Marriage and Sex

Bet that title caught your attention?

Thanks to J.P. for sending me this essay referring to Sunday’s Grammy Awards and the performance of Mr. & Mrs. Carter – aka Jay Z and Beyonce.  The author’s premise is that the married couple gave a smoldering and powerful testimony to the sexiness of marriage.  The author writes from a Christian vantage point on the issue, arguing that Christians should be happy about the performance and the message that it sends about how sexy marriage can be, drawing comparisons with the song/performance and the Biblical Song of Solomon.  
But this isn’t how fans are going to hear or see this song.
Nothing in the song or the performance is specific to marriage.  It’s about passion all right, but our culture teaches that passion can be found anywhere you want, with anyone you want.     And when the passion is gone, move on.  Nothing in this song contradicts that.  The song could be sung or grooved to by anyone, in any situation.  It’s rather coincidental that the performers are married.  
Coincidental because smoldering and powerful songs about sensuality and sexuality have defined the careers of both these people, and not just after they were married.  While there are undoubtedly far more qualified people to analyze the collective works of Jay Z and Beyonce to see if there is a shift in their music, philosophy, or theology regarding sexuality, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that there isn’t any shift.  Therefore we shouldn’t read this song and performance as an ode to Biblical marriage.    
Christians are desperate to find affirmation of our beliefs and values in someone popular and hip.  It’s tempting to try and claim the reigning king and queen of hip and sexy for our own, but this is dangerous and myopic.  We need to be careful to identify momentary overlaps in expressions as just that and not necessarily anything more.  I wish Mr. & Mrs. Carter a life-long and happy marriage.  But let’s not try to appropriate them as spokespersons for Biblical marriage.  At least not until we have some evidence that this is actually what they profess.  

3 Responses to “Marriage and Sex”

  1. william b Says:

    This is a true gem! I had to check twice to see if this wasn’t from the Onion or something. Comparing Beyonce lyrics with Song of Solomon and even including the language? Priceless. I think my favorite part is when she says:

    “Christians who have been trying to spread this message-Mark Driscoll et al.-have been getting it all wrong, and the people PERISH for lack of Beyonce.”

    All this time I have been worshipping the false god Oprah! It’s Beyonce we need. Seriously?? This was at the same event where 33 (Illumanati alert) gay couples were married and blessed by the high priestess Madonna. So the Jay- Z/Beyonce act was a shout out to traditional marriage? And that Katy Perry act was really a Joan of Arc tribute. She really wasn’t pretending that broomstick was a stripper pole.

    You had a great point that Christians are desparate to find affirmation in someone popular and hip. Why? I sometimes fall into this trap myself. I often wish I had Paul’s experience of being taken up to the 3rd level of Heaven for a nice quick peek. Although I don’t wish for most of his other experiences. But maybe with the awesomeness of sex, within marriage, maybe that is something of a glimpse into the wonderfullness of God.

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    I find it odd that these Christian pastors are trying to push the issue of sex and trying to talk it up.  Frankly, I don’t think that’s our culture’s problem.  It isn’t that our culture is saying that sex isn’t great (although there are some fascinating studies coming out indicating that because of the ready availability of pornography, more young people are either rejecting actual relationships – sexual or otherwise – because they’re too much work compared to the quick fun of porn).  

  3. william b Says:

    I would say this day and age of frivolous divorce and feminism have also crushed the desires of many men to put in the time and effort. And just wait and see what happens when the Fembots get up and running!

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