Sep27WedSeptember 27, 2017
- Filed Under:
- Marriage & Family
Yes, that is a very COSMO-like headline for a preacher’s blog. But we live in the COSMO generation. We’ve bought into the idea that the best sex is low on commitment, high on recreation, and all about the right “moves.”
Guess what? The best sex isn’t about the right moves. In fact, the moves have very little to do with it. God didn’t make it that complicated. Our bodies can figure out the mechanics of sex without much help.
The best sex happens under the best conditions and it happens that way because we are so much more than bodies with sex organs. We are men and women, made in the image of God, with physical, emotional, and spiritual capacities for intimacy and ecstasy reaching far beyond anything pornography peddlers can imagine.
Thus, chastity is much more than “not doing it.” Chastity before and fidelity within marriage is the best path to ecstasy.
If you have been burned by the COSMO world, or if you are a young adult contemplating your path through our sex-is-everything culture I want to offer you a better way. In fact, I want to offer you a better world.
Married men and women have a better, more consistent sexual experience over the whole course of their lives than unmarried people. The statistics are available to anyone who wants to look, so I won’t spend any time there. Instead here are seven reasons married sex is best.
First, married sex is richer because it can afford to be completely emotionally vulnerable, no fear of being left behind. The deeper the vulnerability the greater the ecstasy, but vulnerability requires levels of trust unavailable to the uncommitted.
Sex can be separated from vulnerability. People do it all the time. But they are missing at least half of the experience, probably more. Many things happen in the marriage, and in the marriage bed before and after lovemaking, that bind husband and wife together heart and soul. Unmarried sex is as risky to the heart as it is to the body, the emotional equivalent of trapeze work without a net. The marriage covenant makes both people more secure, willing to take greater emotional risks and gather its deeper sensual rewards.
Second, married sex is more generous. It is about giving pleasure as much or more than getting it. The marriage covenant fulfills our longing for existential meaning by giving our lives a higher purpose: The good of our mates and our families. Each person is already committed via a covenant spoken before God, to the death, to the other’s wellbeing. That commitment reshapes the entire approach to lovemaking into an act of service, a free act of self-giving. Paradoxically, as Jesus taught, the more we give of ourselves the more we get in return.
Third, married sex preserves dignity. Each one honors the other and doesn’t push them to places where they don’t want to go. Married sex protects our dignity from the pornographization of everything. We treat each other as whole persons rather than objects that exist solely for individual gratification.
Fourth, married sex comes without shame before others and without guilt before God. Our cultural moment has managed to dull this sense of accountability to our creator, but it is not extinct. It is still common for unmarried people to keep the sexual nature of their relationship secret and uncelebrated. Yet celebration attends every wedding and none greater than the departure for the honeymoon where everyone in attendance knows what’s coming next.
Fifth, married sex is spiritually deeper, if the couple are believers, than even the emotional depths mentioned in number one. The Apostle Paul hinted at the spiritual dimension in Ephesians chapter five saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. The marriage bed foreshadows the great consummation of the ages in profoundly mysterious ways. The exquisite joy, the honor, security, and oneness we find there is merely the overture of the grand symphony we will join when he returns for his bride, the Church.
Sixth, married sex preserves the neurochemical high. The delicate interchange of pheromones, hormones, and neurotransmitters that fire during the act of marriage -- oxytocin, norepinephrine, serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine -- along with all the neural pathways of ecstasy God designed for our good create chemical bonds between lovers broken only at great cost. That is why so many of our love songs are about the pain of loss. Multiple liaisons, no matter how greatly lauded in popular entertainment, dull those neural networks, reducing something exquisite into ordinariness and diluting the power of the chemical bond which is one of the factors driving people into stranger and kinkier attempts to reclaim the ecstasy of their first encounters.
Seventh, married sex rejoices in life. It doesn’t resent children and try to get rid of them, it celebrates children as what they really are: the incredible gift of co-creation with our loving father, the fruit of love that comes from love.
No doubt I’ve raised many questions. But this post is too long and the topic is too broad and I don’t want to linger on it, so I’ve listed resources that have been helpful to me below. However, if you would like to know more I’m happy to help.
For too long all preachers like me have done is curse the darkness of our sexual brokenness. That is not enough. We need to turn on the light. I hope this post has done that for you.
Why cohabitating couples are putting their future at risk. An interview with Glenn Stanton on 'The Ring Makes All the Difference.'
Interview by Caryn Rivadeneira. Christianity Today. 2011.
 https://daneskelton.com/2017/02/08/one-ring-to-bind-them/; http://www.breakpoint.org/2016/12/progressively-regressive-sexuality-rebroadcast/; http://www.breakpoint.org/2014/12/time-new-sexual-revolution/; http://www.breakpoint.org/2013/07/recovering-sexual-wholeness/; http://www.ruthinstitute.org/; http://www.breakpoint.org/2011/11/so-long-sex-week-at-yale/; http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/books/; http://www.boundless.org/relationships/2007/a-review-of-unprotected-by-anonymous-md; http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/september/science-of-cohabitating.html; http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/august/16.22.html;