What's permissible in the marriage bed... my two cents.

First, let's talk about Communion, the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, or however your congregation refers to it. I think that most Christians would agree that it is a holy sacrament that is done faithfully and prayerfully in commemoration of Christ's sacrifice for our sins. If I look around at my circle of friends, neighbors and relatives, however, it is observed in many different ways. Some use wine to represent the blood of Christ, but other congregations believe that drinking wine is a sin, so they use grape juice. Some all sip from a single cup, while others have individual little glasses for everyone. Some observe it weekly, others quarterly, and even others on just certain special occasions. Some tie the taking of Communion to actual salvation, while others look at it as simply a rite that honors the Lord and his suffering and sacrifice. Some believe that the drink and the bread are merely symbolic of the blood and the flesh of Christ, while others believe that they actually turn into blood and flesh when ingested. The variations go on and on.

With all these radical differences, you would think that a discussion of Communion among different Christians would break out into fist-fights, accusations, and name-calling. That's not the case, however. No matter how Communion may differ for individual Christian groups, they all dismiss others' views with a wave of the hand and a casual, "Oh they do it their way, we do it ours." If only all other beliefs could be so easily tolerated!

Take the subject of sex within a marriage covenant, for example. Put five different people in a room and start asking questions about what is acceptable, and you might even see bloodshed. I've personally witness exchanges where Bible passages are hurled back and forth with anger, if not pure hatred, because someone disagrees with another's beliefs on sex in the marriage bed. Non-believers just sit back and laugh at such exchanges; somewhere along the way, it became an acceptable belief in the world that if something is pleasurable, it is by definition a sin. To paraphrase one detractor of Christians, "If you're a Christian and you're enjoying something, then it's got to be a sin." I don't know why Christians tear each other down so much over personal beliefs about sex, when they dismiss other topics such as communion, baptism, salvation, and more, all which have as many variances (if not more) as Christian sex.

Having said that, here's my two cents on the subject. I think that we're all individual couples, and what's all right for one Hubby & Wife might not be for another. For example, I have an occasional glass of wine, which I enjoy. Doctors say it's okay, my clergy has no problem with it, and it doesn't interfere with my life at all. I have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic, however, and she would be the first person to tell you that having a drink is not okay for her. Out of respect for her, I would never order a glass of wine when we're out for dinner. I look at the marriage bed in much the same way. I don't see a lot of bedroom restrictions for me, as long as 1) the sex is strictly between my Husband and I, in our marriage covenant; 2) what we do is completely consensual between the two of us; and 3) it doesn't cause any negative side-effects, whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual. That doesn't mean that something my Husband and I enjoy would be appropriate for someone else. Another couple might not feel comfortable with oral sex (using that as an example), and if either the husband or wife had reservations, then I could see it being off the table for them. The Bible doesn't have a checklist of "this particular sex act" is okay, "this particular sex act" isn't, so I am led to believe that it comes down to individual couples, within the guidelines of the three things that I mentioned earlier.

Like I said, just my two cents. Your mileage may vary.

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