Tag Archives: Relationship

Why should Christians embrace chastity?

Christians should be chaste because research shows that sex before marriage decreases marital stability.

Story from Life Site News. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt:

Couples who reserve sex for marriage enjoy greater stability and communication in their relationships, say researchers at Brigham Young University.

A new study from the Mormon college found that those couples who waited until marriage rated their relationship stability 22 percent higher than those who started having sex in the early part of their relationship. The relationship satisfaction was 20 percent higher for those who waited, the sexual quality of the relationship was 5 percent better, and communication was 12 percent better.

The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology, involved 2,035 married individuals who participated in a popular online marital assessment called “RELATE.” From the assessment’s database, researchers selected a sample designed to match the demographics of the married American population. The extensive questionnaire included the question “When did you become sexual in this relationship?”

Couples that became sexually involved later in their relationship – but prior to marriage – reported benefits that were about half as strong as those who waited for marriage.

[…]Sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the study, responded to its findings, saying that “couples who hit the honeymoon too early – that is, prioritize sex promptly at the outset of a relationship – often find their relationships underdeveloped when it comes to the qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy.” Regnerus is the author of Premarital Sex in America, a book forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Because religious belief often plays a role for couples who choose to wait, Busby and his co-authors controlled for the influence of religious involvement in their analysis.

“Regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction,” Busby said.

Research matters when discussing morality

Young men and women growing up really need to be informed by their parents what they are going to want to be doing long term, and what they should be doing today to accomplish those goals. Young people benefit greatly from the guidance of older and wiser people, but in defining goals and defining the steps to reach those goals. To be a convincing parent, you have to be convinced yourself. And to be convinced yourself, you need to be seen as having knowledge, not just opinions, but knowledge. Having the right peer-reviewed papers at hand will help you to be a better parent.

My previous post on research showing how sex before marriage greatly reduces the stability of marriage. That post contains even more research showing that having even ONE pre-marital sex partner can GREATLY reduce the probability that the marriage will last. And it gets worse as you add more partners.

Christians and chastity

What should Christians know about the purpose of chastity?

1. Chastity is not just abstinence

Chastity is not just abstaining from sex. Chastity is the Christian virtue by which Christians take God’s character and goals into account in their relationships with the opposite sex. Probably about 99.9% of the people in the world look at members of the opposite sex and think “what’s in it for me?”. Chastity allows you to look at members the opposite sex, even the unattractive ones, and ask “what’s in it for God?”.

I’ve written about how the goal of life on atheism is to be happy. One of the consequences of this is that atheists look at other people as objects that can make them happy or not, depending on how resistant they are to sticks and carrots. In Christianity, chastity is the gift that allows you to look at people you are not attracted to in the least and to love them enough to help them grow in the knowledge of God.

2. Physical contact clouds the judgment

Chastity allows you to make a better decision about who you are going to marry. When you are desperate to be loved (women) or desperate for physical intimacy (men) it’s easy to hide the bad parts of yourself and to overlook the flaws of others. Physical contact leads to rushed commitments and emotions that are difficult to undo later once you learn more about the other person’s moral and spiritual beliefs.

Chastity allows you to keep God in the picture as you evaluate prospective mates. Instead of looking at candidates who will fulfill your needs, you look for candidates who benefit God, perhaps because they are skilled at explaining Christianity to your future children. Without chastity, women choose men who are amoral, to avoid being judged, and men choose women solely on appearance, who are unqualified for married life.

3. Sex without commitment destroys the capacity for trust and vulnerability

When persons have sex outside of a lifelong commitment, they have to make an effort to separate their emotions from the physical activity. This leads to a kind of “guarded” condition where a person is no longer free to be really engaged emotionally in a relationship. For example, women lose feminine qualities like trust and vulnerability, which are necessary to attract good men without using sex appeal. (Men can tell)

In addition, I would say that when a relationship is kept platonic, the break-ups are going to be a lot less damaging emotionally. All my relationships have been platonic, so even when the break-ups occurred, there was never any physical element to add to the pain. It is important for people to go after the best spousal candidate they can find, not to settle for some amoral loser just to avoid the pain of rejection.

Related posts

Assessing feminism’s results: the hook-up culture

This must-read ABC news story should help to open some eyes. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam interviews some young people about the quality of their relationships in the brave new world of feminism.

Prostitution:

“Five minutes and I got $100,” one girl said. “If I’m going to sleep with them, anyway, because they’re good-looking, might as well get paid for it, right?”

Another girl talked about being offered $20 to take off her shirt or $100 to do a striptease on a table at a party.

The girls are almost always from good homes, but their parents are completely unaware, Azam said.

Coercion:

“I think there’s very much trading for relationship favors, almost like ‘you need to do this [to] stay in this relationship,'” one girl told “Good Morning America.”

“There’s a lot of social pressure,” said another. “Especially because of our age, a lot of girls want to be in a relationship and they’re willing to do anything.”

Self-destruction:

“I mean, we’re not looking for our future husbands,” one girl said. “We’re just looking for, maybe like … at our age, especially, I think all of us, both sexes, we have a lot of urges, I guess, that need to be taken care of. So if we resort to a casual thing, no strings attached, it’s perfectly fine.”

Azam said she thinks the “no strings attached” romances could be a defense mechanism against a greater disappointment.

“A lot of girls are disappointed in love,” she said. “And I think they believe they can hook up the way guys do and not care.

Why feminism is to blame

It was feminism that sought to replace fathers with government social programs. Feminism that raised taxes to provide social safety nets for women who could not be bothered to choose boyfriends wisely. Feminism that instituted no-fault divorce to encourage women to divorce men for money. And feminism that pushed women out of the home via high tax rates, so that children would be indoctrinated by left-wing public schools.

Let me be clear: the Democrat party is anti-family. Their policies destroy love, marriage and parenting. The secular-marxist-feminist left wants to control people. Free market capitalism, the family and robust religious beliefs are obstacles to their fascist goals. Feminism opposes the family, secularism opposes the integration of faith and public actions, and marxism opposes free market capitalism – the ground of liberty itself.

I think that young people are uninformed/unwise/un-parented enough to believe that these experiences are not scarring them emotionally. I am a man and growing up I knew intuitively that sexual intimacy with women followed by separation would be a catastrophe emotionally. The only way to properly assess the opposite sex is by keeping clear of their insecure, godless, soulless, clutching arms. Physical contact kills objectivity.

Young people are the most shallow people in the world. They judge people on appearances, and they try to use people to make themselves happy. Christian young people are not taught to view relationships as alliances made for the benefit of God’s purposes in the world. Instead, young people don’t know whether God exists, what he is like, and how to involve his goals and character in their decision making.

When I was a young man, I dreamed about romance, courtship, poetry, roses, marriage and lifting up my children in front of my face. I made decisions to prepare for that vision: chastity, investing, frugality, studying theology and apologetics, etc. I made sure that I could satisfy the demands of being a husband and father. I spent equal time on computer science, to make money, and on Christianity, to gain knowledge, wisdom and character.

I would say that the vast majority of young people today repudiate that vision of family with their actions. Their morality is moral relativism. Their epistemology is postmodernism. Their purpose in life is hedonism. This is not liberating. On the contrary: their actions removed their ability to marry, relate to a spouse and parent children. The more Christianity retreats, the more atheist “morality” steps in.

If atheism is true, then there is no real way we ought to be. Each person struggles with others to secure feelings of happiness. Other people don’t have any purpose except to be forced to make us happy. There is no morality. There is no free will. There is no moral accountability. There is no ultimate significance. There is no purpose. And children, born and unborn, are the biggest victims of all.

Why do people oppose same-sex marriage?

UPDATE: The research paper seems to have expired from the FRC web site, but you can see the whole thing here.

I found this research paper at the Family Research Council web site. The paper compares same-sex couples and heterosexual married couples, in the following ways:

  • relationship duration
  • monogamy vs. promiscuity
  • relationship commitment
  • number of children being raised
  • health risks
  • rates of intimate partner violence

Are there really significant differences between the two arrangements? Let’s take a look at the some of the data.

Relationship duration

% of Marriages Remaining Intact
% of Marriages Remaining Intact

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001)

Length of Current Homosexual Relationship
Length of Current Homosexual Relationship

Source: 2003-2004 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census

Monogamy vs Promiscuity

% Reporting Sexual Fidelity
% Reporting Sexual Fidelity

Sources:Laumann, The Social Organization of Sexuality, 216; McWhirter and Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (1984): 252-253; Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex,” 170.

Rates of intimate partner violence

Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate Partner Violence

Sources: “Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,” U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: 30; “Intimate Partner Violence,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report:11.

Conclusion

Marriage is a relationship that has a specific purpose. That purpose is to bind together two opposite natures and to produce children that are biologically linked to the parents. The children gain the benefits of being parented by the two different natures, so they get two perspectives. The fact that the children are genetically linked to two parents helps to ensure the stability of the commitment, as we see in the animal kingdom where animals protect their young.

The goal of marriage is not to increase the happiness of the adults, or to “recognize” the love of adults. The goal of marriage is have two people enter into a relationship where they understand that it is not about adults being fulfilled. Marriage is about people having a goal of raising children, which are tremendously stressful to raise. Marriage requires self-denial and sacrifice in order to raise those children – that is the main point of it. It also requires fidelity and chastity, so that the environment is kept stable for the children over a long period of time.

Children benefit from the stability that is more common in traditional marriages than it is in other arrangements, including heterosexual co-habitation which is similarly unstable (50% greater chance of divorce, more domestic violence, etc.). Therefore, it is important to keep the concept of marriage separate from other kinds of relationships so that the focus on commitment for the sake of the children is clear to those who contemplate marriage. Society needs to give special recognition to married couples, in view of their child-focused commitment.

I apologize in advance if this post causes anyone any harm or distress, I am just trying to explain why people have that opinion. They could be wrong, but that is the case they make. Obviously, married couples fall short of the goal, but that is their goal.

Further study

Two much bigger challenges to marriage are big-government socialism and especially no-fault divorce. I also wrote about same-sex marriage and co-habitation before, in the context of European states like Sweden and Norway.

You may also be interested in a recent post about whether homosexuality is caused by a “gay gene”.