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Take your pick – do you want one shade of gold, or fifty shades of grey? So many folks think that remaining a virgin until marriage, and then staying married and faithful to one partner is boring. Or worse – you marry the wrong person, because you didn’t experiment first. So the goal is to have sex with and live with a few folks before you settle down. But studies reveal the truth. Those wearing gold wedding bands before having sex tend to be happily married and have a great sex life. Don’t take my word for it, here is a quote from the study.

“What’s more, couples who delay sex until their wedding night have more stable and happier marriages than couples who have premarital sex, according to the study, which appears in the Journal of Family Psychology. The study involved 2,035 married participants in an online assessment of marriage called “RELATE.” According to the study people who waited until marriage: rated sexual quality 15% higher than people who had premarital sex, rated relationship stability as 22% higher, rated satisfaction with their relationships 20% higher. The benefits were about half as strong for couples who became sexually active later in their relationships but before marriage.” http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20101227/theres-benefits-in-delaying-sex-until-marriage

My parents divorced when I was seven years old, so I was a bit anxious about my chances of a happy marriage. My aunt and uncle had what seemed to be a wonderful marriage. When he died I went to visit my aunt who was grieving. I asked her a question, “What was the best memory of your marriage?”

Glenn was handsome, smart, kind, a hard worker. He had survived a horrible explosion in the Air Force while he was engaged to marry my Aunt Jeannie. He thought she would not marry him, since he was burned over a huge portion of his body. She married him while he was still recovering in the hospital. While in the Air Force they lived in some amazing places all over the world – Okinawa, Bermuda, and finally a lovely old farm in central Pennsylvania, where he drove up the mountains in a Jeep and took us swimming at World’s End.

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I thought Aunt Jeannie would certainly mention one of these great experiences. She got quiet for a minute, thinking. Then she spoke the unexpected, “The best memory would have to be sex. Oh, we haven’t been able to have sex for several years, but that would still be the BEST. The BEST part of our marriage.”

Wow! I got a slow, wry smile on my face. I had been happily married for about twenty-five years, and the answer made perfect sense to me. It had seemed that there would have been some noble, righteous answer, but there just wasn’t. Sex was the best. I got it. But why?

To find the answer let this church lady go back to the beginning. Sex was (and still is) the bond that makes one man and one woman become one flesh. Adam had one wife. Eve had one husband. This was the ideal. As time went by many men were polygamous, but this was not the ideal. By the time Paul wrote a letter to Timothy he encouraged the churches to be sure the bishops were the husbands of one wife.

We do not live in a perfect world. But, as parents we want to try and give our children the best chance at the best marriage. This involves teaching them to wait for sex until they make a lifetime marriage commitment. It involves setting an example of self sacrifice and love for our spouse. It involves protecting our children from pornography and sexual abuse. Sexual experimentation after marriage is fine, when it involves LOVE, not torture. The first night after the wedding is just the beginning in a loving, caring relationship.

I recall coming across the book “Lolita” while babysitting for the neighbors. I was only fourteen. What I read in that book colored my thinking, and not in a good way, for years. How much better it would have been had my first remembrance of sex been my wedding night. But you can’t go back and erase what is branded in your brain. Sexual abuse, pornography, and sexual experimentation with multiple partners before a lifetime commitment destroys the soul. Healing may take a lifetime, much like trying to remove unwanted tattoos.

If you want to plant some wonderful sexual ideas in a young person’s fertile mind before marriage, give them a copy of Song of Solomon. Here are some verses that will excite you.

She: “While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.”

He: “How beautiful you are, my darling.! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”

She: “How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.”

Song of Solomon 1:12-16

Joseph Dillow has written an excellent book regarding sex in marriage. It is based on the poetic information in Song of Soloman and called appropriately, “Solomon on Sex”. You might want to buy and read this book for more details from this amazing ancient text.

Here is an old song about that band of gold, sung by Don Cherry in 1955.

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11 thoughts on “One Shade of Gold

    • Yes, I wondered the same, and why we should assume Solomon was the best guy to write about sex and marriage. But when you read the book, it makes a lot of sense, a lot of compassion and attention to the relationship from both the man and the woman. She was, BTW, a poor woman who was brought in to marry him. It’s an interesting story.

  1. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

    Women were chattel.

  2. I know you know that life is complex. In the Hebrew religion we have men and women created as equals and both in the image of God. Sadly, no one ever lives up to perfection. We had murder of a sibling and very soon after multiple marriages. My daughter-in-law is from Tibet told us a riotous story about tradition in Tibet. She said the woman lets the man she likes in the window. When she gets tired of him she kicks him out and lets in someone else. Back to the ten commandments – does a woman belong to her husband? Does a husband belong to his wife? Somehow, I always thought that I was not to covet the guy next door, just as my husband was not to covet the lady next door. Those commandments might have been written with the male pronoun, but no one ever assumed they were just for guys.

  3. A woman belonged to her husband, She was his property, just as his donkey was his property. It would have been nonsense to have a commandment saying a woman shouldn’t covet her female neighbor’s property, because women had no ownership rights in men or donkeys. No one ever assumed this was intended for women, because a piece of property can’t own a man.

  4. Anthony, you always challenge me to keep studying, and that is good. As you know, the culture of the ancients was complex and not so easy to get all the facts together. Further, since I believe that God’s goal is to give us humans the richest life possible, in spite of our failings, the solutions are not going to be simple. Was there slavery and inequality in the ancient Hebrew culture? Yes. But then you have Jesus’ interaction with total respect for women. Amazing, especially considering the times in which he lived. Here is a link to detailed information regarding slavery in ancient Israel. I know you will value the detail, whereas the rest of us want simpler answers.
    http://www.compellingtruth.org/slavery-Old-Testament.html

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