Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Marriage and Sexuality

"Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains"
(Song of Songs 8:14).

Sexual problems sometimes cause problems for Christian marriages, and today I want to consider some of the reasons for this. The first is that since the early days of the Christian church, some very influential theologians have frowned upon the pleasure of sexual relations. Augustine, for instance, argued that sex is only permissible when the couple is trying to have children.

In the Bible, though, sex is a pleasure that two married people can engage in. The Song of Songs is, in part, a celebration of the artistry of sexual relations in marriage. The influence of Greek platonic philosophy in the church, however, led to a fear of sex, a celebration of virginity for its own sake, the requirement of clerical celibacy, and a reinterpretation of the Song of Songs.

Christians who have been brought up with the idea that sex is dirty, or is a necessary evil, need to purge their minds and consciences of this evil notion. God ordained sexuality. Used in its proper context, it is for enjoyment as well as for procreation. People are not animals. They desire each other at times other than when the female is fertile. Sex is an expression of the deep intimacy between two people, and it is good.

Many Christians face another problem, however, and that is the problem of impotency or frigidity. The root causes of such problems are fear and guilt. Our modern culture has created in people’s minds the idea that everybody can and should be a sexual athlete. Since most people aren’t, we can become disappointed in our seeming weakness. We need to understand that this is nonsense. Few people are great musicians, and few people are sexual athletes. Sex is an expression of love in marriage; it is not a performance.

The problem of guilt arises from the fact that so many couples have sex before they are married. This is sinful, and no amount of counseling and rationalization will take away the guilt of it. There is a cure, however, and that is for the couple to go together before God and confess that they were wrong in having sexual relations outside of His ordained marriage relationship. Like any sin, this can be forgiven, and the couple will find new freedom in their lovemaking in the future.

God wants us to have happy marriages, and if you have sexual problems in your marriage, you should seek to resolve those problems. If today’s post does not speak to your needs, and you need further help, make an appointment with your minister or with a Bible-believing counselor, and get the help you need.