THE As-Zs OF NEVERS IN MARRIAGE:
S-SEXUAL REJECTION, Part 3 (8 Causes of Sexual Problems: #1-#3)
Sex is not a taboo subject in the Bible. Almost every book in the Bible says something about sex, and some of the descriptions are explicit as per the Song of Solomon. Before we move into some of the causes of sexual problems in marriage, let’s begin with the biblical/God’s view of sex:
1. Sex was created by God and is good. When He created human beings, God made us male and female and declared that His creation was good. He instructed the first husband and wife to “be fruitful and increase in number” – instructions that clearly involved nakedness and sexual intercourse (Gen 1:27-28; 2:24-25).
2. Sex is for propagation and pleasure. Obviously the command to “increase” in number demonstrates the propagation aspect. But what about the pleasures of physical sex between married lovers? It should be noted that even when the Bible describes sex in very provocative language (e.g. Song of Solomon), there is not even a hint of shame. The descriptions are very explicit but never offensive (SOS 7:1-10; Prov 5:18-19). In the last DDR, I noted 1 Cor 7:2-5 which prohibits the wife or the husband from failing to provide sexual pleasure and satisfaction to the other. Married couples are free in the Lord to do whatever is mutually satisfying. Frequency of sex and variations of sexual techniques are entirely up to the couple. This is nothing inherently wrong with any sexual mode that they might use to give pleasure to each other.
3. Sex is for marriage. Whenever the Bible speaks approvingly about sex, it refers to married couples. When Jesus quoted Genesis, He spoke with favor about the permanence of the “one flesh” nature of marriage.
4. Sexual immorality is condemned strongly. Sexual looseness may be tolerated in our society, but it is condemned with vehemence in the Bible. God, who created sex, has commanded us to abstain from sexual immorality (e.g. any sex outside of marriage). This is not because God wants to take away our fun. It is because the Creator knows the dangers of sexual abuse and wants to protect us from the misery that comes when we give in to lustful passions and accept the self-centered sexual values of people who neither know nor respect God’s Word (1 Thess 4:1-8; 2 Tim 2:22). Adultery is pictured in the Bible as something very attractive that ultimately is destructive and foolish (Prov 5:1-11, 20, 23; 6:23-33; 7:5-27).
There are at least 8 common sexual problems in marriage. Here is an overview of the first three:
1. Misinformation. It is generally agreed among sexual researchers that the greatest cause of sexual problems is misinformation, misconception, and taboo. This does not surprise me because as people get away from doctrine (which alone enables the man to understand the makeup of a woman’s soul and vice versa) they simply absorb all kinds of misinformation and misconceptions from the kosmos. It is not surprising that so many people are left in confusion, misinformation, unrealistic expectations, inhibitions about asking questions, distorted fantasies, and a failure to understand that male and female responses differ from each other. Sexual instinct and urges are inborn, but a knowledge of lovemaking must be learned. When the learning is inadequate, sexual adjustment problems often arise. When people get their views about sex from jokes in the locker room, television programs, sexually explicit movies, magazine articles, instead of from the Word of God it should not be no surprise that people have all kinds of hang-ups about sex. The only solution is the renewing of the mind through the Word of God, Rom 12:1-2.
2. Cultural attitudes. Cultural attitudes can adversely affect sex in marriage in many ways. On the legalistic side there can be a sense of shame about sex that can be very inhibiting as one enters marriage. On the licentious side as more young people become promiscuous, having several partners on a causal basis (i.e. "friends with benefits"), they are prone to carry these rather unfulfilled young sexual experiences and learned attitudes in the marriage. The more sex a young person has before marriage, as they give into the cultural attitudes of their time, the more scars they have on their souls and the less capacity they will have to respond to the right person God has for him/her. Of course with grace and a lot of doctrine these scars can be removed thereby giving the believer the capacity for right man/woman; however, very few really recover. They might use the doctrinal “lingo” and use grace recovery, but even grace recovery is used as a means to get rid of some sin rather than a means to get back and staying in fellowship and really growing in doctrine. There are believers who do recover, but it usually takes a giant wakeup call of some kind. Apart from the wakeup call, they simply sleepwalk through life and simply live under logistical grace rather than growing in greater grace. They end up going from one bad relationship to another. The only solution is Bible doctrine. Only through the Word of God can all of the psychological baggage be cleaned out and the mind refurnished with the beauty of God’s grace.
3. Stress. One of the reasons for sexual rejection is lack of sexual desire. As a matter of fact “lack of desire” is often at the top of the list of sexual problems. Much of the stress is due to the fact that so much energy and time in invested into work that many feel drained and just want to be left alone. When work creates anxiety or there is concern over job security, interest in love making often declines, partly because of physical reasons. In men, for example, prolonged stress sharply decreases the level of testosterone, the primary male hormone. Distracted by the problems and pressures of life and lacking both energy and sexual drive, many men would rather read a book or watch the late show than make love to their lives. When the wife is out in the work force and exhausted at the end of the day, it is no wonder that she is not effervescing with passion or overflowing with responsive energy. When one’s stress level goes up, interest and involvement in sexual intercourse tends to go down. The solution is the Word of God: by applying the Word of God the believer removes mental stress related to worries. By applying the Word of God the believer removes physical stress by prioritizing the life so that marriage to the spouse becomes more important than marriage to the job.