Ahead of Unbelievable? the Conference 2017 Justin Brierley traces...
Some people believe that Christians get married to prevent themselves falling into sexual sin. But is that a good enough reason to tie the knot nowadays? It's a tough question to answer. The purpose of this article is to explore this question against the backdrop of today’s culture and the Bible.
Dr Trevor Stammers (GP of 30 years and former Chairman of Christian Medical Fellowship) once stated, ‘…One of the popular false god’s today is the worship of sex… everyone uniformly living in western society faces exactly the same temptation to engage in sexual activity whenever and however they want to, at any particular time.’
A February 2015 survey conducted by Premier Christianity magazine suggested that ‘more than half of Christian men and around a fifth of Christian women in the UK are using porn on a regular or semi-regular basis.’
It could be argued therefore that many people feel pressured into marriage because of widespread sexual temptation. With that said, it’s also true that the porn industry often presents completely unrealistic and exploitative methods of sexual expression. Unfortunately, this has left an indelible mark on young men and women today. In the end, both parties could be left disappointed when they discover that the reality doesn’t measure up to expectations. So what should Christians do?
One of the popular false god’s today is the worship of sex
THE BIBLE ON MARRIAGE
The Bible is very clear; the bedrock for Christian marriage is Jesus Christ and His church. It is supposed to picture the self-sacrificial love that Christ has for His bride, not the selfish, sensualised imitation game that the media presents to us today.
Ephesians 5:22, 25, 32 (NKJV)
‘Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’
However, The Bible does recommend marriage to protect Christian men and women from the area of fornication (pre-marital sex).
1 Corinthians 7:1-3, 8 (NKJV)
‘1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
YES OR NO?
So how should we answer the question ‘Should Christians get married for sex?’ As we’ve just seen, the centre of any Christian marriage is supposed to be Christ. That’s not to say sex isn’t important within the marital relationship, not at all. But rather, sex is not supposed to be the central focus.
On the other hand, Paul recommends it as a preventative measure to stop Christians falling into sexual sin. But when we consider the Biblical illiteracy of today’s culture, could this cause people problems?
To paint the picture more clearly, let's imagine a young Christian couple who are struggling to control their urges. They haven’t been properly discipled yet and they don’t have a full understanding of the Biblical principles for marriage. Is it wrong for them to decide to tie the knot? Well, no but it certainly isn’t ideal either. What if they later decide to get divorced once things get rocky? If sex (rather than Christ) is the centre of their marriage, then surely it doesn’t stand a chance in today’s world?
So rather than giving a yes or no answer to the question, ‘Should Christians get married for sex?’ perhaps it's better to simply say yes and no.
But what do you think? Share your comments below.
For Trevor Stammers Quote see Panel Discussion // Unbelievable? Conf. 2013