Sex in Christian Marriage
We love to ask couples, 'What is the purpose of marriage?' Some
of you may already be coming up with all kinds of answers in your
head: sex, procreation, companionship, fun. Or if you're really
spiritual, you might be saying that the purpose of marriage is to
become like Christ.
believe the purpose of marriage is to be one. It's not the sex;
it's not the fun; it's not the companionship; it's not the sugar
daddy or the mommy dearest. It is much more than that: the purpose
of marriage is to be one.
Some of you reading this might not be followers of Jesus. If that
is the case, we hope you are pursuing what it means to follow him.
But for those who are passionate followers of Jesus Christ, as Laura
and I are, you know that if he tells us the purpose of marriage,
then that should be the purpose. Case closed. The purpose of marriage,
according to Jesus Christ himself, is to be one.
The Difference between Oneness and Being One
When we use the phrase being one, most Western minds think oneness,
but the two are very different. Oneness is the perception that comes
from sharing daily duties together. Being one is a state of the
heart, soul, and mind.
When we discussed the difference between oneness and being one with
our good friend Terre Grable, who is a professional counselor, she
told us about a counseling technique she uses with couples. Terre
talks to many couples who have not mastered what she terms the 'institutional
aspects' of marriage: figuring out who is going to assume which
roles within the union (who is going to pay the bills, mow the lawn,
bathe the kids, etc.).
We took that idea and discovered that a great way to discern the
difference between oneness and being one is to understand the difference
between the institutional aspects of marriage and the mysterious
aspects of marriage. As we look at couples practicing the institution,
we find people who live in the same house, pay the same bills, raise
the same kids, maybe even go to the same movie together. While practicing
these institutional aspects of marriage may bring a feeling of oneness,
it does not constitute being one.
This is why so many couples wonder, 'Is this really all there is
to marriage?' This thought is the breeding ground for affairs. Men
and women begin looking for fulfillment elsewhere because they have
not become one with their spouse.
While the institution of marriage is mostly practical-figuring out
who will pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, mow the lawn, and
clean the house-the mystery of marriage is more of an art. The art
is revealed as we discover the heart, soul, and mind of our spouse
and, at the same time, reveal ours in order to probe the depths
of emotion, character, and love, which is truly being one.
It is our conviction that becoming one will never happen in the
church, nor will it ever happen in our families, until it first
happens in our marriages. Marriage is the model for the church,
not the church for marriage. Marriage is the simplest form of church.
Jay and Laura Laffoon