Intercourse and Uncleanliness
NCW 17, March 1995
Q. In Leviticus 12:1-5 it says that a woman is "unclean" for a week after giving birth to a boy, and for two weeks after giving birth to a girl. Why? And do you think that married couples should be allowed to have intercourse during pregnancy?
Actually, a woman must wait much longer than a week or a fortnight, viz. 40 days for a boy, and 80 days for a girl. In the Holy Order husbands and wives are not permitted to have intercourse until 40-80 days after the birth of a boy or girl, respectively.
In revelation given to the Holy Order we are informed that the purpose of menstrual bleeding is to wash our impurities from the blood. It is for this reason that men must abstain from having intercourse during this period. If they do, they too become impure, and must not have intercourse for a week (Lev.15:24). The same principle applies following birth when a woman may continue bleeding for some time.
Most Christians tend to ignore these laws without appreciating what they are. They are usually both surprised and revolted or shocked. Most see no point in them. The "uncleanliness" here has nothing to do with the spirit but with the body (Matt.15:11; Mark 7:20-23). The rules given in the Pentateuch are mostly for hygenic reasons. But there are others too.
Our bodies are highly delicate, finely-tuned instruments. They not only have chemical properties but electrical and magnetic properties as well. Perhaps you have been in the vicinity of someone and felt "drained" by them, as though your life-force had been sucked out of you. This is caused by a polarisation of the body.
Good bodily health depends on good electrical balance. Menstruation and child-birth enormously change the polarity of a woman's body. A woman (-) bearing a female child (-) will be far more polarised that one carrying a male (+) and therefore will take longer to normalise the electrical field around her body. Hence the longer time for abstention.
The whole of the 15th chapter of Leviticus is full of regulations about uncleanliness, defilement, prohibitions on touching, discharges, etc.. Most Christians reject them as purely ceremonial but we do not. There is meaning behind all of God's Word, not just some of it. In observing these we do not do so to make ourselves spiritually right with God because this is by faith; we do so because of health reasons, and taking care of the body is one of the commandments (1 Cor.3:16). They are particularly observed in the Holy Order.
Regarding pregnancy and intercourse: there are not, as far as we know, any scriptural restrictions. There are some Christians who are of the opinion that there should be no intercourse during pregnancy; if both parties in a marriage are agreed, then let them abstain. If the couple are in disagreement, then they must come to some kind of compromise or private arrangement. The Apostolate has not at this time been inspired to make any other ruling other than to recommend that abstinence for prayer's sake is to be commended.
By way of a testimony I would like to add a personal experience. On one occasion when I had, unknown to either of us, lain with my wife at or near the moment she began her menstruation, I later during the night had a vision in which I saw the bed covered in detrius and worms. I knew instinctively that the bed had somehow become "unclean", and learned the next day that my wife had begun her period. Not until this experience had I ever really considered the literalness of the words of the Law in Leviticus 15. Since I have always been very scrupulous in observing the sexual laws of the Bible I have never since had such an experience. Afterwards I could not rest comfortably in bed until I had had the sheets removed and washed.
We will later address the subject of spiritual and physical purity and impurity in more detail. I will add only that I know from experience that spiritually dark entities/demons are attracted by impure sexual activity and somehow "feed" off the impure energies released rather like vultures feed off the carcasses of dead animals. Sexual purity in marriage is therefore of the utmost importance if the spiritual life is to be preserved and nurchured in Christ.
Blood and semen are treated very particularly in the Old Law and I like to compare them with nuclear fuel: when used/handled correctly, they produce blessings; when not, they bring much danger.
This is a large subject and is treated in more detail elsewhere
This page was created on 2 May 1998
Last updated on 2 May 1998
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