In particular we will be looking at such things as pornography, S & M, bondage, open marriage, same-sex, fantasy and anal sex. Should these and other similar behaviors be part of sexuality in our marriage? This question is coming up more and more in my therapy office, which is both sad and not surprising given the deterioration of our public morality in society today. It is only a matter of time before people embrace these things in the privacy of their own homes to their own peril.
The question this series is addressing arises out of the belief that “We can do anything we want in the marital bed as long as we both agree.” I very strongly disagree with this statement and will try to give a coherent response to it. Whether I succeed or not is another story!
One person in particular has asked me to give a Christian response to this question as he has asked several pastors about this issue and hasn’t felt they gave him an answer that addressed his concerns. I was a pastor earlier in my career and now that I’ve worked with 1000’s of couples and have heard and addressed the rationalizations many times, I hope I can add some insight into this important question.
If you are not a Christian, you can still benefit from my discussion of the issue and I hope you will give these podcasts a go.
This podcast (#9) is the first in a series. It’s a pretty involved topic and I wanted to give it the attention it deserves. I’ve struggled for a couple of months on this and have been thinking about it for some time. Initially I taped a couple of podcasts on it, but after Brandon Wall (Staff Researcher here at Heart to Heart) and I listened to them we decided they both started out too dark and we needed to begin from a more positive footing. Today’s podcast is an effort to do that.
The overall structure of the podcast series will be to contrast the Sexuality of Life with the Sexuality of Death. The first two podcasts in the series will look at the Sexuality of Life. This podcast today will define the word Perversion and explain The Three Boundaries of Marriage and The Four Purposes of Sex. The second in this series will look at the the Four Essential Ingredients of Marital Sex. Then, in the third and following podcasts in the series I will contrast the Sexuality of Life with the Sexuality of Death and conclude that you can’t mix the Sexuality of Life with the Sexuality of Death without the Sexuality of Life becoming the Sexuality of Death. It’s not the other way around. The Sexuality of Life does not make the Sexuality of Death become the Sexuality of Life. Any effort to bring perversion into the marriage will only breed insecurity, mistrust, heartache, doubt, fear, manipulation, control, abuse, distance, anger, despair, and, if we aren’t careful, the death of the relationship altogether.
I’m sorry this is such a dark topic. But I must address it. My hope is to give those who are struggling with these temptations the spiritual and intellectual resources they need to overcome them. I am sure that those who think these behaviors are fine will not be persuaded and will continue down their personal road of destruction. They probably wouldn’t listen to this material in the first place! I’m not worried about detractors. I’m hoping those who struggle with these things and are looking for resources will find some places to start here.
Here’s a brief outline of the podcast and a list of references you can explore for more information:
I. Definition of Perversion
II. The Boundaries of Marriage (based upon Genesis 2:24)
- The Boundary of Protection “Leaving”
- The Boundary of Exclusivity “Cleaving”
- The Boundary of Life “Becoming”
III. The Four Purposes of Sex
- Creating the Next Generation
- Breathing Spiritual Oneness into the Marriage
- Creating and Being a Blessing to Our Family and Society at Large
- Turning Our Spirits Toward God
Biblical verses mentioned in the podcast are:
Genesis 2:24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. (See also: Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7, Ephesians 5:31)
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled (NIV: kept pure) for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Psalm 46 (the entire Psalm, but especially verse 1: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.)
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:28a So God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
God is our example. This is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. See, for example, Deuteronomy 10: 17-19 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
Song of Solomon (I refer to the entire book which is a love poem between a husband and a wife and has also been interpreted over the millenia as a love poem between us and God and between Christ and the Church. I think both interpretations bear insight.)
You can look up these verses and their contexts at BibleGateway.com and type in the biblical reference in the search engine there.
I refer to the following works in this podcast:
Walter Trobisch, I Married You
Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
Christopher West, Theology of the Body for Beginners
For other materials by Christopher West click here.
More information about the Theology of the Body can be found here.