“Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.”—Hebrews 13:4(AMP)
So you y’all know that I’m good for throwing out questions every now and then. The title of this blog basically expresses where my head is this week…thanks to some marriage statistics that I read in a Huffington Post article last week, another website that I saw this morning when I was looking for another set of stats, and a conversation that I had with a married couple recently.
1) According to the Huffington Post piece:
As a whole, marriages are now at a record low, with just 52 percent of adults 18 and over saying they were joined in wedlock, compared with 57 percent in 2000, according to census data released last September. The never-married included 46.3 percent of young adults 25-34 – the first time the share of never-married young adults exceeded those who were married, 44.9 percent, with the rest being divorced or widowed.
2) According to some stats posted on the Alternatives to Marriage Project:
The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased tenfold between 1960 and 2000. – U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2000.”
The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased by 88% between 1990 and 2007. – U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2007.”
The majority of couples marrying today cohabited first. – Bumpass, Larry and Lu, Hsien-Hen. 2000. “Trends in Cohabitation and Implications for Children’s Family Contexts in the United States.” Population Studies, 54: 29-41.
About 75% of cohabiters plan to marry their partners. – Smock, Pamela. 2000. “Cohabitation in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology.
3) According to (a portion of) the conversation that I had with a *Christian married couple*, there are certain acts that guys want their wives to do *as single women* that they don’t (necessarily) want them doing as their wives. Because they associate it with “freaks”, “porn” or “what dirty girls do”.
Now, what does #3 have to do with #1 & #2? Well, I’m assuming that most people living together (romantically) *are* having sex, and according to the Kinsey Institute, that would be a pretty fair assumption being that over half of individuals 18-24 in 2010 said that their sexual encounters were a step down from that; that they were having it with casual partners (sidebar: I *still maintain* that “casual sex” is one of the greatest oxymorons of our time!).
So here’s my question: “If more and more people are ‘shying’ away from marriage but *not sex*, what are the views that people have about married sex?” Being that, according to the Word, which is God (John 1:1), *sex is only for married people?*
See, that verbal exchange that I had with that couple is not one that I am new to. I actually recall a well-known evangelist once preaching that oral sex is something he does not engage in with his wife because that is what he did “in the world” and he doesn’t want to disrespect her in that way. Honestly, it sounds like it should be the other way around: that he should repent to the girls that he disrespected while he was single and perhaps…rethink that other resolve. If his past is the only reason…for avoidance. Because that doesn’t sound like a conservative bedroom. That sounds more like pent-up guilt (Romans 8:1).
Cause here’s the other thing: another stat on the Kinsey site cited that, “Men whose most recent sexual encounter was with a relationship partner reported greater arousal, greater pleasure, fewer problems with erectile function, orgasm, and less pain during the event than men whose last sexual encounter was with a non-relationship partner.” Here I go assuming again, but I venture to say that a big part of that is because they *trust* their partner enough to be *fully vulnerable* with them. It’s not a “performance” so much as an “intimate exchange”. And when someone says that they will be with you until death parts them (er, marriage)…doesn’t that seem like a great place for trust and vulnerablity to flourish?
It was interesting (and a bit enlightening and revelatory) discussing with that husband that issue is not so much what the porn stars are doing but the fact that a man who is not married to them should be watching them do it. Hmph. A part of me also wonders (so feel free to jump in on this as well) if that’s a lot of married men who watch porn’s hang up: that they have “kinda sex” with their wives and “real sex” with their fantasies. Although sex with a fantasy is *never real*.
So, perhaps I’ll share what I think about all of this (really think about all of this) later. For now, I’d just like to hear your opinions.
“Are people not getting married to have sex? To have what they perceive as *good sex*?” And if so, what’s the thoughts behind that? If not, how many hang-ups are there currently in the marriage bed and what are they due to?
You have the floor. Looking forward to it.