We Are This Desperate?
I don’t really have time to blog today. Got clients coming soon. Gotta say something. Can’t just not say anything. I promised in a previous blog I’d be writing in the near term about the question, Is Perversion in the Marital Bed Okay? Crap. It’s a very depressing subject. I wish all my blogs could be about trips to Boone, Iowa (my last blog post).
But, alas. Evil rears it’s ugly head. I can’t NOT say anything. Clients come to see me because of the evil in their lives. We can’t deal with evil if we don’t name it. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t name. If you don’t name it, it doesn’t exit.
My wife doesn’t like that I need to write about these horrid topics. I used to write a column for a denominational magazine. It was positive, up beat. Like the thought I just had of the drier going off and it was my wife who turned it on before heading into work a half an hour ago. She’s not here, but she leaves trail of blessing to me and ours.
I’d rather write about that. Our trail of blessing. That’d be sweet. Encouraging even. But then I see this. Somebody has to say something. Somebody has to name it. Somebody has to say there’s an enemy we’re fighting.
I’m flipping channels. I used to do that more. Aimless. Flip. Flip. Flip. I try not to do that much. But this night, last night, I’m home after hearing stories of hurt and shame. I’m looking for something light. A little levity. A snatch of joy. Relax a bit.
But no. I happen on ABC and a story of a couple who’s broke and is resorting to filming their bedroom encounters online to make a living for their unseemly website. I see this for about 10 seconds. 15? before I switch the channel. Enough to catch them disrobing and the announcer making it sound like this is a walk in the park. A couple’s gotta do what a couple’s gotta do. Nothing immoral here at all. Maybe even admiration at their inventiveness.
There’s supposed to be a lock on the bedroom door. The marital bed is undefiled. The marriage bed is a holy temple. We don’t allow any other gods in this temple. No porn. No objects of worship like ropes and chains. No S & M. No bondage. No fantasies of somebody else. No fantasies that your wife or husband is somebody else. No fantasies that you want to dominate or hurt or be dominated or hurt. Sexuality between a husband and wife is to be holy, a bringing together, a reminder of their oneness.
Sexuality in marriage is supposed to be very tender. Very sacred. Holy, even. IF. IF. If it is protected by marriage. That’s your job: to protect your spouse, protect you, protect your marriage and your marital bed from the evil in your own heart. Your sexual times are holy times. Just you two. No one else. You become one in the process. God smiles. You feel blessed. Close. Renewed. Together.
But if instead you think perverted thoughts of others or of your wife or husband as your slave or you all tied up or your spouse standing over you in domination? Or you fantasizing about someone else? Or you make it simply an object of observation by others? A performance at the circus? A video camera and thousands (millions?) of other lost souls lusting after imaginary pixels on a screen. You’d sell your soul to the devil for this?
This stuff comes from the gates of Hell. Purge it from your heart and if you can’t, get on your knees, but don’t bring into your bedroom.
But Dr. Wall…you don’t understand. What if they both WANT to do the video thing? Neither is protesting? It’s their marriage. They can do whatever they want, right? Dr. Wall, you are so judgmental. Lighten up, already. Two consenting adults who are married to each other can do whatever they want.
Is it Okay to murder somebody if he wants you to murder him? Marriage means you have a boundary around the two of you. You are going to be married, but you are not going to respect the boundary of marriage? Whom are you trying to kid? Marriage is supposed to be about protection of each other physically, emotionally and spiritually and you are going to expose your spouse willingly to embarrassment and degradation, not to mention degrading yourself? Or that you are defrauding the very boundary you promised to protect? If your spouse tells you to humiliate him in the act of sex, you’d willingly do that? How is that honoring and protecting?
Can we just be done with the idea that the purpose of sex is pleasure? Could we even count the ways that marriage has been defaced by the god of pleasure? Just because it makes you happy doesn’t mean you should do it. The purpose of sex is the tangible experience of the spiritual oneness of marriage. It’s not a license to do whatever your heart says. If your heart is telling you to break the boundary of protection and exclusivity in your marriage then your heart is pretty dark.
But you say, Dr. Wall, this is who I am. I’ve always been this way. I cannot change.
Just because you have proclivity to gossip does it mean you should? Just because you have a tendency to get mad, does it mean you shouldn’t work on that? Just because you have a devious, deviant desire, does it mean you should just go ahead and do it? There’s no self-control at all? Whatever your heart says, do? And then you say the only value you share is that you both agree? What if you are both wrong? You can ask Bonnie and Clyde about that.
This stuff defiles you. It defiles your spouse. It defiles your marriage. It causes you to doubt your spouse’s integrity. Lust breeds lust. It’s an unquenchable fire that keeps burning unless you quit feeding it. The more you feed it the less you become, because what it is feeding on is your very life, cannibalizing you one cell at a time until there’s nothing left. Your marriage will self destruct way before that more than likely.
This is why cohabitation without marriage is so insidious. It’s just like marriage, right? It’s just us? We might have a kid or two together? We might even own a house together? Isn’t that enough? Yeah, we’re not married. Why? Oh. Ah. We’re not mature enough to get married(!). We have to save more money. Well, we’re not ready to get married. I have to see.
Have to see.
Have to see.
And when will you have seen enough?
We’re so desperate we can’t wait for anything? Marriage isn’t worth waiting for? If it’s not worth waiting for is the relationship even worth anything? Just feelings? What happens when your impatience wears down your feelings? What then?
Sexuality is so tender, so precious, so delicate, that it needs a holy temple to protect it. The holy temple is marriage. The holy temple is not a child or a mortgage or sharing rent. All that is is roommates. Roommates with no protection. No promises. Nothing certain. Enter insecurity, loss of trust and chaos and unending relationship problems.
Sex without marriage is sheer pleasure for pleasure’s sake. For awhile. Then it becomes a burden and a bore. The quickest way to kill your sex life going forward is to have it outside the temple in the courtyard. No walls. No roof. No protection. No trust. No certainty. No sanctity. No beauty. Just raw selfishness. Married or not. Go ahead. Try it. See how well you do. And then you wonder why you have problems?
You want hot sex? Try ONLY having it in the holy temple for 30 plus years. It just starts to get interesting. Becoming one? Whoa, baby!
You can take your marriage out of the temple. Just put a video camera in front of it. Objectify it. Take the holiness out it altogether. Make your spouse a slave. Nothing about humility here or being a servant or sacrificial love. Nothing special here. Just bodies commingling. Like animals. We’re not people.
In ancient Israel, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year to make a special sacrifice for the Children of Israel. He had a cord tied around him to pull him out in case he died in there. If he died in there no one else was allowed in the temple. They’d drag him out.
No one else was allowed in the temple.
No one else was allowed in the temple.
Except we two. Just us. No cameras. No videos. No websites. No sexual toys. No strangers. No idols. No ropes. No chains. No blindfolds. We’re not going to be paid to be sexual. We’re not going to prostitute ourselves for someone else’s pleasure. We’re not going to.
We’re not going to.
You can take the holiness of marriage and pervert it if you aren’t careful.
Unfortunately, a lot of us aren’t careful.
There’s no temple. There’s no holiness. We do it whenever, wherever, with whatever and whomever under every green tree.
You do this and then you wonder why you are anxious? Depressed? Unhappy? Suspicious? Insecure? Lost?
I’d don’t wonder for a minute.
Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa. To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473. For more information about Dr. Wall click here.