The Role of Sexual Intercourse

Sexual intercourse was designed by God to unify a married couple and to further participate in God’s ongoing creation.

Marriage is the union of a male and female for the rest of their lives. This is not just a Catholic definition, but a universal one. Today’s world is the first time in history that atempts have been made to redefine marriage.

The spouses make a mutual promise (commitment) to each other to support and love one another so long as they both shall live (marital unity is broken at death). The goal of marriage is to help your spouse get to heaven.

Marriage is a sacrament and all sacraments have signs. The way the sacrament is carried out is through the couple getting married, not the priest. Each spouse is the medium through which each half of the union receives grace; the vows that they say at marriage are binding.

The sign of marital unity, as has been the custom of many, many cultures and is a very ancient sign, is sexual intercourse. A marriage is not made whole (consummated) until the couple has sexual intercourse.

Sex is a unitive action in which the couple unite themselves to each other with God (in marriage, not fornication). The gift of sex also has another natural function and that is to reproduce. The sexual organs make up our reproductive system.

The two primary purposes of sexual intercourse are to unite the couple and to create more people. God gave us the gift of sex to participate in his Creation. To use the sexual organs in a manner that is not ordered towards unity of a married couple or creating further life is wrongly ordered or disordered.

Another gift of sexual intercourse is pleasure. The role of pleasure in sex is a well-debated topic however pleasure is a part of the sex act for many possible reasons. The Pleasure in sexual intercourse helps create the unity. Also it may be that since the pain of childbearing is so great we have a moment of pleasure to help ease that. Whatever the reason we know it exists.

To have sex simply for pleasure or to have the sexual organs stimulated in such a way where pleasure is the only objective is hedonistic and wrong. To obtain sexual pleasure only for itself demeans the sanctity of humanity and hurts at least one person.

Using a human being as a means to an end is wrong. Some may not think that they are not hurting anyone when in fact they may be hurting themself most of all. Seeking pleasure for the sake of pleasure reduces human existence to a piece of entertainment only to be thrown away when it no longer gives us a thrill.

A proper marriage cannot occur in this fashion because it does not allow the person(s) affected by this to freely and truly love his or her spouse. His or her spouse merely becomes a means to an end. The spouse is used to “get something”. Marriage is about mutual giving, self-giving.

Even in sexual intercourse can a person be abused or used as a means to an end. It is not to say that all sexual acts other than intercourse are the only ones in which people seek pleasure in and of itself.

In any case where the sexual organs are used merely for pleasure or cannot be used to unify a married couple and produce children (if the couple is biologically capable of producing children) then that is wrongly ordered. Sexual intercourse is ordered toward the unification of male and female in love to produce children as a fruit of that love.

Comments

  1. Valerie says

    Jeanne, I’m not a very religious person. As I’ve had a long history with a bunch of churches as a child and was baptized Jehovah Witness, and practiced that religion for about 6 years of my childhood. So i don’t know a lot about the Catholic religion. My husband is, however, Catholic. And what I gather from talking to his family, is that Catholics do NOT believe in divorce. There is only one way to get a divorce when you’re a Catholic, and that’s an annulment (I believe that’s what they said)

  2. Jeanne says

    I have fallen in love with a catholic man who has not lived with his wife for 6yrs. He tells me he cannot get divorced and he can’t have sexual relations with me because he will not go to heaven. I am a Christian baptized and confirmed, as are my children, Lutheran Missouri synod our faith and churches are very much alike. I want him to have peace in The Lord but I do not understand why he cannot divorce. His marriage ended physically yrs ago. Please help me with an answer

    • Ken says

      I am posting a half year behind, but will do so anyway. Regardless of whatever marital troubles this man is going through for however long, marriage only ends at the death of one of the spouses. To have pre-marital sex will kill both of your relationships with God ending with Hell if not repented of. He is married, and as such off limits. In the beginning, there was no divorce. When Christ came he restored the true meaning of marriage. Meaning there is no divorce of a sacramental marriage. An annulment is a declaration that a sacramental marriage never existed between a male and female to begin with, and only rightfully given when PROVEN. To pursue a relationship with him will make you an adulterer (this includes any time during which an annulment is being investigated), and if he concedes will make him an adulterer as well, killing both of your relationships with God and putting both of you on the path to Hell. If you truly love (agape) this person, you will cease and desist any thought of pursuing a relationship. Most likely this will entail removing yourself from common occasions of acquaintance. I hope this helps.

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