On marriage, sex, and procreation

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dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I am a 55 year old single male. The fact that I am unmarried has more to do with struggles I have had with a chronic illness than anything else, I certainly did not anticipate being single this late in life when I was a young man. Anyway, older singles inevitably confront the issue of delayed marriage and begin to wonder whether it is worth it at this stage of life. Why marry? God leaves it up to us to decide, but he is clear that we must produce progeny of some sort, either biological or spiritual. For the past 25 years I have been doing what I can to cultivate spiritual children, but I have been confronting a few things about myself (and all men) that is leading me to seek a marriage even at this late stage of life. There exists in every man a drive to preserve his line through the fathering of a male child. Some men suppress or sublimate this drive, but it is a general truth that the man who dies without a male heir is considered a dead line. Consider the emphasis placed on preserving the line in the Old Testament. I am going to presume to write from the female perspective for a moment now. A women also has a drive to produce a child, but not so much from the desire to preserve her line as to give her husband what he wants, a male heir. HOWEVER, at the back of every woman's mind at every stage of a pregnancy is the fact that this act could kill me. God knows both of these facts. That is one of the principle reasons he gave us monogamous heterosexual marriage, to address these concerns. The married male can preserve both his line and his culture in his children and the married woman has a MUCH greater chance of having a healthy pregnancy with her husband there to help. Am I discounting the shear pleasure of the act of making love by this analysis? No. I have read the Song of Songs to both myself and others on several occasions because it is an idealization of the male/female relation that gives us the patience to hold out for the good stuff as well being a curative for those who have stumbled or deviated in this area. Now I am not stating any truths here that have not been said before, but like any salient truth it deserves to be restated for the sake of repetition as well as being cast in modern parlance. I welcome any comments or discussion that elaborates on the woman's perspective on this issue.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Most women are not all that fertile after 40. So as a 55-year old man you'd have to snag a way younger girl to procreate. But say you marry a 35 year old this year and start a family next year (unlikely to have a wedding pregnancy at those ages)...you'd be 75 or so when the kid graduates high school. If you have had chronic illness for years, you stand a higher chance of dying before the kid gets out of the home. Your main reason for getting married seems to focus on procreation, something harder for you now. You don't seem to mention friendship/companionship so much. If that is the case and your libido doesn't daily torture you, I'd say stay single if you'd made it thus far. Most American women past 35 have all sorts of baggage and you'd probably end up raising another man's kids instead of producing your own, but you seem to want to preserve your own biological line. Remember that Jesus did not preserve his biological line and he is our Great Example in morals, and so there is nothing inferior in remaining single.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
God leaves it up to us to decide, but he is clear that we must produce progeny of some sort, either biological or spiritual.
I don't think it's true that married people must produce children. Many couples can't, for one reason or another. Does that mean they are being disobedient to God or that their marriages are failures? I don't think so. A husband and wife are, by themselves, a family. If children come, that's great. But, if they don't, that's OK, too - they have more time and energy to focus on spiritual "children."
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
Most women are not all that fertile after 40. So as a 55-year old man you'd have to snag a way younger girl to procreate. But say you marry a 35 year old this year and start a family next year (unlikely to have a wedding pregnancy at those ages)...you'd be 75 or so when the kid graduates high school. If you have had chronic illness for years, you stand a higher chance of dying before the kid gets out of the home. Your main reason for getting married seems to focus on procreation, something harder for you now. You don't seem to mention friendship/companionship so much. If that is the case and your libido doesn't daily torture you, I'd say stay single if you'd made it thus far. Most American women past 35 have all sorts of baggage and you'd probably end up raising another man's kids instead of producing your own, but you seem to want to preserve your own biological line. Remember that Jesus did not preserve his biological line and he is our Great Example in morals, and so there is nothing inferior in remaining single.
Agreed, Jesus did not preserve his biological line, but he is really the exception in many ways and not the rule. I for one am not going to die to atone for the sins of anybody. I did neglect to talk about friendship and companionship in my post, but that is largely because I am getting that now with other people in my life. My health difficulties have been psychotropic in nature, and they have largely abated in the past few years. Physically I am well preserved. My libido doesn't torture me daily, but that is in large part because by the grace of God my sexual activity has been completely shut down for the past 25 years. Completely. I don't doubt that when the time comes the machinery will re-activate without any issues and we can both enjoy a healthy sex life. I don't mind marrying a widow or a women in a Godly divorce as long as she is open to having one or two more of my own. As I mentioned in the OP, I have spent most of my christian life producing and nurturing spiritual offspring. I want to try the biological route now, and I don't think that is asking more of God (or any potential wife) than is appropriate.
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't think it's true that married people must produce children. Many couples can't, for one reason or another. Does that mean they are being disobedient to God or that their marriages are failures? I don't think so. A husband and wife are, by themselves, a family. If children come, that's great. But, if they don't, that's OK, too - they have more time and energy to focus on spiritual "children."
I certainly didn't mean to imply that a childless couple is being disobedient. Only that a couple in that condition should take it upon themselves to produce spiritual children. Procreation of some sort, that's all.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Agreed, Jesus did not preserve his biological line, but he is really the exception in many ways and not the rule. I for one am not going to die to atone for the sins of anybody. I did neglect to talk about friendship and companionship in my post, but that is largely because I am getting that now with other people in my life. My health difficulties have been psychotropic in nature, and they have largely abated in the past few years. Physically I am well preserved. My libido doesn't torture me daily, but that is in large part because by the grace of God my sexual activity has been completely shut down for the past 25 years. Completely. I don't doubt that when the time comes the machinery will re-activate without any issues and we can both enjoy a healthy sex life. I don't mind marrying a widow or a women in a Godly divorce as long as she is open to having one or two more of my own. As I mentioned in the OP, I have spent most of my christian life producing and nurturing spiritual offspring. I want to try the biological route now, and I don't think that is asking more of God (or any potential wife) than is appropriate.
Sorry, but I would not trust the machinery to re-activate after 25 years if it has been "completely shut down." Most men struggle with at least occasional urges and their bodies react accordingly. If there is no reactivity, this is a cause to seek medical help now before you go wife-hunting. You'd have to be very upfront with any potential spouse because sex is a large part of marriage (I think most men would refuse to marry into a sexless union, and probably many women). Marrying into that situation could prove a severe trial to your spouse. I would suggest a diet and exercise regimen and to talk to a doctor.

Most of all I will pray. I am glad you are here on the board. I will root for you and pray for you, dear brother. I think your desires are godly and I hope God sees them fulfilled.
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
Sorry, but I would not trust the machinery to re-activate after 25 years if it has been "completely shut down." Most men struggle with at least occasional urges and their bodies react accordingly. If there is no reactivity, this is a cause to seek medical help now before you go wife-hunting. You'd have to be very upfront with any potential spouse because sex is a large part of marriage (I think most men would refuse to marry into a sexless union, and probably many women). Marrying into that situation could prove a severe trial to your spouse. I would suggest a diet and exercise regimen and to talk to a doctor.

Most of all I will pray. I am glad you are here on the board. I will root for you and pray for you, dear brother. I think your desires are godly and I hope God sees them fulfilled.
Wellll, I am trying to put this politely. I am still aroused by the all the usual stimuli, with all the attendant biological reactions. I just don't, well, consummate. I am not worried.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Agreed, Jesus did not preserve his biological line, but he is really the exception in many ways and not the rule.
Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul, just to name a few “exceptions”... I sympathize with your situation, but I think you’re infatuating the significance of having a male heir. Initially, having a male heir would provide hope you might produce the Christ (Genesis 5:29). Well, he has arrived.

I hope perhaps you will be blessed in your desire to by God’s grace have a son, but if not, find relief in Christ, who will ultimately provide fulfillment beyond comparison. Matthew 19:12.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Wellll, I am trying to put this politely. I am still aroused by the all the usual stimuli, with all the attendant biological reactions. I just don't, well, consummate. I am not worried.
Ok, good. In matters of biology and sex, etc, I always think it is best to speak plainly to avoid confusion. This obscure way of speaking is one reason the church does not really do a good job of providing good advice and why people go to secular sources.
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I understand your concerns. If this were a private conversation (something possible on this board, I believe) I would use much more direct language.
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Daniel, this is a perspective from an older(ish) female (40). I personally believe that marriage in the later stages of life solely for companionship and the pleasures that such a union affords would be perfectly pure in the sight of God. As Nathan pointed out, the male line in the Old Testament was in expectation of our Saviour. The Lord commands our procreation in marriage now so that we can be means to usher more souls into the kingdom of God, if the Lord so wills it. But, as we can see in many examples, the Lord withholds the gift of children to some parents and to some that seek to avoid this blessing, he gives them. And the reasons for this we will never apprehend while we are in this earthly realm.

My own personal story is that I married a bit later in life (36) but to a much older man (60 at the time) and we decided not to have children, primarily due to his age. I am quite thankful for that decision (and for the Lord upholding that) now as he passed away unexpectedly not too long after our marriage; a child raised by a mother and father is an ideal situation, though the Lord in his infinitely wise counsel does ordain sometimes for one or both parents to be taken from the child's life and this to his own glory.
 

Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
but I have been confronting a few things about myself (and all men) that is leading me to seek a marriage even at this late stage of life.
If you’re having trouble finding someone I recommend sovereigngracesingles. I met my wife there and a man at my church in his late 30’s has also been successful with it as of recently.
 
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