Covenant Sex or Sexual Covenant

A Question? Is marriage a “Sexual Covenant?”

Covenant Sex or Sexual Covenant?

It seems to me that marriage involves “covenant” sex but it is not a “sexual covenant.” The difference being that “covenant” sex means that sex is enjoyed by those already in a covenant relationship (marriage) and the covenant is there whether there is sex or not. A couple too old for sex can get “married” and be married companions and in a “one flesh” relationship for life even though they are not interested in having sex. However, a “sexual covenant” would mean that without sex there is no covenant. If marriage is a “sexual agreement/covenant” then without sex there is no agreement/covenant. If it is indeed a “sexual” covenant then there must be “sex.” One could not be in a “sexual” covenant without sex.

Malachi’s definition of marriage is, “She is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Mal. 2:14). A couple is married by an agreement or covenant. In other words, they are already married before they start on their way to the bed (the honeymoon). The “married bed” is undefiled, but if a couple get into the bed in order to have sex and they are not “already married” then that is fornication or adultery or both (Heb. 13:4). Mary was married to Joseph long before that had sex (Matt. 1:24-25). They are married before they have sex and they are still married when they are too old or unable to have sex for other reasons. But, of course, if marriage is indeed a “sexual” covenant then it cannot exist without the “sex.” However we are married “by covenant” or by “agreeing/pledging/vowing” to “commit” to each other to be marital “companions” for life and having sex is an expression and privilege of that commitment. But sex is not included in that “commitment.” We are committed to be marital companions and that is why people pledge to stay married “until death” and not just until they get to old to have sex…which does/will happen at some point…at least in most cases.

Furthermore, if marriage is a “sexual covenant” then the marriage “covenant” gets weaker and weaker the longer we are married, instead of stronger and stronger. But, as most married Christian couples will probably attest, our “commitment” to each other grows while our sexual desire diminishes…at least to some degree. If it is indeed a “sexual” covenant then in our first year or so of being together we were almost “totally committed” but as the years have gone by we are not nearly as committed to the “covenant” as we once were. And in some marriages there is very little or no commitment at all nowadays…due to age, disability and/or lack of sexual desire on the part of one or both parties. Believe it or not, when it comes to sex, some married couples can only sit on the side of the bed and sing…“Precious Memories!” But they are still married, because marriage is not a sexual covenant.
But don’t get me wrong, I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that sex is very important in marriage. As a matter of fact, sex is a very, very, very important part of the marriage “relationship.” But we must understand that it is not part of the marriage “covenant.” The marriage “covenant” (agreement, commitment) places a couple in a “relationship” (one flesh/family unit) where sex can be and should be enjoyed without guilt or shame. In fact, the first recorded command in the Bible that God gave to any man or woman is for married couples to have a lot of sex. “Be fruitful and multiply…” relates to married couples having sex (Gen. 1:28). One of the next things we learn from the first two chapters in Genesis is that married couples can and should sometimes/oftentimes be “naked” and not be ashamed (Gen. 2:25). Another important truth we learn early in the book of Genesis is that sex in marriage is intended for “pleasure” (Gen. 18:12). Furthermore, the Song of Solomon speaks plainly and pointedly about sexual intimacy in marriage. One of the main reasons for getting married is to have a legitimate relationship for sexual intimacy (1 Cor. 7:1-2). It is sinful for a marriage partner to withhold sex from a mate (1 Cor. 7:3-6). The marriage bed is an honorable place for sexual expression, exploration, and experimentation (Heb. 13:4). So please understand that I am by no means minimizing the importance of sex in a marriage, but I am emphasizing that the “covenant” (or commitment) is what makes sex in a marriage important. I believe in “covenant” or “marital” sex. What I do not believe is that “sex” is what “makes” or “consummates” a “covenant” or a “marriage.” Sex has nothing to do with whether a couple is married or not. According to the Bible it is the “covenant” (marriage) first and then the “sex.” I know how important it is, especially in the MDR discussion, to know what the Bible teaches about the “one flesh” relationship. I deal with these issues in Chapters 6 & 7 and in Appendix 1 & 2 of my book on MDR if you have it. If you not have my book you can get it from me or from Amazon. Of course, some good brethren will disagree and that is fine with me. I have to live with what I believe the Bible teaches at any point in time during my spiritual journey with Christ and so do they. I respect their “right” to be “wrong” on this as well as other subjects that they disagree with me on. (LOL) God bless and I hope this helps.Thank God for Jesus!

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org 2/17/16

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