[This post continues a series of posts entitled 'A Biblical Catechism on Sex and Marriage'. The intention is to provide basic material for further instruction by a trusted teacher of God's Word in a church that is committed to Biblical authority. The Church’s mission is to invite all people to live under God’s righteous rule.]
Question 6. What are the purposes of marriage?
Answer: The purposes of marriage are procreational, familial, relational, and to satisfy sexual appetite.
[Previous comments: Marriage and Procreation; Marriage and Family; Marital Relationship]
Comment 5: Marriage is, fourthly, the appropriate union to satisfy sexual appetite. The Song of Solomon warns the reader not to awaken love before its time (2:7; 3:5; 8:4)—which Biblical teaching declares is within marriage—but it does celebrate romantic intimacy between a man and a woman.
Proverbs 5:15-20 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
1 Corinthians 7:36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry- it is no sin.
1 Timothy 5:11-12 But refuse to enroll younger widows [on a list of widows supported by the church], for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.