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My wife had been friends for about three years before we started courting.
That helped, because when we started going out, our relationship then underwent a fundamental change.
It’s right to acknowledge that there is far more to marriage than sex, and that other factors (such as mutual respect, commitment, companionship, a shared sense of calling, faith in Christ) are indispensable criteria for a couple trying to discern whether they should marry or not. Any couple considering marriage should be really sure that they are sexually attracted to one another – whether either of them experience same-sex attraction or not.
If you aren’t attracted to someone, you shouldn’t marry them!
But people with same-sex attraction considering marriage will want to take particular care to be sure that they are attracted to their potential spouse – not because same-sex attraction is an inherent barrier to marriage, but because sex is a good and integral feature of marriage.
There’s really no difference between me and any other married person.
And whilst I am convinced that some people with same sex attraction can and should get married (to someone of the opposite sex), Jeremy and others are absolutely right to remind us of the profound damage that can be caused when someone ignores or refuses to be honest about their true sexual feelings and enters into a marriage, hoping that they will become sexually attracted to their spouse after the wedding.
Marriage is a difficult and costly calling – just like singleness.
One of the Prefaces to the Church of England’s marriage service says that marriage is a way of life that “must not be undertaken carelessly, lightly, or selfishly, but reverently, responsibly, and after serious thought.” This is true of all marriages.
Again, that is advice that could and should be given to any couple. Christian psychologist William Kraft argues that whilst it is of course right to avoid situations which place us in temptation, that is not the same as seeking to ignore or deny your feelings, which is dangerous.
I would add a couple of other things as advice for someone once they were married. Feelings can be accepted and brought to God, even whilst you choose not to act on them.