And because (you know what's coming next, don't you?)...I CAN DO HARD THINGS, I know that I can tackle this topic respectfully, tastefully, and honestly because it's what I'm supposed to do.
PURPOSES OF MARITAL SEXUALITY
As with every post I write, I focus on topics as they pertain in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I make no apologies in that other than I am sorry if anything I write comes across as offensive to you. It is NEVER my intent to offend anyone. The only intent I have is to share what I have learned in my studies and present that information on my website. It is then up to those who read my posts to decide for themselves if they agree or disagree with what I have said. That is your prerogative and I respect that 100%. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's get started.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also talked about the oneness that is created by physical intimacy. He said that "sexual union is a welding...in matrimony...[a] physical blending [symbolic of a] larger, more complete union of eternal purpose and promise...a symbol of total union...of their hearts, their hopes, their lives, their love, their family, their future, their everything" (Hawkins 49).
Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to spend a ton of time on this purpose, but I found another quote in my reading that sums this purpose up nicely.
"Godly sex is so much more...than merely a physical act; it has a spiritual component... [A] deeper connection [within sexual relations] goes far beyond simply understanding how to overcome sexual dysfunction... It goes way beyond technique and physique. This deeper dimension is experienced when we move past pleasure as a goal and instead seek intimate connection--not just with our bodies but also with our souls."
CONNECTING WITH GOD
Marital sexuality is a way to connect with God? How is that possible? I feel that Elder Holland sums it up nicely...much more so than I could ever do, so I am going to offer you his wise words of wisdom...
"Sexual intimacy is...symbolic of a union between mortals and deity, between otherwise ordinary and fallible humans uniting for a rare and special moment with God himself and all the powers by which he give life in this wide universe of ours..." (Hawkins 50).
STRENGTHENING SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL BONDS IN MARRIAGE
I know that this has been the case for our marriage and I feel that any marriage can also benefit from the emotional and spiritual bonds that a healthy sexual relationship can bring. I want to share some information from an Islamic point of view because I feel that it truly speaks volumes about this purpose of marital intimacy.
"...one of the benefits of marriage is to obtain peace of mind. ...the pleasure derived from sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife is an example of happiness in the afterlife. The Qur'an states, 'And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts)'" -M. Holland (Hawkins 50).
MULTIPLYING AND REPLENISHING THE EARTH AS GOD HAS COMMANDED
This was one of the first commandments given to Adam and Eve while they were in the garden and it remains a commandment for us today. That will look different for each family as each couple turns to God for counsel and guidance in when to have children and how many to have.
From Spencer W. Kimball:
"The union of the sexes, husband and wife...was for the principal purpose of bringing children into the world" (Hawkins 51).
ATTITUDES THAT PROMOTE POSITIVE MARITAL SEXUALITY
My biggest takeaway from this section goes right along with everything else I have learned about how to have a successful marriage. It comes down to selfLESSness and that leads us back to charity, the pure love of Christ. If we are being charitable in our interactions with our spouse, it sets the tone for everything in that marriage.
Show your partner affection. Hug. Kiss. Make out a lot. Learn what your partner likes and how he/she recognizes and feels love. Keep the line of communication open and have realistic expectations.
THE "GOOD ENOUGH" APPROACH TO SEX
Now I would like to take a minute to talk about some realistic expectations. Realistically "husbands and wives are not usually at the same level in terms of desire, arousal, or satisfaction" (Hawkins 53). This doesn't mean that something is wrong with either one of you or that your marriage is doomed to failure. It means that you are a normal married couple experiencing things that normal married couples experience.
Let me now share some information with you about what this "good enough" approach to sex looks like:
"The central aim of [this] approach is that husband and wife become emotionally close, erotic friends, who can accept marital sexuality as a variable and flexible experience and not be anxious when sexual interaction does not flow to intercourse."
I feel that there is an attitude that is prevalent in the world we live in which regards sexual relations as something to do for fun--or something that just brings individual pleasure. However, when we look at things from a gospel perspective, we see that sex is meant to be so much more than that and because of its divine purpose, it should not be treated flippantly or lightly.
As with any topic I write about, I would encourage you to seek out the truth for yourself. The words I write are things that I have pondered and sought for inspiration for my own life, but you have the opportunity to go, to seek, to learn, and to grow for yourself.
Hawkins, A. J., Dollahite, D. C., & Draper, T. (2012). Successful marriages and families: Proclamation principles and research perspectives. Provo, UT: BYU Studies and School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.
WHY ETERNAL FAMILIES?
This page is dedicated to sharing information regarding God's plan for families, how we can strengthen our family relationships, and how the Savior can heal even the most broken of hearts.