I know that my husband has never slept with another woman. I was his first and only sexual partner and sex between us began on the day of our wedding. He even went so far as to reserve our first kiss for marriage. The fact that my husband reserved the most intimate, passionate part of his being for me, provides a sense of trust and comfort for me that he will continue to do so. He showed respect for me while we were dating, and he continues to respect and cherish me.
Christian marriage is understood to be a sacrifice, based on the sacrifice that Jesus made for his bride,the church.¹ I admire the tradition of Orthodox Christian wedding ceremonies when the man and woman wear martyr crowns as a symbol of the self-sacrifice required in marriage. It is simply putting your spouse above your own needs/desires/interests.
My husband would probably enjoy using all of his spare time to play golf, softball or bowling. Instead he chooses to spend his time (when not working) with his family. We certainly take breaks and pursue individual interests, but with the view that it is a time for refreshment, and beneficial to the family as a whole.
Another blessing of being in a Christian marriage means that we live in Christian community. We worship in our local church as a family. Our pastor encourages Christian marriage and family life. We have fellowship with other believers in all stages of life, single and married. There are always friends who we can talk to and share struggles with when we are having a difficult time.
There are many health benefits in traditional marriage. My husband has been a tremendous support to me as I have gone through miscarriage, weight struggles, and grief from losing loved ones. I have supported him as well “in sickness and in health”, through unemployment, job changes and the many difficulties of life.
God told the original opposite-sex couple, Adam & Eve, to “Be fruitful and multiply.”² One obvious way that the marriage is fruitful is when children are born, fostered and/or adopted into the home. This doesn’t mean that having children is the only way to be fruitful. Christian marriage provides unique avenues for fruitful service and living that serves God and others in the home, church and community.
Statistically, traditional marriage is the most stable environment for children. Scripture itself promises blessings when we follow God’s instructions for marriage and family life.³ I am a grateful recipient of these blessings:
- My grandparents on both sides were faithful, committed Christian spouses who celebrated over fifty years of marriage.
- My own parents have been happily married and faithful to one another for over forty-five years.
- None of my aunts & uncles have divorced. The ones who are married remain with their original spouses.
- Most of my cousins are also in Christian marriages with very few divorces among them. (I am one of the few who is divorced. I wrote about that here.)
More posts about my family history here.
There is no shame in maintaining an opposite-sex, Christian, monogamous marriage. I feel shame and regret about many things in my life. I have struggled with temptations,difficulties, short-comings and sins. I believe that God not only forgives me, but uses even my sins to draw me closer to Himself.
All that being said, sexual abstinence apart from marriage is a specific area where I don’t have regrets. I credit my parent’s teaching in this area. Saying a firm “no” to sexual temptation (as a teenager, single, dating, engaged and divorced woman) has produced fruitfulness and blessing and joy throughout my life. Note: I am only speaking from my own experience. I am not condemning others. I never claim to be 100% perfect in this area or any other. My favorite book on this subject is Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot.
Because of all these reasons, I heartily recommend Christian, opposite-sex, monogamous marriage. It is deeply fulfilling to have a passionate lover and friend so opposite from myself. These differences add conflict (yes, it’s hard…very difficult at times!), but there is the opportunity over time to learn skills for communication and ultimately, a stronger marriage. In my own experience, this type of marriage brings tremendous comfort, security, and true romance. Couples that I know personally in these types of marriages have a peace, joy and contentment in the long term that I do not see often in society at large.
It takes a man and woman, both living for God and for one another for it to happen. It’s crucial to marry an opposite-sex spouse who shares your faith and values. In that, I am amazingly blessed and I would encourage anyone who desires this type of marriage to pray for that blessing and pursue it with all of their heart. If you know my story, you know it did not simply happen for me in the timing and way that I hoped. But God’s timing is always perfect.
Your comments are welcome and appreciated