No, Sex is Not the Nourishing Food of Marriage

No, Sex is Not the Nourishing Food of Marriage August 12, 2016

I can only imagine how Ryan and Mrs. Williams’ marriage is going to deteriorate as they age. The young, fresh, exuberant sex drive is not going to last forever. God help his wife if she ever comes down with placenta previa or any other condition where she and her voracious spouse will have to abstain from passionate lovemaking for an extended period. They’ll have to find some other reason to help with the housework and listen. They may have to buckle down and do the hard work of learning to live together as human beings–children of God who keep slipping backward into sin and hurting one another, intentionally or unintentionally, on a daily basis in spite of their love. They’ll have to learn that love is prior to lovemaking, and will last after the body is gone.

I provide these speculations about Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ love life only to illustrate the problems with the article. Undoubtedly, Mr. Williams does not really think that way. He must be misspeaking. He’s trying to articulate how important sexual intercourse is; that it’s not a shameful but a holy thing, and I agree with that. But good heavens, what a horrible way to speak about love.

Love is a choice. Love is a choice for the perfect good of the beloved, even if it’s not fun. Even if it’s not passionate or exciting or sexy. If a couple is celibate when the Church says they ought to be, they set out on the path to married life first with no sex to stoke their passions; they love and care for each other in other ways, and wait. Then they get married and learn to have sex, and that sex is usually no fun at the very first, but they go on learning. It is a very good thing that they should learn to have fun, intense, passionate lovemaking sessions. Sex is the physical sign of the seal of marriage, and it is a good and sacred thing. To take great pleasure in a sacred thing is good, and it will make the marriage easier. But sometimes there’s no time for fun. Sometimes there are impediments to passion. Sometimes, you don’t feel like making love. Sometimes you feel that you desperately want to, but you can’t. And in those times, you’ll have to love in other ways. God help the married couple that look to sexual intercourse to solve all of their problems. Sex is one means of showing love.

But if love is not prior to sex, sex cannot create love.

Nothing can create love.

Love is prior to all created things.

God is love.

Any genuine manifestation of love flows from God and is a manifestation of His Spirit.

Love is the real nourishing food of marriage. Love– the genuine choice for the good of the beloved– is the action of the Trinity, and it is the action of every good relationship. Love binds together marriages, religious orders, communities and friendships, and all of these things are good. Love is the driving force behind chaste sexual intercourse, and sexual intercourse fueled by love is a great way to improve your marriage. But if any of these things come before love– if sex or community or a religious order or anything else is held in greater esteem than love, that thing becomes an idol.

Cast down your idols, and love.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about whether your wife is writhing beneath your touch.

 


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