May 18, 2024

Replacing Marriage with Consent

At the very beginning of Creation, God set up an order and a family, and the very first sin was when the first couple believed that they had something better than what God had set up– that they could be as God if they’d only violate the only rule that God had for them. From there on, a pure pattern is always presented, and perversions are promoted because we want something different– but those other standards result in problems until we finally agree to the wisdom of the old ways. Unfortunately, that’s often too late.

Society has revolted against God’s design that sex is to be within marriage and instead replaced it with the concept of “consent” to have sex. This is a substitution of disastrous proportions because people are no longer having sex inside a loving relationship where each person is looking out for the best for the other but reduced sex to a transactional nature where we have apps to track consent and people wondering if yes means yes, and keeping video of encounters and text messages, and litigations because parties change their mind, etc.

The entire culture of free sex based only on consent is a mess in many ways. When you take the concept of consent and try to bring that into the marriage relationship, the focus is not on the question of “how should people show love to one another through sex?”, but instead we spend our time arguing about how consent is made inside a marriage (can she refuse, should he be ok with that) and what submission means. All of this is a distraction from what marriage is supposed to be.

So we start to try to define “marital rape” and debate whether that’s even possible. We fight over rights that we believe we have, prooftext all sorts of things trying to gain authority, and end up hurting people and driving them further away from Christ. It’s larger than this question: the question of marital rape and all this nonsense is just highlighting how sinful we as a generation are and how far we’ve come away from God’s design with Adam and Eve.

There’s a difference between saying, “Wife, you should have sex with your husband, and husband you should have sex with your wife” because this is the covenant you entered willingly, and it’s part of the point of marriage AND saying “husband, go force your rights upon the wife,” or vice versa. One way shows love– Christ’s love–, the other is control/abuse.

That we have to be having this question should drive us to the cross and make us want to get right with God. And in Christ, we find that we have a positive obligation to do good towards others because of what He’s done for us. This sometimes means that we do things that we don’t want to do or are not in the mood for– not because that other person is forcing or coercing us, but because we love them and we choose to prefer them first.

The Gospel isn’t about force– God gave His Son to die so that we might live. He asks us to believe in Him and we will have eternal life. Marriage shows that Gospel in a visible way to all around us. Our response to Christ’s love is to love others– and two believers who are showing Christ’s love will show love to their spouse in the most intimate of ways.

Christ encourages us to look at one another with love, not proclaim our rights and demand our due.

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