Why Christians Are Obsessed With Sex, Or Taking Some Cues From The Pagans

Have you ever noticed that many Christian couples seem to get married after 1-2 years of dating whereas many non-religious couples tend to put off getting married to 3-5 years of dating?

This begs the question – what’s the rush for the Christians to get married?

I suspect two reasons – the first is some sort of feeling that “this is who God wants me to marry.” Anytime you add religion into the equation it makes things seem so much higher and righteous and holy, and so a good relationship can seem like God has put his approval on it. And if God approves, then let’s get this ball rolling!

But, more importantly and more pressing I think Christians get married so quickly because of sex.

Christian values emphasize waiting until marriage to have sex – something that very much so sets us apart from the rest of our culture. Sixty years ago waiting until marriage was more mainstream – now it’s a fringe idea. And with the average age of marriage continually being pushed higher that means, for Christians, longer and longer until they have sex. Longer and longer they have to try to suppress or control their hormones and instincts in order to hold out until marriage. It ain’t easy.

In our society it’s socially acceptable to have sex outside of marriage. I’d say practically expected. So quite frankly the non-Christian couple isn’t in a hurry to get married – they’re probably having sex and they aren’t experiencing that same sense of urgency. And so the marriage doesn’t happen until they’ve been together several years and they’re quite confident in their relationship.

And from what I’ve seen, not sure about you, their marriages tend to be healthier. The long wait could ensure they are totally compatible and interact well. The romantic glow has long worn off and they are simply a couple that fits well together.

I think Christians are obsessed with sex because we can’t have it! I think some Christians get married so quickly because they aren’t sexually active. I won’t say that’s the primary reason, of course love is, but the hormones combined with the religious mandate impress a strong urgency.

I’m fascinated by this issue in Christianity. I don’t think Christianity has figured out how to deal with our natural hormones and instinct to have sex. Our values tell us to wait, but more and more this means waiting a decade after they begin experiencing them to act upon those urges (assuming most enter puberty around 14 and don’t get married until they’re 25). So what the heck do we do? 

Clearly I’m not suggesting we should just act upon the instincts, but I also think it’s important to address those urges and tendencies – especially if they could be leading them into marriage too quickly. I’m writing this to see if anyone else has noted it, and I’d love to hear your thoughts and discuss it with you in the comments! 

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17 Responses to Why Christians Are Obsessed With Sex, Or Taking Some Cues From The Pagans

  1. You raise a valid issue charlie and I honestly have to say I don’t have the (an) answer. As a pastor I know what the Scriptures teach about purity. I have one couple who did not kiss until their marriage and made a vow not to put themselves in compromising situations during their courtship. They succeeded but how many can? I am 58 and I wonder what I would do and how I would act if anything happened to my wife and I had to start dating again. My brother just remarried a year ago after being a widower for close to 8 or 9. What would I do? I would HOPE I would stay pure but I can’t say that until I was in that situation. However, I do believe that is the way God desires it to be. While you make a case for longevity in the marriage of those who “date” i.e. have sex outside of marriage, I don’t think that is a valid reason for condoning it (not that I am saying you are).

    • well Bill I kissed the woman who is my wife on the first day we were boyfriend/girlfriend. Granted that was after nearly 2 months of practically dating, but I definitely can’t relate to the people who didn’t kiss til marriage. They’re stronger than I am I suppose.

      It’s good to hear there isn’t an easy answer, though there rarely is.

  2. Darius says:

    Statistically speaking, those who sleep together before marriage are MUCH more prone to divorce. It’s not even close. I think you’re right that one partial reason for Christians getting married sooner is sex. I also think that Christians recognize that God intended relationships to be monogamous AND committed. Living together in sin is hardly a commitment (not that marriage is unbreakable, but at least there is some verbal, public commitment involved).

    God calls His people to deny themselves daily. Our flesh is inherently sinful, and this is so clearly true with our sexual drives. Sex is a very good thing that God created for us, but he gave us parameters within which to use it to His glory.

    • I heard it was those who live together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce – not sex. I could easily be wrong. Then again I’ve only heard that from fundamentalists with an agenda so I’d like to see their sources.

      • Darius says:

        Living together and sleeping together is basically the same thing. If one is more prone to divorce, then the other is well. It’s not exactly the same demographic, but it’s close. Anyone who sins and has sex with someone outside of a marital commitment is predisposed to being more likely to divorce. It’s common sense. Particularly if they marry someone else other than that first sexual partner. Ask any Christian who brought sexual baggage into their marriage… it’s very hard on the marital relationship.

  3. David says:

    I don’t really have and opinion about the length of time. I think that purity is purity, and commitment is commitment. Both need to be taken seriously.

    Christians have the same rate of divorce as the world. That means that commitment isn’t taken too seriously, or the marriage wasn’t God. Both have devastating consequences.

    I don’t agree that God chooses who you choose. I don’t particularly think that dating is God either. You end up running on emotions, always looking for a feel better relationship, instead of ending up with the mate that God has chosen.

    We are back to hearing God. If you are going to get married, that’s a great time to wait and hear his voice. In fact, other than getting saved, it is probably second in line!

  4. Darius says:

    David, that is a myth that Christians divorce at the same rate as non-Christians. See here for more info: http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656

    • David says:

      I am not so sure that this is all that accurate either. IE: Significantly less – whats the real number, and who did the pole. There was a Barna pole out a few years ago that put the world 50% , and those that claimed to be Bron Again Christians at46%; then it was updated to 49%.

      The hard part is defining who is a Christian. That is like asking if Rob Bell gets divorced, does it count?

      Regardless, the church (whatever that is) , does not do well in terms of purity nor divorce. I agree with the article that commitment and practice make a huge difference in the survivability of a marriage. And the tell tale sign (according to some research), other than has the couple slept together before marriage: does the couple pray together.

      • Darius says:

        David, the other thing that has to be considered which usually isn’t is the fact that many Christians were divorced BEFORE they were saved.

        Even though it is a myth that Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians, it doesn’t mean that the divorce rate among Christians is fine. It is still terrible. I know many people who have left their spouses for other people. This is particularly rampant among women.

  5. Larry Hughes says:

    Is it me or is it getting warm in here.

    Sex has a profound impact on our lives in the flesh. I don’t think any of us can do with out it for very long, either married or single.

    In my younger years after graduation from school, I took this one girl out for celebrating graduation. As the proverbial young over sexed lad I was, I got nowhere and didn’t even try. This date was different. There was a real bonding connection. Something that prevented me from acting like the young stallion I thought I was but some one looking to create a lasting bonding relationship. The date was great, the talk was eyeopening, and she stole the passion in my heart. I had known her for two years before and flirted in a class we had together.

    I even heard a voice saying she was your life long soul mate and I believed it. She thought I was nuts. I thought she was beautiful in side and out. Three years of dating and sharing many talks together as close friends ( and celebate lovers), we both decided we wanted to spend our lives together for ever. That was 46 years ago over looking Pensacola Bay when I popped the question. Today we are still married to each other and our love has depened over the years in so many profound ways.

    I think if one can put their hormones aside for later, love trully developes for a lasting relationship which insures all the benefits of marriage will succeed.

  6. Darius says:

    This is a good post on the topic that just came out this week: http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo17/17koukl.php

  7. jeff says:

    I don’t think Christians are any more obsessed with sex than Jews or Muslims etc. I think some and maybe most Christians are raised with a very unusual and repressive view of sex. I for one am single and have no intention of ever being married. Does that mean I am supposed be as celibate as a Catholic priest. I don’t think so. To me sex is recreation amongst adults. Why can’t we just be adult about it.

  8. Mike Friesen says:

    Charlie,
    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately about how Christian marriage often serves the narcissitic ego. I get married because I am lonely. I get married because I am horny. I get married because I feel good around her. How can any love come out of a relationship surrounded with so much I?

  9. it is a great point. I married my wife because I love who she is, but also because we gel well together. We get along, we enjoy doing things together. It does seem pretty self centered – but at the same time that love you feel for that person causes you to be self sacrificing – and two people sacrificing for one another works.

  10. john says:

    “Ask any Christian who brought sexual baggage into their marriage… it’s very hard on the marital relationship.” This is true in a relationship where the couple choose to dwell on each others baggage or in a church atmosphere which drums into you that you are damaged. There are several couples who were sexually active before coming to Christ and their marriages are doing great. They are non Christians even the vile Hollywood actors who have had sex and several partners and get married and stay committed and happy with their partner. This is a narrow minded and subjective view that negates the power of Christ to transform and strengthen any marriage despite the past sins of the couple. What has been proven is couples who wait to get to know each other before having sex , have a stronger marriage. I believe in waiting, however the narrow minded and fundamentalist view that you are damaged, impure and your marriage doom, I reject with extreme prejudice. In Jesus’s linage is a prostitute, a woman who was impregnated by her father in law and a woman who was married before. I personally know a every happy couple, over thirty years married and were both divorced when their met each other. We act has if the world is a perfect place and the greatest sin is sex, yet in fundamentalist and rigid circles , you fine a high incidence of sexual deviancy. Christ said to woman go and sin no more, the same goes t the couple who have had sex. We push young couple to get married to avoid sin(sex) and they end up committing more sins against each other in marriage which eventually ends in divorced and separation. I think the real reasons we are so obsess with sex is, we have lost focus on Christ and place it on rules and like the pharisees our primary obsession because its pleasurable is sex.

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