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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>
==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]] 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>[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.xiv.html The Canons of the Council in Trullo: Canon XIII]</ref>
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 [
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:
*[http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=230&SID=3 Church's view of masturbation] ([[OCA]])
*[http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8076.asp For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics] by Fr. [[Stanley S. Harakas]] ([[GOARCH]])
*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-real-meaning-of-sex.html The Real Meaning of Sex] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/what-to-say-at-a-naked-party.html What to Say at a Naked Party] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-oneida-experiment.html The Oneida Experiment] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/overthrown-by-eros.html Overthrown by Eros] by Frederica Mathewes-Green
*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/born-that-way.html Born That Way] by Frederica Mathewes-Green