Marriage Establishes Sexual Consent
Many Christian marriage liturgies talk about marriage as a healthy place for our reproductive dreams of our humanity and our sexual needs as humans. The wedding ceremony is a public occasion where the establishment of sexual consent occurred. A man or woman is clear that part of the deal is meeting their partner’s sexual needs. The Bible supports that worldview.
1 Corinthians 7:5 says, “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
For practicing Christians, marriage brings clarity to relationship and protection to men and women.
Many in our culture lack clarity about the difference between sexual consent and sexual harassment or abuse.
There is so much sexual harassment news recently where celebrities, politicians, and others are accused of sexual harassment. A key issue is about “establishing consent” for sexual activity. Establishing consent is not necessarily easy anymore. With the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, sexual consent got confused.
By the mid-seventies, if you showed up at certain parties, many thought you were giving “consent” to certain sexual encounters. At many colleges, even today, certain parties have unclear expectations about consent. What is sexual harassment and what is sexual consent?
Things will continue to get murky. Some believe that going out on a date gives consent to some or more sexual activities. Some believe that flirting gives consent to some or more sexual activities. Some standards of sexual harassment are being established in workplace ethics. If you hold a leadership position and you “flirt” with a team member, that is likely considered “sexual harassment”. More and more, sex jokes told outside clear consent can be construed as a form of sexual harassment.
Marriage Establishes Sexual Consent Brings Protection
Christian marriage is a great protection again sexual harassment.
- Practicing Christians in marriage give their consent for sexual activity that blesses their spouse.
1 Corinthians 7:4 says, The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
- Practicing Christians give exclusive sexual consent that launches the fullness of sexuality in one relationship. In that relationship, marriage heat is honored.
Hebrews 13:4 says, Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
- Practicing Christians submit to one another out of a reverence for Christ. This establishes sexual consent embedded in servant-loving erotica, not selfish erotica. Each partner in a Christian marriage desires to get to know how to please and get into the sexual imagination of their spouse. This includes both the male and female. As much as the male serves his wife and finds out her needs, the wife serves her husband to find out his needs. This website is good for conversations and inspiration for that marriage sex journey.
Ephesians. 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
There are many more ways that Christian Marriage protects couples from other ills like STDs. Our world needs clear and established consent. Marriage establishes sexual consent and this is one of the great benefits of Christian Marriage.
Let’s be clear. This is not absolute consent for all time and for all situations. One contributor to MH wrote,
Marriage does not once and for all establish sexual consent. Rape is still possible after the wedding. If a woman (or a man for that matter) says no to the advances of her spouse and he continues anyway, shall we deny that this is unwanted sexual contact? Far be it from him to do so! And although she should not deny him, consent is not a one time thing that guarantees future consent.
Marriage does establish that two people are giving themselves to each other and consenting to sexual union, but we can only expect righteousness to flow out of this if their is mutual humility and willingness to serve the other. When we say that the wife’s body is for the husband and the husband’s for his wife, we do not maintain that it is for any purpose. What happens when a man disobeys God and desires to use his wife’s body wrongly? Do we say that she consented to swinging and threesomes? What if he gets sexual pleasure from striking her? Certainly no one would assert that she must consent to such sin! Yet this is exactly the logical conclusion if one claims absolute consent.
Another Contributor added,
A wedding vow is not a permanent “yes”. Countless Christians are raped by a spouse who (mis)uses Biblical quotes, especially 1 Cor 7:4, as their rational.
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