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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
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Why do we need marriage today?
Marriage is an institution, but who wants to be in an institution!
Too many people rush into marriage for the wrong reason (to legitimize sex). Many couples say they want to be together because they love each other, and you don't need a marriage for that. Marriage is for many, an outdated institution based on man's insecurity and need to control and own women.
In most times, including biblical, marriage was a man's way of claiming his property (his women). Marriage was based on a financial arrangement with the girls father and had nothing to do with love. A man (who was at least age 12), could buy as many wives (as long as at least age 13) as he could afford and support, as well as concubines (breeders). Adultery as prohibited by God in the ten commandments, delivered by Moses, was only wrong for a married man if the women was another man's property. It was understood by the Hebrews, that a married man could have sex with as many concubines or single women, even "common" non-goddess prostitutes, as he wished. But if a married women had sex with another man she could be killed, since this violated her husbands property rights.
One of the greatest figures of the bible, King David, not only had a multitude of wives but many concubines as well. Clearly there was no biblical problem of many wives and concubines, but marriage was also related to the property concept was also tied to the idea of inheritance - that a man would determine that his sons and only HIS sons would inherit his property. Therefore he had to be certain his wives did not have sex with others.
Today, women should have the same freedom as men have always had. Some believe marriage is mostly for insecure people who feel a piece of paper provides security. Well, OK, that may be a bit overboard. Marriage also can be important in our culture for children and legal advantages. But marriage should not just artificially make one feel more secure. If you need security you need a better more communicative relationship not marriage. Love that needs a legal document is no love at all.
Instead of marriage, why not be together because you love each other and want to be together. There is no need to "own" each other. Being sexually exclusive against nature, is not part of commitment nor should it be part of marriage. Expecting that of a mate is the opposite of love. Love wants the other fulfilled and it doesn't have to put the relationship at risk at all, as so many swingers and polyamory people know.
I realize there are practical problems with this view since there are certain legal and tax advantages to marriage. But I simply point out perhaps its time to rethink our view of marriage and whether or not its an outdated unneeded institution for some people who choose life long commitments to honestly and communications based on love not marriage.
USA Today Highlights from "Wedded to their relationship but not to marriage"
An interview with Janna Cordeiro and Stephan Toomey who had lived together 10 years said:
They do not need wedding vows to cement a union. "We didn't want a relationship based on some false sense of security...Our relationship is about getting up and treating each other each day with respect and love. I don't need a marriage license to give me that"
The "marriage industry" infuriates Janna. "A friends father just spent $40,000 on a wedding."
After 10 years together they are planning some lifestyle changes, including having a baby and moving to San Francisco. But they will not be looking for a justice of the peace. "We will get the paperwork done if we have a child to protect his or her legal rights. But I am not concerned about any stigma. The most important thing is the child is loved, not whether we have a marriage license."
Another man writes on cohabitation before marriage
My present wife and I cohabitated before we married. Of course it was only for 10 short months. We have been married for 19 years now. If I were to do it over again, I would of cohabitated much longer. We may never of been married. My wife and I are Christians but I am leaning more towards the idea of a man and woman could still mate without man's legal bonds. If my wife and I did cohabitate longer, I know that I would not of married her because some things did come out latter that proved we were different. How long would we have cohabitated? Not long because she believed in saving herself for marriage. Well we are married and we do have one child. She still does not believe in much sex. I have a problem with that because being a man, I like sex often. So how have I survived all these years? Well to be honest, I have had numerous affairs. Yikes!! You may cry. How can I be a Christian and have affairs? It is a long story but in the Bible it mentions men being able to lay with other women as long as they are not part of another man. I try to believe that all the time but it still plays in my mind as being wrong. On the other hand, I do have an appetite that is not filled at home.
Dave comments: We never condone dishonest "affairs" on the other hand, we certainly understand why they occur. I hear about so many marriages where men are so frustrated by boring wives that think sex is dirty and just for procreation. And I even hear from wives that want more sex than their husbands provide, so it does work both ways. We suggest honest communications about these issues however, not dishonest affairs. This is where professional sexworkers could be very useful but its illegal in the U.S., unlike most all other countries in the world outside the Middle East!. In many cultures having mistresses as in Europe, or second/third wives in Asia, or going to sexworkers in most of the world is a viable positive option when marriages are mismatched in regard to sexual desires. Spouses may sincerely love each other and there is no reason to divorce. But there is also nothing wrong with honestly getting sexual fulfillment outside if that is necessary.
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