I’ve talked here many times about the fact that less and less people are getting married. Right now 50% of adults in the U.S. are unmarried. Only 20% of those 18-29 have ever been married. People are waiting longer or just not getting married at all.
There are a whole host of reasons for this and I’ve talked about many of them here before. But one of the biggest reasons is that we as a culture (even in the Church) have separated sex from marriage. And to go a step further we’ve actually made sex only about physical pleasure. And because of it, we are really, really jacked up.
Now I get, and have pointed out before, that this is not “new” to the world. I mean there have always been jacked up cultures and there has certainly always been sexual sin. But never has the overall impact on marriage been felt the way it is now.
What we have now is a combination of a lot more ways to meet the physical desire for sex, and a culture that is ok with all of it. It’s killing us – individually and as a culture.
Sex was not created to be just physical. It is a part of it, but not all of it. From the very beginning it was to bring two people together to become one flesh but only those two people. It is an important part of the marriage covenant. When we take it out of that context or when we make it just about physical desire, we are devaluing everything about it – both within and outside of marriages.
Here’s the reality. One of the surest ways to stay single is to have your sexual desire met some other way.
This plays out all sorts of ways. First off, all sorts of people are obviously having sex. Some of it is purely for the physical desire. Some of it is in “relationships”. But either way people are not having less sex today than before. They just aren’t doing it within marriage. People sleep together, live together, and even have children together, without marriage.
But now there are even more ways to meet my physical desire. I can just go on the internet. When I was a kid, you at least had to risk hiding the magazine with pictures. Now you can watch it, heck even interact with it, and then just hit delete. If it’s just physical, why work for it.
No matter how you look at it, it is easier than ever to get your physical desire met. And everyone is telling us this is what it’s about. All the media, our leaders, even some of our parents. And at some level even the Church. We spend so much time focussing on what not to do. The basic message is don’t look, don’t touch, sex is bad until you are married then it’s good. Bury your desire and then flip the switch when you get married. But the problem is not only is the act of sex bigger than just physical, so are the questions that surround it.
Sure we are told that married sex is better – but what does better mean? We automatically assume that means more physically pleasurable. But sexuality isn’t just about that. It’s about being bonded to the other person.
If we make sex only about pleasure and sexual desire, then I don’t have to get married to have it. And, even if I get married, I could still be stuck in it only being about the physical. That can lead to less intimacy and ultimately less sex. If you don’t need it that day, you don’t do it. Or maybe the computer is still easier.
If we make sex about only the physical then why does it matter how you meet the need. You can meet it at the bar, at the computer, or even with the same sex.
I don’t say all of this to turn it into a lecture on how sex outside of marriage is sinful. That’s a no brainer. I say it because I think we as believers have to go way beyond that. We have to understand that it isn’t just some sort of physical discipline. There is way more on the line than that.
My pastor has often said that we need the single people in our church to have less sex and our married people to have more. I agree with that, but we need more than that. We need sex to not be just sex – just physical pleasure. “Not having sex” is a start, but it isn’t enough. We need to understand that meeting the physical desire for sex outside of marriage hurts both our chances of getting married and experiencing sex the right way within our marriages. We need a whole lot of repentance and relearning.
Do you view sex as primarily physical? What is your view of sex based on? Do you have your physical desire for sex met already? What do you do with that desire?
You could not be more correct in stating that we as a culture are “really jacked up” over sex and what it truly is in regards to God’s plan for marriage and family.
This article impacted me immensely as I dealt with virtually everything pointed out in this post when I was growing up. I come from a family and small church where sex was one of those things you just didn’t talk about. Because it’s dirty talk, immoral talk, un-biblical talk, etc. That even in marriage, it’s considered to be a “necessary evil” in order to have children. In fact sex along with topics of relationships, romance, puberty & subsequent sexual desires, were and still are taboo subjects that are frowned upon bringing up at any point.
As a teen the only ‘talks’ I got on the subject of sex weren’t even talks about sex. Rather it was stern lectures of “don’t look and don’t touch girls”. Along with lectures about never looking at “certain magazines” or hearing how cheerleaders or other girls were scantily clad and probably going to hell for that. I never received any “birds n bees” talks nor anything about “well son, have you thought about marriage or dating any?”
I mention that because this goes right along with your article and depicts at least from my family how the very belief of sex is tragically wrong according to God’s Word. I don’t think this is uncommon in many Christian households steeped in tradition where sex is viewed as the enemy. As if it’s something to have great honor in fighting sex with vicious passion…except when one gets married. Then it’s something you are told is biblically OK to do. Just like flipping that switch mentioned earlier, and running to sex on wedding night.
This creates a very guilty and shameful attitude towards sex that is sinful and simply… messed up. Such teaching makes the very act itself the sole focus of being sinful. Not when sex happens being whether it’s sinful or honoring before God. Thus when those individuals become parents, talk of sex is still shameful and thus becomes taboo and eventually ignored at all costs. Sadly teaching those children nothing about God’s plan for sex and only hurting them in the long run for marriage or tempting them tremendously before marriage.
I know that for a fact because I have come from such a family where a few generations of my family have acted of the same way. Sex and the very talking of it is shameful, wrong, sinful, and simply became taboo. Anything associated with sex such as marriage, dating, romance, all became taboo as well. That lead to marriage being actively not encouraged in this family.
Personally for me, I am so grateful to the Jesus for having brought me into repentance and a change in the way of thinking in that area of life. However, being in my mid 30s I am still dealing with the consequences of a family whose “jacked up” thinking make sex to be so taboo that I would find it hard to kiss the bride in a wedding ceremony in front of any of my family members present.
At the end of the day, the church and believers need to understand what sex is and teach it in a non shameful way that it is part of God’s plan for marriage. That it’s part of husbands and wives loving each other just as love is shown in other forms through sacrifice and thoughtful actions.
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