We like what Matthew 7 says about issues like this. Here’s the positive spin.
Be gentle (meek). It is possible to be direct and kind at the same time. If you think that can’t be done, please for Christ’s sake, stay out of any discussion with anyone on this topic. Before you open your mouth, read the gospels to see how to do it. John 8 and Matthew 26 are some good places to see where Jesus was direct and kind.
Let it be obvious that you work on your own stuff. Honesty, this is where American Christians have been losing their voice – their credibility. There is plenty of news about spiritual leaders abusing kids and ministry leaders oozing greed. Many Christians are looking as if Christ makes no difference in a life. We look mean. We look self-centered. We are struggling to keep our kids from having sex before they get married. We can’t manage to love, honor, and cherish our spouse until “death do us part.” We want to be stars shining in the universe, but in other ways we look too much like darkness. We want to call people to conform to biblical teaching in this area when it’s obvious that as a group, we aren’t conforming in other areas. If you’ve got a plank – and we all do – deal with it.
Try to influence those whom you can actually influence. Most likely, this will be someone who knows that you can be kind and direct, that you handle your own stuff, and you have a genuine interest in them, not just this issue.
Our broader response? We will continue leading couples to develop holy, intentional marriages. Our role is to support couples who want to move their marriages from bad to good, good to great, and great to service. Our conviction is that as we live like Christ in our homes, our credibility among our peers will be greater, and our lights will shine brighter.