When a man and a woman love each other and decide to get married and have a family, this should include a promise of monogamy and loyalty, in thoughts and actions.
Marriage isn’t just the legitimization of sex. The forming of a family isn’t just getting married and having kids. God's marriage union is where the Bible says a man and a woman become "of one flesh." It is where the love of God is revealed through parents, to their children and many generations to come.
All that God has given us is good. And everything that he does has the purpose of revealing his glory. As believers, we need to understand that sex is one of the divine gifts that God has provided for our happiness. Sex is the power to create life, and it is natural that there are specific guidelines on the use of this privilege. Theologian David A. Bednar said, “The way we view and use this sublime power will largely determine our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity.”
Distorted understanding of the sexual relationship
Unfortunately, society today has false expectations about sex and marriage. Most of us have early exposure to sexuality through fashion that dictates what is attractive and sexy, in novels, television, movies, the Internet and even pornography. These sources may promote an attitude of free sex with anyone at any time. It is confusing love with desire.
This view focuses too much on the physical nature of sex and not on the whole experience of working in harmony with your partner. Man and woman were made for each other. It is the reciprocal giving and receiving that links not just bodies, but minds and hearts. It isn’t just a physical and sexual pleasure, but also one that is mental and spiritual.
We need to seek information in correct places about sex. Hugh B. Brown has noted: “Many marriages have been wrecked on the dangerous rocks of ignorant and debased sex behavior, both before and after marriage. Gross ignorance on the part of newlyweds on the subject of the proper place and functioning of sex results in much unhappiness and many broken homes. “Thousands of young people come to the marriage altar almost illiterate insofar as this basic and fundamental function is concerned. … “If they who contemplate this most glorifying and intimate of all human relationships [marriage] would seek to qualify for its responsibilities. … if they would frankly discuss the delicate and sanctifying aspects of harmonious sex life which are involved in marriage, … much sorrow, heartbreak, and tragedy could be avoided.” (You and Your Marriage, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960, pp. 22–23, 73.)
Indiscriminate sex: The destruction of society and the disappearance of families
Sex used in a distorted form is the reason for the suffering of many families. The consequences are:
Lack of natural affection
Sexually transmitted disease
History has shown it has not only led to the destruction of families, but the fall of entire kingdoms. Reducing the seriousness of casual sex has led to denigration of society and the family unit.
Chastity: Exercising Loyalty
Abstinence before marriage is training for fidelity and loyalty through rough times in marriage.
One attractive young friend couple were so happy and in love people couldn't help feeling happy around them. After a few years of being married, a tragic accident made the wife a quadriplegic. This made their physical relationship difficult. Her husband cared for and loved her even more. She was willing to let him go and "be happy" with someone else, but he stood firmly by her. Today, over 20 years later, they say they love each other more than ever. This is the kind of divine love which transcends sexual desires.
Sex is an important and pleasurable part of married life. God has not given us this gift as a mere amusement or satisfaction of bodily desires. There are not any instructions from the Lord stating that sex between a husband and wife should be only for procreation. However, the kind of indiscriminate sex we see in society is also not approved anywhere.
Sex as a complement to a divine marriage
Some think that happiness is always in the next conquest. Marriage expert Spencer W. Kimball said, “A person can feel immediately attracted to another, but love goes beyond physical attraction. It is something deep, inclusive and comprehensive. Physical attraction is only one of several elements; there must be faith, trust, understanding and unity. There must be common ideals and standards. There must be great devotion to one another and fellowship. Love includes purity, progress, sacrifice and selflessness. That kind of love never tires or wanes, but continues to live in the midst of sickness and sorrow, poverty and privation, triumphs and disappointments, in time and in eternity. For the love to continue to exist there must be a steady increase in confidence and understanding, sincere and frequent expressions of gratitude and affection. Each must forget yourself and worry constantly with each other. Interests, hopes and goals are to continuously converge to the same point.”
The urgent need to teach children and protect them so that they find real happiness
Teach your children the sacredness of sex in marriage. Bednar says sex is not a “curiosity to be explored, one appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment."
Teach your children what God actually does expect of a man and a woman in relation to sex and marriage. They must know how to invest time and patience in marriage through the example that you have given to them and not what society teaches. They will not only experience sex as God wants it when they get married, but also the divine happiness that follows keeping his laws.