Hookup culture statistics

The American Psychological Association released various hookup statistics in 2013 (h/t TRP). Unsurprisingly, it pretty much validates what we already knew. Here’s some highlights. Read more if you want.

Hookups — defined in this article as brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other — have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters. Instead of courting at home under a parent’s watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.

By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events. Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).

It’s interesting that they don’t start with feminism as that was the major launching point where it became ubiquitous. However, it’s obvious that there was a foundation set already that allowed things to become much more prevalent.

Although much of the current research has been done on college campuses, among younger adolescents, 70 percent of sexually active 12- to 21-year-olds reported having had uncommitted sex within the last year (Grello et al., 2003). Similarly, in a sample of seventh, ninth and 11th graders, 32 percent of participants had experienced sexual intercourse and 61 percent of sexually experienced teenagers reported a sexual encounter outside a dating relationship; this represents approximately one-fifth of the entire sample (Manning et al., 2006).

‘Sex in marriage’ was warped to ‘sex in a committed relationship’ which has now become ‘sex anytime.’

On average, both men and women appear to have higher positive affect than negative affect after a hookup. In one study, among participants who were asked to characterize the morning after a hookup, 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were generally glad they had done it (Garcia & Reiber, 2008). The gap between men and women is notable and demonstrates an average sex difference in affective reactions.

Similarly, in a study of 832 college students, 26 percent of women and 50 percent of men reported feeling positive after a hookup, and 49 percent of women and 26 percent of men reported a negative reaction (the remainders for each sex had a mix of both positive and negative reactions; Owen et al., 2010).

No surprises that women are more negatively affected. This is why women’s virginity is more important than men’s, even though both are a sin out of wedlock.

However, both sexes also experience some negative affect as well. In a qualitative study that asked 187 participants to report their feelings after a typical hookup, 35 percent reported feeling regretful or disappointed, 27 percent good or happy, 20 percent satisfied, 11 percent confused, 9 percent proud, 7 percent excited or nervous, 5 percent uncomfortable, and 2 percent desirable or wanted (Paul & Hayes, 2002). However, this same study found that feelings differed during hookups compared with after: During a typical hookup, 65 percent of participants reported feeling good, aroused, or excited, 17 percent desirable or wanted, 17 percent nothing in particular or were focused on the hookup, 8 percent embarrassed or regretful, 7 percent nervous or scared, 6 percent confused, and 5 percent proud (Paul & Hayes, 2002).

A number of studies have looked at regret with respect to hookups and have documented the negative feelings men and women may feel after casual sex. In a large Web-based study of 1,468 undergraduate students, participants reported a variety of consequences: 27.1 percent felt embarrassed, 24.7 percent reported emotional difficulties, 20.8 percent experienced loss of respect, and 10 percent reported difficulties with a steady partner (Lewis et al., 2011). In another recent study conducted on a sample of 200 undergraduate students in Canada, 78 percent of women and 72 percent of men who had uncommitted sex (including vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex) reported a history of experiencing regret following such an encounter (Fisher et al., 2012).

Another study identified two types of sexual encounters that were particularly predictive of regret: engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone known less than 24 hours and engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone only once. Among a sample of 1,743 individuals who had experienced a one-night stand, Campbell (2008) showed that most men and women had combinations of both positive and negative affective reactions following this event. Campbell also found that men had stronger feelings of being “sorry because they felt they used another person,” whereas women had stronger feelings of “regret because they felt used.” Again, both men and women had experienced some sexual regret, but women were more negatively impacted by some hook-up experiences.

Who would’ve thought that sex was created to be within the marriage relationship. Not just in a committed relationship or randomly.

In the first study to investigate the issue of self-esteem and hookups, both men and women who had ever engaged in an uncommitted sexual encounter had lower overall self-esteem scores compared with those without uncommitted sexual experiences (Paul et al., 2000). The potential causal direction of the relationship between self-esteem and uncommitted sex is yet unclear (Fielder & Carey, 2010; Paul et al., 2000).

If you think just ‘sex’ will fulfill you or make you feel better you’re in for a rude awakening. They’ve already done research which Wintery Knight has highlighted before which show those who were virgins at marriage have some of the highest sexual satisfaction rates.

Anyway, these are just a few of the highlights. I only took about 4-5 different passages which are maybe less than 10% of the original article. Go read it. The evidence against hookups is obvious. Nothing we didn’t know already, but nice to point someone toward.

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28 Responses to Hookup culture statistics

  1. Pingback: Hookup culture statistics – Manosphere.org

  2. donalgraeme says:

    Thanks for the find DS. Always good to have something like this in your pocket.

  3. shredifier says:

    I normally love these articles but this one seems to be way off base
    If I can make an observation, it appears that the author hasn’t a clue in what constitutes biblical marriage and has instead adopted the modern American sacramentslist definition of marriage which is a legal/statist “ceremony” requiring a licence and or priest to officiate….this is so far removed of what a biblical marriage in the eyes of God is that it makes me laugh
    Having started from this false foundation no wonder the author makes the erroneous conclusion that committed monogamous relationships are NOT marriages, when in fact according to God they are based on Genesis 2 and 1st corinthians 6:16

  4. @ shredifier

    When you assume you can assume wrong.

    That was the point of the post. The various forms of “commitment” nowadays aren’t in any way close to Biblical marriage.

    I already have a post on that, though, based straight from Genesis 2.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/marriage/

  5. Jacob says:

    shredifier makes an interesting point.

    By definition, anyone engaged in a committed monogamous sexual relationship is married in the eyes of God. The marriage license and even Christian witness don’t change the fact.

    “Let no man separate what God has joined”

    Interesting the mazes in which we find ourselves when we become so invested in traditional positions.

    Does the committed sexual union make the marriage in the eyes of the Lord (the biblical meaning of consummation), or is it a marriage when religious people stand before an altar together and chant traditional refrains?

    Is the miracle of the water changing into wine at the wedding feast about the ceremonial wine, or about the genuine transformation of the couple’s hearts in mutual covenant before God? Must one be conformed from the outside, or transformed from the inside to be married in the eyes of God?

    If we’re to return to covenant marriage and save marriage from terminal decay, shredifier’s point is one every Christian who wants to marry may be wise to payerfully consider.

  6. shredifier says:

    Actually I didn’t assume anything
    We must take our doctrines and beliefs from scripture, NOT the culture and society around us
    There’s not 1 verse directly or indirectly that shows that true marriages in the eyes of God are only ones officiated by a priest/justice of the peace involving a ceremony and a marriage/licence NOT ONE. …It behooves you at this point to give scripture and verse proving that commited relationships arn’t In fact real marriages in the sight of God when it is God himself that declares a couple as married based on the joining together of 1 flesh through sexual intercourse 1st corinthians 6 : 16
    Isaac took Rebekah into his tent and married her by the consummation of sex, no marriage licence, no priest and NO ceremony needed
    I would suggest you get to know what marriage is before you pontificate on what constitutes sex before marriage….a term that dosent even occur In the bible

  7. Jacob says:

    @shredifier

    You may find DS’s linked article on marriage worth reading. He makes some excellent points there that may clarify meanings in this post. That article is a pretty good summatim of marriage, although it is justifying traditional marriage rites to some extent as distinct from the spiritual covenant.

  8. @ Jacob

    Sex alone even with commitment does not a marriage make.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/marriage/

    The components of marriage are listed in Genesis 2:

    1. Father giving the daughter to the man — God giving Eve to Adam
    2. Separating from family(s) — leaving father and mother
    3. Coming together [to be with and live with] — joined to his wife
    4. Having sex — becoming one flesh
    5. In the presence of witnesses [traditionally with a wedding celebration] — in this case, Father/Jesus/Spirit and potentially angels.

    Not necessarily all in that order.

    There is also the case that Christians are to abide the by the laws of the land for a marriage certificate. HOWEVER, that has now come into question now that ‘gay marriage’ and other ‘illegitimate forms of marriage’ is included within it.

    I do not believe a marriage certificate is necessary given that the state’s definition of marriage is now not God’s definition of marriage.

  9. shredifier says:

    @ Jacob
    I would urge DS to stay away from the traditional definition of marriage and stick to the biblical model, that will help DS in his understanding of what constitutes a marriage
    The state has no busy in marriage PERIOD as marriage is ordained by God and not something that needs govt approval, the very idea that you “need” a licence is obnoxious because the legal definition of licence is the permission to do something which is otherwise illegal….since when is the joining of 2 flesh illegal?
    Try as hard as he wants DS cannot escape the biblical definition of marriage which is sex

  10. Jacob says:

    @DS

    I’ve read your marriage post. Justifying marriage rites and traditions is fine, provided the spiritual transformation that undergirds them is held to be paramount. The rites and rituals, even as they are written in Genesis 2 are entirely subordinate to the message of Christ.

    That message is grace. With God’s grace, sex with commitment to God does indeed a marriage make. In this case the commitment is of the heart to God. It is ALL about grace through faith. Indeed, every Christian commitment is a faith-based state of the heart. Marriage rites and rituals as described in Scripture are only outward symbols.

    Perhaps we’re just using the word “commitment” differently. To me, Christian commitment is both vertical and horizontal, with God first then God’s people. It’s an inward expression of faith that is not merely a outward claim to another person or even a church community. In this context, sex with commitment does indeed a Christian marriage make. Other things might be desiatable in a community of God’s people for unity’s sake, as you say, but while they address the marriage, they do not MAKE it.

    Interestingly, commitment without sex may also make a Christian marriage in certain circumstance, but that’s the subject of another discussion.

    You’re right in saying the command to obey the law of the the land doesn’t compel a Christian to obey marriage laws that openly defy God’s word. It may be fair to presume the West has gone past the tipping point.

  11. Cassie says:

    @ Shredifier

    the biblical definition of marriage which is sex

    If sex is all that is required for two people to be married in the eyes of God, then there would be no such thing as fornication. It would be that you are married to the person you have sex with, then if you ever have sex with anyone else it would be adultery. But since there is a difference between adultery (having sex with someone while being married to someone else) and fornication (having sex outside of marriage), that logically shows that there must be more to make a marriage than sex alone.

  12. shredifier says:

    The trouble is we tend to define the meaning of the word “fornication” by the world’s definition instead of the biblical definition
    The world sees fornication as sex before marriage but we know that isn’t the primary meaning of the term….letting the bible define it’s own terms we clearly see that fornication CAN NOT be referring to an act of sexual intercourse before marriage as marriage IS sex so the term is a non sequitur, also fornication can not be an act of sex before marriage in Matthew 19:9 where divorce is permitted in cases of fornication…..how can a married man or woman be accused of having sex before marriage while they are married? It just doesn’t follow….also 1st corinthians 5 proves this point with the incestuous man in Corinth

  13. @ Jacob

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree then.

    Jesus and the NT writers both reference the marriage of Christ and His bride with witnesses/guests, celebration, and various traditional elements.

    I believe the reason for this is that a marriage is not simply supposed to be between the ‘two’ but also a celebration of the family and community.

    That’s why when there are elements missing from the list I posted above such as eloping, father disapproval, no wedding celebration, and whatnot there is potential strife within the relationship(s) which is not ideal. Ideally, all of the things in Genesis 2 are present.

  14. Don Quixote says:

    shredifier says:
    June 18, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    The trouble is we tend to define the meaning of the word “fornication” by the world’s definition instead of the biblical definition
    The world sees fornication as sex before marriage but we know that isn’t the primary meaning of the term….letting the bible define it’s own terms we clearly see that fornication CAN NOT be referring to an act of sexual intercourse before marriage as marriage IS sex so the term is a non sequitur,

    Serious question: Did you previously post as Artisanal Toad?

    Hi Shredifier, when Joseph discovered that Mary [his fiancee] was pregnant he assumed she had been fornicating. IOWs Joe thought Mary had been knocked-up by another man. The word ‘fornication’ doesn’t appear in the story but it’s clearly understood from the sequence of events.

    Also in Duet.22:13-21 The girl who misrepresented her virginity was guilty of ‘playing the harlot’ prior to marriage, she got stoned to death for her sin. Her sin was pre-marital sex.

    also fornication can not be an act of sex before marriage in Matthew 19:9 where divorce is permitted in cases of fornication…..how can a married man or woman be accused of having sex before marriage while they are married?

    The answer to your question is simple.
    1stly) If the girl has been fornicating with another man prior to her marriage, she is guilt of both harlotry and deception.

    2ndly) The ‘exception clause’ you refer to is for men only. It is not an exception for women, as you imply.

  15. @ Don Quixote

    You have more patience than me.

    Every time I see a marriage and divorce argument now I don’t want to engage because no one ever changes their mind even with a lot of evidence against their position.

  16. Jacob says:

    @DS

    It is clear in Scripture that Jesus and NT writers often reference family and community matters together with marriage, but while these matters address marriage, and are perhaps necessary for unity amongst God’s people, I can’t see in Scripture anywhere that they are presented as ingredients of marriage. They are presented as rites, to be sure, but it’s God who enjoins the couple.

    Genesis 2:24 (on which your 5-point list seems to be primarily based) explains the rites that happen after God institutes the marriage. The spiritual event explains the behaviour. The behaviour does not constitute the event:

    “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.

    Paul may have written of marriage as a mystery for this reason. He must have known about marriage rites and rituals, so they would hardly have been mysterious. The enjoining, however, the MAKING of the marriage, since it’s solely in God’s domain, a ‘non-ritual’ if you like, would be mysterious, especially to someone who has rejected the ritualised Temple religion in favour of Christ’s Rule by Grace but has never been married. The celebration – demonstrated by the handing over of the bride, the parental separation, the coming together and the communal witnessing, in Christian terms, are outward expressions of what God has already brought together.

    That’s not to say it’s wise to do away with the rites you describe, but I can think of many marriages with ‘missing elements’ that are still very much blessed by God. Even the worst case scenario, when all the elements are missing, covenant marriage is still possible by the work of the Holy Spirit, if not recommended.

    We need to be careful not to undermine God’s binding of a couple who wants to marry, in our desire to promote the ideal. I suspect this may be the key to good pastoring – modelling and promoting Biblical ideals while accepting that the broken world is entirely made up of exceptions. “For all have sinned and all fall short of God’s glory” (Rom 3:23)

    May the Holy Spirit continue to stand in the gap for us.

  17. @ Jacob

    That’s attributing too much mysticism to the process, in my opinion.

    God uses the things we do, such as repentance, to work His grace and mercy. Same with the other two things that Jesus commanded us to do: communion and baptism. It’s the same thing as the process outlined in Genesis 2 as the things that constitute marriage.

    God joins, of course, but He uses these ‘rites’ or ‘ceremonies’ to make it happen. Similarly, when Jesus died He could’ve spread the gospel all over the world on His own… but He chose His followers to do it instead.

    These things are for our benefit (after all, God doesn’t need our approval or help), and I believe it’s unwise to make light of them.

  18. shredifier says:

    @ DS …*”Every time I see a marriage and divorce argument now I don’t want to engage because no one ever changes their mind even with a lot of evidence against their position.”*……This of course works both ways, the proponents of no exception clause for divorce/remarriage are EQUALLY intransigent in their position as I am in mine

    @ Don Quixote…..I honestly have never heard of Artisanal Toad?, this is my 1 and only account

    @ DS……..*God joins, of course, but He uses these ‘rites’ or ‘ceremonies’ to make it happen.*……Absolute nonsense, not 1 verse from the scriptures is it shown anywhere that a ceremony, rite or ritual is needed or practiced to make a marriage…..Marriage is ordained and witnessed by God, and is a private affair between the 2 families, once the father agreed to hand over his daughter, she became his property, and the deed of sexual intercourse made binding the deal
    In Genesis 29:23-25 , we see that Jacob was tricked into having sexual intercourse with Leah, but he was promised Rachel….the reason Jacob was so upset was because he had sex with Leah which made her HIS WIFE, and he couldn’t divorce her, if sex isn’t marriage he could have given her back to her father and insisted the contract was for Rachel….but once sex had occured it was binding on both parties
    Joseph though espoused to Mary, in Jewish custom it was as binding as the forthcoming marriage and he could not put her away….you can’t put someone away if you’re not married in the first place
    Also in Jewish custom, the sex act occured first, followed by the wedding feast, not the other way around as in western cultures

    We could of course argue this all day, but the bible is very clear on this matter…..marriage is NOT a ceremony, nor does it need one to be official, the modern day marriage with its vows, customs, ceremonies, priests, justice of the peace is a man made ritual not authorized by holy scripture

    The seriousness of sexual intercourse is because of it’s very nature that you become 1 flesh and are married in God’s eyes, so we should not be having casual non committal sex
    In God’s eyes those who cohabit together are “married” whether they believe it or not, and those who wish to argue this had best to do it with scripture and verse instead of depending upon the customs of men, and man made rituals….The bible is THE final authority in all matters of faith and practice, NOT what secular society tells us….but even if we were to use society as a determining factor in what constitutes marriage, even they admit that a cohabiting couple is legally married after 3 years in what is known as common law marriage with the same rights and responsibilities as those who have a traditional marriage with a marriage licence
    It seems that those who insist that the ONLY marriages that God accepts are legal ones ordained by the state requiring a marriage licence/certificate, soon find themselves in a hypocritical quandry applying double standards, by saying on the 1 hand that avow that it’s the state (Govt) that makes one truly married, except common law marriages and gay marriages!

  19. Don Quixote says:

    shredifier says:
    June 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Joseph though espoused to Mary, in Jewish custom it was as binding as the forthcoming marriage and he could not put her away….you can’t put someone away if you’re not married in the first place

    I agree.
    The Bible calls Joseph and Mary ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ before they consummated the marriage, Matt. 1:21. This is an example of marriage by covenant. The ‘marriage’ between God and Israel is also described as a marriage by covenant in Ezek. 16:8 and Jer.3:14 Isiah 54:5. The marriage between Jesus and the ‘Bride’ is also described as a marriage by covenant, 2Cor.11:2

    The Bible gives examples of marriage by consummation and covenant. Would you agree with this?

  20. shredifier says:

    I’m not sure I follow you? Are you saying that marriage is both a consumation and a covenant or an either/or situation? In the case of Joseph and Mary I believe we are looking at a special case here, for whatever reason they had chosen to postpone the consummation even though they were technically married, it was an extreme case and it’s at odds with both Jewish custom and the testimony of scripture
    Once a father has agreed to let his daughter belong to a man it was the “husbands” act of taking her to his tent and having sex that made them officially married, there was no ceremony, no vows exchanged and no state intervention. …sexist or not that’s how marriage was done

  21. Don Quixote says:

    shredifier says:
    June 19, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I’m not sure I follow you? Are you saying that marriage is both a consumation and a covenant or an either/or situation?

    I’m saying that both examples exist in the Bible.
    Do you agree?

    In the case of Joseph and Mary I believe we are looking at a special case here, for whatever reason they had chosen to postpone the consummation even though they were technically married, it was an extreme case and it’s at odds with both Jewish custom and the testimony of scripture

    The case of Joseph and Mary bears a striking resemblance to the case described in Deut.22:13-21 Where a betrothed girl misrepresented her virginity and deceived a man into marrying her. IOWs Joseph was entitled to divorce Mary because of [her supposed] fornication.

    Once a father has agreed to let his daughter belong to a man it was the “husbands” act of taking her to his tent and having sex that made them officially married, there was no ceremony, no vows exchanged and no state intervention. …sexist or not that’s how marriage was done

    Ok.
    And what if the Father and potential husband had agreed upon a virgin bride, and it was discovered after the consummation that she was not a virgin?

    Almost all cultures have developed a ceremony and/or celebration for the joining of a new couple, this is not necessarily sinful. Nowadays with the arrival of state enforced feminism Christians might be wise to avoid getting the state involved. But the state will intervene even if deliberately left out.

  22. shredifier says:

    @ Don Quixote

    I had written out an extensive response to your first 2 questions but deleted them as this subject can get very technical very quickly, i am honestly not trying to be evasive so i hope you will understand
    I have chosen to address your last comment though….*Almost all cultures have developed a ceremony and/or celebration for the joining of a new couple, this is not necessarily sinful*

    You are quite correct, It’s not necessarily sinful to follow other countries customs/cultures in regard to marriage, but more and more born again Christians are waking up to the truth of non Govt intervention and are actually holding marriage certificate/licence bon fires where they celebrate burning their marriage licences, and are then instructing their flock to go back to the bibles way of getting married, needing no ceremony, no exchange of vows, no wedding, no priest, and certainly no signing a piece of paper
    what concerns me is that we have condemned literally millions of sincere people including Christians with a false sense of guilt by telling them that unless they get a LEGAL marriage, they are committing fornication, or living in sin…..Perhaps no greater lie of Satan has ever been taught
    This rot would never have happened in the first place if Christians defined their terms from the bibles usage instead of looking at the culture around them

  23. Cassie says:

    @ Shredifier

    Nobody here is saying that you need a marriage license from the state in order to be married in God’s eyes. We’re saying that it takes more than sex to do it.

    I suppose you think that Jesus was doing something silly by performing his first miracle at a WEDDING CEREMONY, or even just by attending it, since you seem to have a problem with wedding ceremonies?

  24. shredifier says:

    @ Cassie

    I appreciate what you’re saying, but in Jewish culture the WEDDING CEREMONY was done after the act of sex had already occurred, wedding ceremonies were about celebrating a couple who had past tense been married. …in western culture the wedding is synonymous with the wedding night and consummation which is the complete opposite
    I don’t have a problem with modern day weddings per se except when well meaning, sincere Christians attempt to push the unbiblical notion that a couple isn’t truly married in the eyes of God until they walk down the aisle and sign the bit of paper

  25. Jacob says:

    @DS

    That’s attributing too much mysticism to the process, in my opinion.

    No, not mysticism, but acknowledging what may be part of God’s mystery. I do not subscribe to the idea that God is completely knowable in this life. Some theologians hold that He is, but the Doctrine of Revelation suggests otherwise.

    The doctrine of revelation holds that God has revealed sufficient truths about Himself. The Bible is complete in the sense that it reveals everything necessary for humanity to know God. Scripture has been completely written. Nothing needs to be added. However in another sense, revelation is only partial because it does not tell us everything about Him. In fact, Scripture itself speaks of things that God revealed but humans were prevented from recording. Paul wrote:

    “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows – was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak” (2 Corinthians 12:4).

    In the Book of Revelation we read:

    “And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down”” (Revelation 10:4).

    In these instances God supernaturally revealed truth to humans but did not permit them to record it in Scripture. Therefore it would be correct to say that the Bible is both partial and complete revelation. Many things about God have been hidden and unrevealed. Scripture is as complete as it needs to be, but there are many things about God that we simply cannot and do not know.

    So, no, not mysticism. Just mystery.

  26. @ Jacob

    I thought about it a bit more, and what I’m trying to get at is that our bodies are interconnected in terms of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (or you could say physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual).

    Hence, the things we do in the physical have effects on the mental, emotional, and spiritual. God uses these physical processes in Gen 2 to work the covenant of marriage (and it’s not simply ‘just; sex).

    Sure, we don’t know just how ‘exactly’ say sex effects the spiritual within each person, but we do know that it does and changes people.

  27. Don Quixote says:

    shredifier says:
    June 19, 2016 at 5:17 am

    @ Don Quixote

    I had written out an extensive response to your first 2 questions but deleted them as this subject can get very technical very quickly, i am honestly not trying to be evasive so i hope you will understand

    That’s ok, I have also written on this subject. If you are interested click on my name or follow this link:

    http://oncemarried.net

    I have chosen to address your last comment though….*Almost all cultures have developed a ceremony and/or celebration for the joining of a new couple, this is not necessarily sinful*

    You are quite correct, It’s not necessarily sinful to follow other countries customs/cultures in regard to marriage, but more and more born again Christians are waking up to the truth of non Govt intervention and are actually holding marriage certificate/licence bon fires where they celebrate burning their marriage licences, and are then instructing their flock to go back to the bibles way of getting married, needing no ceremony, no exchange of vows, no wedding, no priest, and certainly no signing a piece of paper

    The way I see is is this:
    Family interests = good. This would include ceremony and at some level record keeping.
    State interests = bad. This is political interests to control the masses.

    what concerns me is that we have condemned literally millions of sincere people including Christians with a false sense of guilt by telling them that unless they get a LEGAL marriage, they are committing fornication, or living in sin…..Perhaps no greater lie of Satan has ever been taught
    This rot would never have happened in the first place if Christians defined their terms from the bibles usage instead of looking at the culture around them

    The church has a long history of meddling with marriage, but they did a better job of it than the state has done. Every time the state tries to ‘fix’ marriage they enforce more feminists dictates at the expense of the general population. This will end badly.

  28. Jacob says:

    @DS

    Thanks for giving it some more thought.

    Sure, we don’t know just how ‘exactly’ say sex effects the spiritual within each person, but we do know that it does and changes people.

    Agreed. I think this is where we need to begin when discussing what makes a marriage in God’s eyes. God is not concerned with our cultures and rituals, He’s concerned with what transforms us from the inside.

    If sex takes place with more than one person, the change you mention makes us slightly more aberrant to God’s transforming plan with each iteration, resulting, if it continues, in a stepwise dilution of our capacity to please Him in marriage. Ideally, marriage is between virgins in order that the change doesn’t hinder their capacity to love the Lord their God in marriage with all their hearts, souls and strength. In a culture where premarital sex and sluttery is the norm, the marital bond will eventually become diluted to the point of dysfunction. Even two or three iterations are enough. Marriage may still take place for all the reasons another commenter (cassie) has noted but the transforming element, the sexual bonding, the godly union will be progressively weaker with each bedfellow.

    Divorce is forbidden except in the case of sexual immorality (although it is not essential). What God permits to break a marriage is also an indicator of what makes a marriage. It’s fairly clear that sex is the critical element, although the importance and value of marriage rites and routines to the community should not be understated. Sex is necessarily private, so there may also be a need for outward signals and accountability.

    It may help to remind ourselves though, that Christians live by grace in the new creation, which means forgiveness is paramount when a person is truly repentant of a sinful past. If God forgives us our past transgressions then we must also forgive others theirs; we must begin to see each other as He sees us. This means even reformed sluts and cads are marriable, although I’d counsel anyone thinking of doing so to know what they’re getting into before any commitments are made. Similarly, it means sexual immorality in marriage (which may also just be a desire of the heart) need not lead to divorce if there’s genuine repentance.

    Sex is powerful. It does change us, often in ways we cannot fathom. God knows this, and uses it like everything else for our benefit, which I’m sure is why he embraced it and covered it in heterosexual marriage.

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