Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love

Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love

I saw that quote on Twitter last night, and I don’t mind admitting that I was quite incensed by it. Who are you to tell me that I cannot truly love my wife? How dare you!

Upon asking this person to validate their statement , I was told that “The Bibbie (sic) says it very well about man and woman.” Sigh. Of course it does. Anyway, I was eventually given a link to an article that presumably was supposed to explain it all for me. It was late, the article was long, but I promised this person I would read it and get back to them. So here it is…

I’m not entirely sure how to go about replying to this. There are so many approaches I could take. I could dismantle the article paragraph by paragraph, but I feel that would take more of my time than it’s worth. I toyed with the idea of creating a parody, based on Star Wars that showed how incest is ok, because Luke kissed his own sister. (I’m sure there’s something worse in the Bible, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to substitute one fantastic story for another).

To be fair, the article is very detailed and makes a good argument of pointing out the various laws and so forth, based on choice quotes from the Bible. The unfortunate thing is of course, that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of stories written 2,000 years ago by primitive men with an extremely limited world view. But, as promised, I read the entire thing. Now let’s see if @TonySenatore will return the courtesy…

Much of the article talks about the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, and I actually happen to agree with this. It’s not an outrageous proposition, and I do think it makes a lot of sense. If two people are going to commit themselves to each other, then they should at least take the matter seriously. What I do not agree with, is the scope of the so-called “adultery” that the article believes is sinful.

My wife and I both had previous sexual partners before we even knew each other existed. And this, if I understand correctly, is tantamount to adultery in the eyes of the Lord. I suppose we could have remained virgins until we met, but since one of us was divorced with two children, that would have been somewhat difficult (miraculous virgin births notwithstanding). But hey, according to Bob Deffinbaugh, the articles author, it is perfectly fine to get divorced if your partner is adulterous. So that’s good, at least one of us managed to dodge a sin there.

But let’s assume that we both sinned before we ever met, and move on to the next argument, from Genesis 39:7-10:

“And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

According to the logic in the article, Jospeh is a hero because he did not sleep with his masters wife. But so what? We do not need to invoke ancient rules, outlandish deities and other nonsense to see this! Joseph is a decent, honest man – that much is clear. But by the same token, so is any man (or woman) who takes their commitments seriously. We don’t need to invoke God in order to realize that adultery will generally end up hurting someone. It is a logical progression towards the Golden Rule, that can be arrived at independently from religion. (In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other”). In fact, if we do invoke God, we end up instead with a great deal of conflicting advice.

I could go on and on and dissect and dismiss the entire article, but I really have better things to do with my time. Suffice it to say, that my wife and I are perfecly happy in our marriage. We do not need or want a creepy ménage à trois with Jesus watching in the corner, nodding His approval whenever we make love with the lights off. Our marriage is ours. We made a commitment to each other and we take that commitment seriously.

In fact, I put it to you that you cannot know “true love” if your mind is filled with notions of a spiritual third party watching over you all the time. How can you give one hundred percent of yourself to your partner if you are also in love with your imaginary friend? How does it feel to know you are less important to your spouse than a man who died 2,000 years ago?

My wife is the most important person in the world to me – she does not play second fiddle to anyone, real or imaginary.

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3 Responses to Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love

  1. Daniel says:

    Hey bud,
    First I would like to thank you for following my blog “The Book” and hope it opens up some positive discourse. I believe the quote means that husbands and wives should be faithful to each other, not that those of us who have had sexual relations before marriage or have been married before cannot be in love. True love is shown through our commitment to our spouses, through our love and submission to the relationship. You obviously hold that commitment, and there is no reason to say your marriage is not loving. I am happy that your marriage is a committed, loving marriage.
    Is it sinful to have sexual partners before being married? It can certainly be a hurtful, painful experience to have sexual relations outside of marriage. It causes guilt and shame. It would also be wonderful to save ourselves for the ones that we are truly committed to. We could say that sex before marriage may be disrespectful to your future wife. What greater symbol of love could anyone give to their future spouse than to save yourself completely, that they would be the only one? Yet, it does not mean that those of us who have had premarital sex are incapable of true love.
    Christian life is a choice, and I do not offer the following as a commandment, or in arrogance, only to explain how I have chosen to live. Christian Marriage is symbolic of the joining of Christ and his church. Hence, the desire would be for it to be untainted. If the gentleman posting the quote was inferring it to be judgmental, then he was mistaken. No one can judge another, as we have all sinned in one form or another. In the Bible, a group of elder priests brought a woman who had committed adultery before Jesus demanding she be stoned. Jesus told them that whoever had no sin could cast the first stone. None of them could do it. Jesus carried the weight, the guilt, the regrets, the pain of our sins, and we can, even with our past, live a pure marriage. You are correct in asserting there are many sexual sins in the books of the Bible, none of which end well. That is why God had enough. He did not want us to hurt each other in that way. Adultery, indeed, is a destructive sin. I mention it in my current study on sins and forgiveness.
    Consider this: You ask how my spouse feels that I put Jesus ahead of her in my life. What you fail to see is that putting Jesus ahead of her requires me to love her much more, to respect her much more. Jesus says that if I even lust after another woman in my mind, I am committing adultery. His standards for love and marriage are so high, that with Jesus in the marriage, there can be no greater love for your spouse. You don’t lose by having Jesus in your marriage, you only gain more. Yes, I put Jesus first, and by putting him first, my wife is loved all the more in a union blessed by God. But I choose to do this, and while you may not agree with it, I only ask for your respect of my beliefs. You, of course, are free to live as you choose. Can you live a moral life without Jesus? Yes, I think you can reason your way into some sort of morality. But reason does not tell you to love your neighbor, to love your wife, to give to the poor. Reason is not an unbiased system, that always leads to the greater good. Reason is a basis of self preservation, whatever is in the best interest of self. You can reason your way into anything, and man often does. Jesus tells us to love everyone and to take care of everyone regardless. Reason can’t and doesn’t do that. I would love to discuss this with you in more detail; you can email me at: jesusmessage2012@gmail.com.

  2. Pingback: What is “true love”? | Faith or Fiction?

  3. E.Ly says:

    Hello there, I think you misunderstood the quotation. It is more about the meaning of chastity and it’s connection to love. If you understand what chastity actually is, the quote becomes clear. Chastity is not about celibacy. In fact, married people, celibate people, single people, can live in chastity. It is simple the proper use of our sexuality according to our vocation in life. Karol Wojtyla (who later became Pope John Paul II) wrote the book from which that quotation came from, “Love and Responsibility” give it a try, it’s extremely interesting. He was a philosopher, an anthropologist, and artist and a theologian.

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