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The Marriage Bed Undefiled

Revelation on the Nocturnal Relationship of Husband and Wife

Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 MKJV).

There is great error and subsequent bondage stemming from the carnal man’s passions, from pagan philosophy and lust concerning the marriage bed. The Hebrews writer speaks not of carnal things only, as a literal bed shared by man and wife. He speaks of a relationship between man and wife, of the sacred institution of marriage.

The purpose of this teaching is to identify an idolatry, manifested physically, that has consumed many a marriage with dissension, defeat, condemnation and bitterness. The worship of this god has been the cause of great physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fatigue.

Husbands and wives are defiling their beds because worshipping marriage.

Who says a man and a wife should share the same bed incessantly? Who says they should not have separate beds or rooms or even houses, and come together for relations only at appropriate times? Who says they should be disturbed every night by one another’s tossing and turning, pulling covers, snoring, bad breath, getting up for the bathroom, passing gas, and so forth? Who says they should be tempted with each other by being in the same bed when they may be called to abstinence for prayer and fasting for a time, or when the woman is at her time of the month? Who says a man and wife should play with fire? I have said who says, and will say it again, more specifically.

We know that marriage is sacred in God’s eyes. A man is to be his wife’s and no other woman’s, and the wife is to be her husband’s, and no other man’s. That is what the Hebrews writer was saying. However, husbands and wives are defiling their beds everywhere, not primarily because they bring illegitimate partners into it, but because they have fallen to worshipping marriage and the marriage bed, bringing the latter to a physical compliance that burdens one, heavily and unnecessarily.

As a teenager, I had a friend whom I would occasionally visit. Consequently, I would visit with his parents, who were nearly in their sixties. They obviously got along fine, talking, laughing and joking with each other and with their son and me as we visited. It was never otherwise.

But there was something curious to me about them. Not only did they sleep in their own beds, but they had their own rooms. “What’s wrong with them?” I wondered, “Is there something wrong with their relationship?” It was not evident that there was. Indeed, I thought they got along better with each other than did my parents, who slept together in a cozy, double (not a queen or king) bed. I recall my parents often complaining about how room temperature was fine for one but not the other, how covers would be ample for one and not the other, or how Dad would snore, disturbing Mom, or how one would pull the covers from the other, or toss and turn, waking the other. But they slept together because they were husband and wife, and “husbands and wives are supposed to sleep together.”

What is wrong with believers living even in separate houses?

There is a saying: “Separate beds, then separate rooms, then separate homes,” as if to say, “If married couples don’t sleep together, soon their relationship will grow cold and they will, eventually, divorce.” Of course, the saying spoke not of the physical act so much as of attitudes. There were my friend’s parents, in separate rooms for years, but together in the same house to their graves, apparently getting along just fine. And they were not Christians.

But what is wrong with believers living even in separate houses? What about Abraham and Sarah, “Christians,” our parents in the faith? Here is the record:

“And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Genesis 23:2 MKJV).

It seems they were not only living in separate tents (houses) but in separate cities. Granted, Sarah might have expired while “out of town,” but, in any case, Abraham did not bring her back, though he did transport her body to the tomb. It says he came to mourn and to weep for her. But let us assume they did not live in separate cities. They certainly lived in separate houses:

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. And he loved her. And Isaac was comforted after his mother's death” (Genesis 24:67 MKJV).

One can assume Isaac and Rebekah remained together in what was Sarah’s tent, but I do not believe this was so. I believe Rebekah assumed Sarah’s tent and Isaac had his own.

They did not forsake each other and they did not divorce.

Did Abraham and Sarah take a sad departure from their faith in the end? Not at all. The Scriptures clearly testify that they both gloriously overcame unto the end and together became known as overcomers and our parents in the faith:

“For so once indeed the holy women hoping in God adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands; as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose children you became, doing good and fearing no terror” (1 Peter 3:5-6 MKJV).

They did not forsake each other and they did not divorce. However, in the end, they did share “sleeping” in the same tomb together…no danger there of disturbance by snoring or tossing and turning or arguing over the thermostat setting:

“The field, which Abraham bought from the sons of Heth. Abraham and Sarah his wife were buried there” (Genesis 25:10 MKJV).

The problem today is that husbands and wives by the millions bury themselves in turmoil, frustration and fatigue by sleeping together because they feel they should out of vain tradition. They don’t get as good a nightly sleep as they could or should, and even their relationships are strained as a result.

Also, the Bible teaches that in times of contagious disease or illness, we are to practise quarantine and sterilization. Wise people heed the counsel of God. So what do so many married couples do when a partner has a cold or the flu? They sleep together! How wise is that? Perhaps they think to fulfill the words of the apostle Paul who said, “When one suffers, all suffer”?

But from where did this tradition of sleeping in the same bed “for better or for worse” come? Suffice it to say that it did not come from the counsel of the Holy Scriptures. We have given credible examples to the contrary. So is sleeping with one’s wife or husband every night so important? Obviously not according to God’s Word. Consider those who had more than one wife, like Jacob, David and Solomon. Obviously, they did not think it necessary to do the impossible.

Sex has been traditionally worshipped by the world.

We could leave it at that, but I believe I know from where this tradition arose, and why we, as Christians, should bury it in its own sleep, together with its defiling, unholy partner, the lust of the flesh, manifesting itself not only in sexual lust, but also in pride, ignorant feelings of obligation, insecurity, and inordinate affection, that is, idolatry of the institution of marriage.

The predominant, ancient, pagan religions often focused on sex. That is why, for example, we have “Easter” with the symbols of prolific reproduction, like rabbits and eggs. (For those ignorant of rabbit reproduction – they do not lay eggs any more than do humans; eggs are incidentally symbolic of reproduction.) Easter, aka Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Diana, Semiramis, Isis, aka dozens of other names of goddesses throughout the world and its history, had temples of worship, employing priestesses who officiated in ceremonial sexual orgies. Sex was the thing. Easter was referred to by Jeremiah as the “queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25), which was, of course, an abomination to God. She may have had a different name there and then, but we speak of the same personage.

The point is that sex has been traditionally worshipped by the world. Marriage has been important to many societies for propagation. I am not denouncing sex or marriage; God has given mankind sexual reproduction to replenish the earth; sex is not evil or dirty or wrong in and of itself – we would not be here without it. But as with almost any other created thing, men have given themselves to worshipping the creature, having inordinate affection, thus destroying themselves in idolatry and sin of all kinds. That is the problem.

Christians have fallen for this ancient, burdensome carnal policy.

The ungodly emphasis on the pleasure of sex has solidly imbedded itself into nominal Christendom. The Catholic Church, though presenting itself as the Church of God, is nothing but ungodly and antichrist. It is simply a recent representation of the carnal man under another name or guise. Where Catholicism went, the emphasis was on propagation so that there would be more Catholics. This is no different than other societies and religions. Islam today promotes proliferation, as in the “occupied territories” of Israel, with the strategy of outnumbering its “opponents” and “oppressors.” They hold out the hope that the concept of democracy with one person and one vote will be the undoing of Israel as a Jewish nation, even as the late Meir Kahane solemnly warned. To persuade men and women to sleep together constantly was not advice for good health and relations; it was a strategy to promote numbers and kingdoms, and thus power, wealth and security.

From the Catholic Church came most, if not all, other church organizations naming themselves Christian. Priding themselves in believing the Bible and breaking with the pagan doctrines and practices of Catholicism, Protestants still maintain the teaching of eternal torment for the majority of mankind, Sunday-keeping, infant baptism, trinitarianism, baptizing by sprinkling or pouring, sometimes with oil rather than water, celebrating Christmas and Easter, dividing people into clergy and laity, having formal church services, holy images and religious titles for leaders…the list goes on (none of which is substantiated but rather condemned in the Bible). Added to all these, they maintain the error that men and women must sleep together (that is “slumber and snore,” not just “have sex”), if they are to live together as man and wife.

Whether the custom or directive of man and wife perpetually sleeping together was out of lust or for propagation, it does not matter. The custom is not a God-given one (there is not a shred of Scriptural support for it), and common sense (something in apparently shorter supply every day) declares that the tradition is not a wise one, being highly impractical. We, as Christians, have all fallen for this ancient, burdensome carnal policy, conditioned and deceived from the cradle into thinking it to be godly.

What is more important, our pleasure or our son?

Speaking of the cradle, children have been abused and robbed of God-desired rights and privileges, yea, necessities on all levels by this diabolical policy. How so? When our son, Jonathan, was born, we immediately had a crib for him - which is fine - but where should the crib be? In “baby’s room”? No. In mother’s room. For a while, I think it was in our bedroom; but it was not long before Marilyn insisted, against my wishes (it was in the days when I was still idolatrously following my wife’s counsel as though it was God’s), that Jonathan have and be in his own room.

It made no sense. Why separate an infant from its mother? It needs all the attention - diaper changing, breastfeeding, comforting and assurance. And in it all, why should the husband, who is required to rise and go to work each day to support the family, be subjected to all the interruptions of his needed rest? And why should he have priority over his children with his wife, their mother and nurturer? It makes no sense at all, but, oh, the husband and wife must be in the same bedroom and bed, while an infant or toddler must be marooned in its own room of isolation and darkness. How stupid and wicked this is! But the world is full of darkness.

It was not long before I insisted that Jonathan be in our room, which he dearly desired. He could not understand, in his young wisdom, contrary to our aged foolishness, why we should have company at night and he should not. We set up a sleeping area on the floor for him and he much enjoyed it. He would talk a bit and then bid us goodnight, sometimes three or four times. He was thankful, did not feel left out, and felt the solace and security of nearby parents.

Did we have the freedom of privacy for conversation and sex we wanted? Not like it would be without his presence, but what is more important, our pleasure or our son? If the former, let us all fornicate and forget raising families, shall we? As I write, I think you can pick up on the annoyance I have had for spending most of our lives believing this lie, perpetrated upon us by ancient foolishness called wisdom and “Christian” principle.

Let captives take advantage of the unlocked door.

A few years ago, circumstances led to my sleeping in a separate bed and room. I discovered I loved it! I could read for a while before bed, without annoying Marilyn, I was not disturbed or afraid I was disturbing her, and when arising the next morning I was more refreshed, and so was she, if not for the fact that her pagan tradition-defiled conscience gave her a guilt or low self-esteem trip in our not sleeping together. “Where have I been?!” I proclaimed to myself. “Where have we been?” What we had been doing was, quite frankly, insane.

What about “love”? Don’t we want to “show our spouses love”? Isn’t sleeping in separate beds or rooms an indication that we don’t love each other? If that is the case, we should not go to work, or go separate ways during our waking hours, when we can love, but we should sleep together, annoying each other, when we can’t love? All arguments against this long overdue revelation are plain illogical and foolish. While this revelation is new to us, I am sure it is not so to other more reasonable-minded and free-spirited persons, not to mention those enlightened by God’s Spirit. I hope to have broken some chains here.

Having said these things, if married couples are comfortable and not disturbing their partners, it is not a problem sleeping together, except in cases of a need for quarantine, isolation, or for necessity of sexual abstinence for times of prayer and fasting, as the Bible specifically instructs, or for other sufficient reasons. If sleeping together is appropriate, and conducive to rest and well being, how can, or why should, anyone argue? The purpose of this paper has been not to bring into bondage by replacing one false dogma for another, but to bring enlightenment and deliverance from the not-so-inconsiderable consequences of preconceived notions and false doctrine.

Let captives in spirit, mind and body now take advantage of the unlocked door from their imprisoning marital bedrooms, and may marrieds enjoy the newfound freedom with one another.

Victor Hafichuk

 

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