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In the [[Old Testament]], sex for the purpose of procreation was emphasized, as children were evidence of God's blessing on a marriage. However, procreation is not the reason for marriage. "Procreation is not the only purpose of sex in marriage, but sex and procreation go hand in hand."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 121.</ref>
:"Saint John Chrysostom writes: “Thus, marriage was given to us for procreation also, but much more for the purpose of extinguishing our burning nature. And Paul is a witness to this, saying, `Because of fornications, let each have his own wife,’ and not for the purpose of procreation. And he commands that you come together again, not for you to become fathers of many children. But to come together again for what purpose? `So that Satan may not tempt you,’ he says. He continues, but he does not say, `come together if you wish children.’ But what does he say? `If they cannot abstain, let them marry,’ for in the beginning, as it was said, marriage had two purposes. But later, with the earth and the sea and the entire world filled, one reason alone remains: to cast out debauchery and lasciviousness.” ("On Virginity", as quoted by George S. Gabriel). <ref>''You Call My Words Immodest'by George S. Gabriel.</ref>  George S. Gabriel interprets the above passage as condoning the practice of contraception: "The plain meaning of Chrysostom’s words is, If for a certain period, you and your wife have abstained by agreement, perhaps for a time of prayer and fasting, come together again for the sake of your marriage. You do not need procreation as an excuse. It is not the chief reason for marriage. Neither is it necessary to allow for the possibility of conceiving, and thus having a large number of children, something you may not want' ." (''On Virginity'', quoted by [George] Gabriel, [''"You Call My Words Immodest''], p. 3")."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'You Call My Words Immodest' by FrGeorge S. John MackGabriel. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Presshttps: 1996//thoughtsintrusive. pwordpress. 118com/2012/08/30/you-call-my-words-immodest/.</ref>
==Context of marriage==
Canon 13 of the [[Quinisext Council]] upholds sex as a part of marriage, even for [[ordination|ordained]] men:
:"Since we know it to be handed down as a rule of the [[Church of Rome|Roman Church]] that those who are deemed worthy to be advanced to the [[diaconate]] or [[presbyter]]ate should promise no longer to cohabit with their wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and [[Apostles|apostolic]] perfection and order, will that the lawful marriages of men who are in [[Holy Orders|holy orders]] be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolving their union with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a convenient time. Wherefore, if anyone shall have been found worthy to be ordained [[subdeacon]], or deacon, or presbyter, he is by no means to be prohibited from admittance to such a rank, even if he shall live with a lawful wife. Nor shall it be demanded of him at the time of his ordination that he promise to abstain from lawful intercourse with his wife: lest we should affect injuriously marriage constituted by God and blessed by his presence, as the [[Gospel]] saith: 'What God hath joined together let no man put asunder'; and the [[Apostle Paul|Apostle]] saith, 'Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled'; and again, 'Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.' "<ref>[ The Canons of the Council in Trullo: Canon XIII]</ref>
==Marital fasting==
Unmarried people should be celibate, that is, refrain from sexual activity. Those who have taken monastic vows, or who have been ordained and are not married (either unmarried or widowed), are held to follow a celibate life.
Some of the Church teachings say that celibacy is better than marriage, while others hold them more equally. "One of the paradoxes of Christian [[ethics]ethic]s is that marriage and celibacy, if they presuppose different practical behaviors, are based on the same [[theology]] of the Kingdom of God and, therefore, on the same spirituality."<ref>''Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective'' by Fr. [[John Meyendorff]]. Crestwood, New York, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press: 2000. p. 69.</ref>
St. Paul indicated his preference for celibacy: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. ... For I wish that all men were even as I am myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am" (I Cor. 7:1,7-8).
Not only should one avoid yielding to temptation, but one should also take care not to offer temptation to others. "A wink of the eye, and a man makes trouble; a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace" (Prov. 10:10).
King [[David]] allowed his desires to get the better of him when he desired Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. After Bathsheba refused David's advances, David sent Uriah into battle, so that he would be killed. When the [[Prophet]] Nathan advised David that his actions were displeasing to God, David became angry at the truth until he repented, confessing his sin ([[II Kingdoms|2 Sam.]] 11-:12).
[[Monastic rule]]s often include injunctions to fight against sexual temptation.
*"This is how the adulteress behaves: when she has eaten, she wipes her mouth clean and says, 'I have done nothing wrong' " (Prov. 30:20).
The [[New Testament]] continues to uphold these ideas. Christ, when explaining his teaching to his [[disciple]]s, said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, [[false witness]], blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man" (Matt. 15:19-20; cf. [[Gospel of Mark|Mark]] 7:21-23). St. [[Apostle James (son of Zebedee)|James]], in the Apostolic Council, sought to teach the Gentiles, not to trouble them, "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood" ([[Acts of the Apostles|Acts]] 15:20).
St. Paul also wrote to the Corinthians with warnings:
==See also==
*[[Birth control]]/[[Contraception]]
*[ Church's view of masturbation] ([[OCA]])
*[ For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics] by Fr. [[Stanley S. Harakas]] ([[GOARCH]])
*[ The Real Meaning of Sex] by [[Frederica Mathewes-Green]]
*[ What to Say at a Naked Party] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[ The Oneida Experiment] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[ Overthrown by Eros] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[ Born That Way] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[ Sexual Purity and Healthy Relationships (RAM)] video (GOARCH)
*[ Smart Marriage XIII: The Theology of Marriage and Sexuality] by Fr. George Morelli
*[ "Sexual Addiction"&mdash;An Orthodox and Scientific View] by Fr. George Morelli Ph.D.
*[ Sex Is Holy: Psycho-Spiritual Reflections in a Secular World] by Rev. George Morelli
*[ There is No Sex in the Church] by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov (ROCOR)

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