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3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth

Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth (Teaching) 5/5/2016 2:48 PM
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Minister Ty Alexander
(T Huynh)
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  8/16/2017 11:55 AM
There are many misconceptions about sex and marriage that even the church has gotten wrong. Definitions of what is sex, marriage, and right and wrong have confused people and created all kinds of bad teaching. This article is about giving the plain truth about things as we need to understand them today. People often get confused about Old Testament ways and what is stated in the New Testament, but understanding what is sin, is not simply a matter of Old versus New Testament. All of Scripture is valid and what was stated in the New Testament did not abolish laws and commands given in the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 5:17).
We must remember God's laws and commands stand eternal or unchanged unless He says otherwise (Psalm 119:152,160), so we need to understand things in complete context with what God commands for today. Many laws about sex and marriage were given far before the Law of Moses was given to the Jews and were made since the beginning of man's creation (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9). You can see that in Leviticus 18:24 where God says the nations before Israel had defiled themselves with sexual immorality1. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were also judged for those sins before the Law of Moses was given (Genesis 19:1-29) and the inhabitants of the earth before the Great Flood were also judged for their breaking of God's laws, which is what sin is. Sin is not the breaking of man's laws or whatever man may think are God's laws (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7).

The laws and commands given in the Old Testament also were not meant only for Jews. Many of them are laws for all of mankind and were only restated or given to the Jews so that they could be recorded and shared. Israel acted as God's stewards and representatives of His universal laws, which He did not give to any other nation (Psalm 147:19-20). Likewise, Christians hold a similar responsibility for representing God and His commands to the rest of the world because New Testament laws are also meant for all of mankind and we inherited the birthrights of the Jews as a People of God with Christ (Ephesians 2:11-19, 3:6, 1 Peter 2:10, Romans 10:12-13).

What everyone needs to know:
  • What is clean? - Bodily fluids, like semen and menstrual blood, are unclean (Leviticus 12:2,5,15:16-28,15:32,22:4). However, once we are truly saved into God's Kingdom, our fluids become clean because we are reborn with God's Spirit and cleansed from the inside out (Hebrews 9:13-14,10:19-22). This is why being unclean because of body fluids, such as during menstruation, is no longer a concern for believers to approach God through Christ.
  • Masturbation is not sin in itself as long as there is no lust associated with it. It should not be encouraged or become a habit. It is easy to slip into lusting for others, for sex, for fetishes, and self-lust if masturbation becomes a habit. We need to leave lusts behind (Colossians 3:5).

    However, we should not forbid masturbation either because being so strict with our bodies is not God's way and does nothing to prevent true sexual immorality (Colossians 2:20-23). People can have hormonal, biological conditions where their libido becomes very high. This is common for teenagers and during pregnancy, so if a biological release is needed then masturbation is ok as long as no lusting or fantasizing goes with it. But again it should not become a habit. It is possible to hold a burning libido at bay and let the sexual urges pass.

    Sexual spirits can promote lust and the urge to masturbate as well. Demons live through people they are attached to, so they affect people physically and mentally to do things that please them. If sex, lust and masturbation get out of hand they can be methods for demons to get pleasure and control you, so we should be in complete control of our minds and bodies. Reject sexual fantasies so you can live by the Spirit and not by the flesh (1 Thessalonians 4:4-8).

    Married people absolutely should not fantasize about anyone other than their spouse, though everyone should not make it a habit to fantasize about sex in general (leave lusts behind). We should always to be in control of ourselves and not live by the flesh (1 Thessalonians 4:4-8). God made us in His own image, to be more than animals, so we are not to live simply by biological urges (Genesis 1:27).

    Masturbation is like drinking alcohol, which is also not sin (1 Timothy 5:23; Psalm 104:14-15; Proverbs 20:1,31:6-7; Deuteronomy 14:26), but drunkenness or losing self-control from chemicals (not just alcohol) is sin (Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthian 6:9-10; Titus 2:3; 1 Timothy 3:8; 1 Peter 4:3-4; Proverbs 31:4-5; Isaiah 5:11,22), so like that, letting masturbation get out of hand or become an addiction is allowing darkness to control you.
  • Intimate touching is ok for unwed couples as long as they do not touch each other's naked genitals or have sexual intercourse (see What is sex and why is it harmful before marriage? below). Things like kissing and touching of naked body parts other than the genitals (vagina and penis) are ok. Preventing lawful touching comes from man, not God, and trying to forbid it does nothing to prevent true sexual immorality (Colossians 2:20-23). However, it is not lawful for children to touch each other or adults in sex acts of any kind. Sex acts should not be done until marriage.
  • What is sex and why is it harmful before marriage? - Sexual intercourse before marriage is sin (Romans 13:13; Acts 15:29,21:25; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3,18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,18; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 12:16; Deuteronomy 22:21,23). Intercourse is the penetration of the woman's vagina by someone by any means. Sexual intercourse creates a spiritual bond or "soul tie" between the people that is meant for marriage. It is why a man and woman become one flesh when they have sex, regardless if they are married (1 Corinthians 6:16; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7-8). This is a reason why God told people to marry after they had intercourse (Exodus 22:16; Deuteronomy 22:29), and why Apostle Paul told people who could not keep from having sex should get married (1 Corinthians 7:2,7:9).

    If there is no intent to marry after having intercourse, it is a state of sin that the enemy can use against us - to make us sin further or bring curses, so if you had premarital sex with someone and do not intend to marry, then the bond with that person should be explicitly broken. The following statement can be made to do that: "In the Name of Christ Jesus, I break any bonds formed through any form of sex between me and others. I break the chains that have bound our souls together. Satan can no longer use any avenues formed between us. Our souls are free. Amen."
  • Unwed couples living together and chambering - The sin of chambering (Romans 13:13 KJV) is specifically a couple living together AND having sexual intercourse (see What is sex and why is it harmful before marriage?). There is nothing wrong with an unwed couple living together, staying together somewhere, or even sleeping in the same bed together. It is the unwed sexual intercourse that is the sin.
  • The vagina is off limits - No one should allow a woman or girl's vagina to be touched or penetrated outside of lawful marital sexual intercourse or emergency medical procedures (see definition above in What is sex and why is it harmful before marriage?). There is no good reason to allow invasive vaginal exams or treatment, including during gynecological exams for pregnancy.

    Wicked people have used the excuse of exams to violate women. If you think it is unsafe to not be examined in that way, then that is a lack of faith in God. How many thousands of years have women given birth safely without any gynecologists or invasive examination? If you fear cancer or other ailments that require detection or treatment by invasive procedures, then you must be aware that cancer and other serious life threatening problems, such as death while giving birth, are curses or judgment for sin. Have faith in God to provide and protect, not man (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7), so do not allow yourself, girls or women to be violated even if it seems like a good idea.

    If invasive vaginal procedures are needed, it is best for a woman to perform them. There is too much risk of inappropriate lusting and behavior occurring with male doctors and female patients.

    Also testing a woman for virginity or chastity is of no concern anymore, so exams for that should never be done. A woman's sexual past has no relevance for a valid marriage. It was only in the Law of Moses that required the wives of Levites (priests) to have stricter requirements than other Jews. Those requirements are of no concern for those who live by Christ. However, God does still want believers to marry other believers (see Valid Divorce below).
  • Having sex can dishonor God - A saved believer in Christ having unwed sexual relations of any kind with someone who is not saved is a worse sin than if both people were saved, because your body, which is a temple of the Lord's, is being made unclean (1 Corinthians 6:15-19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Once you are saved or reborn into God's Kingdom, His Spirit is literally a part of you (1 Corinthians 6:15-19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17), so you should act accordingly and treat and present your body with the same kind of respect as a temple of God's. Marriage, though, sanctifies the non-believer so sex is fine for a wed couple (1 Corinthians 7:14).
  • No adultery - Sexual relations with any married person who is not your spouse is sin (Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 12:17-19,20:3; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:20,20:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; Matthew 5:28; Deuteronomy 22:22; Ezekiel 18:6; Proverbs 7:25-27). It is also sin to simply lust after people who are not your spouse. The thought of infidelity is also adultery (see What Is Adultery? below).
  • Unlawful relationships - Sexual relations and marriage with the following people is sin whether their spouse is alive or not or they were divorced or not: Your mother, father, step-mother, step-father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, uncle-by-blood, aunt-by-blood, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother, step-sister, grandson, granddaughter, step-grandson, step-granddaughter (Leviticus 18:7-17,20:11-12,14,17,19-21; Deuteronomy 22:30; Matthew 14:4; Mark 6:18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; Ezekiel 22:10-11; 2 Samuel 13:11-12).
  • Lawful relationships - The following relationships are not considered sinful or incest by God. First cousins and further removed cousins may wed. God gave no laws forbidding these unions if you look closely at Scripture (see Scripture in Unlawful relationships above). Unions with cousins are not mentioned as unlawful at all, and Isaac told his son, Jacob, to wed a first cousin, which he did (Genesis 28:2) and Joshua 15:17 and Judges 1:13 refer to first cousins being married.

    Marriage with your ex-spouse's sibling or family member is also ok as long as your divorce is valid (see Valid Divorce below), such as with the following relationships: uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, or other family members not related by blood and not mentioned above in Unlawful relationships (parents cannot wed children nor siblings each other whether they are related by blood or not).
  • Kinsman Redeemer - Also known as "Levirate Marriage" is a law predating the Law of Moses and is still in effect today. It is not a command only for "Levites" or priests/ministers, so "Levirate Marriage" is a misnomer. The ancient age of the law is apparent when God is angered that Tamar's kinsman redeemer refused to sire offspring for his dead brother, which happened before the Law of Moses was given (Genesis 38:10). Jews were specifically commanded to marry their family's widows, but it could not be forced on them (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). Likewise today, this command for a brother-or-uncle-in-law should not be forced, but is suggested so the widow is cared for and so the name of her dead husband is carried on with offspring from the new marriage.
  • Homosexuality and LGBT Lives - I've heard some Christians teach that LGBT lifestyles are not sin. However, homosexual acts belong to universal laws for all mankind, since they pre-date the Law of Moses for Jews (Leviticus 18:22,20:13;). The world was judged by these laws long before Moses (Genesis 6:5-13,18:20-19:29), and the New Testament still does not condone homosexuality or LGBT lifestyles (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; Jude 1:7), though simply having homosexual desires is not sin since we cannot control all our thoughts (see What is adultery? below). However, giving enthusiastic support for LGBT lifestyles, like condoning same-sex marriage and enacting laws to support it, is also sin (Romans 1:32).

    Same-sex marriage is not true marriage in God's eyes (see God defines marriage, not man), so even if the state makes it legal, it doesn't count in reality. This is like how divorce also isn't valid even if you get a divorce from the state (see Valid Divorce). If you don't have a valid divorce in God's eyes, then you and your spouse will live in adultery if you have intimate relations with others or remarry. That will bring serious problems (curses or judgment for sin) into your relationships, lives, and families' lives.

    So likewise, living in LGBT lives or supporting it will bring serious problems or curses to you and your family. People living in more serious sin will not have blessed, long lives, and any relationships with serious sin in them will likely break up the family or relationship because of the curses.

    Keep that in mind if you think simply having a decent, loving relationship will be enough to keep it or your family from harm. Curses will break up an LGBT family just as it will a normal one with sin in it. It is in the best interest of you and your loved ones that you leave behind serious sin, like LGBT lives, adultery, or fornication, so that your family does not break up or create dysfunctional and traumatized people because the family cannot function or stay together.

    Christians are supposed to not associate with other believers living in certain types of sin, like fornication which homosexual acts include, since fornication is any unlawful sexual act outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 5:11-13). We should warn others their LGBT lifestyles hurt them and they should leave them behind. We should cut them out of our lives if they refuse to change, though, sometimes it is not possible to completely remove people from our lives, such as family members or ex-family members, because we still have obligation to care for our shared children and other family.

    We should also have sympathy for LGBT people because many are born like that and their biological differences and urges are real and hard to control. However, they can still choose to not live LGBT lives and get deliverance from spirits of homosexuality.
  • Bestiality or sexual acts with animals is sin (Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23,20:15-16).
  • Drugging and Date Rape Pills - Using chemicals, drugs or alcohol to induce someone's drunkenness or incapacitate them so you can see them naked or take advantage of them is sin (Habakkuk 2:15) that breaks the Second Greatest Commandment to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 19:19,22:39; Mark 12:31) as well as other laws about sexual immorality.
  • Voyeurism or secretly watching people to see their nakedness out of lust is sin (Habakkuk 2:15). It's not that violating someone's privacy is sin, but it is the lust associated with voyeurism that makes it a sin. Sometimes people bring up Ham's exposure of Noah's nakedness as an example of voyeurism (Genesis 9:22), but that sin was in breaking the Second Greatest Commandment to love one another as yourself (Matthew 19:19,22:39; Mark 12:31) and the commandment to honor your parents (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4,19:19; Mark 7:10,10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2). Ham's behavior brought ridicule and shame on Noah because he told others to look and Ham was cursed for it (Genesis 9:25).
  • Pornography - Pornography is not to be used. Using it for arousal or entertainment is the same as participating with the prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:15-16; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). We should not encourage its use or manufacture since giving enthusiastic support for sin is also sin (Romans 1:32). Simply seeing porn is not a sin, since you may accidentally view it. It is willing acceptance and use of it that is sin. If you are married, then using it is also adultery (see What is adultery? below).

    What is pornography, lewdness and prostitution?
    Pornography is any material giving views of or description of sex acts or the naked genitals (vagina or penis) made to give sexual arousal. The material can be anything from text, to spoken words, to photos, artwork, video or live performances. Material that is not intended to give sexual arousal is not pornography, such as most "timid" Hollywood sex scenes, but performing those kinds of acts for the public can still be considered lewdness, which is a sin. Having lust in watching those kinds of things can also be a sin even though it is not pornography (see What Is Adultery? below).

    Sex scenes that are intended to give sexual arousal can be considered pornography. That means many crude R-rated movies and material are actually pornography and should not be viewed. Material used for education, such as medical illustration, is generally not pornography. Material that simply gives sexual instruction is also generally not pornography, though producing that kind of material may be lewdness.

    Lewdness, lasciviousness or licentiousness is any kind of excessively sexual or sexually inappropriate public act, whether or not it is intentional, such as unwittingly dressing in inappropriately revealing clothes, a woman baring breasts in public, or being overtly sexually intimate in public (Matthew 7:21-22; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:18-19; 1 Peter 4:3; Jude 1:4; Ezekiel 16:43,58,24:13). We are to leave behind that kind of behavior and be conscious of dressing and presenting ourselves appropriately as one of God's (Mark 7:20-23; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 Peter 4:3-4). Our bodies are literally temples of the Lord after all (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

    Prostitution is any willful act that sexually arouses or satisfies a stranger whether or not it is compensated with money or anything else. Like lewdness, prostitution and acting with the prostitute is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:15-16; Leviticus 19:29,21:9; Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 15:12).
  • Abortion is murder - Life begins at conception, so any means of aborting a pregnancy is sin, which includes using things like the "morning after pill". There are consequences to abortion beyond the loss of life that should be considered. A soul's condition in the afterlife is affected by sin. The spirits of aborted babies have been found in purgatory3, so any sin can have consequences beyond judgment for ourselves. Our sin can directly affect our children and families (generational curses: Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9, Jeremiah 2:9,32:18,36:31).

    Even in cases of life threatening pregnancies abortion should not be considered. Keep faith in God to protect you and your children. I've heard of more than one account of someone saying how grateful they are for having survived an abortion. We should value life and not so easily dismiss the value of an unborn child's life. How can you decide how valuable someone's life will be and not give them a chance to live?

    If abortion is being considered because a baby is in danger of dying from its health conditions, then the baby should be given a fighting chance. Why should we terminate a life just because we think they will not live? Miracles of healing are real. I've heard first-hand witnesses for these, so we should be using prayer and faith instead of giving in to fear. If the baby does die then it is God's will and we need to understand why. Like with other serious problems, failed pregnancies are most likely curses for sin, so we should ask God why bad things happen and examine our lives.

    After I shared pro-life views with people and noted that tens of millions of babies have died in the United States from abortions since it was legalized in 1973, I got a critical response about all the millions of adoptions that will happen to save all these unwanted babies3. This kind of response does not see the root of the problem. Society needs to ask why are there so many unwanted pregnancies in the first place? Rampant lust and loose sexual morals are producing these babies, so the root is society's lack of morals and the promotion and acceptance of inappropriate sexual values. Those need to change if we are to reduce the number of unwanted babies from millions a year to only a handful of truly accidental pregnancies.

  • Assisted Pregnancy and Artificial Insemination - Infertility can be a curse for sin, so if you are infertile it may be the Lord's will. You should inquire of Him if you are having problems getting pregnant. He may have a different plan for you or want you to wait. We should always depend on Him for our help first and using methods to force a pregnancy will usually not be necessary. Sarah and Hannah needed no help other than faith and the Lord's power to bring about their pregnancies (Genesis 17:16-21,18:10-14,21:1-2; 1 Samuel 1:19-20,27,2:21; Hebrews 11:11).

    If you decide on assisted pregnancy, though, you must use methods that do not abort, discard, or store extra fertilized eggs (zygotes/embryos), because life begins at conception. Acceptable methods of assisted pregnancy include the use of fertility drugs, herbal remedies or naturopathic medicine to help induce pregnancy (like yoga or acupuncture), artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI), sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, and reproductive surgery to correct abnormalities.

    However, in vitro fertilization (IVF), in vitro maturation (IVM), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are not recommended because they often produce too many fertilized eggs. Aborting, discarding or storing/freezing fertilized eggs is unacceptable (see Abortion is murder above). All fertilized eggs are to be treated as a new human life and so must be given the respect warranted of a living person. Because of this, methods like IVF, IVM, GIFT and ZIFT that can produce too many fertilized eggs should not be used.
  • Contraceptives or means to prevent pregnancy, like condoms, diaphragms, vasectomy or tubal ligation, and birth control pills (not morning after or abortion pills) are not sin to use, however, remember it is sin to have sexual intercourse before marriage (see What is sex and why is it harmful before marriage? above), so contraception should not be a concern for unmarried people.
Engagement and marriage:
  • Betrothal or engagement to be married is a covenant relationship like marriage (Deuteronomy 22:23; Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:17). It is a serious commitment that requires a "divorce" like marriage, so being unfaithful to your betrothed or cheating with an engaged person is a more serious sin than betraying a boyfriend or girlfriend.

    The importance of a betrothal can be seen in Scripture by how God refers to engaged people as spouses (Deuteronomy 22:24, Matthew 1:19,24). Jews also used to require a divorce document to break an engagement and sometimes still do today, though God never commanded a document be written to break an engagement2. Betrothal is also the kind of covenant relationship we have with God when we believe in Christ. That is why Jesus is called the Bridegroom and we the Bride (Matthew 9:15, Matthew 25:1-13, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:34, John 3:29, Revelation 19-22).

    Like marriage, an engagement does need a kind of divorce. If an engagement is to be broken, at least one person in the relationship must no longer wish to be engaged and inform the other person the engagement is off. And like marriage, no special divorce documents need to be written or delivered (see Valid Divorce below).

    We should also treat engaged persons as married when considering intimacy with them. The world has grown too comfortable with treating betrothal and marriage with no regard when it comes to their lusts. We break the Second Greatest Commandment and may commit sexual sins by cheating with someone's fiance. Do not defraud each other in that way (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6), but wait until a relationship is officially ended before pursuing romance.
  • God defines marriage, not man - Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman only, and it is meant to last until the death of a spouse (Mark 10:6-9; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:17). Same sex unions or gay marriages are not marriages in God's eyes.

    A wedding ceremony, marriage papers, or other marriage rituals are not needed for a valid marriage in God's eyes. Adam and Eve likely did not have any of those things, and Jacob also had none of those things when he was forced to marry Leah (Genesis 29:23-26). A marriage only needs the couple to agree they are wed. Likewise, God defines divorce, so a paper divorce may not be valid (see Valid Divorce below).

    Because of how God defines marriage, a forced marriage is still valid as long as the unwillingly participant goes along with it. If you agree to the marriage even though you don't want it in your heart, you are still agreeing to the marriage covenant contract.

    On the other hand, if one or both of the wedding couple is chemically intoxicated (in a drunken state) or does not truly understand what they are doing, then the marriage is not valid. These cases would amount to having unwed sex while drunk or taking advantage of someone while they are intoxicated or unable to understand what they are doing, all of which are sins.

    Marriage is set until death of a spouse (Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39) or until there is a valid divorce in God's eyes (see Valid Divorce below). So if you are separated from your spouse and do not know if they are alive or not, such as in times of war, consider them alive and that you are still married until you are absolutely sure your spouse is dead. If you move on and remarry while your spouse is still living, you will be living in adultery and the new marriage will not be valid in God's eyes even though you are unaware your original spouse is living (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Romans 7:3). This will bring curses to your new relationship and your family, so it is better to remain unmarried until you're certain your spouse is dead.

    God also wants us to be evenly yoked with fellow believers, so we should not be seeking marriage with people who do not believe in Christ, since they often lead the believing spouse to turn from Him (1 Corinthians 7:15-17,7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Exodus 34:12-16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; 1 Kings 11:2-10; Ezra 9:2,12; Nehemiah 10:28-30,13:23-28; Jeremiah 16:2)
  • Polygamy or having more than one spouse is sin and just having inappropriate desire for another person when you are married is sin (Matthew 5:28; Titus 1:6; see What is adultery? below).
  • What is adultery? - Married people absolutely should not fantasize about anyone other than their spouse because just a thought with lust for someone else is adultery (Matthew 5:28). Lust is a willing acceptance of inappropriate desire. Simply being attracted to someone else or having a sinful thought is not sin because not all our thoughts are our own and our biological wiring is programmed to be attracted to certain things. We cannot control those urges.

    However, we should never accept those feelings. Kill them quickly and make a covenant with your eyes as Job did to not look at another person in the wrong way (Job 31:1). A strong resolve to do the right thing is necessary because being lax can lead to worse sin or prevent getting eternal salvation, which is why Jesus said it is better to lose an eye or other body parts and have life, than to be in hell with them intact (Matthew 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-48; Matthew 19:12).

    Also, having romantic love for someone other than your spouse is not sin. It is not the same as lust, but if you are married, you cannot allow those feelings to turn into lust, so cut off relationships that endanger faithfulness to your spouse and certainly do not fantasize about anyone other than your spouse or it will be adultery. We should not make a habit of sexual fantasizing anyways, even if it is about our spouse since it can lead us to focus on the wrong things. We should not be living by biological urges, but leaving lusts behind (Colossians 3:5).
  • Pornography and marriage - No one should use pornography (see Pornography and What is pornography and prostitution? above), but using porn is a greater sin for a married person because it becomes adultery when you lust after anyone who is not your spouse (see What is adultery? above). You will open your marriage to being cursed and attacked if you live in adultery of any kind.
  • Spousal rape, beating and abuse are sins. They are attacks that break the Second Greatest Commandment (Matthew 19:19,22:39; Mark 12:31) and are reasons why husbands are told to be considerate of their wives (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:28,33).

    Some ministers have said that a wife cannot leave an abusive husband and must be submissive to him. However, God's wish to have hierarchical order in a family where the husband is the head over the wife (see Family and Societal Order) does not give him right to abuse the wife or anyone else. An abused spouse most certainly can leave her abuser and may get a divorce. See Valid Divorce for why.
  • Withdrawing intimacy - Spouses should not withhold sex or affection from their spouse for too long, but if they do, it should be by mutual agreement (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). The enemy would use lack of intimacy against you and your marriage by inciting adultery (1 Corinthians 7:5).
  • Valid Divorce - Divorce is not allowed unless there is unfaithfulness/adultery (see What is adultery? above) or immorality against a spouse, which includes chronic abuse (Matthew 5:28,32,19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:3). This is because "marital unfaithfulness, unchastity, immorality, or adultery" in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 is the same Greek word that refers to violation of a sacred relationship, as well as sexual sins, like adultery and fornication. An abusive spouse is being unfaithful to the marriage covenant, like Israel and the Harlot Church was and are unfaithful to God. The same word for unfaithfulness or adultery is used in the cases of divorce in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 and for unfaithfulness to God (Revelation 2:21,14:8,17:2,17:4,18:3,19:2).

    Divorce is also allowed if the couple is unevenly yoked (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), but divorce is allowed for any reason for couples who are unevenly yoked (one spouse does not believe in the Lord). It is not God's desire that we have unbelieving spouses since they often lead the believing spouse to turn from Him (1 Corinthians 7:15-17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Exodus 34:12-16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; 1 Kings 11:2-10; Ezra 9:2,12; Nehemiah 10:28-30,13:23-28; Jeremiah 16:2). The truth of this can be seen when Apostle Paul says it is his opinion, not God's, that an unevenly yoked married couple must stay together (1 Corinthians 7:12-13,15). But if they separate then a divorce needs to be made or they must not marry again (1 Corinthians 7:11; Matthew 5:32,19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:3).

    A paper or state divorce for any other reason is not valid in God's eyes, like if you cannot agree on handling money or child rearing or simply cannot get along with your spouse (Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:8-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:3). On the other hand, a paper or state divorce is not needed for God to consider a couple to be divorced. All that is needed is one person wants to no longer be married and one of the conditions for a valid divorce be true (unfaithfulness/adultery or an unevenly yoked couple). A state divorce should be done, though, to severe all material marital ties.

    The only exception to the divorce conditions above is if you are a Jew living by the Law of Moses. In that case, you may divorce for any reason if a divorce document is written and delivered to the spouse (Matthew 5:31; Deuteronomy 24:1-4), except in specific cases - divorce is not allowed if the husband wrongly accuses the wife of promiscuity (Deuteronomy 22:19) or if the marriage was obligated (Deuteronomy 22:29).

    However, living by the Law of Moses is a very heavy yoke because anyone who does so must obey the whole law as God gave it, not as man changed it or erroneously interprets (Galatians 5:3; Deuteronomy 4:2,12:32). All who live by that law is cursed (Galatians 3:10), so why would you want to live under so hard a burden? Jesus came to remove that yoke and so we could live by better standards (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 27:26).

    They are the standards God originally wanted for all people since Jesus noted, divorce for any reason was permitted in the Law of Moses because of "hardness of heart" or people's unwillingness to accept what God truly wanted, which was that a husband and wife would marry and become one only with each other for life (Matthew 19:3-9). Marriage is a very serious covenant contract. If you are not able to accept its terms, then it is better not to marry (Matthew 19:10-11).
  • Family and Societal Order - The husband does not own the wife, but both husband and wife belong to each other and to the Lord if both are saved in God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 7:4,11:11-12). God is supposed to be Head of the household as He is for the Church, so both husband and wife should align with God’s will on any matters. However, the husband is the head of the house over the wife (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3,8-9), so if he makes a decision that the wife disagrees with, then the wife should respectfully submit to that decision so long as it is God’s will (Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:33; Titus 2:4-5). Husbands should not use their position of authority unrighteously against their wives, children or anyone else (Colossians 3:19-21; 1 Peter 3:7).

    Unrighteous decisions that go against God’s commands made by husbands or anyone in leadership need not be submitted to, though we should always give appropriate respect to anyone in authority and try to do what they request if it doesn't lead us to sin (1 Peter 2:13-20), so be peaceable with everyone and do not argue or do other harm because of a disagreement (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Peter 2:17,3:8-12).

    It's ok to be angry, but don't let it become sin by allowing it to lash out and abuse others (Ephesians 4:26,6:4; 1 Peter 3:7; Colossians 3:21). Don't leave arguments unsettled or let the sun set on anger. Resolve things peacefully as soon as possible or the enemy will use unresolved anger to harm your marriage and relationships (Ephesians 4:26-27).

    Children should be obedient to their parents and caretakers, just as everyone should respect authority and government (Colossians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:13-20; Romans 13:1-7). Being unruly or disrespectful can cause sin by making parents or those in authority lash back in anger, so we should love each other enough to give respect and not escalate disagreements into raging arguments or worse (1 Peter 1:22-23,2:17; Leviticus 19:17-18). Children need to turn their hearts to the parents as well as the parents to the children so that we can live peacefully and out of sin (Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:17). Try to see things from others' viewpoints and do not be quick to judge others (Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37-38).

    It's ok to be angry but to let it go out of control and turn into vengeful abuse is not acceptable. Let the Lord avenge (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35). Arguing is also not productive, so we should remind about what is right in a respectful way and not constantly fight about it (2 Timothy 2:14, Titus 2:1-2,3:9-10, James 5:9; 1 Peter 2:23,3:9).

    Sometimes parents and those in authority are wrong about things, but the Lord put lawful authority in place so there would be peaceful order in our lives and so it would benefit the public and provide structure for society to live within His rules. We are told to submit even to unreasonable people so long as it doesn't lead us to sin (1 Peter 2:18-20). Let the Lord judge the situation. It is not sin to disobey man-made laws. Sin is the transgression or breaking of God's laws and commands, not man's or what man may think are God's laws (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20, 4:15,7:7), so if someone's rules or laws go against what God says is right then we need not obey them.
  • Appropriate relationships after marriage - Old romantic or close relationships with people should be cut off or severely limited after you are married. Do not use the excuse that someone is just your friend or that you only want to remain friends. People can easily come between you and your spouse, and the enemy will take advantage of those opportunities if there are problems in your marriage (1 Corinthians 7:5). A husband and wife are to become one (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:7-9) and should be each other’s best friend, so there is no good reason to hold on to old relationships that could damage your marriage.

  • Appropriate Jobs and Occupations - Once we are married, we should conduct ourselves accordingly as wed people and avoid things that endanger our marriage or are inappropriate for a wed person. Severing inappropriate relationships was talked about above, but our occupations can also be inappropriate for married people.

    Jobs that can bring us into close physical contact with others, like acting, physical therapy/training, massage therapy, doctoring and nursing, need to be conducted with care and respect for the marriage covenant. Marriage is to be held in honor among everyone (Hebrews 13:4), so we should not take jobs that violate the exclusive physical intimacy we have with our spouses.

    A common problem is married actors and actresses performing roles where they are physically intimate with other cast members. It may not be adultery (see What is adultery?), but close physical contact can easily lead to it and is obviously inappropriate for a married person. The high rate of infidelity and divorce in the acting industry is in large part due to people being inappropriately close to others and letting it become adultery by allowing lust for others to be accepted. Your marriage can become cursed if you or your spouse live in adultery of any kind (see What is adultery?).

    Other occupations where there is a lot of close contact with others, like massage therapy and physical training, need to be evaluated and conducted with care. You may need to limit your clients to certain people, like those of the same sex, or reevaluate your career choice so you don't endanger your marriage or allow inappropriate attraction for others to become a problem.
Teach these things to everyone, especially your children. Parents should not make the excuse that teaching about sex is uncomfortable. There aren't many more beneficial things than teaching our children the truth when it comes to God and how He wants us to live, because if we know how to avoid sin and what it truly is, then we will have much more blessed lives. How could we as loving parents deny them the best future they could have?

Another important point is the proper age to talk about sex is not in the teen years but pre-teen. The sooner the better. If your child is old enough to ask about sex or where babies come from, then it is time to tell them the truth about it. Why? I've heard far too many stories of kids in grade school (aged 12 or less) having intercourse and getting pregnant. I heard about them when I was in grade school and that was decades ago. Children need to know as soon as possible what is appropriate intimacy, what is sex, and what God wants us to do related to those things.

Popular culture is too full of sex and romance, which makes children think they need those kind of relationships and worse, that sexual relationships are fine for their age or before marriage. I see pre-teens seeking boyfriends and girlfriends and coveting those relationships. It's not a healthy way to look at life even if they are generally innocent relationships. "Dating" in grade school is often just a closer friendship and limited to holding hands, but it isn't a good way to have relationships, especially at that age. Dating of any kind sets our focus on the wrong things, like trying to satisfy your partner in ways you should not, and it will lead to more serious things, such as sex and dependence on those kind of relationships. We should be teaching our kids to depend on God and appropriate things, and not to take comfort in unhealthy relationships or activities.

Teaching our kids the right things to focus on will make them more ready for when they do have intimate relationships. They will be able to see what is right and wrong and be strong enough to refuse inappropriate advances because they've set their mind on doing what is right in God's eyes and not on pleasing others by doing the wrong things.

Having sex and getting married to the wrong people can have very serious consequences that affect the rest of your life and your children's' lives, since getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant leads to a lifetime commitment to the children, and unhappy marriages and divorce can scar children and spouses alike in how families break apart or force people to live in constant strife. It would be better for everyone if we didn't let sex and lust ruin our lives and families, not just in those moments of sin but we can feel the consequences of our mistakes for decades or even generations since generational curses can affect our family's future.

1 Deuteronomy 8:20,9:4-5, 2 Kings 16:3,21:9 and 2 Chronicles 28:3,33:2 also note how peoples were judged for sin before the Law of Moses was given

2 The word used in Matthew 1:19 for Joseph's intention to "send away" his betrothed, Mary, after he finds out she is pregnant is also a word that means divorce and is translated that way in some Bible translations

3 "Abortion's Unseen Consequences". The Church South of Saint Paul.

3rd Compass -> Group News and Articles -> Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth
Sep 2018   

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