A little before Valentine's day, I was driving home from work and heard a radio program where a preacher was talking about marriage. He said a lot of good and true things, like how we should invest in our spouse deeply and such and be willing to talk to each other to work through problems, but I was caught off guard and shocked by his statement that (and I'm quoting him here): "sex is the glue which holds a husband and wife together
." Okay, what even. Sex is glue? Glue? Seriously? That's what this preacher thinks of marriage? Look big guy, if your marriage needs to be glued together by sex, it's broken. If your relationship with your spouse will fall apart if you can't get into their pants, you've got serious issues. Sex is NOT the purpose of marriage, it is merely one of many optional forms of love expression. Sex is NOT the basis of marriage, marriage is the basis of sex.
Sadly, the idea that marriage is all about sex is hugely prevalent all over the world. It's an extremely worldly attitude that has infiltrated the Christian church, as shown by this preacher's statement. The idea that anyone, Christian or not, would get married with idea that sex will hold their marriage together is...horrifying, to say the least. When you think about it from that perspective, it's really no wonder that failing marriages and divorce rates are skyrocketing at a rate never before seen, even in the Church. People everywhere are depending on sex to do things that it was never meant to do. Living for sex is not healthy and belies an obsession and quite possibly a harmful addiction. A relationship that is dependent on sex is not a healthy relationship.
I've heard countless people of all creeds say the same thing: that sex is some kind of inherent need
for a married couple, typically saying that it's the husband who has the "need" for "physical intimacy." There's nothing wrong with enjoying it, but needing
it is an addiction. It also equates that person with an animal. These women are literally saying that their husbands are no better than animals. Although this idea is unspeakably sexist, many husbands and husbands-to-be actually agree with it! What the..?! These men WANT to be thought of as animals? Well, two can play at that game. *Forgets how to use the toilet*
God does not command sex ever.
it in marriage. He does not command
it. The command to "be fruitful and multiply" (which is nearly always used by Christians to defend the Doctrine of Sex-Based Marriage) was to a very specific group of people during a very specific time, first when there were only two humans on the entire planet, and again when there were only eight, and sex was not the point of that command: preventing human extinction was
. There are over 7 billion of us now. We have followed that command. It's a thing of the past. Bringing it up as an excuse for basing your marriage on sex is to take it out of context, and is a logical fallacy, quite a ridiculous one, really.
If there were ever decisions in marriage that need to be highly collaborative, they are decisions about when it is wise to have sex. Wives will often bear the results of contraceptive and reproductive decisions in their very bodies in a way that husbands will not. The husband therefore has the responsibility to hear, receive and weigh his wife’s thoughts with love and compassion. If she's says she doesn't want to (no matter the reason), that should be the end of the story. The same goes for if the husband says he doesn't want to. The final decision should ALWAYS lie with the person who doesn't want sex, not with the person who wants it. To command anyone, within or without a marriage relationship, to have sex, is the definition of rape
. And as I made a long, detailed stamp about the Bible and rape, we know where God stands on that (if you haven't seen that stamp, here it is: the-cynical-unicorn.deviantart…
Supporters of the Doctrine of Sex-Based Marriage quote a short passage in 1 Cor. 7:2-5 to make this claim, but they take the verse out of context. I will quote the entire passage (1 Cor. 7:1-6
“Now for the matters you wrote about: “1 IT IS GOOD FOR A MAN NOT TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH A WOMAN. 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I SAY THIS AS A CONCESSION, NOT AS A COMMAND.” (NIV)
Interesting, huh? Almost every single person who brings up this Bible passage to preach sex sex sex leaves off the first and last verses. Paul is permitting
couples to have sex. He is not
commanding couples to have sex. He allows
it. Sex is not
the most important part of marriage, and thus it should never
come before another person’s well-being. Love does not equal sex
. Obviously Paul is not recommending complete abstinence within marriage, but also neither is he commanding that couples sex it up every night like many Christians believe. Thus, sex should NEVER be what glues your marriage together.
Some Christians may also tell you that sex is a picture of Christ's love for the church, but that's a false analogy. Nowhere in Scripture is Christ's relationship with the Church portrayed as errotic.
It is portrayed as loving leadership, like the family structure of a husband and wife, but never errotic. Some people point to Song of Solomon as an example of eroticism, but Song of Solomon is clearly describing Solomon and one of his wives (research the history of the book if you don't believe me.) It is not an alagory of Jesus and the Church. To even imply that Jesus has or had a sexual relationship with the Church is blasphemous, to say the least.On the subject of Song of Solomon,
some supporters of the Doctrine of Sex-Based Marriage will use it as supposed "evidence" that the purpose of marriage is sex. I hate to burst their bubble, but where exactly does it say that? Oh yeah, nowhere. To say that Song of Solomon tells us that marriage is all about sex is to say that a cupcake cookbook tells us that the sole purpose of eating is to eat only cupcakes. Do you see the problem there? Both Song of Solomon and a cupcake cookbook present sex in marriage and eating cupcakes as good things, respectively. But to say that the purpose of marriage is sex or that sex is meant to glue your marriage together will result in an unhealthy relationship, just like a belief that the purpose of eating is to consume cupcakes will result in an unhealthy lifestyle. Neither thing is wrong, but they are not what you should base a relationship or eating habits off of.
I'd like to share a quote from one of my friends:
"If marriage were a pizza, sex is the dipping sauce you dip your leftover crust in."
It cracked me up when she said this, but it explains the truth so well. There's nothing wrong with dipping sauce, but it's not meant to be the main point of a pizza, nor does it hold the pizza together. It's something optional and enjoyable on the side that you dip your leftover
crust in. You can have a perfectly good, enjoyable, and functional pizza without dipping sauce. Now obviously if you really, really like dipping sauce, the allegory sort of breaks down, but I think you understand the point she was making.
To answer the preacher, no sir, sex is not
the glue that holds a husband and wife together. Love is. Sex does not equal love. Sex is merely one of many, many forms of expressing love. You can't properly express love if you don't properly love someone, and an expression of love, especially if you're confusing the expression for the thing itself, will not bind two people together. It will ultimately hurt their relationship, which is exactly
what we're seeing day in and day out with the massive spike of failing marriages. If you want to marry someone because you think they're hot, maybe wait a few years. After all, hotness changes over time. A person will not look or act the same 25 years from now. You need to love someone, not lust after them, in order for a marriage to work.