The goal is to please God, not to avoid suffering.
Readership: Those who are married or hope to be married.
Theme: The Integrity and Fidelity of Marriage
Author’s Note: This post is based on previous comments from deti and Jack.
Length: 950 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes + 30 minutes (recommended) of your own introspective contemplations.
“How does someone measure quality control in one’s sexual marriage?”
To do that, we need to first introduce a standard by which to measure. So in this post, I’ll review the purposes, conditions, rights, and responsibilities in marriage, according to Christianity.
These purposes and conditions for marriage were outlined in an earlier post.
The Purpose of Marriage
Marriage is supposed to serve a small number of very important purposes.
- To glorify God. (Headship is necessary to do this, among other things.)
- To serve as a vehicle of sanctification for the man and wife. (Headship and regular sex plays a central part of this, among other things.)
- To hedge against sexual immorality.
- To create the dominion of a family. (Again, Headship.)
- To produce Godly offspring. (Not possible if all of the above are not in place, including Headship.)
- To provide a safe harbor from the world.
The Conditions for Marriage
Ontologically, marriage requires four distinct elements:
- There has to be a mental assent and agreement between man and woman, a “meeting of the minds” concerning their mutual intentions to be joined together inseparably.
- There has to be a heart assent and agreement to engage in everything that marriage entails, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In other words, they are both agreeing to the inclusion into the union of God, Who then completes the work and mystery of knitting them together.
- There must be a public acknowledgment to the world of their mental and heart assent. This usually takes the form of some kind of public declaration each makes (e.g. in a wedding ceremony): “This is my husband.” “This is my wife.”
- There must be a physical (and better if emotional) consummation in the form of sexual congress.
The purpose of reiterating this is that an ideal marriage should fulfill all of these purposes and conditions. All of these elements have to be present together for marriage to exist, and the removal of one of the elements changes the relationship into something that is not a covenant marriage.
Rights and Responsibilities within Marriage
We have the common idea that a right is a privilege guaranteed by law. But from a Biblical standpoint of God’s covenantal law, a right is that which is right to do or have, with the recognition that our obedience carries God’s blessings and favor under the New Covenant. Therefore, our responsibility is to uphold such rights (i.e. to do what is right) to the best of our knowledge, power, and ability.
Upon reviewing the above purposes and conditions for marriage it can be seen that there are a few absolute necessities.
- A certain level of unity or “oneness” characterized by trust, pair bonding, compatible personalities, and an intersection of shared visions, values, and life goals.
- A hierarchy of authority (i.e. Headship), including the recognition of God as the author and sustainer of marriage, and a mutual acknowledgment about how the marriage is to be conducted. The generalities about the structure should conform to God’s covenant of marriage, while the particulars should be put forth and enforced by the man, according to Headship. The woman’s submission indicates her agreement.
- Faithfulness, including commitment, dedication, discipline, loyalty, maintaining sexual authority and the unique ownership of the spouse’s body, and being continually available and steadfast.
- Sexual congress, which involves physical affection and emotional bonding.
- Having children and raising them to know God.
- Glorifying God in various ways.
Taken together, these endeavors represent a fidelity to God’s archetype of covenant marriage. If any of these elements are absent in a marriage, then the marriage falls short of God’s robust design for marriage. If more than one element is weak or missing, then the marriage fails to conform to God’s archetype for marriage.
Of course, all of us need to employ some more “quality control” in our marriages.
To answer Matt’s question, we can begin by considering the lists given above as a set of standards to aim for. Then we can examine the relationship we are in, compare it to these standards, and ask ourselves a few questions.
- How does your marriage measure up?
- What is lacking?
- What needs to be done to fill up that which is lacking?
- Are you able to do it? (If not, then continual prayer is in order.)
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 (NKJV)
Based on my experience as a Christian, I would surmise that either your own desire is hungering after those things which are lacking (e.g. more trust, more pair bonding, more sex, more emotional intimacy, more peace and order in the home, being respected by your wife, etc.), or else, the Lord has pressed these missing things upon your conscience as being a part of your inheritance that you need to be pursuing and working on.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
All the best~!
- Σ Frame (Jack): Lest we forget, Marriage was once intended to Glorify God (2019-8-8)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Only God can grant a successful marriage (2020-05-20)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Sexual competition continues after marriage (2021-02-19)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Commonalities of Successful Marriages (2021-04-14)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Greatest Archetype (2021-05-21)
- Σ Frame (Red Pill Apostle): The Importance of Biblical Marriage (2022-01-03)