Relevent Magazine says Lie Back and Think of Jesus

If I were to write an article aimed at turning young people off of Christianity, it would be this well intentioned article from the Christian lifestyle publication, Relevant Magazine.

The author, Rachel Pietka, acknowledges that one of the problems with the “no sex before marriage” policy is that it requires couples to be married before they begin to discover their sexual identity. Their first encounter with sex will be on their wedding night, and until then they have no way of knowing if they are sexually compatible.

It’s like the old joke from mother to daughter: don’t sleep with a man before you’re married, and never marry man who snores. How is the young woman supposed to know?

Pietka faces this problem head-on:

Although sex is indeed God’s gift to us, Christians are not directly commanded by God to have great sex. Couples may find themselves incompatible in the bedroom, and they should not be bombarded with pressure from the Christian community to start having good sex and lots of it. Instead, they should find support and comfort—support that sex is not the only thing that makes a good marriage, and comfort that historically all Christians have been called by God to suffer through numerous trials.

Christians are, and should be, hopeful people. After all, we believe in the resurrection of the dead, heaven and miracles. Some couples may find themselves miraculously gifted with good sex well after their vows, and books such as the LaHayes’ and Leman’s have helped a lot of people in this area. But in this world we will certainly have trouble. The world and all who dwell in it are imperfect. Sex, too, is bound up with the world’s imperfection. Some couples may spend their whole lives struggling with their physical relationship, and it is deceptive to teach that all Christians will, or are somehow biblically required to, have good sex.

I want to like this author. She’s stuck with a problem and she is honest about it. She’s sympathetic to those who suffer. She rightly points out that there is more to a relationship than sex, and that pressure from the outside isn’t likely to help. And she takes a shot at Mark Driscoll, which earns her points in my book.

The author could easily have copped out – “Of course your first time will be great, because you waited!” – but instead she chose to be honest. But still, the idea that your sex life may be one of those trials that God calls you to suffer through …

So Long, And Thanks For All The Memories (From Dan)
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Romance at Mars Hill
All Cycles Come to an End
  • Intelligent Donkey

    This is fairly typical of Christianity. It doesn’t matter if your life sucks in sixteen ways, because all the important bits comes after death. Life is just a test to determine where you go after life is over. You either get to hang out with Jesus because you miraculously happened to be born into the one and only true religion and managed to toe the party line despite feeling slightly sorry for the gays, or you will be punished for infinity for a finite transgression.

    Christians live for death, atheists live for life.

    BTW, I tried to think of Jesus, but since I’m a straight male, it was a bit of a struggle.

  • evodevo

    Females are supposed to lie there and take it (fake it?), because, after all, sex is only for procreation, right?? And then you stay home and take care of all the resulting kiddies, while he goes out in search of more exciting sex, then repents, then backslides, then repents, etc. etc. Serial adultery.

    Wow, what a lifestyle. No wonder no one can live up to the expectations.
    I personally know at least a couple of fundie dysfunctional families who live like this. ALL the family members, including the kids, are stressed out to the max and on one or another (or several) of the meds du jour. Glad I’m an atheist.

  • BobaFuct

    Sorry Christians, but if some (most?) marriages result in bad sex, with no hope of improvement, you have no business calling marriage a “gift from god” or anything along those lines. If sex isn’t good, marriage is simply a god-mandated, monogamous, lifelong cohabitation arrangement in order to produce children and transfer wealth. Oddly enough, that actually is how the biblical description of marriage works…it’s only relatively recently that “traditional marriage” become such a sacrosanct institution.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    I’ll take an honest attempt at an issue over standardized pablum any day. As long as the author is looking for actual answers, the possibility they might find them (likely outside their faith) remains.

    • kessy_athena

      Credit where credit is due. I may disagree with the author on some pretty big points, but I have to respect them for their honesty and their recognition of people’s suffering.

      Also, I think it’s worth remembering that having premarital sex may increase the probability of a satisfying sex life in marriage, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee it. While Christian sexual taboos are certainly a destructive influence in people’s lives, getting rid of those taboos is the beginning of a process of improving your life, not the end of it.

      • UrsaMinor

        Yup. Nobody is expecting a fairytale Happily Ever After if taboos are eliminated. We’re just expecting to get rid of the problems caused by the taboos.

  • revyloution

    Jeez, and we thought Job got a rough hand to delt to him.