We begin with the premise that everything that God created has a distinct and unique purpose to itself for the benefit of all of creation. From the trees, to the elements, to the metals, to the animals; each thing of creation has its own purpose and these things are also a part of the community of things purposed by God for the betterment of the whole, and, ultimately, the salvation of humankind.
It is not difficult to agree that all things in creation have a purpose, but what is difficult for us to do is to respect the purpose for which those things were originally created. And, unfortunately, it is through that disrespect of the purpose and order for which God created things that we lose sight of their natural benefit and, consequently, abuse them.
Concerning humans, when we reject the purpose for which we were created it always leads us to the objectification of each other, genocide, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, and all other sorts of evils. That is, when we fail to truly see each other for that which were created to be, we will always inevitably end up demeaning one another. In other words, if I fail to see my neighbor for who he or she truly is in Christ I will always end up giving them less than what they deserve in Christ.
Homosexuality and homosexual marriage are on the rise globally, fewer and fewer men and women are choosing the get married to each other, the percentage of single mothers and fathers is higher now than it has been at any other time in the history of the world, and the frequency of casual sex is increasing in the United States and several other European countries. And the reason why of these things are happening, I argue, is because the majority of us are simply forgetting or ignoring the purpose for which we were created by God.
This article will address God’s intended purpose of Marriage and Conjugal Love (Sex). We know for certain that God purposed conjugal love for marriage because the three elements of marriage and conjugal love are both distinctly identical and uniquely inseparable. Those three elements are: (1) Unitive, (2) Procreative and (3) Holy, and are explained below:
Conjugal Love and Marriage are Unitive
Conjugal love has two unitive features; first, it brings together opposites, and it is because these two persons are opposites that they are also unitive – they naturally fit together. Secondly, the act of conjugal love itself is a unitive act as the man literally enters the woman and becomes one with her.
Likewise, marriage also shares these two unitive features. Marriage unites opposites, not identicals. Indeed, it is the mystery unique marriage itself that two completely different genders of human beings can come together in marriage and complete one another so perfectly. Secondly, when marriage is a Sacrament (an action of the Church through which Christ continues to minister to His people), God takes that man and that woman and makes them one new creature. Like conjugal love, through the Sacrament of Marriage, man and woman become truly one new person. “Jesus said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Matthew 19:5-6).
Therefore, marriage was made for sex and sex was made for marriage. They belong to each other. This is why we find that sex outside of marriage is never fulfilling in a permanent or lasting way because it grieves the very purpose for which our bodies were created. In this way, sex outside of marriage is frustrating because we simultaneously desire it in a permanent way, but in situations that we know are temporary. That is, sex outside of marriage can only offer us partners who we can not give all of ourselves to because we know in our heart that they do not truly belong to us.
Our bodies were created for conjugal love; not for random or casual sex. Who would drive an automobile into an ocean and expect it to float like a sailboat? The automobile was not created or purposed to sail. In the same way, our bodies were not created or purposed for sex outside of marriage. It is to that opposite gender human being that we commit our earthly life to, that we also give complete possession of every aspect of our life and body. Conjugal love was purposed to be a permanent offering to our spouse, for the betterment of each other and for the procreation of children. Therefore, any sexual activity of our bodies outside of the bond of marriage demeans the very purpose for which God created it.
Conjugal Love and Marriage are Procreative
A special biological feature of humans, indeed, most mammals, is their procreative nature. Because conjugal love is for opposites it is unitive and because it is unitive it is also procreative – it brings forth new life. These opposites in holy matrimony come together to create a new thing that is composed of an equal amount of chromosomes from each one of them, and the new life that they create is permanent; meaning that man and woman cannot uncreated what their union has created. Because marriage is permanent, so is the new life that marriage produces.
It is true that sex outside of marriage can produce new life, but we know for certain that God only desired new human life to come forth through marriage because marriage is the only thing that has all of the essential elements that new human life needs to help it fulfill its created purpose. In marriage, the opposite and unique dimensions of motherhood and fatherhood help to provide their children with all those things that they need to have a successful start in life.
Therefore, marriage is life-giving in a way that sexual relationships outside of marriage can never be. Yes, casual sexual relationships can produce new human life, but they lack the permanent and functional dimensions that can truly give a child a whole start in life.
Conjugal Love and Marriage are Holy
Because conjugal love and marriage were both purposed by God for each other, they are both holy acts when they are for each other. That is, sex is never a dirty thing between man and woman when it is offered in the confines of holy matrimony. On the contrary, conjugal love is a good and holy thing because God gave to man and woman for the life of their marriage, so that, though it, they could become one thing and bring forth new life.
In contrast, casual, recreational, and business-oriented sex are always immoral acts, because they offend God’s will, they objectify the other person – turning them into objects of sexual pleasure, they diminish the value of the other person, they have the potential to bring forth new life into a situation that is not to their human advantage, and they scandalize their entire community.
Marriage and conjugal love not only belong together, but they were made for each other from the very beginning. There are so many great benefits that come by the way of waiting for marriage to have sex. The first of which were explored in this article – to wait for marriage to have sex is natural and it fulfills God’s purpose for you and your body. Moreover, sex before and outside of marriage always clouds feelings, it makes courtship inauthentic and artificial. There is a divine order to things and when that order is broken everything that follows it is damaged. If we are having sex with people who were are married to before we get married, there is nothing to stop us from having sex with people who we are not married to after we get married. It is a far better life to follow God’s intended purpose for us and the proper order of things from the beginning, rather than to have to suffer the consequences of not doing so.