The purpose of sex and marriage

Cuthbert Mavheko

SINCE time immemorial, the institution of marriage has been the glue that cemented and held society together. However, it is disturbing to note that the rate of divorce in the country is increasing at an alarming rate.

When a couple divorces, children are plunged into a vortex of insecurity, left to face a harsh and cruel future in a one-parent home. Some children run away from home to eke out a miserable living on the streets. The question burning in many minds today is this: Why are so many couples splitting up?

Father Anthony Sibanda, a Roman Catholic Church marriage and child counsellor, said: “In our research we found that marital infidelity is one of the major causes of divorce. It is important to mention that God, through the 10 commandments, revealed the laws of life that bring success, joy and happiness in human relationships. But these laws are being neglected."

This is an undeniable truth. The 10 commandments are looked upon as undesirable by modern, advanced and enlightened mankind. In fact, modern humanity looks upon itself as elevated to a plane of rational thinking, and with knowledge higher than God or His law.

God is the creator of mankind and the Holy Bible is His authoritative word by which He communicates to mankind and reveals truth otherwise inaccessible to man. In this day of human reason, agnosticism and permissiveness, it is crucially important to learn what the Holy Bible says about marital infidelity or adultery.

 Amid the thunder, and lightning and literal shaking of Mount Sinai, God's voice thundered the seventh commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery."(Exodus 20:14).

God gave this commandment to protect the sanctity and honour of marriage. Marriage and the home are the basis of a decent society. This commandment directly forbids adultery as it violates the sacredness of a marital relationship.

The commandment makes evident that unchaste conduct before marriage is a wrong done to the future marriage, and unfaithfulness before marriage violates the commandment as much as adultery committed after marriage.

It is impossible to understand the true meaning and purpose of marriage without understanding that sex and marriage are God-given and God-ordained. To leave God out of the picture — as this modern world is doing — is to degrade the marriage union to animalism.

The first and primary purpose of marriage is to make man and woman complete. In respect of this, Genesis 2:18 says: "And the Lord God said (after He had made Adam) I will make a help mate for him." God saw that Adam was incomplete by himself, and so He decided to make someone (Eve) with whom he could share his life.

In the very creation, God showed that the two, Adam and Eve, were to dwell together as man and wife in one fleshly union; and to share everything so as to make their lives meaningful and complete.

The second purpose of sex and marriage is the begettal and training of children. With begetting children comes the responsibility of protecting and training them.

A stable, happy home and marriage is indispensable to the proper nurturing and training of children. And God commands: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6).

The home and the family are the basis of a decent society. The lessons of character learned in the home — patience, decency, loyalty, kindness, etc. All these are qualities that God wants in man for eternity; and the family relationship is one of the best places in which they can be learned.

In addition to making man complete and the begetting and training of children, a third great purpose of sex and marriage is the building of character in the home and family relationship.

As ordained by God, marriage is a holy union and to obey God's law of marriage, a man and his wife must literally give themselves to each other in every phase and facet of their lives. God hates divorce. In respect of this, Matthew 19:9 says: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication and shall marry another, commits adultery, and whoso marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adultery.”

Divorce generates divorce. With hindsight, it can be seen that the granting of divorce was absolutely unheard of in the golden past. The religious leaders of that time and before warned that once divorce was tolerated, there would be no restraint powerful enough to control it.

Today, we see the truth of this warning. We now behold the sad and miserable spectacle of marriage after marriage ending in the divorce courts.

Marriage is not something that just evolved through the reasoning and gradual civilisation of mankind as proponents of evolution would have us believe. Rather, marriage was designed and ordained as a holy union by the Creator, God.

 Adultery is not only an offence to the husband or wife involved; it is an offence to their home and their children. Furthermore, it is an offence against society because it strikes at the very basis of all decent society.

Modern society is paying a penalty for the sin of adultery. More and more homes are made miserable and wretched because of adulterous relations of one or both spouses.

 An increasing number of homes is broken by divorce. More children are being left without the love and guidance of both parents.

It is also worth noting that pre-marital sex called "fornication" in biblical terminology, is becoming epidemic among young people in today's society.

God is the author of sex. He is the one who made the human body and designed that sex should be a pleasureable bond between a legally married husband and wife in the privacy of their home.

Sex is not a toy to be played and experimented with. Young people who engage in premarital sex are actually damaging the happiness of their future marriages.

  • Cuthbert Mavheko is a freelance journalist and theologian based in Bulawayo contactable on phone-0773 963 448 and email-mavhekoc@gmail. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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