Is MarriageHeat Pornographic?

Recently, MarriageHeat received the following question from one of our readers, Vdog: Curious about your opinion on Fight the New Drug Website stance on ‘written’ porn or erotica. What about the caution that written porn and graphic erotic[a] may lead to the same problems as visual porn?

We sent this reply to Vdog directly:

Thanks for bringing this worthy site to our attention…

Short answer: We don’t think our site is a good fit for everyone. Some struggle more than others with lust, selfish desire or discontent. They may stumble and suffer if they become readers of our content. We address this in our ‘about’ page and occasional posts and responses to comments. We have found the community itself also makes suggestions of the same nature to those who express negative consequences they experience from reading. If our content causes one to sin, we encourage the individual to cut it off from his or her reading list. But please don’t confuse the stirring up of sexual feelings for one’s spouse nor the desire or willingness to try new things together with sin.

We believe the FTND website would be a great resource for those who wish to eschew reading erotica for whatever reason. We applaud their non-judgemental attitude and their respect for the rights of individuals to choose their own behavior while standing up for and speaking out on their firmly held beliefs. But we hope we have in MH an environment where married couples are encouraged to enjoy all the pleasures of sex as God himself instructs — in love and with each other only. We also try to be a beacon to Christian singles who are holding out, reminding them that it’s worth it to wait for that committed, forever relationship. As such, we don’t consider ourselves part of the porn culture. We see ourselves as an alternative to it, perhaps even an antidote.

But we felt that it was a subject worthy of a further researched and thought out response and that publishing it might help anyone struggling with feelings of guilt over their involvement with this site. To wit:

Fight The New Drug (FTND) is an organization that uses scientific research to warn people of what they perceive to be inherent dangers of the use of pornography and erotica and the industry that produces them. Some of the studies they cite are controversial, and they have opponents as well as supporters among mental and sexual health professionals. But what stands out to us is the attitude of love and respect with which they offer their viewpoint and help where it is wanted. Nowhere on their site do they beat down anyone. They merely quote facts that support their view and explain why it matters. In essence, they desire to see people seek committed relationships with real people rather than the cheap substitute of porn. We love this.

We also agree that the porn industry has further social repercussions, including its influence on pre- and extramarital sexual relations and human trafficking. Not that it is solely responsible – sin is sin, and we are all liable for our own decisions. But there is nothing wrong with trying to influence society to reduce its support of a business model based on feeding our baser instincts. And FTND is going about it in a loving, conscientious way.

Because we do use some of the “tools of the trade,” MarriageHeat would be classified by some as being pornographic. Our message, however, is entirely different. We know that God made sex and therefore sex is very good! But God also knows when sex is good for us: within the boundaries of a committed, monogamous, and lifelong relationship based on love and trust. That’s what a marriage is, or should be.

FTND extends its cautionary tales to the reading of erotica, and we would not argue that point either if the content of the writings is no different from what one sees in most pornographic films. Unmarried, non-consensual, harmful or degrading acts, whether depicted on screen or on the page, in images or in words, are not what we – nor sex – were designed for. Yet representing to each other the passion and bliss found in the arms of our true love is more than condoned in the Bible. The Song of Solomon (or the Song of Songs) is a whole book dedicated to doing just that! And several of the Proverbs also teach the wisdom of finding sexual pleasure within the bonds of matrimony.

It seems to MarriageHeat that the problem is not with the medium but with the message. Are brain synapses stimulated and chemicals released that make us feel good when we expose ourselves to sexual messages? Can those feelings compel us to seek sexual stimulation more often? Yes! And God designed that system! So we need to diligently guard against sources that deliver the bad with the good. And we need to direct those feelings, urges and desires toward our loving, supportive husbands and wives. It is our hope that at MH you are able to find a safe place to explore, together with your spouse, all the goodness and freedom of a pure marriage bed without any of the temptations toward defilement of the sexual act portrayed in most pornography and even the mores of our societies in general.

If you do not find that to be the case, please don’t keep reading our stories. If the suggestive pictures we choose or the language we allow hurts you, know that there are other Christian sex-positive sites with more stringent controls in place just for you. The Marriage Bed is one (and no, we are not affiliated.) Most importantly, don’t seek stimulation from our content as a substitute for real intimacy. Instead, let these outpourings from your Christian brothers and sisters inspire you to do the hard work of building the love, trust, openness and vulnerability (and thereby the potential for more heat) in your marriage. If we can’t be that inspiration to you, we don’t want to be a stumbling block. Please seek help from a pastor, a Christian counselor or an organization like Fight the New Drug.

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43 replies
  1. Mercury7 says:

    I appreciate your well thought out and carefully worded response. As with every area of life, in our sexuality we are each very unique. Some things that are appropriate or helpful to me are not at all for others. I believe most people find their sexuality to be an area of life that comes with many temptations, challenges and struggles. Most of us need some sources of help and support as we try to walk the path we feel God has called us to. I know many people (including me) find your site to be a positive and helpful resource.

  2. Upcomingauthor says:

    Well thought out and informative. I know that MH has faced scrutiny time and again. But it's the differences of the message from everyone else, and the condition of the mind, or in our case, the heart, that speaks to what this site stands for.

  3. King David says:

    I am a regular reader of the stories on this site and comment from time to time on subjects that I find interesting. This particular post definitely fits that definition. I agree with your position 100%. I find that for myself, when I read these stories, it makes me want to have sex with my wife more than anything else. Quite frankly I don't see why God would have a problem with this. Furthermore you are perfectly accurate in your assessment of the book of Song of Solomon, especially if you understand the numerous metaphors. The descriptions in the book are very sexually explicit.

    I also read up on the FTND site and agree with many of the statements they make. Fundamentally, porn affects you psychologically in a bad way. What I have never understood is why as Christians we are so obsessed by porn but stay completely silent on the subject of the incredible sadistic violence in the series like Game of Throne, Handmaid's Tale, etc. I strongly believe that this is psychologically damaging.

  4. JAM777 says:

    I like this post very much. First off, I can't properly express my gratitude to the admins and the creator(s) of this site. The time, heart, and possibly even tears (from discontent and malcontents who seek only anger or rage) must have been very difficult at times and I appreciate you all for sticking to it. Not only the stories but the community that was spawned have been an eye-opening experience to say the least! I have been negatively affected by porn and the negative sexual experiences that have happened in my family, which have at times made me hate the idea of sex, that it is for reproduction and nothing else. That sexual feelings are evil and can never amount to anything good. Even to the point of understanding the science of sex and what all goes on, gave me a negative perspective.

    But through this site I have met people who were open to communication about these sensitive topics that 99.9 percent of the people in my life who are Christians wouldn't talk about whether because of not being comfortable or because they too don't have a positive attitude towards it.
    But because of people like Mrs. Thorton, Mr. and Mrs. G, Blondie, Mrs. Juicy, Ms. PFC, Mr. Lovinghusband and a couple others (forgive me for not remembering you all), my perspective on sexuality has changed greatly! You have helped me to get past my guilt for my body and its reaction to opposite sex. To help me see the beauty of what God has created!
    They also helped with my views on finding the one who will hopefully be my wife. I can never say thank you enough to them or to the MH team!!!

    And any personal struggles I have had that don't fit the bounds God has set, are mine and mine alone. Blaming anything or anyone else for your stumbling is just wrong and will not help you reconcile with the Lord.
    (Admins, I hope this wasn't too long and I hope that my post will make it. Thank you again)

    • hornyGG says:

      God bless and stay horny Jam777!
      Since finding MH and almost 50 stories later, this site still greatly inspires Ben and I. Thank you MH!!!

    • JAM777 says:

      Thank you and will do Mrs. G! No doubt about it! Hope you do the same!

      It has been a blessing to read your stories. I like the little details you put in them and obviously all that love!
      I hope you don't mind me saying that I love to think of my future wife and myself in similar situations in your stories and letting off some steam! I liked the story your husband wrote where he talked about the blessing of you and your children all spending time together. I know I want that someday, God-willing!
      I remember tearing up and praying when I heard about your daughter's loss! Still praying!

      You are fantastic writer and you have a great heart! I thank you and your family once more! 🙂

  5. Mercury7 says:

    We need to be careful about trying to be holier than God. Consider Genesis 3:1-3 (temptation of Eve). It starts with Satan misquoting God, "You must not eat from any tree." Eve corrects him, "We can eat from all the other trees, but just not from this one." She should have quit there, but she went on to add a further prohibition "You must not touch it or you will die." God had said only, "Don't eat from the tree." Eve thought, we can do even better than God at this business of making rules…let's go one step more and set another boundary (of our own making) that we shouldn't even touch it. Maybe next would be "Let's build a fence back 10 feet from the tree." And then next we could add some further restriction. In the area of sexuality we have had the tendency to think "we can be even more careful than God" so we keep adding more and more rules of our own that God never intended. God intends for us to have much freedom and joy as we are walking with Him!

    • King David says:

      You are so right Mercury7. Our Evangelical purity culture is a perfect example of this. Our churches have added so many rules that it has paralysed us. I always like to say that this endless rules addition is exactly what the Pharisee did during Jesus' time.

    • JAM777 says:

      Agreed, it is where [some] have gone astray. Left the center of the gospel and become more like the Pharisees. All about law but not keeping to the truth that Christ fulfilled the law in sacrifice.

      Sometimes we need to reset and just get back to the basics of the Bible. To strive to emulate the person of Christ and to love others through sharing Christ with them. That is our purpose.

  6. JJ says:

    Mercury7 said, "We need to be careful about trying to be holier than God." Likewise, we need to be careful about trying to be "holier than thou" which is frequent attitude among Christians.
    I know of Christians who would be absolutely horrified at this site, yet regularly watch some of the trashiest shows on television that openly mock our values.

    Fight the New Drug appears to be doing good work with an eye towards condemning pornography and its effects, not the users affected by it.

  7. Lovinghusband says:

    Marriage Heat: Well said! Pornography – and sanctified, righteous sex – can look very similar from a distance. But, pornography is unholy, unrighteous sex. Marriage Heat touches on many of the exact same threads of sexuality – but from the perspective of couples in the covenant of marriage. Yes, that makes all the difference!

    No, I'm not pretending that every single thing that everyone writes here on MH comes from absolute purity – of course not. We still have sinful tendencies. But, with God's grace and truth in and through us – He leads us to be able to see sex from the right perspective. Sex is intoxicating – and gloriously so! God wants us to be addicted to it with our partners – in lives that have balance with all the other things He wants from us. If we are only about sex in our lives – then something is wrong with us. We need the whole counsel of God in our lives. We need fellowship with other Christians in the local church – with the accountability and encouragement that comes from that. We need to be people of prayer. People of generosity. Raising our kids on God's word. Working and paying our bills. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. All of this and more is to be part of our lives.

    Yet, this site is a little resort in the mountains. A retreat. We come to share – not about needing to get our oil changed in our car. Not about a boss at work. MH is a site where we come understanding that it is about monogamous sex. Sex that when it is looked at from one perspective – can look and sound like pornography. But, anyone who spends time at the "resort" will realize quickly that it has a different context. God reigns and rules here too. Our sex is a gift from Him. It can be gentle, it can be explosive. The whole range of experiences between married couples is on display – and in a way, in a context that is not porn. No one is telling others to desire anyone other than their spouse. We trade recipes – not people. We don't meet up as an MH community – except on the last day in heaven – and it won't be for sex.

    Whatever you do – don't lose sight of the context of MH. If you haven't done so recently – read the "About" section above. Like everything else in this world – God has called His people to "Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk (live)—not as unwise people but as wise" (Eph 5:15). We need to do this in all areas of our life – including sex. Thank you Marriage Heat for writing this. LH

    • Mercury7 says:

      LovingHusband, your thoughts do so well at capturing what I think are some of the key principles from Scripture about the way we should view and handle the issue of sex. Thank you for your emphasis on keeping God as our focus, and keeping all things in balance in our lives – under God's guidance. And also I appreciate each one of of you who also commented on this post. The dialogue in these comments has been very insightful and helpful. The erotic stories are great, of course, but this kind of thoughtful reflection about what the Bible really says and means – we ALL need this kind of forum to speak our hearts and hear from each other about that.

  8. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    Thank you for this site! And of course it's not pornographic! We are wired by God to be driven to sex, and sadly most Christians don't have a clue about what lust actually is. Prudery makes me very angry, I admit (our family has always been passionate about this), and I get so angry that people are misusing the term "lust" or at best using it loosely. The definition that most people have of it is oppressive & unbiblical. Romans 7:7 tells us the true meaning which equals covetousness. Covetousness always precedes any kind of theft. People who caution against [all?] written erotica are being puritanical and don't seem to get how erotic the Song of Solomon is.

    These stories are insightful, I agree and I've learned some things. I don't understand BDSM, kink, etc and I managed to learn a little bit about it (still might like to learn some more though). And certain things I wouldn't do with my husband, I enjoy reading about them on here even if I don't feel comfortable doing them myself. It doesn't mean I can't enjoy reading about it. Marriage Heat is awesome, don't go away!

    By the way, hey Jam777! How are you doing? God bless, everyone

    • Mercury7 says:

      HST, I agree with you about needing a better understanding of lust. I have written a 2 part series about the Biblical view of lust – it is scheduled to appear on this site in mid-September. I did not specifically refer to Romans 7:7, but I should have. It fits right in with what I wrote. Thanks for your comments.

    • Harper Shelby Thornton says:

      Thanks, Mercury7. I'll look out for it. Do you mind me writing a few things on it if I feel something's worth noting? I don't know how you define it, but I believe too many people have been wrongly taught over the centuries

    • JAM777 says:

      Hello Mrs. Harper,
      I'm hanging in there. Been dealing with a nonstop migraine for the last 9 months or so. It has been rough but I know God is always faithful.

      How's you and the family? How's your sister doing?

    • Harper Shelby Thornton says:

      Hi son! I am so sorry about your migraine, it must've been awful if it's been nine months. Did you see a doctor? Yes, God is always faithful, never stop trusting Him.

      Sister? You mean my cousin? She's doing well she still has her down days. It's been a few months since Paul died, and we all miss him.

      Mr Thornton, my husband, wants to take us down to Australia again! We're going in October, we enjoyed Melbourne so much. So exciting! My husband comes up with the most surprising surprises! God bless, son

    • JAM777 says:

      Yeah, it is. I feel bad sometimes. When it gets so bad that all there is is pain and I just want it to end. I do my best to enjoy the times when the pain isn't as bad. And I know it's probably a little weird but I have noticed that there is somewhat of a calm when I seek a release through self-pleasure.
      And yes, I am seeing three doctors. They finally sent me for an MRI due to my latest symptoms with some memory loss and not being able to focus. The MRI says my brain seems normal which is good but there is a cyst present. So I have to see a specialist for that.

      And yes, sorry, I meant your cousin. My heart still breaks for you all! I can only imagine what she is going through.

      And that's great! Hope you all have a great time!!!

    • Mercury7 says:

      HST, certainly your comments are welcome when you see my post about lust. We need some good dialogue about such topics to help us better discern what God's perspective really is.

    • Harper Shelby Thornton says:

      Thanks son! No, it's not weird at all, I read somewhere that orgasms are a pain blocker, so that's probably why. Pretty good isn't it? 🙂 praise God! I'm so sorry about what's going on with you, if you don't mind please keep me updated. I will pray that everything goes well, and thanks for you concern about our family. We miss Paul, but life goes on. Clara is still able to be happy despite her down days, that's only normal. Maybe Paul is catching their deceased daughter up on what had been happening on this earth before he passed 🙂 God bless, son

      Mercury7 Thank you 🙂 There will probably be backlash, and so many who do not agree, which is sad, but i feel that it's time. Time to stop blindly believing the oppressive interpretation. Blessings!

    • JAM777 says:

      Yes ma'am, it is! Your stories have helped to think about it and get my mind off of the pain and something more pleasant and pleasurable. Thank you for your stories, they are a blessing! They help me get into the right mindset so I can actually "release."
      I appreciate you caring enough to ask about it and yes mam, I'll do my best to keep you in mind with updates. Thank you for the prayers. Prayer is a powerful and wonderful thing!

      Most welcome. We are apart of the family of God, when of us are hurting, the rest of us feel it on some level too.
      That's such a blessed thought about them now in heaven together.
      Please be well Mrs. Thornton! 🙂

  9. TexasCouple says:

    I posted a comment earlier which MH asked me to reword. I am a bit more expressive than most, I admit. I was passionately stating that I think the message that stems from most pulpits in the world regarding sex is the root of most martial problems. And that people need to stop listening to their preachers and start reading their Bibles.

    I'm probably not going to reword it, for the sole reason that a clarifying statement does a better job at enhancing understanding in a permanent way. When we start censoring comments, we alienate the personality and creativity from the individual. We live in different geographies, grew up in different communities and communicate in different contextual understandings with random colloquialisms. Explaining these things without eliminating the verbaige creates more unification. If we never expect others to further their understanding, all we do is double down on promoting their ignorance and triple down on their "getting offended." Marriageheat shouldn't exist in a geographical bubble and shouldn't see itself on the fringes of belief, placating to the easily offended.

    The messages from the pulpit disgust me when it comes to sex. The moral gymnastics they try to impose upon a believing community regarding all things sex, sexuality, sexual development takes the message from God's common sense into some sort of gnostic realm based upon their own limited interpretation. The bible doesn't need to be added to or stripped away for application, it needs to be read. That includes all the verses so commonly left out, Gen 3 and 1 Corinthians 7:6 to name two.

    Fight the New Drug is the spawn of a catholic group of seminary students. They may use science to back up their claims, but it isn't completely without a moral leaning and a particular sexual world view. The author of "The Porn Myth" is of the orginal members of the group of FTND.  I randomly finished this book a few days back. Let's just say the book doesn't present the entire picture and it's reflected on that site.

    • Marriage Heat says:

      We would offer that the pulpit speaks on so many more aspects of life than our sexuality and shouldn't be abandoned as a source of teaching due to our perceived error by many preachers in this one area. Instead, we hope to influence both lay and clergy to a wider view. Many of our readers and contributors are pastors themselves and express a view of Biblical sexuality akin to yours, if slightly more conservative. We don't think we should "stop listening to" church teaching or abandon the fellowship of believers. We do believe each of us has a responsibility to search the scriptures and test the spirit of what is being taught against what is written there.

      We don't think there was any implication that FTND was non-religious. All of us have a worldview that influences our ideas and actions. If theirs is based on the Catholic faith, it doesn't negate the help they offer to those who for whatever reason wish to break the habit of engaging with pornography or written erotica.

  10. Lovinghusband says:

    In reply to you MH – I appreciate your respect for God's still speaking strongly and clearly in the pulpit. Though I can appreciate some of the frustrations that TexasCouple feels – I know of too many solid teaching pastors in the area of sex. I praise God for that. To paint with such a negative broad brush about the pulpit is unhelpful and in many cases unfair. We just don't know enough about all the pulpits everywhere to begin with.

    Even pulpits that are still entrenched in various degrees of unbiblical ideas – I still rejoice that they preach salvation by grace through faith in Christ – and point people to the word of God – and care about lost people coming to know Christ. I believe whole-heartedly that TexasCouple rejoices in this too! I just don't want to give people coming to MH – the idea that "the litmus test" for a solid church is if they have all their ducks in a row on biblical sex. I think on this side of heaven – we all have a lot of things to work on by God's grace. Paul speaks of things that are of most importance in 1st Corinthians 15:3ff. We who love the joys of married sex still need to keep this in mind. We may see great progress in this area through the means of ministries like MH. I pray so. Anyway, the teaching arm in God's church is still an important means for the growth in God's kingdom. LH

  11. Stag-on-a-hill says:

    This is one of the most eloquent and important posts I’ve read on here. Thanks MH!

    This last comment about preachers being disgustingly bad on this issue. Wow man is that particularly the case in Texas? It isn’t that bad everywhere – not in my country. I am a pastor myself.

    However, I think churches will naturally tend towards being more conservative – that’s just the nature of old and multi-generational faith communities. And if change comes it will come slowly. That is positive and negative. It’s great that the church doesn’t quickly jump on board with everything new. But sometimes it’s a little too slow to embrace important new understandings.

    Thank God for other avenues like the internet and MH, where these things can be talked about at a level that is impossible in a church gathering where a wide range of people are listening – from children to teens to people who have experienced all kinds of abuse.

    Sites like MH are great ‘cos the truth on here will slowly filter back into the main stream in an appropriate way at an appropriate rate. How else could change like this happen in the church?

    Re porn – as distorting as porn is, God can bring good out of it. Porn is changing the sexual landscape across the world. Much of that is sad and evil but there are also positives. It’s easy to see the influence of porn in the discussions and stories on MH. In many ways, porn is forcing everyone to think harder about sex and the possibilities of sex. That is good. It’s up to us as Christians to respond to porn by offering a vibrant super sexy alternative to porn. It’s hard to see Christians providing a real alternative to porn without something like ‘Christian erotica.’

  12. hornyGG says:

    If I am not mistaken this question has been put out there before, albeit from a different commentator and a different time. And it probably will be asked again and again.
    I pretty much agree with what as been already said, and at the risk of repeating something that has already been said, I have waited to say my peace.
    I believe that, when it comes to sexuality, we as Christians have put unnecessary boundaries on ourselves.
    I believe most of it comes from the way many of us were raised. My parents for one, especially my mother, never really talked about sex, except to say that it was more of a wife's duty and a husband's right. No mention of the pleasures of sex and orgasm.
    Many of us were taught growing up that masturbation was dirty and sinful and it was wrong to touch yourself "down there".
    If you were a Christian it was often taboo to discuss sexual matters. How shocking it would have been for a Christian woman to admit her husband gave her an orgasm or two the night before. You just didn't talk about such things to anyone but your spouse.
    A young male or female experienced shame for masturbating and fear of punishment from their parents or God.
    This may come as a shock to some, Christians and non Christians alike, but sex is good! Monogamy is not boring and can often be hotter than non-monogamous sex.
    Sex in a loving monogamous relationship is a grand gift given by God. Thanks to this site, MarriageHeat is showing just how hot a monogamous relationship can be. You return our Lord and Savior to the equation and you truly have something beautiful, not dirty or pornographic.
    God gave us sex not only so we could reproduce, but also to be enjoyed.
    Like was said in an earlier comment, we tend to put our own rules and fences up. As if to say that while we as Christians have sex and enjoy it, let's not enjoy it too much.
    Unfortunately worldly pornography has twisted sex into something dirty and perverted. There is absolutely no love involved. It is strictly about (and I know I am not supposed to say it here, so MH please forgive this one time) but it is strictly about the "act of fucking ".
    In my view, MH is a completely different entity. Yes some will always consider it porn. But only because they don't grasp the concept of what MH is about.
    Just read the stories and comments from contributors like Lovinghusband, Harper, CMLove, SensousCouple, TexasCouple and many others. You can feel the genuine love for their spouses and for the Lord.
    Thank you Marriage Heat and to all you contributors out there!
    Ben and I are so proud to be members here, basically from the start and are excited about the continuing growth of this wonderful site. God bless you all! And Stay Horny Always!!!

    • JAM777 says:

      Well said Mrs. G! Thank you being a light and a beacon, guiding towards something more than the crude example the world sets upon the God-ordained union of marriage. Marriage is the first established entity in the Bible. A beautiful and blessed union.

      Thanks again for your open spirit in this sometimes difficult subject!

  13. Waggs1 says:

    I will agree the post is a well balanced and articulated response to the accusations. However, to some, to adapt a phrase, "porn is in the eyes of the beholder." When I was a kid, the Sears and Wards catalog sections on women's underwear was porn.

    The "Church" has traditionally (going back to the early church fathers) defined "lust" as any kind of sexual feeling desire or stimulation. Some even claimed that God HATED marital sex. It was allowed ONLY for making more "virgins for the Church." Hence the Catholic and Orthodox warnings against lusting for for your spouse.

    So to those who adopt the classic church tradition, this site would definitely qualify as "porn." But, as has been pointed out, so would the Song of Solomon. So the church has limited its meaning ONLY to the allegory of Christ and the Church, while claiming any physical interpretation to be abhorrent and sinful.

    The church grew out of 2nd Temple Judaism, but in less than a century had totally abandoned the scriptural understanding and cultural attitude on marital relations; and substituted a pagan Greek Stoic and Gnostic philosophy instead which denigrated the human body as evil and sex as evil. This was NOT the understanding and attitude of the Apostles or our Lord. They all grew up with the understanding that frequent sex was COMMANDED in scripture; that it was GOOD, and sex was a wife's RIGHT and a husband's RESPONSIBILITY. Instead of following that, the early church fathers took Hippocrates' (father of western medicine) opinion that women had no sex drive or feelings PERIOD. That was not corrected in western society until about 1900 ad. But the OT makes it MANDATORY to satisfy your wife. And when you read the words of Paul (the Pharisee) in that light, many things become more clear.

    Kudos to this site for fighting back against the pagan gnostic legalism of the anti-sex crowd in the church world.

    • Lovinghusband says:

      Waggs – I really enjoyed your comments here! Very concise and yet thorough enough for an outstanding overview. Thank you very much for this encouragement.

      Depending on the resources available to many in the early church – the tradition handed down to them was obviously hard to break away from. I can muster a degree of sympathy for the early church in that regard. As God has granted us time and resources to read and study biblical and extra-biblical sources, a maturing church will continue to find its way in growing in having a biblical view of sex – having the wisdom to separate the pagan from the biblical. God bless you! LH

    • PatientPassion says:

      It sounds like you may have studied the biblical history of this issue in considerably greater detail than I have, but there is one thing I might challenge.

      My own studies and my time here on MarriageHeat have shown me that the Bible is very sex-positive in the context of marriage. However, I've never thought that either the Old or New Testaments give any command that requires sex between a husband and wife. I interpret it to be very encouraging of sex in marriage, but not mandating it. Do you have any specific references supporting that idea? It's something I've never heard or considered, and it would be interesting to learn more about it.

  14. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    PatientPassion your comment "I've never thought that either the Old or New Testaments give any command that requires sex between a husband and wife"

    My response: What about 1 Corinthians 7:3-5? Especially when it says "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time".

    Now to me, the word defraud sounds pretty serious. We are not to deprive our spouses of what is rightfully theirs, namely our bodies. Proverbs 5:19 is also an exhortation for men to sexually satisfy themselves with their wife’s body at all times.

    • Waggs1 says:

      Indeed, 1 Cor 7 is the New Covenant command for frequent sex between spouses. But to properly understand it one has to be aware of the history behind this. Paul was trained as a Pharisee by Gameliel, who was grandson of the famous sage Rabbi Hillel. Hillel’s best friend and fellow Torah sage was Rabbi Shammai. They started the two main schools training Pharisees in the last half of the first century BC. Their teachings were very different. The Talmuds record over 100 areas of doctrinal dispute between them, INCLUDING taking a break from sex for prayer. The difference in this case was in how long such an arrangement could be kept. Hillel said one week while Shammai said two. MAXIMUM. “Then come back together,” the Apostle adds. A command.

      The OT command comes shortly after the 10 commandments:

      “If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭21:10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

      “Conjugal rights” [Heb: onah] In Modern Hebrew it means sexual desire. And the ancient rabbis considered this a command to keep your wife (or wives) sexually satisfied as humanly possible. During NT times, the amount of sexual satisfaction a wife could expect/demand was written right into the marriage contract which made it legally binding and enforceable in a court of law.

  15. PatientPassion says:

    Thanks Mrs. Thornton and Waggs for your responses! I was familiar with the Corinthians and Proverbs passages, but I did not know that the command from 1 Cor. 7:5 had a history prior to the teaching given in that verse.

    I suppose the reason I was a bit confused on this subject was due to the difference between affirmative and negative commands. I read that passage as a negative command, which specified something we should NOT do, namely deprive our spouse of sex. However, that does imply an affirmative command to have sex often to avoid that deprivation, so your perspective would be correct as well. I hadn't thought of it that way before, but now I realize there are multiple ways to look at the issue. Thanks for helping me to understand it better!

    • Harper Shelby Thornton says:

      Oh, you're welcome! Happy to help 🙂 I think also, when you get married than that's also consent, and the only consent that's mutual, as you see, is to NOT have sex for a time. But I personally don't think abstinence should be for long or frequent, because sex is not just a want but a need, especially for men. Bless

  16. Waggs1 says:

    You are definitely welcome PatientPassion. It is an interesting thing about negative (thou shalt NOT) vs. positive (Thou Shalt) commands. With only 2 exceptions, in first century Judaism, if they are in conflict, positive commands always trump negative commands. That is a Rabbinic tradition; but our Lord employed it on several occasions to justify (in His accusers' minds) His actions such as breaking the Sabbath to heal or to harvest grain to eat. That means HE approved of their tradition in that case.

    As to the "History," I am a Messianic and one of the things I truly love about it is we pull from both great Biblical religious traditions, Christianity and classical Judaism.

    So yes – that command IS a positive one: keep your spouse sexually satisfied.

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