Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Have an Absolutely Fantabulous Marriage in 10 Easy Steps--Some Things Should be Sacred II

I know that a lot of people will disagree with me about this post, but I feel that it is very important that I share it.  Just because I am saying that I think you're wrong, that does not mean that I don't love and respect you, so please be kind and respect my freedom of speech as I respect yours.

Things that are sacred should not be taken lightly. Marriage is sacred, as is your relationship with your spouse and their trust. Sexual intimacy is sacred and should not be treated casually or shared outside of marriage.

Abstinence before marriage is a legitimate option. My husband and I are both so grateful that we chose not to share that part of ourselves with anyone else or even with each other until we were married. It has brought us so much closer, and enabled us to see sex as the God-given gift that it is and use it purely as an expression of love. I'm so grateful that I never have to try not to think of anyone else when I'm with my husband.

Once you're married, that doesn't necessarily mean that anything goes. You still need to respect the sanctity of intimacy, and you still need to be faithful to your spouse. Decide with your spouse and the Lord what is righteous, and what you are comfortable with. Don't push your spouse to do things that they are uncomfortable with, even if you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

Fidelity to your spouse obviously excludes having sex with anyone else, but there are other ways of being unfaithful. The Lord said "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt 5:28). (Women, this scripture applies to you as well.) Sometimes bad thoughts will come into your mind. Sometimes images or words or music that are offensive are put in front of you and it's not your fault. What is your fault is when you continue to entertain those thoughts, or keep looking or listening. When you do something with the intent to have sexual thoughts or feelings about another person besides your spouse, this is a sin.

Pornography is not a righteous thing. It is a form of infidelity, it is harmful not only to yourself, but to your marriage, your family, and it damages your view of sexuality, changing it from something Godly to something base, dirty, and sinful. Whether it's videos, pictures, books, music, you-name-it, if it causes you to think of someone other than your spouse in a sexual way, stop it. It doesn't matter the rating, the medium, or who recommended it to you. If your mind starts wandering places you shouldn't go, get away from it. Run like Joseph did from Potiphar's wife. Run and don't look back.

Porn not only ruins your view of sexuality, but of love, people, and bodies. Sex is not love. It can and aught to be a way of expressing  love, but lust is not the same as love. Pornography damages your ability to see the difference and recognize pure, godly love. Porn objectifies men and women, and their bodies, turning them into objects meant solely for gratification. We not only see this in explicit pornography, but in advertising everywhere. We need to see people first and foremost as children of our Heavenly Father, not bodies to be stared at.

Don't allow yourself to become too emotionally attached to anyone other than your spouse. Guard your emotions. Even if the feelings you have for someone else aren't sexual, they can still be unfaithful in nature. It can harm your relationship with your spouse. Remember to love your spouse more than anyone. "Cleave unto her [or him] and none else" (Gen 2; D&C 42:22.)

If you already have a problem with infidelity or pornography or anything else I've talked about, it's not too late to change. Because of the Savior's atonement you can start over, multiple times a day if you have to. He loves you, he will forgive you, and he can help you to rebuild your life. If you find that you have an addiction to pornography or anything else and can't kick the habit on your own, seek help. It's ok. There are lots of fantastic resources to help you overcome it. Talk to your church leaders, find addiction recovery groups in your community, ask your family members and friends for help and support. You can do it.

Marriage and family are central to God's plan for our salvation and happiness. Sex is also a part of that plan--not just for bringing children into the world, but for our enjoyment and for expressing love to our spouse. Because it is so sacred, we must treat it that way. The Lord loves us. We can do hard things, we can obey his commandments, and we can love and respect our spouses (current or future.)

If you're interested, here are some great talks on the same topics I covered.
Protection from Pornography--a Christ Centered Home
Personal Purity
Sanctify Yourselves: This talk was given specifically to an audience of men but it applies to everyone
Nurturing Marriage
LDS Addiction Recovery

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Dana. Well said. Thankyou for taking the time to write this down and share it! :-)


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