The Lies of the Christian Romanticists
Christian Romanticists are very lovely, very sincere, very loving and well intended people. But some of them paint a rather spectacular, idealistic, and highly romanticized version of godly married life. They are not lying, but what they believe is simply not true for all of us. Sadly, reality quite often fails to measure up to their promise.
They say continual communication and total transparency about everything all the time is the road to a truly intimate marriage. Well, in your dreams. Most of us do not live in such an ideal state, or with a spouse capable of such a relationship. The man who tells his wife everything all the time is placing a load on her she may be ill equipped to bear.
“Dear, I was watching the weather the other evening after you went to bed. The weather girl was especially pretty, her neckline was noticeably low, and she bent over her desk unintentionally exposing even more. I found it very arousing.”We need to be as open
with our spouse as we can,
but an un-tempered openness
can be hurtful, even damaging.
Give it a break man. What woman wants to hear how attractive and sexually stimulating you find another woman? Yes, go ahead and enjoy the view, but keep your private thoughts private. Show some sensitivity to your spouse’s feelings.
Secrets are not good. We need to be as open with our spouse as it is possible to be, but an un-tempered openness can be hurtful, even damaging. Christians (or anyone for that matter) should never lie, but we must learn to share opinions tactfully, flavoring our words with grace and mercy.
An image often promoted at weddings is that of the bride and groom each with a candle, igniting a third and the original two being extinguished. But what works for one couple does not always work for another. Not every couple feels the need to completely merge their identities. Some are quite comfortable main taining some independence, and keep some things for ourselves. This is especially true for those who marry later in life. For them a better image would be two candles igniting a third, with the two staying lit. It becomes a marriage of you, me, and us.
And for some, a measure of that independence extends to their sexual life. While they see adultery, fornication, and homosexual activity as the sinful horror they are, they know from the Word of God that masturbation is a natural part of life, and a part of God's plan for our sexuality. So when their spouse is unavailable or disinterested they can, with joy and a clean conscience, have a private time of sexual play.
Celibacy and Sensational Married Sex
Premarital sex is destructive in so many ways. It has absolutely no redeeming virtues. It is essential that we stay virgins until marriage. This is not optional. And if we have failed in this we must repent and abstain. But it is a sometimes cruel and particularly nasty fantasy to suggest that you will have total marital bliss as a reward for your chastity. This is simply wrong. Premarital celibacy does not guarantee a wonderful married sex life. Virtue is its own reward; we are not promised anything more. Sometimes good people have miserable marriages and holy people have miserable mates and unsatisfying sex lives.
The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NASB)As much as we might
long for God’s ultimate
standard of total sexual
fulfillment in marriage,
few have attained it.
The Biblical ideal is that the husband and wife make love regularly. In fact, because each has no authority over their own body some see the practical application of this as a "never say no" policy. As often as a man would want to masturbate, he is entitled to have sex. For sure this is close to God's ideal. But, the verse does not say, "Do not refuse." It says "Do not deprive." A subtle difference, but a difference none the less. However it is clear that God's order for marriage includes frequent marital relations, interrupted only by mutual consent.
If the highly romanticized marriage ideal of frequent and adventuresome lovemaking was fully realized, there would be little need for the nudity and erotica on these and other pages, and masturbation would be rare. But as much as we might long for God’s ultimate standard of total sexual fulfillment in marriage, few have attained it. We live in an imperfect world so out of compassion for our flawed spouses we make adjustments: adjustments in our expectations; adjustments in our actions; adjustments in our theology. We do not demand our full “rights” but in love we accommodate each other and do the best we can with what we have.
My wife does not have the grace for as frequent sex as I would like. So I masturbate. I masturbate because it is God’s provision, and because I love my wife enough to settle for the “less” when I really want the more. And I don’t bother her with the details. Those are between the Lord and me, and the three of us in this relationship – God, my wife, and me – are fine with that.
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Christians Enjoying Nudity and Erotica
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.