During our retreat last weekend the speaker told a story (of which I will no doubt get some of the details wrong) about a couple of drug addicts who had just decided to become followers of Christ. The next day they asked the pastor and his friend if Ouija boards were okay. The pastor and his friend didn’t want to “set out a law” for them, so they told the lady to ask God. She did and God told her that he didn’t want her to use them because they would chain her and he wanted her to be free; he said that they would chain her because they promote fear of the future.
I have had similar thoughts recently with respect to sexual intimacy and marriage (NOT that it chains you!). Perhaps this is just a false idea that has spread, but it does seem that marriage isn’t as big of a deal to people these days as it used to be. No doubt the frequent instances of divorce are partially to blame. In addition, I think the fact that so many people don’t save intimacy for marriage is also an issue here (whether they “go all the way” or not). For people who are deeply intimate before marriage, there is not as much to look forward to when they get married, compared to those who “wait.” Hence, for many people marriage because a restriction rather than a freedom. Marriage can even become just a legal contract to signify that they are now “restricted” to one person and that it will now be harder for them to end the relationship with the person they are with. (I’m certain this is overstating it, and I’m sure [at least hopeful!] that everyone in our culture looks forward to their wedding, but . . .) For people who save sexual intimacy for after marriage, their wedding is a wonderful celebration of their relationship together with a great crescendo and grand finale in which they continue to celebrate their love for one another in a way that they never have before. Marriage is, in these instances, no restriction, but only a new freedom with a new celebration of love which will continue (with God’s help) for many years.