Questions From Readers
● Is there any manner in which the sexual act might be carried on between a husband and wife that would be considered unclean in Jehovah’s eyes?
There is, of course, nothing unclean about copulation, the natural way for the sexual connection to be performed by a husband and wife as ordained by our Creator. Sexual union affords those joined in wedlock the opportunity to express deep love and affection toward each other. That it should be not only the means of procreation but also a means of allaying passion and a source of satisfaction and delight is not out of harmony with God’s Word. But as to just what is acceptable in the way of tokens of affection, this is a matter to be worked out by each married couple.—Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 7:9; Prov. 5:15-19.
Nevertheless, even in these intimate affairs of life Christians apply Biblical principles. They realize that in this, as in other matters of life, the fruitage of God’s spirit must be cultivated and demonstrated, and this includes self-control. (Gal. 5:22, 23) Hence, a Christian will not give free rein to unbridled passion. He will realize that authority over the body of one’s mate does not allow a married person to indulge in practices that are both distressing to one’s mate and unclean before God. (1 Cor. 7:3-5) Authority over the body of a marriage mate is circumscribed by Scriptural principles, and so Christians united in wedlock will seek to apply these, and in this way they will work together and bring true happiness to each other. (Eph. 5:25-33; 1 Pet. 3:7-9) To their spiritual welfare and great benefit, they will remember and apply the words of Christ at Matthew 7:12: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.”
There are definite organs, male and female, for sexual intercourse. Their intended purpose and proper use are very apparent. It is only in this proper and God-ordained way that these organs should be used. Departures from the proper and natural use of these organs in order to satisfy the craving for unnatural intimacy with sex organs, or in order to excite animal passions, is unclean. It is degrading, as shown at Romans 1:21-32. It is a perversion and is unhealthy. Such actions are in reality an idolizing of sex organs, and they do not constitute a means of dignifying marriage. They do not make the marriage bed honorable. (Heb. 13:4) Certainly a Christian would avoid such uncleanness of the flesh, one of the works of the flesh, and would want to be no part of such perversion.—Gal. 5:19.
In these matters dedicated Christians must bear their own load of responsibility. Having read and absorbed the excellent counsel that the Bible provides on these matters, it is up to the individual married couple to put such godly principles into practice in their lives in a reasonable and loving way.—Gal. 6:5.
If a dedicated couple commit some act that is morally wrong, but is not adultery or fornication, and which is, therefore, between themselves alone, so that it is strictly a private matter of which no one in the congregation or of the world could possibly get knowledge unless the individuals involved chose to reveal it, then what should they do? It is a matter to be taken to God in prayer. If God sees that they realize the impropriety of what they have done between themselves and that they are heartsick and grief-stricken over the matter and seek never to repeat the act, then their confession to him and prayer for forgiveness through Christ Jesus is sufficient. If, however, due to human weakness this abuse would continue, and one or the other of the couple would begin to feel the ill effects of the abuse and begin to be oppressed by it and would be unable to get any relief because of continued misconduct on the part of the marriage mate, then what? A personal solution to the problem should be attempted first. However, if all other efforts fail, then an appeal could be made by the oppressed one to the committee of the Christian congregation. It would then be in order for the committee to admonish the offending marriage mate. The committee may offer aid in prayer and counsel, so as to help the couple to overcome the weakness and to conduct their private marital affairs so as to continue in happy married relationship with the least possible distraction and so as to serve the interests of God’s perfect government in a better way.—Jas. 5:13-16.
That violations of what is Scriptural and normal in the way of marital relations will be of no little consequence is unquestionable. To act in a godly way in these intimate matters is of great concern to lovers of righteousness. Far-reaching indeed may be the effects when persons united in matrimony commit acts that are morally wrong. First and foremost, they must realize that they are displeasing the Creator Jehovah God. This may also well affect their relationships with others, for something is wrong in their lives. They know it and they thus may feel unworthy to have a further share in the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom. Instead of manifesting happiness, they may become sullen and withdraw into themselves. Clearly, something must be done if they are again to enjoy happiness and contentment in their relationships to one another, to their fellow Christians and to Almighty God.
If such wrong practices have become habitual, it will take time, prayer to God and earnest effort to correct matters. Corrective measures must begin in the mind. When sensuous and improper thoughts present themselves to mind, the sincere Christian will with profit recall the words of Paul at Philippians 4:8: “Finally. brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.”
In his fight against immoral desires, the married Christian must realize that what he takes into his mind will greatly affect him. Movies, plays, literature and other entertainment should be chosen carefully. Even as the unmarried must guard their ways in this respect so that they do not fall into immorality, so too must married Christians. If they were to fill their minds with immoral or perverted ideas, these they might ultimately carry out in their intimate affairs, to their own depravity and spiritual detriment.
If wrong desires and improper habits have become deeply engrained, some who seek to rectify matters so as to be pleasing to God may find themselves stumbling again before they are able to overcome their bad habit with the help of God. But they should not be discouraged and should not give up. These persons should continue to look to Jehovah God and to turn to him for forgiveness and cleansing, for the necessary aid and strength. He is not far from those who seek him, and with his help such persons may be assured that they can conquer these wayward tendencies, gaining victory over such bad habits or conduct that is morally wrong.—Phil. 4:13.