1 Corinthians 7:9
9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
The above verse is commonly use to support the idea of getting married for the sake of controlling lust of a particular single man or a couple who is “burning with passion”. It is so known to many as “Paul’s solution for lustful desires.” Women have raised objections to the wisdom of Paul here and called him a chauvinist since they feel like they are treated as “objects” to satisfy a person’s lust.
There are others who read it as “a couple who is already co-habiting” (note they cannot control themselves) accuse Paul of “Legalizing lustful conduct” by marriage.
This morning I was led by the Spirit to speak on the issue of sexual immorality to a church. My research for the sermon led me to the following facts:
Children develop “core beliefs” through the way that their family functions and treats them.
A child brought up in a family that takes proper care of them has good chances of growing up well, having faith in other people, and having self-worth.
On the other hand, a child who grows up in a family that neglects them will develop unhealthy and negative core beliefs.
They grow up to believe that people in the world do not care about them. Later in life, the person has trouble keeping stable relationships and feels isolated.
Generally, addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile human beings. (Carnes, Delmonico and Griffin, 2001, p. 40)
They cope with these feelings of isolation and weakness by engaging in excessive sex. (Poudat, 2005, p. 121)
The beginnings of sexual addiction are usually rooted up in adolescence or childhood. It is found that 60% of sexual addicts were abused by someone in their childhood (Book, 1997,pp 52).
The child may have grown up in a hostile, chaotic or neglectful home, or the family may have been very normal but the child grows up emotionally starved for love because affection is rarely expressed.
Gradually sex becomes a replacement act to turn to in times of any kind of need, from escaping boredom, to feeling anxious, to being able to sleep at night. The child may repeatedly turn to masturbation for escape.
Here are the core beliefs of a person who has sexual addictions:
- “I am basically a bad, unworthy person.”
- “No one would love me as I am.”
- “My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others.“
- “Sex is my most important need.”
These beliefs drive the addiction on its progressive and destructive course
As you can see, it starts off with the belief that no one will accept me as I am because I am bad. Such feelings are generated at a young age because of neglect. The child grows up unable to have a stable relationship with others.
Now when a wife or husband is introduced, the person is loved till death does either one apart. The person’s need for acceptance, unconditional love and a chance to develop a stable relationship is given without the other person leaving.
Hence the marriage idea is mooted to a person or couple burning with lust to allow the development of an unconditional loving relationship so that feelings of neglect, isolation and condemnation are weeded from the lacking person or persons.
Yes I know, the wife or husband, cannot love you unconditional, or feed your weaknesses all the time. I do. Only the Lord can. But the Lord is not ignorant. He is Spirit you are flesh.
I am going to make a really radical statement here. Your spouse is the closest thing to God in your life. Not your pastor or even your spiritual leader. In my case, she never gives up on me, never leaves me, tolerates me, lives with my shortcomings, endures, speaks wisdom, and the list goes on. And of course, it works the other way.
So God chooses to work through your spouse. Note she (or he) too is the very sanctuary that the Holy Spirit dwells. It is God who will through your spouse (in an ideal) situation provides acceptance, unconditional love, self worth and companionship for the purpose of removing that fear of rejection and isolation away from you UNTIL THE DAY one of you DIE. Through her (or him) the above “core beliefs” are destroyed.
Hence marriage. I am sure there are many who would disagree. I am just writing to you what the Spirit impressed upon me last Saturday. I hope you don’t think Paul is an ancient chauvinist. He is the very apostle who wrote 1 Corinthians 13 after 1 Corinthians 7. Peace.