There’s been quite a lengthy discussion about the Bahá’í perspective on Sex before Marriage and in this posting, I want to come at the topic from a different angle.
As we know, Bahá’u’lláh’s purpose in coming to earth, was for unity. Everything He taught, was for unity.
Bahá’u’lláh came to bring unity to the world, and a fundamental unity is that of the family. Therefore, we must believe that the Faith is intended to strengthen the family, not weaken it. (Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 452)
We all want peace on earth and Bahá’u’lláh’s blueprint is what’s going to get us there.
The well-being of mankind,” Bahá’u’lláh wrote more than a century ago, “its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” In observing that “mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to terminate its age-long martyrdom,” Shoghi Effendi further commented that: “Unification of the whole of mankind is the hallmark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 693)
His teachings are the only thing that’s going to unite the world:
Naught but the celestial potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas and convictions of the children of men. (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 41)
So how does not having sex before marriage (one of His teachings) contribute to unity?
Instead of having sex, He wants us to develop friendship first; and learn how to treat each other. If our thoughts are on satisfying our carnal urges, we’re thinking of ourselves and our needs; not thinking about how to treat the other person with love and harmony, friendliness and fellowship:
Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 14)
Men and women approach casual sex differently. For men it’s a way to satisfy their urges, while for women, it’s a way to cement a relationship. There can’t be any unity when the fundamental purpose for coming together is different for both parties:
Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you. This, verily, is the most exalted Word which the Mother Book hath sent down and revealed unto you. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 217)
Baha’u’llah often equates unity as being “the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch”. These leaves and fruit all serve the same purpose; where casual sex serves different purposes for both sexes.
The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 218)
Baha’u’llah wants us to have fellowship (which includes companionship, camaraderie, friendship, partnership, cooperativeness, solidarity and sociability); all of which are impossible when the focus is on bodily urges. If we have it, He’s with us, if we don’t, we’ve created a veil between us.
We shall always be with you; if We inhale the perfume of your fellowship, Our heart will assuredly rejoice, for naught else can satisfy Us. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 315-316)
With unity, our souls are knit together; with sex we come together for a brief moment in time when two become one, but then there is separation, and nothing permanent is knit together.
Please God, ye will regard this blessed night as the night of unity, will knit your souls together. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 316)
The love He wants us to have is one where we sacrifice our spirits and our desires for each other; with casual sex we are totally focused on fulfilling our own needs.
Bring them together again, O Lord . . . and unite their hearts by the dominion of Thy Love! Cause them to love one another so as to sacrifice their spirits, expend their money and give up their desires for each other’s sake! (‘Abdul-Bahá, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 263)
What is God’s vision for us? That our thoughts, views and feelings become as one reality. This takes time and consultation; neither of which exist with casual sex.
Make our souls dependent upon the Verses of Thy Divine Unity, our hearts cheered with the outpourings of Thy Grace, that we may unite even as the waves of one sea and become merged together as the rays of Thine effulgent Light; that our thoughts, our views, our feelings may become as one reality, manifesting the spirit of union throughout the world. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 405)
He wants all of us to be bound together as one single heart and soul:
So intensely hath the glory of Divine Unity penetrated souls and hearts that all are now bound one to another with heavenly ties, and all are even as a single heart, a single soul. Wherefore reflections of the spirit and impressions of the Divine are now mirrored clear and sharp in the deep heart’s core. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 19)
When we’re coming from our own needs, we can’t accomplish what we can when we work together:
‘Abdul-Bahá said: Those who are working alone are like ants, but when they are united they will become as eagles. Those who work singly are as drops, but, when united, they will become a vast river carrying the cleansing water of life into the barren desert places of the world. Before the power of its rushing flood, neither misery, nor sorrow, nor any grief will be able to stand. Be united! It is rather dangerous to be an isolated drop. It might be spilled or blown away. (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway, p. 171)
He has a purpose for marriage and family life – that we work together as a group, to fulfill certain functions, none of which can be accomplished while the focus is on sex:
Today is the day of union and this age is the age of harmony in the world of existence. “Verily, God loveth those who are working in His path in groups, for they are a solid foundation.” Consider ye that he says “in groups,” united and bound together, supporting one another. “To work,” mentioned in this holy verse, does not mean, in this greatest age, to perform it with swords, spears, shafts and arrows, but rather with sincere intentions, good designs, useful advices, divine moralities, beautiful actions, spiritual qualities, educating the public, guiding the souls of mankind, diffusing spiritual fragrances, explaining divine illustrations, showing convincing proofs and doing charitable deeds. When the holy souls, through the angelic power, will arise to show forth these celestial characteristics, establishing a band of harmony, each of these souls shall be regarded as one thousand persons and the waves of this greatest ocean shall be considered as the army of the hosts of the Supreme Concourse. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 401)
Unity starts with the couple, then the family, and works it way out:
Note ye how easily, where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the world. Their concerns are in order, they enjoy comfort and tranquillity, they are secure, their position is assured, they come to be envied by all. Such a family but addeth to its stature and its lasting honour, as day succeedeth day. And if we widen out the sphere of unity a little to include the inhabitants of a village who seek to be loving and united, who associate with and are kind to one another, what great advances they will be seen to make, how secure and protected they will be. Then let us widen out the sphere a little more, let us take the inhabitants of a city, all of them together: if they establish the strongest bonds of unity among themselves, how far they will progress, even in a brief period and what power they will exert. And if the sphere of unity be still further widened out, that is, if the inhabitants of a whole country develop peaceable hearts, and if with all their hearts and souls they yearn to cooperate with one another and to live in unity, and if they become kind and loving to one another, that country will achieve undying joy and lasting glory. Peace will it have, and plenty, and vast wealth. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 278)
When we don’t have sex and the world around us is suffusing sex into everything, we stand out, and our actions become a light to the world:
So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 14)
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