Pleasure only or Procreation?
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Until the last century sex was usually linked with procreation by man. Certainly this is true of the animal world around us.  The male is often indifferent to the female until the breeding season occurs.  Among elk, the bulls leave the cows alone until fall when the female comes into estrus and  is receptive to the male.  This is the time when the bulls sound their bugle cry and battle for the attention of the females.  It is an exciting time of the year when the two sexes mate and a new generation is conceived.

    Until modern times and the advent of a variety of contraceptives the woman knew that to have a sexual relationship with a man meant she could conceive.  To safeguard the next generation most cultures have a marriage ceremony to solemnize the union and to emphasize its importance.  The family is very important in the survival of a race.  Children need the security and love of both parents.  Marriage was a time of rejoicing on the part of the families concerned.  It was after such a covenant was made that the couple then entered into a sexual relationship.  Now it was safe to have children; they would be protected, loved and provided for through their dependent years.  Most women guarded their virginity; they wanted their children to have a secure home.

    Contraceptives have changed all this.  Now the extreme pleasure of sex has been divorced from the responsibility of having children.  Women have become as free as men in their sexual escapades. knowing that the risk of conception is very slight.  The pleasure of sex has become an end in itself and both men and women have become increasingly promiscuous.  With this looseness sexually transmitted diseases have multiplied and AIDS has become a worldwide plague.  Couples may live together freely without marriage and some who marry agree not to have any children.  Life is now centered around sensual pleasure rather than procreation.

    Culture has become obsessed with sex.  Males and females are constantly looking for a new partner, for new excitement.  Along with this has come the proliferation of pornography, the quest for the perfect female form or male form, the worship of the body.  In this search for new and different sensual excitement many delve into perversion of various types. Some now become so morally sick that a normal heterosexual relationship no longer satisfies.  All of life begins to center in sex and they are addicts of the worse sort.

    Of course, when this happens the family is destroyed.  Homes break up. Children are left by fathers and at times by mothers.  They grow up in single parent families or in foster homes, wounded for life by a lack of love and security.  Single parent homes drift into poverty often ; a single parent struggles to make ends meet.  It is no wonder that crime and immorality abound among young people and that their education suffers.  Many highschool graduates are functionally illiterate. 

    When God created the universe and crowned it with the creation of man, He also created a woman to be a companion to the man.  "Then God blessed them , and God said to them, `Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion....'" (Gen. 1:28 NKJ).  The first commandment to them was to have children and to multiply.  Most peoples have realized that a marriage is incomplete until the couple is blessed with children.  For a woman not to be able to have children once brought deep sorrow and shame.  Rachel cried out to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!" (Gen. 30:1).  The Psalmist wrote, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.  The fruit of the womb is His reward" (Ps. 127:3).

    Sexual attraction  is created by God, but the pleasure of sex is not to be an end in itself.  Those who marry should desire to have children.  To refuse to have any children is to frustrate the purpose of God and to deny oneself one of life's greatest joys.  Couples may decide before the Lord as to the size of the family they will have and health factors may enter into this.  Families should trust the Lord to meet their financial needs and should choose to live frugally so that they may have children. One has distorted values if he chooses to live for material things rather than to have sons and daughters.  Then when we have children, let us do what Hannah did.  She gave Samuel back to the Lord.  "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have granted him to the Lord as long as he lives...." (I Sam. 1:27- 28).
                        Donald L. Norbie
                        May 22, 1997