Throwback Thursday brings us this article by Fr. Leo Kinsella on:
THE PHYSICAL SIDE OF MARRIAGE (Part One)….
With marriage a few mental adjustments must be made concerning the virtue of purity. To project virginal ideals of purity into married life is unfair to both her husband and to herself as well as harmful for a girl.
Marriage is an institution of God, in which two people cooperate with Him in the creation of the human race. God could have created all of us as He created Adam and Eve. He chose a more wondrous and mysterious way. Male and female were created and so constituted by God with faculties and propensities as to be able and want to reproduce themselves. Thus the function of sex is just as important as the continuation of the human race. God has placed an attraction for each other in the male and female. It is natural for this attraction to lead to love and marriage. The manifest purpose of marriage is, therefore, the begetting and rearing of children.
The obligations incumbent upon and the problems arising from marriage are limitless. To compensate for them God has attracted pleasure to sex, psychological as well as physical. The pleasure of sex is consequently no more an end in itself than is the pleasure of eating. God did not gives us stomachs and appetites for the sake of pleasure, although He did join pleasure to this function of self-preservation.
Sex pleasure is God given and, therefore, to be gratefully accepted in the normal and natural relations of man and wife. Because so much of the sensuous world has gone mad in its misuse of sex, there is no reason for the Christian to be in the least ashamed of what God has graciously given. In this regard it is worth mentioning that in the early centuries of Christianity the Church had to condemn the heretical teaching that sex pleasure in itself was sinful and, therefore marriage was to be avoided.
Concerning the subject of sexual relations it should be indicated at the outset that it is utterly silly to imagine that the newly-weds should have a romantic and amorous technique at their fingertips.
That will come only with time, with living together and having children, raising them and making a home. Their tender solicitude for each other through the years brings a maturity to their love that has nothing of staleness in it and everything of the refreshing newness of eternal things to come. Thus, any girl who is well disposed toward marriage should have confidence that she will sufficiently adjust herself to meet the requirements of the ideal wife, as far as sexual relations are concerned.
The ideal wife is a happy wife. She enjoys marriage. It is almost a maxim that in order to be successful at anything a person must be contented and happy in what she is doing. It is difficult to imagine a successful and ideal doctor who is miserable in the practice of medicine. No wife will be happy unless she is properly disposed toward marriage.
Two glasses of the same size are equally well disposed toward receiving the same amount of water if placed under a water faucet.
If one glass is half filled with cement, then it will be only half disposed toward holding the same amount of water. Suppose a water tight cover of some type is fastened to the top of the glass.
In this case the glass would not be disposed at all for fulfilling its purpose.
From all outward appearances two girls may approach marriage with equal chances of being successful wives. Both have average intelligence. Both are attractive physically and personality-wise.
Yet, one may be poorly disposed. She may have some mental quirks or phobias about marriage which constitute a real obstacle to prevent the normal excitement and happiness of married life from flowing into her being. The wife who is not receiving the normal, natural enjoyment and satisfaction from her husband through her own fault will drift into some form of neurosis that will threaten the very stability of the union. At best she scarcely will be an ideal mate.
All too frequently wives bemoan the fact that they do not get any satisfaction out of marriage. Their husbands have all the enjoyment, they think. Husbands with this type of wife are not beside themselves in the enjoyment of marriage. Soon these women begin to feel that it is a man’s world. They have all the joy.
This is a dangerous attitude. Besides the judgment is not true.
These wives will devise ways and means to even up the score. Most often an unhappy marriage, if not a broken one, is the result.
In dealing with failures in marriage I often find that many never did enjoy relations with their husbands. Very few knew of any physical reason. The great majority were laboring under some erroneous concept or vexed themselves and their husbands with some phobia or other, fear of conception and children, for example.
The ideal wife has enough common sense to realize that marriage relations are normal. God-designed expressions of love between man and wife. To experience a sense of shame or to imagine that the marital act is unlady-like is utterly ridiculous. The deep sense of purity and modesty of girlhood days must be adjusted to a new mode of life. She will have many opportunities to practice the virtue of purity in her married life.
Since marriage relations are holy acts in the sight of God, all activity of love making and caressing between husband and wife in preparation for the marital act is good, if the act is completed.
Efforts at birth control are the only unnatural and sinful acts in connection with marriage relations.
The husband and wife who are motivated by love for each other and thus strive through their sexual relations to bring to the other happiness, pleasure, and contentment will receive as reward for their unselfishness the greatest measure of joy God gives to man and woman on this earth. The ideal wife thanks God that He gives her a capacity for sexual enjoyment. If she has a husband intelligent and good enough to promote during their married lives this capacity, she has additional reason to be grateful.
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