Those for Whom Sex is Forbidden
In a previous article I described the many Benefits and Blessings of Solo Sex for singles and the married. But the truth is that not everyone falls into these two neat categories. Life is much more complicated than that. I would now like to look at several other groups for whom marriage is unlikely either for reasons of inclination, or situation. They are especially deserving of a kind and compassionate response.
We are living in a world where homosexuality is, for the most part, openly practiced and accepted. I live near the heart of a mid-sized city, in a neighborhood that has a higher than usual percentage of gay couples. I know gays and lesbians who live in quiet domestic partnerships, some who are into the party scene, gay couples who are professing Christians in non-conservative churches, gays in heterosexual marriages who live celibate with a spouse to whom they have no sexual attraction, and those in heterosexual marriage who do have sex with their spouse but also continual struggle with homosexual desires.
Homosexuality is so accepted that, for the most part, no one thinks anything of it. But the Word of God does. Like it or not, the Bible forbids gay sex.
Romans 1:26- 27 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 6:8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)
The Evangelical and Spirit-filled churches adhere to and teach this prohibition but in some of the liturgical and the liberal churches where the Bible is not the final authority it is more of an issue, and an ongoing struggle and controversy.
As conservative Bible believing Christians we have no choice but to preach what the Word of God says about same sex relationships. This is not the much scorned “homophobia” anymore than our forbidding sex outside of the one man one woman life-long covenant of marriage is “fornophobia” or “adulterophopia.” We have merely chosen to accept what the Word of God says, even the less popular parts. But in taking this difficult stand we can at least do it with compassion, and with an understanding of the consequences; these are real flesh and blood people we are talking about. Yes, we see them as broken in the area of their sexuality (and all of us are broken in one way or another) but they are still human beings. I think it is unspeakably cruel to tell people that they cannot follow their inclinations in a person to person human relationship that includes any kind of intimate touch, and also forbid them even the simple pleasure and release of masturbation. I think it would be obvious to everyone (after all, we are all sexual creatures) that it would be better for a homosexual to engage in solo sex rather than to be continually facing more temptation than is necessary.
There are also heterosexuals for whom sex is no longer a present possibility. I know of couples who are both Christian but who are presently separated because they face problems they have not been able to overcome. One lady has tried to reconcile with her husband but Christian or not he is abusive. She just doesn’t want to sustain another bout of verbal abuse, or worse. Another has a spouse with mental health and personality issues. He refuses to acknowledge his dysfunction or get help. After twenty years of trying and continually being sucked down into his miserable little world she finally left with the blessing and approval of her friends, her adult children, and the leadership of her church. She does not believe in divorce, so a legal separation is the most feasible solution. Their assets can be divided and she can get on with her life. Her actions may even provoke him to finally seek help for his brokenness.
Separated people are doing what they must in very difficult circumstances. They face economic hardship, loneliness, disrupted lives, sometimes social stigma, and sexual deprivation. Any one of those things can force a person back into a situation that is not healthy. At least taking care of their own needs sexually would make life a little bit easier, and eliminate the temptation toward an unwise hookup with the spouse from whom they are separated.
And then there are those who, for a whole world of different reasons, find themselves divorced. Many – well, perhaps “some” would be a better word - of them take Jesus’ words forbidding remarriage of divorced persons both literally, and seriously.
Luke 16: 18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.” (NKJV)
And Paul said, 1 Corinthians 7: 10- 11 “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” (NKJV)
In a church world where even popular and so-called powerful preachers and leaders finalize a divorce one day and show up with a new “spouse” the next, they are to be commended. But standing on the principles and precepts of God’s Holy Word does not eliminate one common trait. They too are still sexual creatures.
Each of these people lives with broken dreams and lives that they did not want. They have endured much. And to these sincere souls the church, with no Biblical basis whatsoever, blithely says, “Oh yes, and don’t you dare touch yourself sexually.”
To all of these people, and others, for whom sex with a spouse is not a possibility I say to you . . . please, go ahead . . . masturbate.