A husband and wife dispel myths about the role of marital sex in this book of personal growth.
The Song of Solomon, according to the authors, is a love story that serves as a model for modern Christian marriage. Ron and Patti Marinari argue that Abishag, David’s consort in the Book of Kings, is the unnamed female protagonist in this Old Testament poem. (Ron Marinari [The Calling, 2008, etc.] is the author of other religious books and is a pastor of The Church of the Hills in Bedminster, New Jersey.) Although she’s poor and works in the fields, Abishag nevertheless ensnares King Solomon in the authors’ depiction, and their love affair reveals a surprising eroticism, including such acts as oral sex and manual stimulation. Asserting that any consensual act not expressly forbidden by Scripture belongs in Christian traditional marriage, the book gives frank, practical advice, such as 20 different types of kisses that can be exchanged between husbands and wives, five thoughts on establishing rules for the bedchamber (such as not allowing resentment in) and 12 ways to prevent erosion of a relationship. In addition, the Marinaris confront modern issues such as perfectionist parenting, temptations to cheat, and the misconception that dancing with one’s spouse is forbidden. Although this is a book for couples, some chapters are targeted specifically toward wives, although women are invited to share their chapters with their husbands, if they wish. Each chapter also includes a list of questions for discussion. This book’s wide-ranging advice may benefit married people of any faith tradition (“This is not the story of a right-wing, conservative, middle-aged man and his stay-at-home wife,” they note). It’s clearly aimed solely at heterosexual married couples, however; at one point, for example, lesbianism is characterized as an “alternative lifestyle.” That said, the authors effectively argue that sex is profoundly spiritual, and denounce rule-based strictures that prevent erotic joy in marriage. In the introduction, for example, they note statistics that show that self-described fundamentalists are likely to view pornography, and they cite this as “an example of how imposing laws on people truly fails to change their hearts.”
A well-researched call for healthy eroticism within heterosexual marriage.