One of the areas in which the Christian and worldly morals are significantly divergent is ethics in the field of sex. The church insists that Christians should keep abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage. Many people have questions.
In the context of marriage - no. From the point of view of Scripture and the Christian tradition, the bodily closeness of the spouses is part of the good plan of God. The biblical book "Song of Songs" celebrates the marriage in the most vivid terms, and although we are entitled to search for it and the allegorical interpretation, it does not eliminate its direct meaning - the jubilant and quite bodily joy of the couple about each other. As stated in the Book of Proverbs, "Let your spring be blessed; and be consoled by the wife of thy youth, a sweet doe, and fine sulfur: let her breasts be at your ease all the time, and rejoice with her all the time. "(Prov. 5: 18,19). As the apostle Paul says, "Husband give your wife due favor; like a wife to her husband. A wife does not have power over her body, but her husband; and the husband does not have power over his body, but his wife. Do not shy away from each other, except by consent, for a while, for exercise in fasting and prayer, and [then] again be together, lest Satan tempt you with your incontinence "(1 Cor 7: 3-5).
The church from the very beginning had to face hyperacetic false doctrines, which rejected marriage and bodily closeness as something that prevented salvation, and the Church judged them.
As the Foundation of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church says, "While appreciating the feat of voluntary chaste celibacy adopted for Christ and the Gospel, and recognizing the special role of monasticism in its history and modern life, the Church has never treated marriage scornfully and condemned those who from a falsely understood desire for purity abased the marriage relationship.
The apostle Paul, personally chosen for himself virginity and calling for imitation of it in this (1 Cor 7 .8), nevertheless condemns "the hypocrisy of the false believers who are burned in their conscience, forbidding to marry" (1 Tim 4 .2-3). The 51 rule of the Apostles reads: "If anyone ... moves away from marriage ... not for the sake of a feat of abstinence, but for the cause of abhorrence, forgetting ... that God, creating a man, a husband and wife created them, and thus, blaspheming, slanders the creation - or let him be corrected, or be cast out of the holy rank and rejected from the Church. " It is developed by the 1-e, 9-e and 10-th rules of the Gangra cathedral: "If a man condemns marriage and abhors his wife by faithful and pious, with his husband copulating, or blames this, as unable to enter the kingdom [God] under an oath. If one who is virgin or abstains, departing from marriage, as abhorrent to them, and not for the sake of beauty and the sanctity of virginity, be under an oath. If any one of the virgins for the Lord will be exalted above the combined marriage, let him be sworn. " The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in the definition of 28 December 1998, referring to these rules, pointed to "the inadmissibility of a negative or arrogant attitude towards marriage."
But if they love each other - what prevents them from simply openly admitting to everyone that they are spouses? Unfortunately, there is no registered cohabitation in any way - it's a situation where, theoretically, a loving couple blows all the time from the door, which he (much less often - she) left open to leave at any moment.
Love is a willingness to devote one's life to another person. Keep fidelity, share difficulties, take care of the time of illness, never give up. If love does not even lead to a willingness to openly recognize a woman as his wife, then, alas, it does not yet attract love. In general, sin in the Christian context is not availability, it is absence.
Fornication is not the presence of bodily intimacy, it is the lack of love and faithfulness.
The sin of fornication is called mortal sin. Someone is killing someone? Physically, no. But love is a state where one person connects with another and with the soul and body. This is the highest degree of unity. But because of the sin of fornication, a person loses the possibility of complete unity with the other, since some of this unity is given to another or to others. Part of the soul dies. And this will never change.
Read more about this in the reply of Protopriest Nikolai Emelyanov to the question: "Do men and women remain" one flesh "after the break?".
Moreover, if the promises of "loving always", "being faithful" and so on are not fulfilled, this is a perjury, and this is a grave sin against charity, because it causes suffering to the deceived side. Defiling the people, the Old Testament prophet Malachi says: "And now, what else do you do: you make you shed tears in the Lord's altar with sobs and cries, so that He no longer looks down on the offering and does not accept the propitious sacrifice from your hands. You will say: "For what?" Because the Lord was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you acted treacherously, while she is your girlfriend and your lawful wife "(Mal 2: 13,14).
The word "love" in secular and Christian terms means different things. In the worldly context, love is my experience, which is evoked in me by another person. Such love is self-centered - it is addressed to oneself, and another person is a means of delivering certain experiences to oneself. When this person no longer "delivers", this is called "love has passed", you can go in search of someone else who delivers.
What will happen to the left behind is no longer interesting.
In the Christian context, love is precisely a way out of egocentrism. This appeal to one's neighbor, the recognition of his reality. If we use Kant's formulation, the neighbor should not be a means - in this case, bringing me experiences - but a goal. Love is a decision to take care of the welfare of another person, regardless of their experiences in this matter.
We, people, are so arranged that our emotions follow the will - we begin to hate people with whom we act unfairly. When we sin against someone, we need to be sure that this is a bad person deserving such treatment. This gives rise to a downward spiral - the worse we treat a person, the greater the dislike we experience, and, as a result, we treat it even worse.
Fortunately, the opposite is also true: when we make efforts to act in love, our heart softens, and it becomes easier for us to do good to this person. We begin to feel love when we work hard for love.