SEX: In marriage?

married not marred

“Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” – Proverbs 30:18-19

When the average adolescent thinks of ‘sex’, they think of pleasure, fun, or what type of ‘orientation’ they prefer as if it is a new type of cookie or snack to enjoy, thanks to the sexual revolution in the 1960s, the CIA’s Arpanet (internet), and Hollywood’s constant barrage of immorality being fed to them through media channels filled with instant gratification.

No wonder about half of all marriages end in divorce with 8.8 years being the average length of an American marriage.  This doesn’t count all the new ‘lifestyles’ and ‘orientations’ that have decided marriage isn’t needed anymore except for tax breaks and benefits.

There’s a reason that America has become like this.

The idea of marriage has been replaced with ‘free sex’, but I really don’t think most people grasp what that term ‘free sex’ means.  Let me explain.

“For every action, there is an equal (in size) and opposite (in direction) reaction.”  – Isaac Newton

Remember Newton’s third law of motion?  Think in terms of this scientific principle when it comes to sex.  If you decide to have sex (action), you are accepting the real fact that for all that great pleasure, you will have great responsibility (reaction).

married withNo wonder the Bible states that sex is for only those who have entered the covenant of marriage. Why? Because marriage requires commitment, and when the responsibility comes, some may be tempted to play the ‘deadbeat’ role instead.  Marrying a spouse should not be seen by any young man or woman as ‘fun’, but as ‘honorable’.  Why so?  They are taking on more responsibility for another person.  When they then decide to have sex (and the accompanying responsibility), this is honorable as well.  Why?  They are showing their willingness to take on any even greater level of responsibility.

Is that how most teens in America think today? No.  And this is why people divorce.  And this is the purpose of my article – to let young people know what they should expect from a Biblical perspective – the blessings and fulfillment of being honorable enough to take on more responsibility.  Sometimes, couples have life-changing events such as disease or accidents and no pleasure (sex) is involved – just responsibility; therefore, we must set this as the expectation for prospective couples if they are to have a proper view of marriage. Expectations are being set by public schools, Hollywood and the internet which are teaching that no responsibility is required. Also, many have resorted to what the Bible phrases as spilling their seed on the ground as seen in Genesis 38 in the life of Onan whom GOD killed. In this passage in Genesis, we see that Onan’s purpose was to avoid the responsibility (or ‘the duty’ as the Scripture states it) that he had to his brother’s wife (a duty which would ensure that this widow had children to care for her in her old age and which probably meant more responsibility for him as he would need to help her care for the children). Instead, Onan enjoyed the sexuality of his brother’s wife (which was his duty), but not the responsibility to her (which was also his duty to her) by allowing such sex to result in procreation.

“Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother.” – Genesis 38:8-9

Marriage is a picture of Jesus Christ and His Bride, and such behavior is incompatible with this image of our relationship with GOD.  Furthermore, much of the self-gratifying habits in people’s lives is accompanied by lust and often begins long before marriage, which in turn gives the youth the idea that pleasure is the purpose of sex.  While sex has pleasure (and responsibility), pleasure is not the Biblical purpose of sex.   Sadly, in the modern American culture, women have similar behavior. Some justify such self-erotic behavior, because they say the Bible doesn’t really say anything is wrong with it, but in doing so, they actually show their ignorance of what marriage is all about.  GOD promises judgment upon those who engage in sex outside of the form and structure which He has given to us.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and the adulterous.” – Hebrews 13:4

Marriage was defined by GOD in Genesis 2.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

Sex is only to be had in marriage, not with one’s self, not with others, but only with their spouse. I remember after marriage that something changed as we became ‘one flesh’.  It was almost like we had the same mind at times and it was quite dramatic.  Also, when you offend your spouse, you are offending yourself, because you have become one flesh.  Those who invent perverted sexual lifestyles are marring the beautiful picture of Christ and His Bride as seen in marriage.  Those who practice abuse or other evil within their marriages or who attempt to redefine marriage using perversion are also marring the beauty of this Biblical model of our relationship with the Messiah. Those who are self-absorbed and practice sexuality on their own are also marring the beauty of GOD’s image of marriage as being Jesus wed with His Bride, the People of GOD. Marriage is about being married together, not marred together.

Marriage is not only a picture of Christ, but also as Hebrews 13 said previously in this article, marriage is all about honor – a willingness to take on responsibility for another and to place their lives in your care. This is honorable.

“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” – Ecclesiastes 9:9-10

Marriage is also about procreation.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” – Genesis 1:27-28

The Birth Control Project gives the history of how birth control was an invention of grisly, Nazi-like people such as Margaret Sanger, who touted Hitler’s thoughts on procreation and sterilization, influenced America in not just abortion, the ‘morning after pill’, or other obviously evil practices, but also in the practice of standard birth control pills which seek to stop life before it is allowed to even conceive.  Such a view of sex again is that the action of sex should not be met with the equal and opposite reaction of responsibility.  This again plays to man’s sense of self-gratification, a concept that is very much the opposite of the model of Christ.  Could you imagine Jesus and his Bride not wanting to bring forth many children to the Father through the Seed of the Gospel? And in this way, most who profess Jesus’ name do not really think through the model of Christ or the Biblical worldview of procreation as they practice contraception (which means ‘against conception’), which is a way, like Onan, of avoiding the responsibility that comes with sex.  What many do not realize are the enormous number of ‘female problems’ that occur as a result of the use of contraception or tubal ligation. While this article is not meant to tackle this difficult subject, just know that ‘Big Pharma’ may not want you to know how their contraception drugs can affect your fertility and they have many voices preaching their viewpoint, so be sure to read after the testimonies and voices of those who care. Also, I have read the testimonies of many, many ladies who suffer today from tubal ligation.  However, these are difficult choices you must make and I would encourage you as you make your choices to look at the Biblical model of marriage as a picture of Christ and His Bride, as well as the Biblical view of Onan who attempted to separate sex from responsibility.

GOD does tell spouses to be sure to not defraud the other spouse in a relationship in 1 Corinthians 7 where He makes it clear that sex is something in which married couples should be doing regularly in order to not bring temptation to the other spouse.

“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

However, does the Bible ever promise us a ‘great sex life’? No -especially if cancer or accidents or other things happen. Does GOD ever say that we should expect marriage to be about sex? No. It’s about love.  It’s about the other person’s needs.  Even the idea of not ‘defrauding’ another spouse in bed is about their needs. Let’s hear what the Bible says.

“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” – Proverbs 18:22

“House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” – Proverbs 19:14

” An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” – Proverbs 31:10

While separation is sometimes necessary in order to protect the life of a spouse from abuse or disease, divorce is considered to be against the will of GOD as seen in the below Scriptures.

“And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”” – Mark 10:11-12

“And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”” – Matthew 19:3-12

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” – Luke 16:18

“To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

While the apostle Paul states that a wife who separates from her husband should remain unmarried or reconcile to her husband, he does allow for a widow or widower whose spouse has died to remarry, although he adds the caveat that he thinks they are better off if they stay single as himself.

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9

Therefore, we conclude that all sex, whether self-gratification, perversion, adultery, and Jesus even named ‘lust’, which falls outside of marriage is against the laws of GOD, and is an abomination to GOD.  We also see that those who attempt to enjoy the sexuality of another within the legalities of his duties, such as Onan, but attempt to avoid the responsibility of such sexuality is not pleasing to GOD (GOD killed Onan).

My sole purpose for getting up this morning and writing this article was to ensure that the unmarried, especially the Christian youth, understand that sex is about love and responsibility for another as Christ loves His Bride, not one’s self-absorbed pleasures.

My brother-in-law led many to Jesus Christ before he suddenly came down with a life-changing illness. I have seen my sister stand beside her husband. I have watched her assist him as he has suffered for over seven years with a life-threatening disease that may soon claim his life. This is love.

I never knew my grandfather when he was a playboy and a mafioso-like, devilish rebel against GOD.  I only saw him as the loving father, godly pastor, and fervent believer that he became after the Holy Spirit transformed his life. However, I am told that my grandmother put up with his evil ways for years, while staying faithful to him and to GOD.  The result was what Paul implied in 1 Corinthians 7.  Though you can bet she wasn’t in that marriage for the pleasure, she won him to Jesus Christ through her faithfulness and had the extraordinary pleasure and fulfillment of seeing him become a loving husband and father as a result.  This is love.

I have seen my father care for my mother as she endured surgeries, had difficulty walking and doing everyday biological functions. Few on this planet live in such a selfless, loving way, and many will just exit when the times get tough. But that’s what marriage really is – an opportunity to love.

GOD has clearly stated that He will judge those who use the sexuality of marriage for their self-absorbed purposes.

We hope this Biblical worldview will allow the reader to have realistic expectations and will assist them in not just avoiding divorce, but thriving in their marriages as they realize that marriage gives them an opportunity to love another believer in the Messiah and to live out a model of Christ’s love for us.

Love is all about others, not one’s own self.  And we can love another only because GOD first loved us.