are being taught that anything goes. As a society we are losing touch with fundamental Christian values, as our leaders lean towards an agenda of political correctness to keep the minorities happy.

We live in a world of moral values. Even those without faith know what is right and what is wrong. We all have a conscience and so many people get trapped in the pattern of saying something is right when deep down they know it isn't. It's that attitude that can harden hearts. People suddenly justify the immoralities around them. We have taken the easy way out. Minorities are now making it harder for the majority. They are increasingly taking everything that is good in society and pushing it to the side. Looking back, you can see that there has been a steep decline, especially when it comes to the issue of sexuality.

There is so much scripture within the Bible that points to what we see happening now. We are losing that sense of discipline. Let me be clear. I believe that a person's sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh. It is not something you are born with. My concern is that we are advocating to young people that it is OK to have these feelings. But I truly believe if you are told you are gay from a young age, soon enough it will start to impact your life and you will live it. If somebody is told they are gay they often start to believe it.

We are living in a society that takes the easy way out. But we have to work at life and make things better. You need to be disciplined. I became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon because I trained hard and worked towards it. It's why I believe so strongly in the sanctity of marriage. It takes hard work. Children need a mother and a father - stability from a male and a female - and I think we are losing sight of this. We are led by politicians who lie and spread deceit. They no longer stand true to their word and that affects us all, as a nation. Lies just don't seem to matter much anymore.

There is so much deception in the world and it's getting worse by the minute. The Book of Romans speaks of the people of Earth trading in God; of worshipping life and things within it instead of God who made us. By refusing Him, women no longer know how to be women and men no longer know how to be men. We have lost our way and have been convinced by the secular view that it's all OK. It worries me because I fear our next generation will lose all direction and become more blinded than ever before. I can't understand, if we are a blessed nation under a biblical Constitution, why there is such a push to change it?

We will only start to tear away at the rich fabric and sustained values. Then God will take his hand off our nation and the lights will go out. That is why I believe we need to protect marriage because it has been God-ordained from the beginning. God told man to be united with his wife and to multiply on earth. I had fame and success and a great husband but I always knew something was missing in my life. I used to think there had to be more to it. I knew He was there but I didn't know how to make the connection. I didn't understand how God could be real in my life. But then I accepted Jesus Christ, and believed that He came to Earth as the son of God, to die for our sins.

Even then I didn't understand the power of the Bible, his word. If I knew then what I knew now I could have won six Wimbledons, not three. The New Testament is the greatest book on psychology. It shows you how to live victoriously. It's our TV guide to life. It has everything in there for every facet - even how to run a nation. People think it's a book of fear but it is not. It's a book of love and a training manual for life that offers protection from sin. Life is but a wisp. So many turn to God on their deathbeds but if they accepted His love during life they would experience far more blessings. We will pass away, but the scriptures won't.

We need to turn our minds back to God and I still believe we have the capacity to make that change. Understand that there is a God and that He is real and that He can be part of your life. A nun at my primary school once gave me the cane and it was one of the best lessons of my life. She could see the potential in me long before I did. She gave me a grounding for the future, for which I remain grateful. I didn't have an easy childhood but I had good families around me that sowed into my life. That's what our kids need right now. People who are willing to stand up for them, for our families, in a world where we have become far too scared.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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