Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jesus' Private, Intimate, Romantic and/or Sexual Life - and a Tribute to the Woman I Love

My 28th anniversary is today, so I have been thinking a lot the last few days about my marriage and how grateful I am that I met my wife 32 1/2 years ago - and the life we have shared since then.

I linked previously to a post by Jacob on By Common Consent entitled "Men, Sex and Modesty".  I came across an exchange I had in that thread with another commenter and felt like I should copy it as a separate post.  

The other person said:

“To the best of our knowledge, Christ loved women in a non-romantic way. He wasn’t dating them, trying to get their attention, wooing them, courting them, much less marrying and eventually having sex with them.”

I responded: 

We have nothing (absolutely nothing) to tell us one way or the other whether the assumption above is correct or not. Given our actual historical record, “to the best of our knowledge” can mean that Jesus did every single one of those things – and every argument I have heard that claims he did none of them is based on prior assumptions and not grounded in historical reality. Sure, he might have been celibate and lacked natural attractions – but that would deny an important part of how we view and talk about the Atonement, in my opinion.

Thus, I reject it and the argument flowing from it. 

The other person then accused me of being snarky, to which I replied (edited to combine three comments into one comprehensive comment): 

My response contains no snark whatsoever. None.

I reject the statement I quoted simply because it is based on an assumption that is not supported in the scriptural accounts we have. There literally is no way to say one way or the other, or anywhere in between, what Jesus thought, felt and did in regard to those things (how he loved women [romantically and/or non-romantically] and how he felt about “dating women, trying to get their attention, wooing them, courting them, much less marrying and eventually having sex with them"), since there is no context given of his life prior to his ministry. In fact, without the reference to Peter’s mother-in-law being sick, we would have nothing whatsoever about the intimate, private, romantic and sexual lives of any of Jesus’ closest disciples. We simply don’t know, and we ought to admit that rather than claiming we do to some degree.

In other words, there is no “to the best of our knowledge,” since there is no knowledge at all about those specific things. Lack of knowledge does not equal knowledge of anything except its lack – so there is nothing that can be extrapolated knowledgeably about things for which we have no detail.

Thus, “to the best of our knowledge” is useless when talking about how Jesus approached women romantically or sexually. The best of our knowledge in that field is the same as the worst of our knowledge – non-existent.

I personally believe Jesus was married and that he had a romantic, intimate and sexual life that he "laid down for his friends" when he became a minister and went on a mission, so to speak.  I might be wrong about that, since there simply is no way to know for certain, but I believe he experienced all we experience, in some way, and I believe that means he experienced our greatest joys as well as our greatest sorrows and sins.

Looking back on the last 32 years of my life, since I met my wife, and the last 28 years, since we were married, I choose to believe he experienced my greatest joy - that of being married to a woman whom I love with all my heart and soul.  I don't believe his life could be "perfect" (complete, whole, fully developed) without that experience.