Southern Baptist Russell Moore Admits That Christians Have Sexless Marriages
I first saw this at (Link): Spiritual Sounding Board blog. I find this funny. Christians often sell the notion of virginity to people by telling them if they wait until marriage to have sex that the sex will be “Mind Blowing” (their favorite phrase of choice to describe things).
You may also recall that Russell Moore places no value on a person waiting until marriage to have sex, please see (Link): this previous post.
I think this letter to Moore about this sexless marriage where the husband does not want to have sex also shows how false some Christian sexual views are about gender.
Many Christians like to repeat the falsehood that only men want and like sex, while (married) women supposedly hate sex, don’t want sex, and don’t need sex.
Here you have a marriage where the couple is not having sex because the male says he thinks that sex is “gross.” This does not fit the stereotype held and taught by Christians that all men are horn dogs who fantasize about sex constantly, can’t get enough sex, and that their wives don’t want sex and that women hate sex, ergo, the pastor must cajole and guilt trip the wives in sermons or in blogs and books into “putting out” more.
- Russell Moore counsels a woman who has been married 8 months, but has yet to consummate their marriage. Moore shares ways a pastor should approach this, as well as the importance of sex within marriage. Read the full transcript here.
- [From the transcript – some guy asks Moore the following]:
- There’s a couple, married, they’ve been married for eight months, and they have yet to consummate the marriage. At issue is the husband. The young man is unwilling to consummate the marriage. There is no medical problem. I have investigated asking him if maybe there is a sexual orientation issue. He says, no. He is not attracted to men at all. He loves his wife, but he finds sex to be “gross,” in his words
- [Excerpts of Moore’s response – click here to see the entire reply]
- Well, pastor, that is a difficult one, and it is something that—you know, I find myself getting this question more and more these days. It seems that I am finding more and more young couples having sexual difficulties.
- And a lot of times what people tend to think about are older couples, whether medical problems, or they’ve been married a long time and kind of the romantic energy is lagging in the marriage. But I am finding this situation with young couples.
- …Now, if this is simply just someone who says I don’t want to have sex with my wife. I refuse to carry out my responsibilities to love and to care for me wife including in the area of sexual intimacy, well, yeah, I think that would constitute an abandonment of her, and that would mean that the leaders of the church should come in and deal with it.
- My suspicion here, just based on the general stuff that you are giving to me, though, isn’t that. My suspicion is that there is some sort of trauma going on in his life, and you need to help him with that and to provide whatever help that you can give to him.
- …If it’s a sense of attaching shame and guilt to sex, then you need—and that can happen. Sometimes you have Christians who have been diligent watching their hearts when it comes to sexuality in an unbiblical form.
- They are avoiding, as the scripture says, “flee fornication,” but they don’t cultivate that sense of the goodness of sexuality and the healthiness of sexuality, so they have some difficulties. It doesn’t cause eight months of not being able to consummate a marriage. So there is probably something else going on here.
On that last point? No, I can see how someone maintaining their virginity a long time – and due in part to Christianity’s emphasis upon virginity until marriage – and then all the sudden, being expected to perform like a sex kitten on the wedding night, can be daunting for a lot of people, and it has created problems for some newly married couples.
I can see how it’s difficult for anyone brought up in a Christian environment – where a person is encouraged to be paranoid about pre-marital sex, and fornication is taught as a very serious sin about on par with murder – not to have some hesitation about having sex when they do finally get married.
I’ve blogged some examples before, such as…
- (Link): Problems Created by Conservative Christian Teachings About Virginity, Sex, and Marriage: Christian Couple Who Were Virgins At Marriage Are Experiencing Sexual Problems – Re: UnVeiled Wife (Marriage does not guarantee great sex)
Christians, like secular culture, sexualizes everything, to the absurd degree that single and married men are taught not to befriend women, see:
- (Link): Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)
- (Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles
- (Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
I can certainly see how having sex with one’s partner on one’s wedding night can seem intimidating, scary, or gross to someone who is a virgin who was inundated with church messages about fornication from childhood into adulthood.
It’s all well and good for Moore to insist that sex is good and a gift from God, but simply summing it up in that way, and thinking all a preacher has to do is repeat that from the pulpit on occasion, does nothing for the guy (or woman) once their wedding night rolls around.
Not that I am saying Christians should abandon upholding virginity until marriage – and most have in fact abandoned it these days (the liberals really need to pipe down about Christians “idolizing virginity,” since they do no such thing) – but some conservative Christians create so much paranoia and fear about sex, dread around fornication -as though fornicating is the one unforgivable sin- and about men and women forming platonic friendships, let alone romantic ones, that Christian culture contributes to fear of sex, or to other such attitudes related to dating, the genders, marriage.
I am in the middle of this topic. I think both the liberal and conservative Christians get some things wrong in how sex is thought of, or taught.
I want to make it understood I’m not in the “fornication is no big deal” camp, either. I think most churches today are too lax about fornication and don’t speak out against it enough. It seems the days of speaking out strongly against it were in the 1980s and the 1990s.
Russell Moore doesn’t put much stock in people being virgins until they marry (see my previous posts). His claiming to be a Christian and yet he has low sexual ethics is nauseating, and I don’t think he should speak publicly about sexual matters, or be giving advice to people on these subjects.
Link): Problems Created by Conservative Christian Teachings About Virginity, Sex, and Marriage: Christian Couple Who Were Virgins At Marriage Are Experiencing Sexual Problems – Re: UnVeiled Wife (Marriage does not guarantee great sex)