A few days ago in reading the news, I came across one of those articles listing tweets about marriage that are supposed to be humorous. One said something like this: “It’s strange—on the first date you pick a side of the bed and that’s where you’ll be for the rest of your life.”
Really? On the first date? And that’s funny?
I come of a generation that was taught sex is to be reserved for marriage. The current generation may see things differently, of course, but I believe that in making sex just another recreational social activity, they are cheating themselves out of blessings that God meant for His beloved children to have in a marriage relationship.
One of the tenets of my faith is that Heavenly Father meant for marriage to be only between a man and a woman because a loving, committed husband and wife can complement and build each other in ways that are not possible through any other relationship.
When God gave Adam and Eve to each other as companions in the Garden of Eden, Adam said that “a man shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). That “cleaving” means more than just sharing the same bed. It means they each become the most important person in the world for the other.
Neither the man nor the woman is more important in the relationship, and neither is to be a dictator. In my opinion, any man who says he loves a woman but wants to dictate how she may live does not understand what love is and does not deserve to be a husband.
It seems to me that God did not mean a sexual relationship to be only for the purpose of procreation. It can be very pleasurable and should be enjoyed with the person to whom you are committed in marriage. But I believe there are good reasons that our Heavenly Father wants us to have sexual relationships only within marriage. Here are two.
First, sexual intercourse is the means He has designed to create mortal bodies so that the spirit children who are living with Him now may have the opportunity to come live on earth. The power to create bodies for them is not a gift we should toy with idly. Every child of God who comes to live as a mortal on earth deserves two loving parents who are willing to cleave to each other and no one else.
Second, being “one flesh” means more than just a sexual relationship. Your wife or husband should be the person you treasure above anyone else, through all of the hard times as well as the good, the person whose welfare means more to you than even your own. Sex is a loving gift that you give to that one person.
I’ve heard people say that you have to find out before you marry if the two of you are “compatible.” I’ve been married for 53 years. You don’t find out about compatibility in bed. Compatibility is an excuse that some people use to skip the formal commitment that should come before a sexual relationship. Skipping over that commitment is like saying to someone, “Sure, I think you can satisfy me physically—but I don’t care very much about the rest of you or your hopes and dreams.”
You don’t build that kind of relationship by choosing a side of the bed. You build it by cleaving to each other as you do to no one else in this world.
People who use sex as some kind of social coin to buy intimacy are cheating themselves. They may never know the full sweetness of sharing loving intimacy with the one person who means everything to them.