What would be a proper Catholic way to respond to the argument that saving sex for marriage makes people marry each other just to have sex?
That isn’t always the case. Some people are committed to high morals and the blessings of waiting and the Sacrament of Matrimony according to God’s plan. If you love and respect someone and care for their soul, you will wait. Marriage is not all about sexual gratification.
The proper Catholic answer is to laugh.
Then when you’re done just wonder out loud if anyone would really commit themselves to a lifetime relationship with someone just so they don’t have to do something hard (abstaining) any more. I mean if so, does this mean they’d do that just to avoid any other hard thing they otherwise need to face?
Animals have sex.
Human beings make love, face to face.
What the OP is asking is:
Is it a venial sin, or a mortal sin, if a person decides they would like to get married, just so they can have intercourse, and because this not a sin because it’s within marriage.?
The OP is asking is getting married for that reason, a sin in itself in thoughts?
Otherwise the OP might ask:
Is it a sin for someone to know they are not called to the celibate life, and that the person look forward to the conjugal intimacy of marriage,
The OP is wondering is that a sin either?
There.was a Saint in England who discerned religious life and realised he was called to marriage, he is now a canonised Saint, his name is Saint Thomas… (can’t recall his surname) he was.martyred under King Henry VIII.
He said to his friend; “It is better to be an unchaste layman than an unchaste priest.”
He.was saying he knew.he wasn’t called by God to be a.celibate. And that he knew marriage was his calling
I.have read, if God is calling someone to marriage, then priesthood and celibacy would be very difficult for that person because it may not be their gift.
On the other hand, marriage desires must include desire for a lifetime companion,.and to raise a family of kids,
Because the Catechism and Theology of.the Body say.that thoughts of even a husband towards his wife.must.be pure.because there is always the danger of carnal thoughts for self gratification only, which under the three conditions is a mortal sin.
Also: one can recognise one has a possible call to marriage but thoughts have to remain pure before marriage especially and during marriage, because of the danger of lust/ self gratification which is a sin.
Before marriage thoughts must be only pure.
And vigilance.during marriage that thoughts.are pure too.
Marriage is also about: is this potential.spouse your best friend? Are they a practicing catholic? Will I love.them in richness or poorness, in sickness or.in health, all.the days of.ones life until.death do.them part?
There is much more to marriage also that is more important.
But don’t we find the root of this idea in St. Paul? “But if they cannot control themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:9. Regardless of how enlightened scholars might now interpret this teaching, many have understood this verse from Scripture in exactly the way the OP brought up. Honestly, in my younger days, when confessing solitary sins of impurity, more than a few confessors actually told me, “Why don’t you just get married?” I was always put off by such advice, which seemed dismissive to me and a great disservice to any potential spouse. It seemed like a shaky foundation for a marriage, and yet it was still suggested, in my case even by those with authority in the Church.
People who marry just to have sex seem to not have heard the other Church teachings on marriage. Marriage is for life through the ups and downs, requires self-sacrifice. The couple must also accept as blessings from God the natural consequence of sex, which is children. They are required to raise their children in the faith and to model to them the Catholic faith.
That’s a pretty tall order. How many of these couples to be are still willing to be married after hearing these requirements?
In the Victorian age I wouldn’t be surprised that this wasn’t so uncommon. Anymore, I think a person that gets married just so they can have sex will already be having sex before they are married.
Once upon a time there was social scorn and ostracizing for a sexual relationship outside of wedlock, even to the point that a woman (and her child) were punished with destitution & poverty. Those days are gone. In order for a person to bind themselves to a conviction that sexual intimacy is only properly celebrated within marriage, there has to be something powerful to hold them to it, because the desire for sexual intimacy with a romantic partner is very strong. The best motivator is charity. A lesser motivator is social pressure, and that motivator is no longer adequate. There will be - if anything - social pressure to do the contrary.
You are saying,.that, how.do you respond to an atheist who.says, “Catholics save chastity for.marriage? Does that mean Catholics only get married for intercourse?”
All you have to respond is that the call to marriage is:
A lifetime companion through all the ups and downs of life,
To raise a family and provide for them,
To pass on the catholic faith to kids,
And am openness to the intimacy of marriage to create kids,
(therefore the reason Catholics marry is to create their own loving catholic family as a holy Catholic mum and dad).
As opposed to aetheists who maybe marry and use contraceptives or abortion or vasectomy, or divorce or separation. Maybe there are aetheists who marry for the sake of carnality (which is a sin of self gratification),
But Catholics marry :
Catholics marry to be open to and create and nurture a loving catholic family.while in the meantime and during marriage Catholics keep.their thoughts chaste.
There’s all these extra reasons above that Catholics feel called to catholic marriage.
It’s a calling God puts on the heart of the majority of people in the world, the Holy call to marriage,
It is a vocation and a Sacrament.
I have been around for some time and I have never met one person, in any country I have visited, who married just for sex. If a person has such a strong desire to have sex, that person likely isn’t going to wait until marriage. If the person is under strong conviction to wait until marriage, due to proper upbringing and Christian education, that person will also know why people marry, the importance of marriage, and all the things which go along with marriage, that person likely wouldn’t be dumb enough to just jump into a marriage for the purpose of sexual relations. That person wouldn’t see marriage as a Sacrament, a lifelong journey with another person, or a vow before God.
To uphold the idea of no sex until after marriage, but hold such a small and pitiful idea of what marriage is seems to be a self-defeating endeavor. It contradicts itself. Marriage is so important one must wait until marriage to have sex, while at the same time marriage is of so little importance its only purpose is to have sex without guilt. It makes no sense at all. It also places sexual relations on a strictly physical and pleasurable level, which any Catholic knows isn’t all there is to the marital embrace.
What would I say? If the person is Catholic, I would give them a stern look, strongly encourage them to study Catholic resources on the purpose of marriage and sex (Theology of the Body would be a good start) and suggest they speak with their spiritual leader or priest. If the person were Protestant, I would give them the same advice, only with a Protestant lean. A non-believer, I would suggest the above book and be available to answer any questions they may have, but a non-believer probably would never be in this predicament.
I’d personally ask the person asking the question to give me examples of where this is happening. I had a friend who made the same claim, and despite his claims that “It happens all the time,” he couldn’t give me a single example other than my wife and I. When I pointed out that we were engaged for almost three years, that kind of ruined his argument.
While most of the people I know were sexually active before marriage, the ones I’ve met who weren’t certainly didn’t rush things and they didn’t marry young just because they wanted to have sex. If someone can show me that getting married to have sex is commonplace, especially among Catholics, then I might bother to think up a response.
The response is threefold:
- Some people think and act that way, but that’s stupid and the marriage is almost certain to fail.
- For most good Catholics it is a mix of a desire for deeper physical intimacy with a desire for the life changes that come with that (LIKE KIDS), realizing that those changes absolutely require permanent commitment.
- Sometimes one will marry and shrink from sex, because the marriage was serving some other function (think Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who consummated their marriage after 7 years together, or arranged marriages).
Catholic marriage is because:
God is calling a person to holiness that way,
A desire to raise a holy catholic of family of children ,
Desire for a lifetime companion to support one another in life (In the form of a spouse),
Openness to creating children in marriage, and providing for ones own wife and children (as one’s mission in life),
And all the other good Holy reasons too,
That is why devout Catholics marry. And that is why Holy marriages last. Because it is Holy love centred on looking after and rearing a family with God.
A person who marries just for carnal self gratification rather than some of the other above reasons, commits the grave sin of lust and self gratification. Because Pope John Paul II wrote in theology of the body that thoughts must never be about carnal self gratification, even while married because, it turns the other person into an object rather than a person, an object for self gratification,
So therefore, Catholics cannot marry for the sake of intercourse, but do marry for the Holy reasons mentioned above with openness to creating children in marriage.
Some of the above Holy reasons must be present with.the desire for marriage
Of course. A person may realised they are not called to the celibate life of a single person or priest, and that is a possible sign they are called to marriage. A person may also fall in love with someone they are certain they are to marry (without any unholy impure thoughts, but with a holy love based on the Holy catholic desires for marriage).
Until the sexual revolution occured in the mid sixties, I’m sure that some couples did marry in order to “legalize” making love. I really do not believe that is the case 50 years down the road. There is no longer any social stigma for being sexually active, but single. I realize that there are some that would like the Western World to go back to the days where if you were a single woman and had sex, you were a “ho”, but a man of the same age would be “sewing his wild oats”, what a crock.:eek:
Well, I’ve observed a lot of couples who get physical early and confuse the sex for love, end up marrying and have it all fall apart because there was never a relationship built as the foundation. And folks who got married because of a pregnancy— with that question always looming about whether they’d have gotten married if it hadn’t happened. Doubts about whether love was there. So, there are a lot of problems with getting involved physically outside of marriage as well.
… but a man of the same age would get the stuffing beaten out of him by the young woman’s relatives for taking advantage of her. As well as being considered a CAD and shunned socially. A lot more happening back in the days…