That probably holds some water, but I figured I'd dig around in the New Testament to see what it says about reproduction and marriage. (Using the NIV because I don't have access to anything much better right now.)cntrational wrote:I feel most of the recent association between between reproduction and marriage is a reaction by conservative Christians to the rise of LGBT relationships and sex education, rather than a strongly held and talked about belief. It was probably just a "fact of life" before then.
So Paul seems to think that married couples should be having sexual intercourse regularly, but he doesn't particularly like it. In fact, allowing sex within the confines of marriage seems to be mostly a way of keeping people from having sex outside of marriage.1 Corinthians 7:4-7 wrote:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
And Jesus (well, the author of the Gospel According to Matthew) cares quite a bit about whether sex occurs in marriage (naming infidelity as the only legitimate grounds for divorce). As far as whether this passage demands that married couples reproduce, I'm not so sure.Matthew 19:3-9 wrote:3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Pretty much the same thing also happens in Mark 10, but there Jesus doesn't make any mention of acceptable reasons for divorce.
I didn't check the other canonical gospels.
Of course, none of this makes much of a difference as to whether marriage is about property or reproduction from a scientific/sociological viewpoint--just shows that people did in fact think about the role of sexual intercourse in marriage in the first century CE.