SHOULD MARRIED PEOPLE UNDRESS??!!
I have to tell you that I never thought I would be posting a note with such an off-the-wall title. But then I never thought that this would be the question that would keep resurfacing. Several times over the past years, the question has come…” Do the Colleys teach that married people shouldn’t take off their clothes in front of one another…even during sexual activity?” Let me say up front, the answer is NO, NO, and NO again. We have never taught that, do not believe that, have never believed that, and certainly have never practiced that silly, if not impossible absurdity in our own marriage! I really hope that’s clear. The first time I ran this post was in the year 2009. that was 13 years ago. Within the last few weeks (we are now in 2022), this accusation that’s so very false was made in a fairly public venue yet again. Let’s be clear:
The first time the question came up, I just chuckled. It was in conversation with some students at FHU and I really was amused that some rumor like this was even believable. After all, I have always been pretty clear in my teaching of Hebrews 13:4. I have always taught that sexual freedom within a God-approved marriage of a man and wife is only inhibited by the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12). Nothing is off limits in marriage unless and until one of the marriage partners is hurt or offended by it. I think the Golden Rule would most often necessitate the removal of clothes for sex between married people!
Since, my teaching was so public and clear, I really didn’t worry about this query from these students. After all, in the grand scheme of things, what I think about any subject is so relatively unimportant anyway. I was glad they asked, if they were wondering, “But what a weird and awkward question!”
Then it was an eldership in a Mississippi church where Glenn and I were to conduct a marriage seminar. Same question. I was glad they asked, too. After all, if I were an elder and I had any inkling that someone was going to come in and teach something so absurd, I would want to ask. Glenn answered this time and we went and taught the seminar. Then it was a church in Florida where I was scheduled to speak in 2008. Then others; most recently from another group of students on another campus. Now I can formulate the question for those who call to ask. When someone says, “I know this sounds silly, and I’m embarrassed to even ask you this, but can I ask you something about what you teach?”, then I just say, “Oh, no need to be embarrassed. In fact, you don’t even have to ask…No I do NOT teach that married people must have sex with their clothes on!”
Now I’m still not presumptuos enough to think that what I teach about something has any huge impact on the masses. But I AM beginning to think the devil has his wicked hand in keeping this rumor alive. After all, it’s not the masses he is after. But he is a roaring lion and he would love to get his teeth into some innocent young teen Christian girls. Maybe he would like to shield these young girls from hearing “old-fashioned” truths that I DO teach about modest dress, premarital abstinence and virtue. If he can convince some Christians that teachers who stand for purity and attempt to give practical tools for its maintenence are just quacks…absurdly backward radicals…then maybe he can dilute the message of purity. In some cases, maybe he can keep the tools for purity out of the hearing of those young girls who need it desperately in our promiscuous society. Maybe he can close the minds and ears to teachings from Titus 2 before the teacher even gets to the seminar! It is not the world that the lion is stalking. He already has the world. It’s the Christians. And young teenage Christian girls are often vulnerable to his deceit.
So for the record, here is what Glenn and Cindy Colley DO believe and teach:
1. Sex, outside of marriage is always sinful (I Corinthians 6:18-20).
2. Sex, within a God-approved marriage, is wonderful, biblical, commanded and unrestrained (Heb.13:4 and the whole Song of Solomon).
3. The Bible, practically applied, gives us tools for saving sex for marriage.
4. The Bible, practically applied, gives us tools for making sex the best it can be in marriage. (This would include all kinds of things from taking your clothes off for your spouse, to consideration of one another through your days, to frequent sexaul encounters, to romantic times of touching and talking, to…well you get the point!)
For more about what we teach about Christian marriage, we just completed a book called “You’re Singing My Song”, now available in lots of places as well as directly from us. We conduct marriage seminars in lots of places. Our speaking schedules are posted at www.westhuntsville.org. You’re invited to come to any of these at any time and then you’ll know what we teach first-hand. We pray that God can use us in whatever small way to anchor Christian marriages in the Word, to help young people find their way to faithful Christian homes, and to protect the purity of His people from the roaring lion! That lion is very busy.
(Also, let me add once more that I do know that it’s not all about me. If I never write or teach another thing, truth will be out there and there will be many more qualified people saying it with greater clarity than I could. One day soon, I’ll be gone and I know no one will remember for long anything that I have said. I just don’t get the chance to clear up confusion about what everyone else teaches. Of my own teaching/statements I can say what I KNOW with certainty to be factual. Thanks for reading.)