Can God use sex for our sanctification?

– Eugene F. Rogers, Jr.

Conservative Christians object to same-sex marriage because they want marriage to show visible holiness. That idea is useful because it prompts all Christians to reflect on the sort of holiness that marriage teaches and displays. Here I reflect on the theology of marriage under the rubric of sanctification. This approach owes much to the tradition of the Orthodox Church, which regards marriage as a way of participating in the divine life not by way of sexual satisfaction but by way of ascetic self-denial for the sake of more desirable goods.  Theologically understood, marriage is not primarily for the control of lust or for procreation. It is a discipline whereby we give ourselves to another for the sake of growing in holiness – in short, for God.

Marriage is a way in which God can train human beings – bodies and all – to “glorify God and enjoy him forever,” as Westminster puts it…

Read the whole essay.

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