Lent & Marital Relations


#1

Has anyone decided to moderate or eliminate marital relations as a part of Lenten sacrifice/fasting? I’d be interested in how that worked out. Also interested in reading general pro/con opinions on this.


#2

My husband and I tried that our first Lent together as a married couple. I admit that it didn’t work out well at all.


#3

one of the many reasons I do not like this idea is that relations should be uplifting and in fact a spiritual expression of love. It is kinda like saying "i'm going to give up reading the bible for lent" Also I am a red blooded american male, soooooo I'm against it on personal reason too:D


#4

I’d never considered this, but it’s an interesting question. I wouldn’t try it personally. Marital sex should be a spiritual thing for bonding the spouses together. I would not want that removed from my marriage for such an extended period of time. Just my personal opinion.


#5

Marital relations is part of the sacrament of Matrimony.

There are so many demands in marriage and family life, that giving up one of the blessings, marital relations, is a little like giving up receiving Holy Communion, because you enjoy receiving Holy Communion. Holy Communion is a blessing. So is marital relations.


#6

It can also be argued that Marital relations and the creation of life is an Earthly rendering of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.

I believe this is a big part of a stable, healthy and religious Sacramental marriage and often is more of a bonding than pure pleasure (not that there is anything wrong with that alone in the context of marriage). I’m not sure sure it would be something to give up for Lent.

Joe


#7

Has been an ancient practice in the Church

but as Paul notes in I Cor…one should not agree to abstain too long…

so each couple who decided to do such would decide on what would be reasonable for them…some could be all of Lent…some part…some certain days etc…

(and of course it would have to be agreed upon for there is the “debitum” …the marital “debt” which is binding in conscience)

(and of course they are free to change this midstream too…)


#8

I do not think that it is a good idea. I agree with above posters who point out that it is such an intrinsic part of the sacrament of marriage. It would be akin to giving up the Eucharist, or giving up the Bible, or giving up confession/penance. If you give up something it should be something that is indulgent, not something that’s a part of a sacrament that imparts grace. Just my 2 cents.


#9

I find it interesting that everyone seems to take the perspective of decreasing the frequency of marital act.

Perhaps, if what a couple does for lent is to give up the distractions that pull them away from their partner, - looked at another way - trying to pay special attention to each other, and to renew themselves in each other, then…

what might follow is increasing the frequency of the marital act.

In today’s stressed world, this may be appropriate for a fair percentage of couples, I would think.


#10

This reminds me of what I heard a nun on TV (or at least someone pretending to be a nun, I can't remember which at this point) say: "if you give up sex for lent, you're looking to Easter for all the wrong reasons!" Just something to think about.

For some couples I think giving up relations for lent could have some sort of benefit, either by developing self-control, making them appreciate each other more, forcing them to develop other areas of their relationship, removing a distraction that might have been holding back their spiritual growth, etc. As long as both spouses are fully consenting to it, I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea.


#11

Why not do the opposite?

Instead of giving up something, you can DO something (more often).


#12

I think it would be a bad idea if you're going to give it up and then spend a considerable amount of time thinking about it, which is likely to happen with so powerful a drive as the sex drive.

Even St. Paul didn't recommend it except for a brief time dedicated to prayer and fasting. And 6 weeks is a long time if you are a normal, healthy youngish married couple.


#13

Yeah, maybe I’ll work on increasing my desire as a Lenten gift to my husband. I think the very idea of giving up sex for Lent is a bad one.

:wink:


#14

Um No…I prefer to stay married.

Asking a man/husband to give up sex for 6wks - without there being a new baby in the house is asking for an increase in bickering and grumpyness.


#15

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:12, topic:231696"]
I think it would be a bad idea if you're going to give it up and then spend a considerable amount of time thinking about it, which is likely to happen with so powerful a drive as the sex drive.

Even St. Paul didn't recommend it except for a brief time dedicated to prayer and fasting. And 6 weeks is a long time if you are a normal, healthy youngish married couple.

[/quote]

But there's always Sundays. They don't count as Lent, remember?


#16

[quote="paperwight66, post:15, topic:231696"]
But there's always Sundays. They don't count as Lent, remember?

[/quote]

Actually, some people do allow for suspention of their personal sacrifices during Lent on Sunday's to "celebrate" the resurrection. But some choose to keep their sacrifices. Sundays do "count" as Lent, hence the name "Second sunday of lent" and "Third Sunday of Lent" and so on in the Church calandar. Hence the liturgical color change.........
Just being a little stickler for terminology here........


#17

Aren’t we supposed to give up something that we otherwise enjoy? Ladies, is having more sex with your husband really a sacrifice for you? :smiley: Just teasing. (I suppose it depends on who the husband is) :wink:


#18

Ha-ha!

I think the idea is to give up something as well as do something. This would be the doing for someone else.

My husband liked the idea . . . :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

Well that’s true, but if you count the Sundays, you’ll end up with more than 40 days of Lent.

See the ‘Should children give up something for Lent?’ thread.


#20

This gets debated every year, but church calandar speaking, from Ash Wednesday to the first Sunday of Lent is writen on the calandar as the thursday after ash wednesday etc, then starting in the first sunday of lent to good friday is 40 days, you can think of it anyway that is helpful to you, take out the sundays, or only count from the 1st sunday to Good friday, or throw the idea of “exactly 40 days” out the window since there really is no need to cling to that number, but I just wanted to be accurate by pointing out that it is incorrect to say “Sundays dont count for lent, or Sundays are not a part of Lent” Thats all, however you choose to look at it is fine with me!:thumbsup:

I think the apologists have answered this every year!


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