“To Have and To Hold, From This Day Forward”
The culture we live in is addicted to sex.
You can’t even market a stick of gum without having to use some cleavage, a sweaty guy working on a truck, and possibly a waterfall in the background. “Sex sells” is the tattoo that all marketing students received when they graduate college it seems.
Children are being exposed to sex at younger and younger ages and these children are becoming parents so young that it almost makes the show 16 and Pregnant seem like those couples waited a long time.
In our world, we are able to fulfill any sexual fantasies we have at the click of a button or the swipe of a credit card. We spend enough money in America on pornography each year that if that amount of money were spent on world hunger it wouldn’t exist.
Tragically, this addiction to sex has done more than causing us to buy more cars and loosen our computer firewalls. This addiction has robbed marriage of one of its most important vows.
When we look our spouse in the eyes on our wedding day and vow, “I will have you and hold you from this day forward” we are promising to them they are our one and only intimate relationship. That I will hold you close, care for you, and place you as my standard of beauty forever.
Sadly, in today’s world this vow really means:
- I will have you and hold you until the day I find something more sexually gratifying.
- I will have you and hold you as long as you don’t gain a bunch of weight.
- I will have you and hold you, but I will be having and holding other people behind your back.
- I will have you and hold you so I can use sex like a weapon in our marriage to get what I want.
But God’s design was not for us to have Sexual ADHD where we can’t focus on one partner for more than 6 seconds before we move on. God wants for us to have and hold each other in the bonds of marriage for more than our sexual gratification. He wants us to demonstrate to our spouse our promise to be completely vulnerable, completely trustworthy, and completely there for them no matter what.
However, if relational monogamy were all it took to have a successful marriage then why don’t more work? If all we had to do were to have a good sex life, try hard, and just do enough good things to stay together then why is the divorce rate still 50%?
The reality is that God needs to be part of all areas of your marriage including your sex life.
Listen to the words of King Solomon.
“…if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
Let me be quick to remind you that God created sex. It wasn’t like Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden playing Jenga one day and said “You know what? I think I’ve got an idea!” No…God created it from the beginning.
That means that He wants us to enjoy it not just for our satisfaction, but for His glory. When we enjoy the gift of sex that He designed, in the context of marriage, we actually are worshiping Him. But when “to have and to hold” is only words and not a God-driven vow we lose sight of His design.
Our only hope for a lasting marriage is to get beyond the physical and find our strength in Christ. That is when you really will have a marriage truly worth having and holding onto.