Intimate Relations

In the years which I have discussed marriage with couples, I find that the topic of sex is one of the most difficult to present, and yet one that cannot be avoided. Our society is filled with odd ideas about the proper role of sex both within a marriage and outside the bounds of marriage. Even knowledgeable Christians are influenced by the ideas of the world around them. Sometimes they participate in deeds that they did not recognize as wrong. At other times, they cause themselves difficulties by their zeal in trying to avoid the errors of the world.

At the time of this writing, the average age for a couple’s first marriage is 27. Yet less than 100 years ago, the average age was 21. At the same time, the average age to reach puberty was 16 in the previous centuries, according to many sources, but today the average age is 11. While it is wonderful that men and women are waiting until a more mature age to decide on their life partners, they are also spending more time facing the temptation of sex. Too many have yielded to the pressure. The actions they have taken often have a major impact on the remainder of their lives.

Even with all the pressure exerted by society to experiment with sex prior to marriage, I am pleased to run into many couples who have never had sex and plan to wait until their marriage to experience its pleasures for the first time. Even though men and women live in bodies that exhibit sexual urges for many years, it is amazing how little we know about the process of sexual intercourse. True, the public schools have been teaching about sex for decades, but I have found little of that teaching remains in the couples with whom I have talked. At the time they heard about sex, it was a distant event that did not apply to them. Also, the topic is extremely embarrassing, especially to young teenagers who are not used to the sexual responses of their own bodies. Even with young men or women who have experienced sex, the number of misconceptions about sex is tremendously large.

For these reasons, I spend a good deal of time reviewing the basic details of the reproductive system and sexual intercourse. Even if you know the bulk of the material, there will be facts presented which will fill in the gaps in your knowledge and correct a few misconceptions you might have. Since this book will be read by a wide variety of couples, I will try to cover a broad range of topics. If I miss one you are particularly interested in learning about, please write to me and I will do my best to answer the question. This particular edition is being released to the Internet. Since there is no control over who may read the contents, I'm greatly scaling back the contents. If you are interested in further details, I would suggest talking to a local counselor or ordering the printed version of the book.

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