The Christian view of marriage is often frowned upon in the media today.
And so I’m often pleasantly surprised when I see at least some Christian values–like monogamy and fidelity–really promoted.
My husband and I don’t get any channels on our TV, but we do use it to watch movies. Unfortunately, lately the pickings have been rather slim. But a few weeks ago we watched a movie I really enjoyed: Crazy, Stupid Love, made by the same people who brought you Date Night.
Now, a warning: this movie is NOT clean. But the message is awfully good, and that’s what I appreciated. It showed how being selfish wrecks relationships (the wife leaves the husband for basically no reason, because she feels too tied down), and it shows how the hooking up culture is completely empty. It’s an indictment of our society, and once again, the monogamous, committed lifestyle is shown to be a far superior route to happiness than anything else.
I’ve noticed this in a number of movies lately. No Strings Attached (terrible movie, don’t see it) said the same thing: two people start by just hooking up, and then eventually realize that’s not enough. They need more. In fact, most romantic comedies today fall under that basic plotline: they “get together”, and only afterwards do they realize they actually want to be together.
In other words, as much as our culture might boast that it has found bliss in commitment-free sex, that’s not what people actually long for.
They may be doing it, but it’s just bringing emptiness. What people really want is intimacy, when someone actually knows you, inside and out, and still wants to be with you. They want someone who you can share your whole life with, and not just your body. They want someone who will stick by you, who will care, who will be a “witness to your life”. And isn’t that what marriage is supposed to be?
Over the last week, this blog has received a ton of incoming links from websites that are basically mocking the Christian viewpoint towards marriage that I’ve been writing about for years. I won’t share what posts they’re going to, because it doesn’t really matter. But they’re arriving here to laugh at the Christian view of marriage, and the Christian attitude towards sex and commitment. And they’re arriving here in huge numbers (seriously, I’ve had more visitors in the last 6 days than I did all summer).
In a way, it’s been a blessing, because with all the incoming links and traffic my search engine rankings have gone up quite substantially. And while many people are being sent here by those laughing at our viewpoint, I’ve received a ton of new likes and new fans, so not all are hating what they see.
But I thought it may be worth writing a post reiterating the Christian view of marriage and telling, once again, the story of this blog.
My first book was called To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother. It was written to help those women who just felt like marriage and motherhood had become a job, and they wanted to find the joy and happiness in relationship again. For years that’s mostly what I wrote about here: marriage and motherhood.
That’s still my focus, but over the last year I’ve written a lot more about sex, largely because of my new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, that’s coming out this winter. (Update: It’s out now! Find out more here.) And so I changed the tagline of the blog to reflect my new emphasis on marriage. It doesn’t mean I think women are signing up to vacuum, by the way!
But because I write so much about sex, a lot of people are finding me by searching for weird terms in search engines. They want to laugh at strange Christians, who are so uptight that they don’t even know how to have fun in bed.
And that’s where I feel sorry for people, because as much as they may think Christians are boring, the truth is that we’re having more fun. In the largest scale studies of relationships ever done, Maggie Gallagher and Linda Waite found that married people had better sex than any other category of relationship, including cohabiting couples. Cohabiting couples had more frequent sex, but they didn’t enjoy it as much. Marriage matters.
It matters because it’s only in a truly committed relationship that you can experience real intimacy, and that’s what sex is supposed to be. It’s not just an amazing physical experience–though it is that. It’s also a bond that forms a deep spiritual and emotional connection. And you can’t have that unless you also have commitment. What makes sex so great is that it’s intimacy on every level; but if you can’t have true emotional intimacy, then you’ll never experience all that sex has to offer. And that’s why married people have better sex!
So people can laugh at the Christian viewpoint that not everything goes when it comes to sex, but that’s because we’re looking for intimacy, not just orgasm.
And orgasm, by the way, is much more intense when intimacy is present (which is also why married women are more likely to reach orgasm). In the surveys I took for my book, too, the people who were most likely to orgasm during sex, and who rated their sex life as the best, were those who were married and had been virgins when they married.
The Christian view of sex actually gives you great sex.
And one other thing: the best sex seems to be had by those who are married from between 16-24 years (I’m in this category! Woo hoo!). Why? Because you’ve had years to perfect it, and you’ve had years together to know that this person is sticking around. Those one night stands are not nearly as fulfilling.
Now, these are statistics. Anyone can beat a statistic. So you could be reading this thinking, “well, I have amazing sex and I’m not married, so you don’t know what you’re talking about!”. Statistics tell us nothing about you individually. They tell us about us as groups. They tell the general, the average, the trend. And in general, those in committed marriages are happier, healthier, wealthier, and far more sexually satisfied. And their kids do better, too. You can assume that you’ll always beat the statistic, but do you really want to take the risk?
So people can laugh all they want at my efforts to try to help us have a truly intimate sex life, but I’m afraid that the more you laugh, the more you’ll miss out on something so amazing.
There really is more out there than just hooking up. Orgasm is actually better when you’re with someone that you truly know, and truly love, who loves you back. Movies know that. Our culture may like to pretend it’s not true, but deep inside we know it is. And so I won’t apologize for what I write; I’ll just keep talking, and if I get a ton of traffic of people who want to laugh, that’s fine, because, from the stats I can see, it looks like some of those people are actually listening, and thinking, and considering what I have to say. And for that I’m grateful.
If you’re a regular reader, what do you think about the importance of intimacy? Let me know!