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Christians' views on sex within/ outside marriage?

(100 Posts)
MrsMerryHenry Tue 04-Aug-09 00:01:48

As ever I'm ruminating over various aspects of my faith and am interested to know what are the views of the Christians on mn about sex within/ outside marriage. I'm not referring to adultery; I mean do you think sex should only be for married couples, or do you take a different view? Or, like me, are you waffling somewhere around the middle? Why do you take the view that you do?

MrsMerryHenry Tue 04-Aug-09 09:56:04

bump!

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 10:33:52

I'm an evangelical christian, so I take my view from what I believe the bible teaches. I believe that sex is a gift from God that should be fully enjoyed within marriage, and is not intended for unmarried couples.

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Aug-09 15:31:09

Liberal Anglican here - so wishy washy all the way.... I believe that the best place for sex is within a caring, supportive, faithful relationship which is hoped/intended to be lifelong. But for me a "marriage" doesn't have to start with a wedding - some people are in that type of relationship without the wedding, and some are people of the same gender.

I also don't think it's "wrong" of people to have sex outside of those relationships, so long as neither side is being unfaithful to someone else. I just think they are missing out on the best kind of sex, but if they are happy with their choice then I wouldn't judge them for it.

morningpaper Tue 04-Aug-09 15:41:44

I really can't drum up much of an opinion on this

My honest opinion is that the church really shouldn't be interested in what people do consensually with their genitals

Individuals should respect each other but if they are free to have sex and do so responsibly then jolly good

There are so many more important things like justice and social and environmental responsibility

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 15:54:23

Would agree that there are many things that the church should be more focused on.

However, you don't have to read many threads on to see that who we choose to have sex with is a fairly important topic for a lot of people. So it seems reasonable that God should have something to say about the subject.

sarah293 Tue 04-Aug-09 16:03:54

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Tue 04-Aug-09 16:10:54

The Bible, frankly, has nothing to say about mutual consensual loving sex in a society with birth control

TBH the notion of loving mutually-satisfying sex is just not IN the Bible, although we talk pretty endlessly about it these days grin

sarah293 Tue 04-Aug-09 16:16:00

Message withdrawn

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Aug-09 16:18:52

Most of what the Bible has to say about sex is in the context of a society where women were either the property of their father or their husband, where raising a child without a father was impossible, where contraception was not available. So, it's a question of how we interpret any statements in a very different society.

randomtask Tue 04-Aug-09 16:22:09

I'm anglo-catholic and had sex before marriage (with a few people). I don't have a problem with that (and neither does my Christian DH) however, I sometimes wish I hadn't had sex with anyone else. But I don't think that's a religious issue, more a simplicity issue.

I think if you live by the way of the Bible a lot of things would be simpler. If you only had sex with the person you marry and nobody was unfaithful then half of Mumsnet wouldn't probably exist. And if divorce didn't exist you'd have people trying to fix their marriages more (and taking the idea of getting married more seriously) but you'd also have people stuck in miserable marriages to horrible people.

I do think though my opinions have changed as I've got older. I used to happily sleep around and now I think the Christian way is best. Could be because I learnt the hard way though!

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 16:23:16

Given that no form of contraception is 100% effective, I think the idea of being in a committed relationship before having sex still stacks up. Quite apart from the damage that we can do to ourselves by sleeping with someone, only to then discover that they're not that into us.

I would agree that there's not a lot about good sex in the bible. Although Song of Songs is pretty full on. And 1Cor7 is clear that sex is a key part of the marital relationship.

sarah293 Tue 04-Aug-09 16:24:16

Message withdrawn

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 16:25:39

That's a pretty big assumption Riven!

MrsBadger Tue 04-Aug-09 16:27:32

lowly nonconformist here

I think it's who we choose to have sex with, as cornflakegirl says, that is the key.

The Bible has a lot to say about relationships and the people we surround ourselves with - whether they are good or bad influences on us (and us on them), about love, trust, honesty, forgiveness and understanding; and also about betrayal, backsliding, gossiping and otherwise setting people up to get hurt.

It doesn't have much (or much that is relevant in today's society IMO) to say about who sticks what in where when but it does have some fairly good ideas about how to treat people.

sarah293 Tue 04-Aug-09 16:28:36

Message withdrawn

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 16:32:36

I do believe that the bible is the word of God. I don't think God decreed a society where women were property.

The rules and teachings in the bible were given to specific people / people groups at specific times. As AMIS says, we need to work out how to apply them in our society. For instance, the head covering thing was probably about demonstrating sexual propriety and not putting temptation in the way of fellow believers. So a woman who turns up to church with her head covered but in a really short skirt probably isn't following the spirit of that injunction.

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Aug-09 16:33:18

Some Christians believe that every word in the Bible is straight from God and must therefore be obeyed. They are usually called biblical fundamentalists. Others of us believe that it is the history of humanity's relationship with God, written down by people over time, and is therefore subject to the same cultural influences, personal bias, inaccuracy etc as any other document written by humans. It is therefore useful and interesting, but not infallible. We are usually referred to as liberals.

MrsBadger Tue 04-Aug-09 16:34:06

Riven, the Bible is the word of God as interpreted and written down by people, mostly men

unlike some other religions it did not descend from Heaven fully formed and complete, or was dictated by angels or anything

how many Christians keep kosher? refuse to wear clothing made of mixed fibres?

it's not an all-or-nothing text

morningpaper Tue 04-Aug-09 16:35:25

No riven, lots of christians see the Bible as a sacred book but not as the Word of God, i.e. in the sense of "dictated" by God. The Bible comprises nearly 70 ancient texts, ranging from poetry to lists of family trees.

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 04-Aug-09 16:39:12

Maybe it should be, and not a "take the bits you fancy and leave the bits that make your life rather difficult"

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 04-Aug-09 16:39:24

...text

cornflakegirl Tue 04-Aug-09 16:43:42

I believe that every word is inspired by God. I think that God was able to use the cultural influences and personal biases of the people he chose to write it to convey the message that he wanted recorded. I would describe myself as an evangelical rather than a fundamentalist (fundamentalist not being a word with very positive connotations generally!)

MrsBadger Tue 04-Aug-09 16:45:32

so, cornflakegirl - cream of chicken soup? swordfish? polycotton? yes or no? wink

morningpaper Tue 04-Aug-09 16:47:51

ham sandwich anyone?

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