Category Archives: Sexual Relations

The Purity Ring

The modern day symbol of a young girls pledge to remain sexually pure until marriage. The Purity Ring.  In some cases, a girl who makes that decision to “remain pure” will talk to her parents about getting a ring to signify this commitment.  Another tradition is the girl’s father presenting her a ring and she would return it to her father on her wedding day.

Is it me, or is that last one just a little odd?  Perhaps, a tad disturbing.  If someone is going to embrace this tradition, it would seem that giving the ring to her new husband would be a better gesture.  After all, is she not giving herself to her husband?

You probably know this stuff anyway.  I just want to share my reasons for disagreeing with it.

I am all for teaching our kids that sex is best for the confines of a married relationship. This is really part of how we were created.  I do believe God wants a life commitment before physical intimacy…that is, there should be a heart and mind intimacy with a life commitment.

A few thoughts.

First…the word, purity, has been focused on the idea of sex, as if abstaining from sex outside of marriage would keep a person “pure”.  Well, honestly, nothing outside of the blood of Christ makes us pure and we are no more or less pure because of sex, or not.

Second…the purity focus is placed squarely on the girl.  This makes it up to the girl to remain pure. She is the one who gets the ring as a pledge of her sexual purity.  Uh…really?  Why aren’t boys asked to pledge their purity?  Personally, I think most girls have less trouble waiting…but, guys need to learn self-control and how to respect girls/women.

Third…wearing a ring has been touted as “good testimony”.  A girl can explain what the ring is for, if asked.  Then, she can supposedly have a lead-in to “witness to” the asker.  In other words, the ring is also supposed to be a good witnessing tool.  If stating a personal conviction is supposed to be good witness, I think we missed something.

Big sin, little sin.

We have placed certain standards as greater than others.  People are so hung up on sex that they don’t see the shortcomings in their own lives or in their midst (greed, gluttony or their own sexual issues).  For teens and adult singles, the big evil is sex and the even bigger evil is abortion.  Then, they want to place a legalistic hold on singles and go even further with wanting to make legislation to make certain things illegal for anyone, whether they live by godly convictions, or not.

As far as I am concerned, the purity ring is a reminder of keeping law.  It has nothing to do with actual purity nor does it guarantee or prove someone’s salvation.  It is not a good “witnessing tool”, as bragging about one’s sexual purity simply shows that one is a rule follower more than a witness.

What we do should be out of love.

Ultimately, we must realize, acknowledge and embrace God’s love for us.  With the knowledge of His love for us, we begin to love Him in return.  Out of that love, we become eager to live and do as He desires us to, whether it is to serve the needy or change (repent) something in our lives.

As far as repentance goes, this is inspired by the Lord.  We should never demand someone repent.  Repentance is a change of the mind…that is a work from within and such work is by the Spirit.  He knows the timing and the way to reach an individual.  Basically, Law becomes behavior modification…when the Lord calls for repentance, it is a change from the heart, borne out of love and responded with love.

We need to teach our kids why sex outside of marriage is not ideal, yet not demand sexual purity or state that sex outside of marriage is a ticket straight to hell.  Then, should the kids have any questions, concerns or have begun having sex…or found themselves with a pregnancy…they should have a safe, non-judgmental place to go.  They don’t need to be shamed or condemned…there is no room for that in the Kingdom.

To sum it up.

The idea of the purity ring is a nice tradition.  It just seems that it comes with a package of legalism and self-righteous bragging.  It is also not right that this burden be placed on the girls.  The male-centric society that has been built has blamed women for being raped, for getting pregnant and for looking appealing.  Sure, girls should be taught the importance of basic modesty and to temper flirtation…but, by and large, boys need to learn self-control and respect.

 

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Grown-Up Stuff…A Few More Thoughts

Get the Church out of the bedroom!

Oh, I can hear the logic, now.  That’s impossible!  We are the Church!  Now, what we need to do is just follow along, here.

Within the Church, there are those who over-legislate sex among just about everything else.  They make rules for frequency, positions, men being in charge, lights out, only in the bedroom, only for procreation…blah, blah, blah.

Where did these rules come from?  As far as I can see…pretty much seems they are made up.

What about, “Be fruitful and multiply”.  Doesn’t that mean sex is only for procreation?

Nope.  There is no indication, not a hint…nuttin’ that gives a clue for that idea.

As for any of the other stuff, it is like someone was afraid of what sex could be and thought it to be something wrong.  There are no limits…whatever position, wherever hands go and whatever they do, oral stuff…all good.  Sex once a week, three times a week, or ten times a week…all good. Before children, as parents and into senior years…all good.  Whatever makes it good for the couple, is all good.

Bed half empty.

I heard a rather sad statistic…about half of married couples are NOT having sex.  What?! If we were to believe TV and movies, it would seem everyone is having sex fairly regularly.  But, then it stops sometime after marriage?  NO!  Whatever opportunities a couple has should be spent enjoying each other. There is nothing wrong with a couple who wants to be a bit slutty with each other.

Whoa!  Did you just use that word?

Yes, I did.  Get over it.  For that matter, if you are married, get over it, under it, on top of it, beside it…or whatever works for you and your spouse..as often as you can.  Go ahead and be a little slutty.

Geez, he said it again.

Mayest thou get over thyself.

Here is a bit of information that people tend to forget.  The whole good feeling, liking what you see, all the good touching, getting all fired up and all…God created that!  He made us that way!  You know what else?  He totally approves of whatever fun you like to have, too.

After all those kids and pizza.

There is that issue of body image.  Women are especially sensitive in this area.  Well, ladies, if your husband still likes being with you, even after all those kids and a few helpings of cake and potato chips, enjoy the ride.  It’s nice if you can stay or get back in shape, but if that guy is still warm for your form, then go and let him warm you up.

As time goes on, sexy takes on all new dimensions, with the help of gravity and maybe a few extra donuts.  And birthday cake. And everything between Thanksgiving and New Year.  Don’t sweat it.  If one of you is getting a bit spongy, likely the other is, as well.

It is not dignified for people over certain ages to engage in such relations.  Anyway, people lose interest after the years go by.

bedfeetReally?  Abraham and Sarah certainly were a fun pair, then.  I doubt they were honeymoon marathoners in their platinum years (at their ages, they passed golden years), but it seems they still had a reasonable fire in the furnace.  Let’s put it this way…if you are of certain senior age-range and still can and want to…go forth and enjoy!

Now, I am not opposed to losing weight and/or staying in reasonable shape.  Honestly, I think that sex can be more enjoyable when two people are less “girthy”.  And, when I say, ‘reasonable shape’, it means we don’t have to go all crazy at the gym and all that.  But, that we should be able to enjoy our time without a trip to the ER afterward.  Out of breath after the big event…expected.  Wheezing like a dying animal for just getting your clothes off…may want to make some changes.

A few more thoughts.

I just shared Anna McCarthy’s most recent post on depression (Just a Jesus Follower).  I think that many of the demands placed on people (by Christians) also affect what goes on between husband and wife.  Honestly, I think the reason so many people are not enjoying sex is because of everything around them.  Not only do we have many two-income households with children and all their demands and activities included, but in the Church we have many demands, as well.  We have to serve this much, we have to obey this way, we have to walk this line, our marriage has to appear like this, our demeanor has to look like that…and on, and on, and on.  We have been pounded with doctrines that have reduced us to often worrying what God is thinking of us, whether He is disappointed in us and even if we met some sort of condition to earn His love for us.  This does not encourage active snuggle time.

God loves you just as you are.  Warts, flab and all.  He created us just the way we should be. He created the sexual urge and did so for more than just procreation.  If you have been missing out on some good times for a while, maybe it is time to sit with your spouse and discuss the idea of getting back in the saddle, again.  Maybe it is time for me to stop using such corny metaphors. In any case, people need to feel free to get as nasty with each other as they see fit for themselves.

What rules?

Here are the only real rules – First, the marriage bed is un-defiled.  Second, do not deprive on another. Actually, these are not so much as rules, as they are declarations of the freedom to be with your spouse the way your spouse agree and enjoy being with one another.

If anyone wants any homework…well…you can make up your own assignment.

 

 

 

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Grown-up Stuff

Looking back at They Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage, I wanted to see if I could approach some of that aspect of marriage that only a few dare talk about.

shockedThat’s right.  That aspect.

Right?  Yep..that’s the one.

If you are unclear as to the aspect I am alluding to, let me just put it out there…sex.

You just cringed, didn’t you.  Either that, or your ears just perked up like a pug.

As I am writing this, I will try to be as forthright as possible without making anyone want to gouge out their eyes, jump off a building or volunteer for root canal with no anesthesia. I am not one to get too clinical, really.  If you want to get into some really exciting details, I highly recommend The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye.  Virtually any book about the sex act is good, if you need to pick up on some details.

Let’s start with this…I do believe that sex is meant for the confines of marriage.  This is not a matter of legalism or prudishness.  Sex is an intimate act and is best to be explored, experimented and improved upon between two people who have made a lifetime commitment.  It is something that love and full commitment should be in the center of. What we do should be out of love, which takes away selfishness and considers the other first.

About selfishness.  Men tend to get selfish, greedy and thoughtless in relationships and often in the realm of sex.  So, guys, make sure it’s not all about you. Besides, if you are married to a woman who truly loves you, if you put her considerations and pleasures above yours, I will bet cold hard cash you will be paid pack in kind.  Yup.  You won’t be sorry.

Sex is an area that should be mostly about giving.  Oh, yeah, yer gettin’ something.  But, if it is more about giving, the getting often turns out to be more fun.  So, maybe we should go on with some of the myths which come out of the brilliant minds of “Churchians”, who had nothing better to do than to regulate just about everything.  There are many who, unfortunately, still hold to some made up regulations and consider them necessary for a “good Christian marriage”.

Made-up sex rules…

  • Only in the dark
  • All about the man’s pleasure
  • Wives should always “be available” for their husbands
  • Only for procreation
  • Only “missionary position” allowed
  • None of that oral stuff

When it comes to rules or preferences, this is something that is to be openly discussed between husband and wife. It takes communication.  Then, it comes down to what both agree to.  In other words, if a simple, tame, once a week amalgamation works for a couple, that is the direction they need to continue in.  If wild animal, chandelier-swinging, wild-ape, house-shaking nastiness works, by all means, enjoy it!  But, what if one likes it more tame and the other wants to crank it up a bit?  This needs clear communication in order to see where some experimentation might be in order.  No matter what, it should end in agreement and result in pleasure for both.

Don’t be afraid to do some research!  Get online, ask a trusted friend, read books and embarrassedarticles. Don’t worry who is giving the tips and advice – sex is sex, no matter who is telling about it.  Sure, it can get candid and raw, but you may pick up a thing, or two.  Just be careful that it is kept in the realm of research to be discussed and experimented with your spouse.

As for these supposed rules, they have no Biblical base, whatsoever.  The only mentions of sex are concerning adultery and fornication.  As for marital sex…no listed, mentioned, hinted, suggested, insinuated, inferred or secretly coded rules exist.  If there is any rule (if we may use that word), it is…do it.

Reasons for “holding back”.

It seems that sexual inhibitions are largely a woman’s issue.  It can stem from any of several reasons…anxiety, stringent upbringing, psychological trauma from some form of sexual abuse, fear of the unknown to name a few.  These really represent longer-term issues.  Shorter term issues would be anger (he hasn’t done that chore, yet), exhaustion (like, from those kids she’s with all day), illness, injury, recent stresses – these are all mood killers.  Men can be slowed down by most of these, as well (anger rarely has much effect).

Are you still here?  Great!  Please, make sure to leave any comments or questions, below.  I make no claims of expertise and we can all learn from each other.

Communication and Cooperation

A couple should be able to talk freely with each other.  Lay it all out on the table, so to speak.  Maybe he would like more frequency, while she wants more “grope time” before the main event.  Perhaps he has ideas that scare the color out of her hair or she thinks he should consider trying something different.  He desires, she desires.  Be honest, open and patient.  Then, see where you can reach some area of agreement.

Tip:  There is a big difference between desire and demand.  Express your desires and listen to the desires of your spouse.  But, do not make them into demands.

Then, when the opportunity is there, give it a go.  Try that new thing or improve on the old thing.  It is another way people improve together.  Of course, if that same menu works for the couple, that is just fine.  No rules.

Personal Rules

There are areas in life where individuals draw a pretty strict line and sex is no different. One spouse may refuse to try certain things for any number of reasons.  There are things that couples will agree on that are absolute no-go’s.  That is fine – we need to agree on where to put on the brakes, especially if there is a chance of injury of some sort.

Yet, people should pray about and consider pushing their personal boundaries. Sometimes, we have some boundaries because of what we have been taught or simply because of the fear of the unknown.  This may be where some of that research could be good.

I plan to go into another post on this topic…maybe addressing men on a few issues.  Let’s see where this goes.  Suggestions and feedback are quite welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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