Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Churchianity's Teachings on Marital Sex

On facebook the other day I came across this blog post, 4 Lies The Church Taught Me About Sex , and it made me feel sad. Call me idealistic, but sex is wonderful and Christians should be enjoying it to a higher degree than any one else on the planet. Only Christians can immerse themselves fully, body, soul and spirit in what it means to be married, to be one flesh, to be living out the picture of eternal union with Christ. Amen?  I don't mean that every time a husband and wife come together it should turn into worship (that's pagan) or that it should be a transcendent spiritual episode, but simply that we should be absolutely free to abandon ourselves to the physical pleasure that is sex. It should be triumphant, not guilt ridden. So what went wrong?

I'm going to skip over her point number 1 completely for right now. I don't agree with her and I want to author another post addressing her complaint that she was taught "Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex."

So we move on to point number 2, "If you wait until you are married to have sex, God will reward you with mind-blowing sex and a magical wedding night." There is so much wrong with this idea, especially the part that follows "God will reward you." God (or nature) WILL reward you for keeping your sex life exclusive to your husband. In the same way that a woman who doesn't do this has the opposite of reward, which may manifest itself as guilt, regret, disease, emotional distress or some other negative issue.  But who or what would tell young women that marriage night sex is "mind-blowing" or "magical"? Assuming the authoress of this post was actually taught that and that she herself didn't teach it to herself, this is just irresponsible and downright cruel.

Here is the big rub for me. Truth. Truth. Truth. What do Christians and especially Churchians have against truth? What do we fear? Do we secretly believe that premarital sex is fun and exciting and that if we let young women know that they will all run off and start fornicating? So we feel compelled to build some sand castles in the sky for them about marital sex that will only come true if they abstain before? Nothing in the Christian walk is an incantation or spell. We don't do or say the right things and therefore obligate God to give us prizes. The reason that woman should reserve sex for marriage is because it is the only context in which God gives us permission to exercise that joy. It is obedience. The fact that there are consequences for not doing it is only secondary, because frankly, in a practical sense, there may very well be benefits that come from disobeying. Can premarital sex be fun? Of course. Can premarital sex give us a deep sense of bonding with a partner? Of course. Can premarital sex cause a partner to stay with us when he would have otherwise moved on? Of course. Do all of those benefits justify the transgression of God's law? Nope.

Now, to the credit of this young woman's teachers, she was told some accurate things about the first marital sex experience. She was told that honeymoon sex is not going to the best sex. She was told it might be uncomfortable. She was told it takes work. I think what was really lacking were the specifics, the mechanics. She claims that her body was "locked up tighter than Maid Marian's chastity belt." No one warned her about that. Or did they? Perhaps that is what her teachers were trying to convey with their veiled language about "not the best," "hard work," and "uncomfortable." But her teachers were too vague. I think the actual problem was not with her body or inexperience at all, but with her brain.

I believe that her problems on her wedding night actually stem from what she reveals about herself in her point number 4, "When you get married you will immediately be able to fully express yourself sexually without guilt or shame."  This should be true. This is a teaching, however, which can't come in as one sentence at a youth conference. Unfortunately, this truth is only going to true for a specific woman if she has not spent her childhood being taught that anything at all about sex acts is dirty, evil, gross, sinful, shameful, bad, naughty, etc. The shamefulness of sex is never based upon the act itself, which is neutral, but upon the context in which it occurs.

Examining the law of God we see that there are no prohibited sex acts. God never says, don't do this thing or that thing. In the New Testament Paul says that the marriage bed is undefiled. This was not a new teaching. He was giving us a commentary on the Old Testament teaching about sex, which is that it is always appropriate in marriage and whatever/however it occurs in marriage it is good and right. So what DOES God condemn in the area of sex? Not acts, but rather certain relationships. Regardless of how they do it, if a woman has sex with an animal they are both to be put to death. If a man has sex with another man, that is a shameful, sinful, dirty, naughty. Not because of the nature of the act, but because it is the wrong context for that act. A penis is a sex organ. It has other purposes, of course, but it is completely normal and within the design for it to be used for sex. It is not a perversion to use a penis for sex even though it is also used for urinating. Urinating is no more perverted than sex. But sex with a wife. It isn't the penis that sins in homosexual sodomy, it is the man.

A man is prohibited from having sex with his mother. Does that make sex bad? Does that make his penis evil? Nope. Sex is not shameful. Sex is not bad. Sex is not evil. Marriage is, at its very core a sexual relationship. Sex is what makes marriage different from other relationships. Anyone can cook for your husband or clean for him. Anyone can care for his children. But if anyone who does those things for him is not his wife, and she has sex with him, she sins. Not because of the act, but because of the context.

This is the same reason that Christian woman have hysterics about a woman breastfeeding her child in public. The use of the breast for feeding a child is perfectly normal use of the breast. The mother is not having sex with her child, she is feeding her. Breasts are multifunctional. They are sensual during sex, for sure. Even the Bible endorses enjoying a woman's breasts during sex. ALL of the uses for the breast are equally valid. Breasts are not evil. Women are not evil for having breasts. A breast that is exposed for the purpose of feeding a baby is not scandalous. This is an historical truth. But when we teach that sex is evil and shameful, we start piling on to that wrong teaching and we begin to teach that breasts are shameful, a penis is shameful, the vulva is shameful. We must not look at these shameful things or touch them, even on accident, or talk about them! If we do, we might be tempted to use them, and they are NAUGHTY!  Do we see how ridiculous that is?

I beg you, fellow Christian mothers, do not instill a sense of shame into your daughters (or sons, although they don't necessary buy into this delusion so easily) about sex! If anything, you should be getting them interested and excited about the day they get to let it all hang loose!  You will have to tell them that sex can be messy and they should not see that as disgusting. "It is sort of gross when your baby brother poops all over your lap, but don't ever associate that with your husband sharing his seed with you." Sorry to be so graphic, but there it is and her husband will thank you. A husband needs a wife to be not only "not grossed out", but he wants her to be welcoming and eager to take what he offers. She should look forward to it and desire it.

In her closing paragraph she says this:

If our reason for saving sex until marriage is because we believe it will make sex better or easier for us, we’re not only setting ourselves up for disappointment, but we’re missing the point entirely. 
And I couldn't agree more. There are good and right reasons for abstaining until marriage. But a young woman shouldn't be spending years and years "keeping their sex drives in check." Particularly when having that sex drive is seen as a sin itself. The apostle Paul said that if young people can't contain, let them marry. Let's teach our daughters that the presence of their sex drive is sign that they are ready for marriage and we will get Daddy to work finding a husband right away. 
Stop teaching your daughters that their body parts are naughty. Stop teaching them that sex is sinful. Tell them the truth. And if you don't know the truth, get your Bible out and actually read it. Stop listening to the lies of Churchianity, which has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof.

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