A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Buzz Bomb #2

[For the first buzz bomb, click here.]

For those of you who think sexual tension, per se, is a sufficient reason for getting married (as per a popular reading of 1 Cor. 7:9), I ask the following: Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face? Or does that objectify women? If so, don't there have be other reasons for marrying a woman?

29 comments:

Amir Larijani said...

Well, Jacob actually said as such to his father-in-law, after working for 7 years: "Give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I may go in to her." (Genesis 29:21, emphasis added)

If that's not a statement of sexual tension, then what is? ;)

Personally, I have a semi-humorous aside along those lines. I was teaching a class, and one of the gals--who was engaged--told me she was concerned about whether her fiance was being honest.

She said she asked him if he had ever had trouble with lust, and he said no.

I told her, half-jokingly, finishing with a serious question: "First of all, if he's wanting to marry you, and he has no sexual tension, then he's probably gay. In all seriousness, I cannot help but ask why you were asking a question like that in the first place? What on earth were you expecting to glean?"

After she fumbled for an answer, I asked her if it would be fair for him to ask her the same question.

She told me she thought that would not be an appropriate question for him to ask her. I then busted her: "So, it's spiritual if YOU ask a question like that, but it's offensive if HE asks you the same question? Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200!"

Learner said...

If so, don't there have be other reasons for marrying a woman?

I would hope so.

Elusive Wapiti said...

"Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face? Or does that objectify women? If so, don't there have be other reasons for marrying a woman? "

I would hope that he's honest enough to do so. And I would hope that she's graceful enough to hear it and not be offended terribly. Then I hope that she would be honest enough to admit that she has lust issues too.

As for objectifying a woman, that's no worse than a man being objectified by her for his ability to provide. Mayhaps that's a lust issue too?

And yes, if lust is the only reason to marry a woman, then he shouldn't defile the institution by actually doing it. Perhaps he should get more control of himself first.

Triton said...

If so, don't there have be other reasons for marrying a woman?

Yes. She should have lots of money. And huge...tracts of land. ;)

In all seriousness, though, the answer is no. In the Old Testament, the punishment for premarital sex with a virgin was marriage. So there's definitely precedent for a Biblical marriage that involves nothing more than sex.

Obviously, this is not ideal. There should be other reasons for getting married, at least in my opinion. But, Biblically, there don't have to be.

And, once married, the whole "love your wife/respect your husband" thing comes into play.

wombatty said...

Amir wrote:
She said she asked him if he had ever had trouble with lust...

[…]

… I asked her if it would be fair for him to ask her the same question.

She told me she thought that would not be an appropriate question for him to ask her.


Translation: Yes and I shouldn’t have to admit it because women needn’t be held accountable. Besides, it’s his fault anyway.

Christina said...

I think that if a man (or woman) has issues with lust, than he/she should be on top of the marriage situation...

Which means no dallying around to figure out "is she the one" but figure it out and make your decision to go for it or walk away before compromising both parties to something sinful.

Seriously, I knew all i needed to know about my husband 3 months into the relationship to know I wanted to marry him - dito with him. Funny how we managed to be married within the span of one year of dating (one year in April) - all because of lust issues....

And yet, LUST is not by any means the only reason we tied that knot =p

Amir Larijani said...

Christina delivers the pun of the day: I think that if a man (or woman) has issues with lust, than he/she should be on top of the marriage situation...

Welcome back.

Adam T. said...

Christina's married already? I thought she only just announced her engagement a couple of months ago. Time is flying by too fast...

Christina said...

Thanks, Amir :)

And Adam, married 2 weeks ago :)

Learner said...

Christina delivers the pun of the day: I think that if a man (or woman) has issues with lust, than he/she should be on top of the marriage situation...

As soon as I read that I thought "wonder how long till someone says something about that?"

Kevin in Manila said...

If there were no sex drive or sexual attraction, we wouldn't bother with marriage.

On the other hand, I don't think we can say sexual tension is a reason in and of itself to marry. If this were the case, everyone should marry by age 15 (at the latest).

Anakin Niceguy said...

I love the Marriage Mandaters take on 1 Cor. 7:9 ...

A: "Do you feel even the eensy-weensy bit of being hot and bothered? You lecher! You better get married! No safety valves for you buddy!"

B: "So are you saying that you married your spouse just to have sex?"

A: "Why, NO! Whatever gave you that preposterous idea?!"

B: "Uh ... never, mind."

Adam T. said...

Anakin, I wish you'd give it up and get married.

Amir Larijani said...

Kevin: Actually, sexual tension is a Biblically-legitimate reason for one to marry. One need not have other reasons.

We would hope that, once married, both husband and wife--we're assuming that both are Christian--would adjust and rise (pun not intended) to the challenges of their covenant responsibilities, but one need not arrive at a decision to marry based on some glorious theological vision.

Learner said...

Is the question "Is sexual tension alone a permissable reason to marry based on what the Bible says?" The answer to that is yes. If the question is "Is sexual tension alone a wise way to choose to marry?", I think the answer is different. The Bible also records unfortunate results coming from marriage based on sexual tension (see Samson). The Bible also tells us to be wise, and how frequently are decisions based solely on sexual tension wise? For me the answer to that question has been never.

SellCivilizationShort said...

"Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face? "

I could.

Then again, I'm used to saying and doing very unpopular things for theological reasons. This kind of behavior has won me numerous enemies.

Friends come and go - enemies accumulate. See Luke 22:‘But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, “And he was counted among the lawless”; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.’ 38They said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ He replied, ‘It is enough.’

wombatty said...

SellCivilizationShort said...
"Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face? "

I could.


Ditto here SVS. I think the question then becomes, 'Is she willing and prepared to hear an honest answer?' [ask me no questions, I tell you no lies]

Regarding the woman Amir confronted, I'd be willing to bet good money that if her fiance had answered 'Yes', she would have pitched a 'holy fit' - tossed into fits of insecurity (his fault, of course) about whether he really loved her or was qualified to be a 'godly husband' and provide biblical leadership.

Demands that he attend some kind of accountability group to 'get his mind right' would have soon followed, providing much fodder for future counseling sessions wherein he would saddled with the blame for her sins and shortcomings.

Mind you, I don't think most women would react this way, only the hypocrites who can't stand to be measured by their own yardstick.

Christina said...

Lol.

That AOL Health link that Anakin provided that offered me hours of distraction...

One of the slideshows was something like "What NOT to say to a Man" and one of the marriage experts said there are several questions you do NOT want to ask:

"How many sexual partners have you had?"
"Does this make me look fat?"

He said WHY do you wish to open this can of worms? Your just asking your husband to lie to you and do you REALLY want that?

If you really want the truth and nothing but the truth, be careful what you ask.

Anakin Niceguy said...

"Anakin, I wish you'd give it up and get married."

LOL. This has to be one of my best critical posts thus far.

Adam T. said...

LOL. This has to be one of my best critical posts thus far.

Heh, well, I'm glad you took it in the friendly spirit in which it was meant.

Notwithstanding that I do agree with you on certain points, I do think most people are meant to be married and crucially, will be happier if they're married.

I'm not married yet, only engaged, but I can already see positive changes in my character.

Adam T. said...

To add something maybe a bit more relevant to the post, you say:

Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face?

I think one problem here is that you're asking the question from a culture-specific point of view - our culture in particular.

In our current society, maybe 'religious men' wouldn't be able to ask this question with a straight face. But in other societies throughout the world or throughout time? Would they have a problem with such a thing? I would venture to say some would probably not (as indeed Amir pointed out with the Genesis verse).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that our culture may recoil at the idea of marrying purely for sex, but our culture gets an awful, awful lot wrong. Therefore, I'm not sure asking the rhetorical question: 'Do you think any religious man could admit this to his fiancée and keep a straight face?' is such a great argument.

Christina said...

Along the lines of Adam T's last post,

I had a sudden realization while discussing this with Amir last night.

In a culture where the expectancy is that marriage WILL last a lifetime, the admittance that lust is the reason they are getting married is probably more acceptable.

Why? Because for that man (woman), they will need to have some life lines to ensure they won't be completely miserable in a life-time committment to someone when the lust runs out.

I think that when you view marriage as an eternal committment, accepting lust as a reason may be more acceptable.

Triton said...

I wish you wouldn't call it "lust", Christina. There is a difference between lust and sexual desire.

Adam T. said...

I wish you wouldn't call it "lust", Christina. There is a difference between lust and sexual desire.

What do you think is the distinction between the two?

Triton said...

Lust = coveting another man's wife

Sexual desire = can be lust, but can also be desire for one's own spouse or for a virgin

If these two terms were synonymous, then the passage in Matt. 5:28 would mean that any man who sexually desires his own wife is an adulterer, and that is simply too silly to be considered. It would also raise a contradiction between Matt. 5:28 and the Old Testament regulations about pre-marital sex with a virgin (which is punishable by marriage, not death, as would be the case in adultery).

As long as we're talking about two unmarried people struggling with sexual desire for each other, I think the proper term is sexual desire, not lust.

Adam T. said...

Hey, that does make sense.

Christina said...

Bah...Triton,

The term in this discussion didn't originate with me =p

But whatever =p

Anonymous said...

not all lust is sexual

people can lust for power, or money, or anything else

Triton said...

not all lust is sexual

Correct, but then the better term to describe it is "covetousness".

In fact, the Greek word for "lust" in Matt. 5:28 is translated elsewhere as "covet" and is used in a non-sexual context.

Personally, I believe the use of the word "lust" in Matt. 5:28 has led to some unfortunate conclusions; better, I think, if the word had been translated as "covet". But that's just my opinion.