Christians often face challenges in their marriages in the sexual area. This is due in part to how sex has been viewed within Christianity since the end of the 4th century A.D. At that time, a sexual pessimism and, if not a hatred of, at least a suspicion towards, or contempt for sexual pleasure entered the thinking of the Church (a full, historical discussion of this is beyond the scope of this post). And, to a certain extent, this thinking still prevails in Christendom, and is evident in how we instruct our children on sex. But, we must ask ourselves: What is the true purpose of sexual morality? We have earlier written on this question (in October, 2014), see here. In brief, we can say now with confidence, that the true purpose of sexual morality is not to desexualize married Christians as near as is possible given their married state.
The collective experience of mankind, common sense, and the writings of some anthropologists inform us that sex in humans is not solely or exclusively for procreation (“it is not just for making babies”). The capacity for, and the desire for sex persists throughout the entire month and the wife is only able to conceive during a 2 to 3 day period within the month. Thus, we can say that it was the persistent biological (sex) drive that led to the long term, monogamous bonding or pairing of men and women that we observe in most cultures throughout pre-history and recorded history. To be concise, the biological basis for the nuclear or traditional family is the continued (non-seasonal) sexual interest of the male in the female (which predates by thousands of years the rise of the organized religions, and their sanctioning of marriage).
Yet, sex is more than simply carnal sense gratification. Sadly, we see in our decadent, consumerist, materialistic culture that sex is viewed by many persons as merely a form of recreation. That is a mistake. Sexual intimacy touches upon so many aspects of our being as humans. The sexual relations can and do involve the emotions of the spouses, and affect them psychologically as well. Some readers may say here that sex also impacts our spiritual lives, too. The shared vulnerability, the mutual respect, trust and acceptance that is experienced and expressed in lovemaking as we open ourselves to each other makes sexual intimacy one of the most human things we can do. No other species can do what we can.
We can see that sex is no minor matter; sex is powerful stuff. There are a few key ingredients necessary for a lasting, successful, and happy marriage. Not surprisingly, mutually fulfilling sexual intimacy is one of those key ingredients that we neglect at our peril in our marriage. It is past time for Christians to reclaim their freedom to experience and enjoy the many positive benefits of healthy, loving sexual intimacy with their spouse.
2 linked articles of importance
Stay with me now.
The role of the churches
The need for Christian churches to address this is real. Divorce among Christians is a major problem, with the children suffering the most harm by the breakup of the parents’ marriage. Mutually fulfilling sexual bonding is not a cure-all here, but there can be no denying that without such sexual fulfillment within marriage, the marriage is put at risk and has additional stress placed on it. Sexual frustration over time leads to feelings of rejection, and then to resentment and a pulling away from one’s spouse.
Julie Sibert has a long running blog called Intimacy in Marriage. We encourage committed Christians and other interested readers to read her recent post on what Christian churches can do to promote healthy sexual intimacy in Christian (and even non-Christian) marriages. Click this link to be taken to her insightful article:
The importance of the wife’s orgasm
The wife’s orgasm is very important in the shared sexual intimacy or lovemaking. Julie points out, in the next linked post (below), that when the wife regularly experiences and enjoys orgasm(s), this frees her to be more sexually confident in the marriage bed. As well, and not surprisingly, a wife who is enjoying orgasms will likely desire sexual interaction and connection with her husband more frequently. Such a wife will no longer feel that her participation is mere “duty sex”. She will be fully present, fully engaged in the lovemaking, and that is what loving husbands desire of their wife in the marriage bed. An orgasming wife is not as likely to fall prey to the sin of sexual refusal within marriage, and less likely to be a “gatekeeper” to sex.
Husbands need to take an active role here, and not just assume that their wife can achieve orgasm easily without their help. Communication is important. Married couples ought to talk about their sexual intimacy and be open and honest as to their needs. Do not wait until you are in bed to have these types of conversations.
Here now is the link to Julie’s highly recommended article:
The largely ignored effects of needless circumcision in the US
We believe that circumcision does negatively impact the wife’s ability to achieve orgasm in the marriage bed during coitus. One thing that most Christians in the US fail to consider is the harm that circumcision does to marital lovemaking for both wives and husbands. When the penis is made abnormal by cutting off the foreskin (resulting in the keratinization (drying out) of the glans, and the loss of thousands of never endings in the foreskin), the sex becomes abnormalized. Most Christians in the US (one of the very few countries in the world where circumcision is routinely performed for non-religious reasons) only know circumcised sex, which is not what nature intended. (We have discussed this in several earlier posts: here, here, and here are good examples.)
As to circumcision in the US, parents need to stop blindly believing all that the doctors tell them. This superstitious practice continues today in 21st century America even though all the reasons for promoting and justifying routine infant male circumcision have been debunked over the years. Respect your sons’ right to bodily integrity and tell the doctors/interns “No, you will not circumcise our son.”
other related thoughts
Can a woman who “shacks up” or lives with a man (out-of-wedlock) reasonably expect sexual fidelity from the man in these times of sexual licentiousness?
We have already critiqued long term cohabitation (in July, 2012), but we would like here to urge young adults to be brave enough and emotionally mature enough to make a commitment to each other.
Get married and stay married – is sound advice to avoid much heart ache and heart-break. As well, it is much better for the children you will have to be in a loving home where both their mother and their father are present.
Interested readers can also look over the various articles linked on our Marriage and Sex page.
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