Happiness in Marriage come from Jewish Values

    September 1998          
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Make Your Marriage Last Long with Increased Happiness

By Sharon Lange

    One of the modern social advances that our civilization boasts of is eradication of the ancient and ignoble ban on premarital sex. Amongst the many excesses which are peddled to the young, is the notion that pleasure and it's pursuit is a noble and valid life goal. True happiness can only be reached when inhibitions of pleasure are removed. In addition, sexual experience matures one for marriage and insures intimate bliss. That chastity is only for the religious, becomes an insult to those who prize their own personal worth.

    To many adolescent minds, this may be an agreeable theorem. When the emotions perceive a venue to self gratification, agreement come swiftly. Unfortunately, as too many contemporary observers have noted, the institution of marriage has begun to resemble a seedy hotel, with many unfortunate lives ruined. Surely the late notification of the end of the solemn vows, "till death do us part," should be replaced with "till the good times are all gone." Not to romanticize on marriages in past generations, that they were based on true love, but at least, give credit to the endurance of that bygone institution.

    What has unfortunately happened is the confusion of "love" and "sex". Perhaps in those long gone generations, sex was part of love, but it is certainly clear that sex is not love. Love is a condition of caring and concern for the other person, and marriage is the active manifestation of that commitment. Sex was, and still is, a pleasureful act, but it is not a condition for love, nor a substitute for love. The acid test of love is not sex, but concern and commitment to the other.

    Unfortunately, in today's media, love is made synonymous with sex. Between the modern musical lyrics preaching the laurels of bodily gratification under the guise of love, and the motion picture's adoration of sex-as-love, together with modern sterile clinical proof of the advantages of sexual exploration, can anyone blame the adolescents for their futile grasp of the meaning of love? Under these confusing circumstances with all the pressure, both covert and overt put upon our youth, perhaps we should wonder if those who buck the system and prefer virginity and chastity are normal.

    As a matter of record, sexual experience before marriage not only does not guarantee happiness, but increases marital tensions. If the spouse is aware of the other mate's sexual track record, that mate will be suspect in the future when frictions appear in their family relations. Secondly, that mate who has experienced pre-marital sexual pleasures, may look outside of marriage at times when his/her gratifications do not met his/her desired expectations. A breech in trust, hence, becomes a major gap in intimacy, sowing seeds of distrust for a future collapse of marital harmony.

    It may be that presidents, prime ministers, and royalty can sleep about as they desire with out seemly negative consequences, however, we who look from the outside do not see nor appreciate their twisted lives from within. The hatred and disgust that they are willing to live with is only a measuring stick for indicating their personal desires for fame and fortune. For the rest of us common folk, we want to live lives of caring and sharing. Building a family of healthy and happy children is the prime concern. The method of certain destruction is that of promiscuity and sexual abandonment.

    It is a matter of urgency, not related to religious mores or mid-evil puritanical mentality that we educate our children in the way of restraint. It is imperative to inoculate our adolescents with the proper understanding of what love is and why marriage is the logical culmination of that love. We must refute that banal notion that sex is love. It's not. Let us give our children, and ourselves, every advantage. Let us educate them and instill within them the desire for sharing intimacy only with that chosen spouse.


from the September 1998 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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