Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage:
“Kathleen and Thomas Hart refer to the ‘paschal mystery’ of marriage – the process of dying and rising as a pattern of life for married people. Each day we must die to our own desires and rise as a servant. Each day we are called to identify with the suffering Christ on the cross, and then be empowered by the resurrected Christ. We die to our expectations, our demands, and our fears. We rise to compromise, service and courage.
In this sense, a true Christian marriage proposal is an offer, not a request. Rather than saying in effect, ‘Will you do this for me?’ when we invite another to enter the marriage relationship, the real question should be, ‘Will you accept what I want to give?'”
Thomas goes on to apply this principle to the distinctly Christian shape this gives to the sexual life of Christian husbands and wives:
“Sex gives us a capacity to give to someone in a startlingly unique and human way. And yet sex is often used to take, to demand, to coerce, to shame, and to harm.
Honestly ask yourself these questions: Is sex something I’m giving to my spouse, or withholding? Is sex something I am demanding, or offering? Is sex something I am using as a tool of manipulation, or as an expression of generous love? If God looked at nothing other than my sexuality, would I be known as a mature Christian or as a near pagan?”
Mary Eberstadt, author of “Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution”, interviewed in The City:
“whenever you start saying something is inevitable, some series of facts are going to come along and clobber you. If you think about all the predictions of inevitability: Marxism, communism, claiming that they have inevitable victory on its side. That didn’t work. Think of things in your own lifetime that seemed inevitable.
When I was a kid it seemed inevitable that almost all adults would smoke and smoke a lot. That changed. That changed drastically. What I’m saying is that, when you have large social phenomena you can’t ever take for granted the idea that they are there to stay, for better or for worse. And my point about the sexual revolution is that it hasn’t been looked at that way yet, but the empirical record is such that it is high time that it get looked at that way – that is, get looked at as something that does not necessarily govern the world of 100 years from now the way it governs our world.”
“A couple of years ago I received a poignant email from a man who said, among other things, that he did accept the Church’s teaching and was trying to live up to it. But he still wondered: What happens if I change my mind? What happens if, years from now, I look back on my celibate life—will I regret it? Will it seem like an enormous waste?
I think it depends. If one’s celibacy is purely rule-following, then yeah, once you no longer believe the rules I think probably you’ll regret the sacrifices you made to follow them.
But if you pour out your love for others in friendship and service, if you offer your struggles and your need for surrender as a sacrifice to Christ, if you love God and those around you as deeply as you can in the best way you understand right now—I think even if you change your mind later, that won’t be something to regret. One of the biggest truths about love is that it’s never a waste of time.”
Eve Tushnet, HERE.