Sexuality and the transition from single to married

In general, what is spoken about most in Christianity today is that promiscuity before marriage is sinful. However, as Ballista’s series has been explaining, there is much legalism that has pervaded the “courtship” phenomena including purity culture.

As it bears repeating in the comments of the above thread, we know this for a fact:

  • Before marriage: Promiscuity is sinful (1 Cor 6, 1 Cor 7, 1Thess 4, Eph 5, Heb 13, etc.)
  • After marriage: Frigidity is sinful (1 Cor 7, Exodus 21)

Both sins wreak destructive effects in their various spheres. However, promiscuity has more overly damaging effects.

In Biblical Jewish culture sex was a woman’s right because of pleasure and of the ability to bear children. You can tell the general heart state of a woman in if she wants or doesn’t want children. Probably also why Paul also states women are saved in childbearing in 1 Tim 2.

Now, very little in general has been written about how to make a successful transition from singleness to marriage in terms of sex. Most people assume that since people have a sex drive and they want to get married that it automatically occurs. However, given the amount of frigid marriages and lack of basic knowledge about sex drives (including the male sex drive), there is a lot of dysfunction where there should not be. A large part of this is due to lack of knowledge and the timidity of the Church and parents to discuss sexuality with their children.

We know the male and female sex drives are not sinful. I’ve written about discussing sexuality and virginity with a potential spouse prior to marriage and also ways of bringing it up in the detailed timeline and how-to guide to finding a wife. However, this is not all there is.

Thus, my question to my readers is:

How can the Church, family, friends, and the two potential spouses interact in communication and beyond in order to ensure a successful transition from chastity in singleness to a healthy expectation sex life in marriage?

This is an important question that the Church has shied away from too long. Hence, we should engage it.

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10 Responses to Sexuality and the transition from single to married

  1. Pingback: Sexuality and the transition from single to married |

  2. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    This is a very good question to ask, DS. Bravo.

    As for what the two potential spouses could do, I would say they should talk a lot about what their expectations, desires, fears, questions, assumptions, etc ad nauseum are. Just basically get everything that you think about sex out on the table. Granted, if you’re a virgin, it will largely be guesswork at that point, and you could very well be wrong about most of it. But still, I bet that if you get yourselves in the know and on the same page about all of that before the wedding night, it should hopefully help to prevent avoidable issues later.

  3. Looking Glass says:

    This is technically theory-crafting for me, but I have a few thoughts in my mind and they might be applicable.

    Firstly, look back through some of the old Puritan writings. (Pre-1750s or so) For as much as their reputation as prudes, we also know they “got it on like Donkey Kong”. They just weren’t advertising it to everyone else. They also liked to write about a lot of topics, so there might be something there.

    The other thought comes from something that’s been banging around my mind for a bit. In Christ, there is no “balance” (in the context of a “balanced life” of modern usage). “Everything in moderation” can be good practical advice (especially as people normally need to learn self-control firstly), but that’s not the clear principle of Godliness we all need to work on.

    So when something is “good” (being of God), seek to do it more, as one builds their desire for the Will of the Lord. But all within the Spirit and the self-control that goes within it. Remembering that even the Lord rested on the 7th day. (Which I guess means get it on the other 6 days of the week, as is fitting to your physical condition? 🙂 )

  4. One thing that no-one seems to mention – or admit, as it were – is the possibility of asking God for a mate with whom you’re “physically compatible” with. God intends it to be a lifelong commitment, so it stands to reason that the more preferences and traits in common, the better.

    I often see the book “Intended For Pleasure” recommended for Christian newlyweds, particularly for the ones who observed the Biblical mandate of pre-marital celibacy. Many people don’t realize that rushing into things with a virgin woman can cause serious physical discomfort.

  5. ballista74 says:

    I wasn’t really going to address this, but since it got posted beyond the comments, I’ll go ahead. The question is not exactly framed in a correct way. Before marriage and after marriage is irrelevant in terms of the things in and of themselves, as these words are measures as to degrees of love. One of the near absolutes (rare exceptions exist) I’ve found is that sin always occurs within extremes.

    In this case, so-called promiscuity is fine *in moderation* (that being defined as marriage), its extreme is the issue. Other expressions of promiscuity (hand-holding, hugging, kissing) are fine in their proper places. If there is doubt, all those “greet one another with a holy kiss” references (Romans 16:16 for instance) should put this to rest in the one with a sober mind. Of course, the problem is the minds involved (Harris, et. al) in these matters from a doctrinal space are far from sober.

    The opposite problem is that frigidity (or lack of love, another way to put it) is *never* fine. The example given within that original post is a great example of frigidity, existing outside of marriage, that is patently sinful. That such a thing was openly taught is part and parcel of the thinking behind courtship. A lot of the blind fury comes from people saying that “dating always inevitably leads to fornication” (it doesn’t), and that everything must be done to prevent it (hence the vilification of dating along with any pretense of intimacy). The teachings of these types are what has lead to things such as what is in the quote, along with the “standoffishness” between men and women in church situations. The sin of frigidity in these men and women do not exist in a vacuum, it is also notable to look at the sins of those pushing this mess.

    Much of what to do to repent of all of this and “fix mating” within the churches will involve encouraging promiscuity in proper moderation. Unfortunately, the sins of the ones that caused this will need to be addressed before that can happen.

  6. CHero says:

    1) Parent-kid interaction is the key. There’s only so much some random dude or chick can tell a young one about sex. It’s cliche but extremely true–this type of education starts in the home. Mothers need to school daughters and fathers need to school sons.

    2) Churches should have male-only and female-only groups assisting in this, too. Prayer/Bible study–an environment where trust is gained and comradery is built from the groundvio. I spent so long knowing nothing and looking back, a lot of the adults in my life knew just as much or were deathly afraid of even acknowledging the existence of sexuality. This HAS to stop.

  7. feeriker says:

    “A large part of this is due to lack of knowledge and the cowardice and denial of the Church and parents to discuss sexuality with their children.”


    CHero stole much of my thunder here, but one of the most persistant characteristics of both churchian franchises and true Christian churches is an aversion to discussing sex in anything other than a negative light. As long as this remains the case there will continue to be dysfunction, ignorance, strife, and brokenness. Perhaps a big part of the problem is that the church as a whole has suffered insufficiently from the fallout of this.

  8. ballista74 says:

    1) Parent-kid interaction is the key. There’s only so much some random dude or chick can tell a young one about sex. It’s cliche but extremely true–this type of education starts in the home.

    To veer a bit off-topic, the typical pattern of the parent within churches these days is to NOT do such things in any respect. The “youth pastors” I am in contact with continually complain that the parents won’t step up and raise their kids, passing the spiritual instruction (and no doubt “dating/sexuality” instruction) off onto them instead of doing it themselves as they should. This is perhaps another facet of the post I’m working on for my place (though the *other* response to this sin of the parents is what I more have in mind).

  9. Elspeth says:

    From a family/parental perspective:

    Parents need to talk to their kids. There needs to be a sort of open ended conversation of sorts. In our family, the only thing I took the lead on was female biology. The rest my husband took the lead role on. I think kids take their father’s words to heart much more than their mother’s.

    The other thing parents can do for their kids is very simple, but important.Kids need to see physical affection between their parents. Nothing graphic. They need to see their parents touch one another, hold hands, kiss, etc.

    All too often the constant preaching of abstinence (which I do not object to, fwiw), coupled with a sort of physical coldness that most Christian kids sense between their parents, sends the message to both boys and girls that sex is bad. However, when you pile on for young women the notion that every boy who looks at her is “out for one thing”, it makes that badness even more acute.

    There is really no way to get it 100% right. You just do the best you can. Ultimately young adults are going to follow the convictions of their own hearts no matter how hard we try. See recent headlines for evidence of that. But as a parent of young adults I hope that we set our kkids up for healthy marriages rather than dysfunctional ones.

  10. Pingback: A wife’s plea to Christian men about their sexual sinning | Christianity and the manosphere

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