Question:

Is anal and oral sex between a married couple a sin? And is my desire for it also a sin? Should I be angry at my wife's unwillingness to participate in anal or oral sex?

Answer:

In describing the decay of the Gentile society, Paul pointed out that it began with a rejection of God and the replacement of God with man-made idols made in the likeness of physical creatures (Romans 1:18-23). Without listening to God's definition of right and wrong, substituting their own desires in its place, it is not surprising that one of the first moral restraints to go was the restriction of sex to only married couples. "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (Romans 1:24-25). The problem is that after time, this becomes common place. Man gravitates toward new excitements and new sins. "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting" (Romans 1:26-28). The logical result of rejecting God and a freedom to have sex as man sees fit is experimentation in perverted forms of sex, such as homosexuality. I don't use the word "perverted" lightly. Paul points out that sex between two women or two men is not natural. In other words, the human body was not designed for homosexual sex.

Our own society has followed the same path that lead to the decay of the Gentile society. The popular slogan in the 1950's among intellectuals was "God is dead." By the 1960's we find a strong push toward "free love." Laws forbidding living together without marriage were abandoned in the 1970's. Then in the late 1970's to the present day we saw a strong push for the acceptance of homosexuality. Those practicing homosexuality cannot engaging in standard sexual intercourse since that requires both a male and female partner. So other forms of sex are substituted, such as anal or oral sex. Because of the increasing acceptance of homosexuality in the society at large, sexual practices that would never have crossed the average person's mind are now presented as legitimate alternatives.

Let us consider anal sex for the moment -- the insertion of the male penis into the rectum of another -- is it a normal act of sex? According to numerous medical sources, anal sex is particularly risky because it causes bleeding. The anus is not normally large enough to accommodate an erect penis. As a result, the skin surface tears as the penis is forced in. The lining of the rectum is not designed to be poked and prodded, and so during sex, it too is damaged and tears. It doesn't take a genius to realize that bacteria present in the rectum does not belong in a person's blood stream. This is why sexually transmitted diseases are rapidly transmitted in the homosexual community. The wounds caused by anal sex gives various diseases easy access to internal systems of the body.

In Romans 1:24, Paul said that God gave the Gentiles up to uncleanness to dishonor their bodies among themselves. The word "uncleanness" is frequently used in connection with sexual sins.

II Corinthians 12:21
lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.
Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness
Ephesians 4:19
who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 5:3
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
Ephesians 5:5
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Colossians 3:5
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
I Thessalonians 4:3-7
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.

Fornication refers sexual acts outside of marriage. Covetousness or greediness in connection with sexual sins refers to improper desires for things you ought not to have, such as someone else's wife. Passion is the stimulating of sexual desires, such as pursuing pornography. Uncleanness refers to actions that should be disgusting to someone striving to live a godly life.

In the Old Testament, God spelled out several things that were to be considered unclean. For example, contact with a corpse, diseases that caused discharge or decaying of the skin, certain animals, menstrual flows, and semen were all labeled unclean. Many people have puzzled over why these particular things were selected, but basically they are things that most people would find disgusting because of their looks, smell, or with what they come in contact. It just so happens that avoiding many of these things also cuts down on the spread of diseases. God used the laws of uncleanness to illustrate how disgusting sin was. "You shall not eat any detestable thing" (Deuteronomy 14:3). It also placed a barrier between God's people and the nations around them. "You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine" (Leviticus 20:25-26). Hence, the laws of uncleanness hindered the Israelites from adopting the practices of the nations around them.

In the New Testament, the term "unclean" is borrowed and applied to sinful acts that are disgusting in nature. Those who practice these acts are not demonstrating a desire to live a holy life, but one that wallows in the filth of the world. Because of the use of the word "unclean" in Romans 1:24, most commentators are inclined to agree that homosexual acts definitely fall under the category of "unclean," though not limited to these acts alone. Other perverted forms of sex, such as sadomasochism, would also fall under "unclean."

It is curious why a husband or wife would desire a twisted form of sex when sexual intercourse is freely available to them. Why seek a sexual expression that increases risks of disease or harm? "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19).

You asked if it was proper to be angry with your wife when she does not desire to participate in unusual sexual acts. You need to keep in mind that Paul warned, "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:22-23). Paul's was discussing food, but the principle remains the same. A man is blessed if the things he approves of does not bring him condemnation for going beyond God's commands. Yet, if a person is not certain that some action is right, for that person to continue on even though they are uncertain, then the uncertainty itself is a sin. It is improper to attempt to serve God by hoping what you are doing is right. Your service to God should be from confidence that you know that what you are doing is pleasing to God. Hence, unless your wife agrees that unusual sexual acts are fine with her, forcing her to do them anyway, despite her doubts, would be sinful.

Finally, you had asked if your desire for certain sexual acts were wrong. Jesus explained that sin starts from the desires. The actual acts are just confirmation of what the heart has already decided. "And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:20-23). If you understand and agree that certain actions are wrong, then desiring those actions anyway is also wrong.

 

September 11, 2007