As previously mentioned, this section of our discussion pertains to behavior within the realm of marriage. In pre-marital counseling I teach that engaged couples can practice all the aspects of marriage while dating – except living together and/or having a sexual relationship.
Overall we are looking at Six Reasons Marriages Fail. Thus far we have examined Role Reversal, Money and now Sex. We will conclude with In-laws, Religion and Life Dominating Sin.
Like money, sex is not the most important aspect of the marriage relationship; but it is a barometer concerning what is going on in a marriage relationship.
Sex, or rather the lack thereof, shows that there is a communication breakdown elsewhere that might be showing up in the bedroom.
Sex sometimes becomes a weapon or a tool for bargaining. This should not be. The sex act is designed by God to unite the male and the female when practiced within the bonds of matrimony.
For the benefit of those who do not hold to the Biblical teaching that sex is designed only for marriage I share the following statistics taken from our records here at New Hope Counseling Service.
Note: This is not I telling you what is going on in these marriages. Rather, it is those in counseling telling of their plight.
While listening to couples in marriage crisis counseling presenting their problems as they see them, my wife and I are attuned to such statements as:
“We don’t love each other any more.”
“We don’t seem to have anything in common any more.”
“We don’t trust each other.”
Regarding the latter, we never respond to this statement the first time we hear it.
As a counseling technique we nod slightly to each other as a cue we heard what was said. We do, however, interrupt when we hear this said a second time. At that point I take the lead saying:
“This is the second time my wife and I have heard you say, or indicate, you do not trust each other. Are we hearing you correctly?”
Since we do not ask too many questions in any session, this question usually catches the couple quite off guard.
In every case where we have made this ascertain both husband and wife have acknowledged that this is true of their marriage relationship.
The trust-factor had been damaged or destroyed in their marriage relationship.
With careful calculation I ask, “May I ask you a very personal question?”
After receiving permission, I ask, “Were you involved in pre-marital sex?”
In 100% of the cases the answer has been, “Yes.”
Pre-marital sex from our observation damages or destroys the bond of trust in a marriage relationship.
Because the world-view says, “If it feels good, do it,” at first the couple does not believe that this is the reason they “no longer love each other.”
I like what the Rev. Dr. Vander Warner, Jr. says, “If it feels good that might be the best reason not to do it.”
In relating this to couples they do not realize they had substituted the word love with the word trust. They said originally, “We don’t love each other any more.”
The fact of the matter is they do not trust each other any more.
As you read this you may be asking, “Tom, why are you going into so much detail about this matter?’
My answer is simple: If you do not give the problem the correct diagnosis you will never solve the problem.
If you see nothing wrong with a major taboo, pre-marital sex, God has set forth you can never cure this problem in a marriage.
When a couple sees this, they must then acknowledge they have contributed equally to each other’s downfall in the marriage.
No longer can they point an accusing finger at their spouse.
Next time: Six Reasons Marriages Fail: Reason 4: In-laws or Out-laws
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.