sexual ethics Tag

Christian attitudes toward divorce and remarriage have been largely redefined in the past century. Historically, Christians were never permitted to remarry with the church, even in the case of a lawful divorce, even if you were the innocent party. Divorced people were expected to remain celibate. More recently, however, many Protestant denominations have abandoned this position. Guest writer Darla Meeks is one person who swims against this current, having chosen celibacy following her divorce rather than getting remarried.  I encourage you to read her reflections below with an open mind, regardless of where you stand on the topic of divorce and remarriage. There is much to learn from individuals like Darla who choose the path less traveled today. Jesus' commands regarding divorce, marriage, remarriage, and celibacy are clear.   I am a divorced Christian woman. I’ve been divorced for 10 years now, after a 17-year marriage to an unbelieving, chronically unfaithful spouse. Now in my fifties, I have a life that doesn’t include a mate, and I have no children. My parents have passed on. My brothers live in other states. The same is true of my extended family. I don’t see any of them much, except during brief out-of-town visits. I keep in touch by phone, text and social media, but that’s about it. I’ve had two relationships since my divorce. One of those men rejected me; the other, I rejected. I didn’t have sex with either of them while I was seeing them. In fact, I haven’t had sex in a very long time. So, my life has little or nothing to do with the traditional, nuclear family. What say you, Christian family? Am I a sad woman? Am I alone and lonely? Is my life over? Am I depressed and on the verge of suicide? Even worse, am I a degenerate, profligate, back-sliding individual who has lost God’s greatest blessing (marriage & family) forever? I say to you, no to all. In fact, by the very grace of God, I am happier than I have ever been as a celibate, single person.

What I'm saying in this post regarding sexual desire is pretty simple, but it's difficult for people to swallow. I'm saying that sexual fulfillment does not come through a sexual relationship but instead through sublimation to Christ. It's astonishing to me that this needs to be said, but it does. Christians will accept the fulfillment of virtually every single other desire through satisfaction in Christ and Christ alone, but when it comes to sexual desire, they stop short. Suddenly, we've got to find satisfaction through something else. Sure, they say, fulfillment comes through Christ. But sexual fulfillment? That comes through a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage. If we ever hope to create an effective response to our culture's rampant sexual indulgement, this absolutely needs to change. Sexual immorality runs rampant in the church because it forces its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer members to follow the traditional sexual ethic but no one else. A celibate lesbian's take. LGBT+ people aren’t the only ones who need convincing about celibacy. And yet the conversational burden largely falls upon gay people in the church. Let’s face it. It’s easier to talk about what “they” need to do instead of what “I” need to do. So let’s shift the conversation and talk about the collective Christian us. The church. About 80 percent of evangelicals have premarital sex, and 1 out of every 3 born-again adults get divorced (which is the same statistical rate as unbelievers). Christian men of all stripes view pornography to the same degree as the outside world (in some cases even more), and roughly 60 percent of pastors use or have used pornography. We’ve become so calloused to the repercussions of sexual immorality, that even when a major evangelical leader admits to sexually assaulting a minor, his entire congregation gives him a thunderous round of applause. The latent hypocrisy behind these statistics destroys the believability of Christianity. It burns a hole through the heart of whatever relationship the church pretends to pursue with the queer community. And it reinforces the idea that celibacy does nothing more than cover up a deep-seated homophobia in the church. Like a foul-mouthed parent who expects their child to quit cussing, the church overlooks its own promiscuity while condemning its homosexual members for theirs. But it’s time for this to change.