Let’s stay level headed when it comes to sex

So I read this today…

The headline is “Christians are not Called to Have Amazing Sex” and the article is even worse than one would assume by reading the headline.

My great grandmother had a saying: “the problem with the world is that every new generation thinks they invented sex.” Once I was old enough to fully appreciate the historical context of my great-grandmother’s generation and the societal changes she witnessed in her many, many years of life I finally realized that she had stumbled onto some profound wisdom with that phrase.

With that in mind, I was very disappointed to read Ms. Pietka’s article. Yes, we need to educate the youths we serve in church that sex isn’t what they see in movies (or, heaven forbid, the porn they’re being exposed to), but to tell newly-marrieds that the sexual difficulties they’re experiencing are going to a problem for life is counter-productive to encouraging teenage abstinence. Oh yeah, and it’s also factually incorrect!

The big difference in approach between someone who chooses to stay abstinent until marriage and someone who doesn’t is that the abstinent person should be looking for a mate with whom they can grow towards compatibility, while non-abstinent folks are looking for someone they find immediately compatible. I prefer the approach of growing towards compatibility because it lays a foundation for adaptation throughout marriage. After all people change a lot in a life span, learning how to adapt to a partner’s personality and peculiarities early in marriage helps when kids, health, career, and other milestones hit.

Short of a physical impairment a couple should be able to eventually work towards something that the two of them would consider “great” sex. If they cannot after a period of time then they ought to seek out assistance from appropriate professionals. Depending on the problem a medical doctor, a marriage therapist, or a sex therapist can be consulted. Not seeking resolution can allow resentment and anxiety to develop and which can magnify other problems and eventually lead to divorce.

If I am consulting a couple with sexual tension in their marriage either as an ecclesiastical leader or as a therapist, I would NEVER tell them that the effort spent trying to overcome their problems is idolatrous. The entirety of love between a husband and wife, including their sexual attraction and desire, is a gift from God and any effort spent better understanding and cultivating that love can bring a couple closer to each other and God.

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