Questions for Christians Who Believe That Sex is ONLY for Having Children...

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#1
Hi there,

Some CC friends and I were talking today about some of the topics we've seen on the forum in the past that have been a bit controversial. One of them is the belief by some Christians that the ONLY purpose of sex is to reproduce, and that married couples should only have sex in order to bear children.

I have always wondered, if this is the case:

1. What happens to couples who marry, then find out they are infertile? (Do they live out the rest of their marriage and just not have sex?)

2. Should couples expect and be required to keep on having children until they no longer can, even if that means they might still be having children in their 50's? (And what if there is a large age gap between spouses? Should the 75-year-old husband continue to have children with his 45-year-old wife if she is still able, even though he will most likely pass away much sooner than she will and leave her to raise them alone?)

3. What does a couple do once they stop having children/get too old to have them? Do they live out the rest of their marriage together but in celibacy?

While this thread has been written for those who believe sex is only for procreation and is not meant to be an actual debate about the purpose of sex, I know this will obviously be brought up, so I'm hoping that we can at least have a civil, respectful conversation about this.

The reason I am asking this question is because I have seen this belief mentioned several times on the forum before, and I have always wondered what people who believe this would dictate situations such as these if people are realistically expected to adhere to that belief.

Thank you for your kind consideration, and I'm looking forward to an informative discussion, even when there are bound to be expressions of vast differences in beliefs.
 
Feb 28, 2016
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#2
the subject of 'only-having-sex' for 'procreation' is NOT/discussed in scripture',
it's Commanded to be fruitful and multiply but it never excludes other sexual activities
between a man and a wife...
the subject of, 'both the man and the woman submitting their self to one-another,
for 'sexual' activity is certainly mentioned by the Apostle Paul'...

if one has given themselves over to prayer or fasting, then the 'other 'mate' is to
honour the Spiritual endeavor 'over-sexual-desire'...
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
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#3
I believe I read somewhere in the Bible that all of it was good within the marriage, and the marriage bed undefiled...

It would sure put a crimp in a lot of senior citizens' lifestyles. o_O

 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#4
I believe I read somewhere in the Bible that all of it was good within the marriage, and the marriage bed undefiled...

It would sure put a crimp in a lot of senior citizens' lifestyles. o_O



I have a feeling Lynx is going to be sent to the Timeout Box for rest of the duration of the thread. :rolleyes::geek::ROFL:
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
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#5
...says the person who started a really controversial thread. :whistle:
 
Feb 28, 2016
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#6
the subject of 'only-having-sex' for 'procreation' is NOT/discussed in scripture',
it's Commanded to be fruitful and multiply but it never excludes other sexual activities
between a man and a wife...
the subject of, 'both the man and the woman submitting their self to one-another,
for 'sexual' activity is certainly mentioned by the Apostle Paul'...

if one has given themselves over to prayer or fasting, then the 'other 'mate' is to
honour the Spiritual endeavor 'over-sexual-desire'...
==============================================================
after I read this, I had the thought that maybe I should have added, 'IF it was ACCEPTABLE in Christ's Spirit/Mind'...
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#7
One of the interesting things brought up in past threads is that the command to "Be fruitful and multiply" was given only twice, to only two groups of people, and within the context of a very unique situation: first, to Adam and Eve, when the earth was new and empty; and second, to Noah and his family, after the flood -- when the earth was once again empty and devoid of any other human life.

In these cases, there was a very specific reason why God told them to multiply -- the earth was barren and needed to be filled.
 

OneOfHis

Well-known member
Mar 24, 2019
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#8
One of the interesting things brought up in past threads is that the command to "Be fruitful and multiply" was given only twice, to only two groups of people, and within the context of a very unique situation: first, to Adam and Eve, when the earth was new and empty; and second, to Noah and his family, after the flood -- when the earth was once again empty and devoid of any other human life.

In these cases, there was a very specific reason why God told them to multiply -- the earth was barren and needed to be filled.
Very true.

God hasn't put the limits on our marriage which some people may suggest.

Having and raising up children is a blessing, not an entitlement or obligation to us and having an intimate marriage joined by God is a blessing.

You can have an intimate marriage with or without being blessed with a child, and also without specificially intending have children.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
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#9
Yeah... with the human population long since past "in danger of dying out" and creeping ever closer to "the planet is full, please die to make room for incoming humans" I don't think that commandment is directed at us.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#10
One of them is the belief by some Christians that the ONLY purpose of sex is to reproduce, and that married couples should only have sex in order to bear children.
This is obviously false, and the Song of Solomon refutes that. Married couples express their love for each other through sexual intimacy, and also expect children as the outcome..

1. What happens to couples who marry, then find out they are infertile? (Do they live out the rest of their marriage and just not have sex?)
Obviously that would be foolish. By the same token there are many orphans who need homes, and such couples should be adopting children and treating them as family.
2. Should couples expect and be required to keep on having children until they no longer can, even if that means they might still be having children in their 50's?
Why not? Just study the list of patriarchs in Genesis 5! Adam had Seth when he was 130 years old. Since 70-90 is the present lifespan of most people, they can have children in their 50's.
3. What does a couple do once they stop having children/get too old to have them? Do they live out the rest of their marriage together but in celibacy?
Not at all. Just do what comes naturally. Of course bodily functions change with age.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,310
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#11
This is obviously false, and the Song of Solomon refutes that. Married couples express their love for each other through sexual intimacy, and also expect children as the outcome..


Obviously that would be foolish. By the same token there are many orphans who need homes, and such couples should be adopting children and treating them as family.

Why not? Just study the list of patriarchs in Genesis 5! Adam had Seth when he was 130 years old. Since 70-90 is the present lifespan of most people, they can have children in their 50's.

Not at all. Just do what comes naturally. Of course bodily functions change with age.

Hello Nehemiah6,

Thank you for taking time the to answer in such detail.

I understand what you're saying about Adam having Seth at 130, but Adam also lived to be 930 years old, so I can see how 130 would pretty much have been the equivalent of being a teenager at that time. Plus, Adam and Eve had the entire earth to fill.

I was thinking about how much human lifespans have varied throughout history due to a myriad of different conditions. I was watching a documentary the other day in which scientists were studying the body of a woman from a time when living to age 40 was considered old age.

I had read a few years ago about a woman who gave birth to twins at age 66, but then died a few years later when the twins were only 2 years old.

I'm reading an article about the aforementioned case and the debate that was sparked over the ethics of older people having children. One of the doctors interviewed said he would at least like to have some assurance that the mother might live until the child is at least 18, and that most fertility clinics have a cut-off age of 55. (I realize this also brings up an entirely different discussion about aiding fertility.)

I know that no one knows when we are going to die, but I was just wondering what your opinion was on the ethics of having children at an advanced age? In other words, how would one take into consideration both the command to be fruitful and the risks of having children at an older age? (Do you think it would be acceptable to God to decide to prevent having children after a certain age due to health concerns?)

Thank you for your consideration and God bless.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
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#12
Having kids when you're old raises other questions... like do you have the energy to go through child raising? It takes a LOT of effort!

"I'm getting too old for this!"
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#13
I know that no one knows when we are going to die, but I was just wondering what your opinion was on the ethics of having children at an advanced age?
We only have to read about Abraham and Sarah to know that it is perfectly ethical to have children at an advanced age, if that is God's will.
 
Apr 26, 2012
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#14
I happened to see this thread when I posted a picture about hunkering down. I don't have a family so-to-speak, so don't frequent this forum except occasionally if I find something that might help younger people from my life's experience. Us folks from the 70's have a lot to offer from life experience. Life is a sacred experience and a good teacher.
The Bible says many things about intimacy between a man and woman. Same sex intimacy is not allowed in the Bible for many reasons. It sounds like the OP is eluding to the Catholic church about procreation being the main reason for marital intimacy. The Catholic church has helpful things to say about intimacy and celibacy, and many years of experience helping Christian couples.
The Apostle Paul wrote about some of these issues, but I don't have the scriptures available.
One teaching I like about the Catholic church, even though I would never go into ministry without a lady, is that they consider that Christian love, and romantic love is what marries and confirms a man and wife.
Like being born-again as a Christian, and like a baby is not born by their own efforts, a man and lady are joined in matrimony by the power of God, and their love for one another. This is a free gift. A state legal marriage is important and also a church wedding, or other Christian community gathering. Being married before church and state.
Protestants and Catholics have different approaches to marriage and divorce, and procreation and celibacy.
Even Paul said he wanted a wife, but he was a traveling evangelist who suffered greatly for the faith and did not want to subject a woman to such a difficult life.
The Catholic church, from what I understand, will grant an annulment if they determine that a "sacramental" marriage was not happening for various reasons. And in other cases, even if a couple were married only by state and not church, if they were "married" by love, they may not grant an annulment. Even state courts require valid reasons for divorce.
Sexuality and sexual intimacy has an emotional and spiritual impact on a couples life.
Marriage must be voluntary and confirmed by God.
It is a serious commitment, and should not be rushed into, like myself and my ex-wife did, and we both learned from the experience, but also suffered consequences similar to emotional trespassing, which is referred to in psychology as "emotional boundaries," even though we were both kind of clueless as to what we were getting into. Couples are still responsible for positive and negative consequences of relationships. Babies happen. I'm an unplanned one myself.
Young people should realize that there are medical dangers to intimacy, as well as emotional and spiritual hazards. Persistent unhealthy lifestyles can lead to emotional wounds. Love is powerful.
There is a popular song having the words, "Heaven opens up the door, where angels fear to tread." I believe this is from the Bible.
Paul said that just because as Christians we are covered by the New Covenant of Grace, this does not give us license to do as we please without accountability and taking responsibility.
Somewhere in the Old Testament, it says, "Guard your hearts."
But, God is a merciful savior and healer of hearts.
Never despair of making mistakes and feeling overwhelmed.
Feelings do not create reality, and may or may not reflect true spirituality.
Like John the evangelist said: "If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things."
A spirit of conviction, that motivates people to make changes and turn to God, is from the Holy Spirit. This is different than a spirit of condemnation, which does not come from God and should be dismissed and ignored since it is a deceiving spirit - the spirit of depression being one form of it.

That's the serious side of what the OP started.
I think she was also using a bit of melodramatic reverse psychology?
NO. If a couple can not have children, they might still consider marital intimacy.
But, they might want to run it by their pastor, or a bishop.
I'm not trying to be light-hearted about a serious subject, and the Bible says to "work out our salvation in fear and trembling."
But, it also says to spice up our fellowship as a way of reaching out to people and that, "the joy of the Lord is our strength."

One pastor who knew how to do this without speaking beneath his calling, pastor Steve, told the story about a monk centuries ago who was working in the basement of a monastery for many years alone writing out with a pen the Bible.
One day his brother monks heard him exclaim very loudly...

"OH NOOO....IT SAYS CELIBRATE!!! NOT CELIBATE!!

This has a good message for those who are not called to a life of celibacy. And those who are will receive a noble reward in Heaven for living out the Bible in humble service of the Lord.
But celibacy can work under the right conditions, for those who are called, as Paul said. It's a very powerful way of ministry for those who are called and can make it work out.

This next story is more fitting for college level about the consequences of not obeying the Bibles instructions to "leave home and find a spouse of the opposite sex."
A college student, a male student, was in class and taking a long grueling college test. The student, with an attitude, wanted to express a hypothetical situation, (this means he wasn't serious) said that, "But, what if I was awake all night, partying and having sex all night and I'm too worn out for such a grueling test."
The college professor, a lady, said:
"Well, Mr. Smith, I guess you will just have to write with your other hand...."
 
Apr 26, 2012
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#15
On a lighter note, I remember two pastors discussing on a family radio show what were the right "boundaries" for young people for Christian dating. First of all, don't feel let down if you were brought up in a so-called wild and crazy home. There are no perfect family's, even the ones that seem like they are out of the family of the week on the cover of a Mormon family magazine. The Bible has some scary stories about family's that faced unusual hardships. Never read the Old Testament alone without guidance or a Bible study program since it can be brutal about wars and disturbing events that can be very difficult to forget. It can be rated "R" in many places.

My own life involved cross-cultural relationships and my birth mother and mother were cousins which would make my cousin my birth mother on my mother's side, my mother my cousin, and my sister my father's grand niece on my father's side and also a non-biological 2nd cousin, and possibly a 3rd cousin on my mother's and father's side in the biological tree somewhere. So, my niece's would actually be cousins, and my brother would be my uncle I think. I kinda lose track there somewhere, and this is just an estimate. My cousin on my father's side I think might be my aunt. A twin brother who I did not grow up with, would be my nephew.

As you can see, there are no normal family's. Even in the Bible, a slave mother put her baby in a basket in a river, and he grew up in a royal family. Joseph told his brothers that he had a dream that they would all worship him, and so they sold him to a royal family and he became an assistant to the King. But he forgave them.

One man was married to two wives and they fought over who was his favorite and it just didn't work out well. One time seven sisters fought over one man who came to the family water well. Another time a man who was a bully, let his sheep drink from the pond first because the other sheep herder was a girl, and she was angry because the water was muddy for her sheep, which wasn't very nice. I think many of his sheep got sick, so it doesn't pay to be mean, because God is watching, so there is no need to get even with bullies. So you see, there were some wild and crazy families in the Bible too, so don't worry about your family's problems.

But as far as dating goes, the radio program said that kid's in Jr. High school, or middle school, or younger, were not usually ready for serious relationships, and should not go out on dates alone without a chaperone or parent to supervise, then it is less stressful and safer.

The radio hosts who were parents thought that teens should not kiss because it draws them into intimacy before they may be ready. As far as young adults, or those who are engaged, they believed that the couple should agree to what their boundaries or rules were, and that expressions of love, but not sex, can be acceptable for Christians in close relationships. They said that devoted couple's who waited for their wedding day for marital relations are blessed in their marriage.

And divorce is allowed in abusive situations, since love and kindness is what confirms a marriage.

As far as older couples, and even younger couples, there is a difference between sexuality and sexual relations, and sexually based relationships, and sexuality based relationships even without sexual relations, or loving caressing without procreation.

But you have to agree on the rules. One time when I was married but separated, after two hours of foreplay, I said I was tired and needed to get going, and she stood by the door and dropped a plate on the floor and I figured she wasn't happy with the way things were going. So compatibility is important in relationships if you want to get safely out the door. I think that was pretty much the last day of our marriage. Cats away, the mice will play, but it's not realistic for a mouse to play with the cat, and have a mutually compatible relationship, if that makes any sense.
 

Billyd

Senior Member
May 8, 2014
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#16
I look at it a little differently. If you are having sexual relations with someone, be prepared to have children. My grandmother was in her mid forties when my aunt was born. Also, short of a hysterectomy, there is no fool proof birth control method. Age does seem to improve the odds of not becoming pregnant.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#17
yes well children are the intended out come of 'making love' I mean its a given that may happen.
why else would you be making babies.

there are ways to express love without having children but then nobody needs to be married to do this.

i dont think that every single time you are intimate results in preganancy as there are also times when one refrains. In the Bible it was seven days that couple needed to be apart because of...that time of the month. Im sure that couples work this out between them, if they are equally yoked. If they are not and one is forcing the other that to me is not a good marriage.

and also there is adoption and fostering, sometimes within extended families. Or couples working in childcare situations.

aside from refraining there are also operations like vasectomies and hysteectomies or having tubes tied that means more children dont come about. People dont like to say that is a kind of birth control but many married people make that decision.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#18
btw am not married so what do I know...well
married people are interesting and often keep that kind of info to themselves but also divorcees often say stuff about what happens in marriage that you dont really want to know...
 

breno785au

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2013
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#19
I've been doing a lot of listening on the early church, the culture that surrounded them etc. and there was no shortage of crazy ideas and beliefs back then, and things haven't changed.
God created sex, He created the human body. He created its beauty. Obviously part of the reason why we marry someone is because we are attracted to someone physically which creates sexual desire, it's quite genius really.
When sex is within th marriage bed there is NO instruction from God that sex can only be done for the purpose of having a child.

These people who teach this sex is only for procreation fall into this category in my opinion though it was meant for the Judaisers in Paul's time:

These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Colossians 2:23 NLT
 
Feb 28, 2016
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#20
Having kids when you're old raises other questions... like do you have the energy to go through child raising? It takes a LOT of effort!

"I'm getting too old for this!"
==================================
hub's Mother gave birth to him at 43 & 1/2 years of age, after having (4) daughters, whom the eldest two were in their
20's when he was born - as a matter of fact, his Mother and her first daughter gave birth within around a week, Mother's last, daughter's first!!! Mother definitely had a lot of wisdom and energy for hub, as she raised her first children on a 'working-farm' with all of the chores that go along with the maintenance of a farm of almost 250acres...
Hub's parents sold the farm and moved to a 'beach' area in Florida - just think about the contrast!!! They settled-in quite well and
continued to raise their last two in a much different life-style, that has made my husband one of the most confident, gentle, kind,
precious person in the whole-wide-world, but, most of ALL, because he has believed God, and submitted and dedicated his life to serving and obeying His Lord and Master...