It is indubitably true that marriage is facing a variety of novel changes and challenges. No one is oblivious of the fact that the legalization of same-sex marriage in some parts of the world heightened the daily risk of discrimination faced by many people. All in the name of freedom/modernity, man has decided to marry and consummate with his fellow man. Women too are not excused in this regard. Right before our very eyes, we see a man taking another man as his lawful wedded wife or woman taking another woman as her lawful wedded wife. This abnormality is also creeping into some churches and sweeping away moral consciousness from the corridors of churches in the world. This article therefore, gives an insight into marriage in the modern world, in order to help retrace our steps back to the original plan of God for marriage: Male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27; 5:2).
WHAT IS MARRIAGE?
This is the union between a man and woman for the purpose of companionship, procreation and domination of the world. It is the root of the family and humanity, because God has designed sexuality for couples so that they can share in their intimacy and be open to procreation. According to McSweeney Léonie, “the long-term is the continuation of the human race, but the immediate object of intercourse is to provide man and woman with a unique means of expressing their love for each other in marriage.” This is to further say that God’s reason for designing marriage is not only for procreation, but for companionship of a man and woman and to subdue the earth. Any sexual union besides a woman and man is not morally valid, but a disordered form of sexuality that is an opposition to marriage. This is the very reason and only way that humankind can multiply.
SEXUALITY AND ITS VARIOUS FORMS
Many individuals have defined sexuality in different ways depending on how they perceive its attributes. Sexuality is defined by Chambers 21st Century Dictionary as a state or condition that involves all the activities, feelings and desires of sex. According to Léonie, “Sex involves a person’s whole being. It is not merely genital. Genital sex refers only to contact between the male and female reproductive organs which is known as Heterosexuality. This is a natural form of sexual practice between a woman and man and is the commonest known form of sexuality, although human distortions have led to the other various forms and modernity has made them as common as what they are in recent times. The word ‘non genital’ covers all other expressions of our sexuality.”
Homosexuality: This sexual practice has given rise to great and heated debates. It involves same sex ie, a woman and a fellow woman called Lesbianism or in the form of a man and a fellow man otherwise known as Gay.
Bisexuality: Some people also practice both heterosexuality of woman and man and still involve in bisexuality or ambisexuality. That is to say, they are sexually attracted to the same kind of sex as themselves and sexually attracted to their opposite sex as well. In this case, they indulge in the sexual relationship of their same kind of sex and the opposite sex. These people practice homosexuality and heterosexuality at the same time. For this, they are called bisexuals, because they are attracted and practice sexual relationship with two sexes, hence the name “bi” a combination of two forms of a thing.
Bestiality: Aside these three, there are also persons that are sexually attracted to animals and even practice sexuality with their pets or other animals. This form of sexual practice is called bestiality. People who involve in this tend to keep certain kinds of animals around them to satisfy their sexual urge anytime it comes up. They keep the particular animal they are sexually attracted to in their homes or other places they go to.
Transgenders: Although transgender it is not a form of sexual practice, but it opposes or violates the rules of human sexes. These people love to appear like the opposite sex, whereas they are not. Some of them desire it so strongly that they begin to dress, act and even undergo surgery so as to look or become physically like the opposite sex. The strong impulse is greatly achieved when they become like the opposite sex. This too alter the natural form of human sexuality regarding marriage because they look like the opposite of the human sex that they are naturally not.
Pedophilia: Pedophilia is not a modern breed of sexual practice but it also opposes the natural way of having sex, which is itself a vice. It is a vice because sexuality as a marital bond was designed by God, and marriage as a sacred means of procreation should be done by people who have attained a mature sensible age of the right of marital choice of the spouse that they so desire to be good for them. Therefore, it will be a very immoral act to have sexual action or attraction to underaged persons, especially children. This form of sexual practice is always associated with rape and child molestation. Marriage should be a thing of mutuality, woman and man coming together to be bonded in love of each other. Both should derive pleasure from each other and it should be that they have attained the age of marital consent before going into it. A woman and man should be well acquainted with the rules of sex as regarding the pleasure both of them will derive from it, instead of one imposing any kind of threat on the other. In a case of child molestation, the child becomes a victim, thereby bearing the consequences without choice because of the force from the person imposing the act.
Incest: Some individuals without any form of psychological imbalance are deeply attracted to someone they have blood relationship with either directly or to some degree of consanguinity.
Nonetheless, all these forms of opposition have threatened marriage a great deal because of how common they have become. Now instead of individuals getting married, they live sexual life outside of marriage and even living it totally out of the real moral sense of sexual practice which is heterosexuality. Some of these vicious individuals may have been addicted to these sexual practices because of misconception of marriage, or even because they lack the proper sexual morality before going into it. In such a modern sexual world, it will be greatly profitable if we bring back to consciousness, the need for marital life, so as to realize how these marriage oppositions have reduced the cost of our moral values, especially the sanctity of marriage and the sacredness of sexual practice in marriage as well.
HERE ARE SOME REASONS THAT COULD LEAD TO THESE IMMORAL SEXUAL PRACTICES
Psychiatry: Some persons have no reason for practising any form of these immoral sexualities, because their psychology tends to justify it. This makes them see wrong notions if there are heated arguments about them from people who detest them, or from religious leaders who kick vehemently against them. In some places where there are no restrictions to any form of these sexual practices, the tendency of immoral act is at the increase because there are no penalties attached to it. So their population is on the great increase.
Fear of unwanted pregnancy: Unwanted pregnancy is a great threat to sexuality, especially for the unmarried people and even to the married people in their unready moment of welcoming a new born to the family. People who practice homosexuality, especially lesbianism are usually of the opinion that this form of sexual practice is the safest for those who are not ready to have children, or even the shame of single parenthood in the society. Even the gay people are also part of that opinion because of the fear of unwanted pregnancy from their female sexual partner. So, they feel the best option is to go by homosexuality. Some radical feminists advocate for lesbianism because they fear sexual domination of their male partners. They also believe in the notion that sexual pleasure is derivable outside marriage, based on the reason that the men use their stronger sexual drive to enslave women and will not agree on gender equality. No wonder the saying “Sexuality is to Feminism what Work is to Marxism” (Richardson, Diane and Robinson, Victoria. Introducing Women’s Studies. 1993:74).
Vulnerability: Another reason why there are more forms of marital opposition is because of vulnerability of the victims of these sexual practices. This is well seen in homosexuality and pedophilia. People who enslave these vulnerable victims lure them in the act with threats, even money or any form of kindness so that they adhere to their threats of enslavement. Human trafficking for prostitution and bestiality are instances where vulnerability is a very common issue. The victims are gullible and feeble to get themselves out of such sexual bondage.
Lack of Sexual Morality: This crowns it all. It is the very reason why sexuality is let loose to various immoral forms. Sex as a sacred act of marital bond should be with moral consciousness. We should endeavour to let the younger generation realize that sexuality is a sacred act meant primarily for marital purposes of procreation and intimacy between couples.
These forms of sexualities can have dangerous effects on individuals who practice them. Apart from the psychological effects of addiction, there are also other negative effects associated with these practices. Some of these practices are listed below:
Health Challenges: This is one of the dangers of any form of sexual practice that is outside marital life. Although, there are diseases that are transmitted heterosexually, but in the case of homosexuality, bestiality and pedophilia, it is more severe and on the great danger and increase. A good number of haemorrhoid cases are caused by the pressures of anal-penile penetration and thrusting that is commonly associated with gay practice. Recent pathological researches has it that a disease called Human Papilomavirus is mostly transmitted through oral sex in homosexuals. Some viral diseases like AIDS where first transmitted through bestiality, before it became common to human transmission. Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) are common to early pregnancies and rape cases. Sexual act by an adult to a child, otherwise known as pedophilia is one of the known causes of VVF. These children’s internal sex organs are yet to be strong for sexuality and pregnancy, they can be affected with VVF after giving birth. Violent rape cases are also one of the causes of VVF. It is good that sex should pass through its natural process of matured personal consent.
Fear of Social Derogatory: This too has a very negative sexual effect outside marriage. The individuals who practice these vicious forms of sex are also conscious of their reputation, and our human society too shuns at them. A lot of people who practice them are even secretive in it despite the fact that it is derogatory, they fear that their reputation is at risk and will be spoiled if it is known by people. This too is a psychological negative effect because their personal and social reputation are at a very high risk of social derogation.
MARRIAGE TODAY: REVALUATION IN DEVALUATION
Marriage is facing the troubles of modernism as seen in these disordered sexual practices. We see all of them as modern ways of sexual life because we are being negatively influenced with modernism. Some persons who even practice them go public about them. If we lack the consciousness of the future negative impact of all these sexual practices, then we will be on the verge of drastic fall in global population. Now we should think of the reorientation of our core cultural and moral values regarding these threatening oppositions to marriage, so that people would realize their dangers. Some of the diseases transmitted through them affect fertility, because they damage the vital organs and hormones responsible for conception. Those who practice these immoral sexualities and those who do not believe in marriage as the union of procreation and intimacy between a woman and man, still go into the adoption of children. The question is, who will then produce the children for adoption for those who practice same sex relationship and bestiality if everyone go against procreation in marriage? We should rise and educate the younger people on the need for marriage and its sanctity, teach them to realize the sacredness of sex as a marital bond, create awareness on the need to realize the dangerous effects of immature sexual practices, especially in the lives of these young people. We should realize also the threats posed by these sexual practices to our population in its opposition to marriage caused by modernity. Above all, we should make them realize and see the disgustful and sinful nature of immoral sexualities as an outrageous thing to the sacred act of sexuality designed by God in marriage. It is much needful to extend our awareness to private and public health institutions on the health challenges of these vices. We should educate them on the need for sexual morality as the basis of our sexual sanctity. Campaigns that will shun the high rise of all these in public places, churches, etc, should be promoted. Families as the basis of human existence are highly encouraged for a continuous spread of awareness.
We have attempted to show that God created matrimony for man a woman and gave them non-negotiable essential powers or gifts of companionship and procreation. However, there is a third imperative power God infused in marriage which is often overlooked. It is the power to dominate the world. It is due to this fact that couples become more relevant and powerful in the socio-cultural, political and religious spheres. However, we see in companionship and procreation the sweetness of marriage whereby in different manners the “cold” spouse is being “warmed” by the other. That is why those who don’t “enjoy” the sweetness of having a spouse or embracing such marital bliss due to religious factors are making Herculean Sacrifice (The Lord is their strength). Despite all these, it is a pity that modernism has brought a paradigm shift. The values of marriage have been devalued by the enumerated forms of sexuality distortions.
Finally, at this point, LET NO ONE SLAM THE DOOR AGAINST COMPANIONSHIP, PROCREATION OR DOMINATION TO OPEN WINDOWS FOR SEXUAL VICES TO JUMP IN.
1. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, Edinburgh. Publisher: Chambers Harrap Publishers, 1999.
2. McSweenie, Leonie, Love and Life, Ibadan. Publisher: African University Press, 2012.
3. Ozurumba, Emeka. O. Sanctity of Marriage, North Charleston, North Carolina. Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
4. Russell, Bertrand, Marriage and Morals. New South Wales. Publisher: Allen and Unwin, 1929.
5. The Good News Bible. New York. Publisher: St Paul’s, 1976.