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Since writing the “What If The Sex Is Bad? Does A Christian Have Options” I have seen all kinds of responses, most of which were just laughable, but there were a few that accurately criticized me for not really answering the question which I posed in the title. And that was very intentional, let me be clear. I wanted you to think about the concept and put your own feedback and thoughts into it. Clearly that didn’t happen quite like I anticipated. I got more, “just test drive the car before you buy it” than I did any real suggestions.

Let me answer the question. What if the sex is bad?

So what if it’s bad? I’m sure it’s not enjoyable to be having sex that doesn’t measure up to the standards of your previous relationships, but you didn’t get married just to have sex did you? Hopefully not.

Oh, that’s harsh, you can’t say that. It’s not that easy. Isn’t it?

For a Christian, divorce is never — I repeat, never — an option. Bad sex, horrendous sex, no sex, divorce is not an option. Don’t forget the vows you make on your wedding day. You know, the ones… For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. Till death do us part. I’m sure this falls under the “for worse” section.

Marriage isn’t easy. It doesn’t just fall into place when you say, “I do.” You have to work at it. Why would the sexual aspect be any different?

One of the main problem lies in that we treat married sex and single sex as the same thing. What I mean is this: God only created one type of sex — married sex. Sex was created to be enjoyed inside the confines of marriage so when we decided to take it outside of that plan we had to lie and create excuses for our actions. A blogger friend, David Patrick, brings some more clarity to this concept on his blog:

One of the primary reasons why people who participated in “single sex” have problems within marriage is because they are trying to bring the attitude of single sex expression into a covenant relationship and it potentially proves to be a letdown. Single sexual expression is a synthetic counterfeit imitation of married sex and it causes the God’s original intention to be looked at with disdain. I’ve heard the analogy used that single sex is like living your whole life eating potato chips and then get introduced to vegetables and thinking that you’ve chosen something wrong.

The reason for the letdown is because single sexual expression has elements of danger, deception, fear, risk, lying, deceit, premeditation, planning, seducing, breaking covenant and making covenant with those who don’t even care for you and those elements create an emotional rush that is not found in marriage. When you are single and chasing sex your whole attitude is, “will it happen, is it available, are they going to give it up?” [but] in marriage, “it’s available.”

What [we] fail to understand is that… single sex it is about preserving self and pleasing self, not being totally yourself, hiding something for fear of rejection, and not giving your all because you’re not sure if that person will be there later. Marriage covenants are the exact opposite because it is completely about vulnerability and full exposure of self to your spouse – holding none of yourself back from them. So when we were out participating as single people in single sex, in our minds, these elements that cause the emotional rush was joined with supposing to be apart of sex. [I]n married sex because there is no element of risk or deception involved, there is no emotional rush that you were used to and therefore you have a problem getting aroused and excited, and therefore [it may] feel like it’s a letdown.

This is probably how some adulterous affairs get started. People get “bored” in their sex life in marriage and introduce all of those “single sexual expression” elements back and think that this is how it’s supposed to feel.

At the end of the day, a marriage is built on more than sex. While sexual relations are an important, and God ordained part of a marriage, there is so much more involved. Just as with every other aspect of the relationship, sex takes work and compromise. There are plenty of Christian counselors that deal with this issue specifically. Make it work because, well, you’re in it for life. You have no other choice.

[For more from Stuart McDonald, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]

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