I think infidelity is difficult, monogamy is difficult, and marriage is difficult – Maura Tierney
‘And the two shall become one…let no one put asunder.’ These are famous words by our Lord. They are serious words not to be taken lightly before, at the point of, and after exchanging vows.
Infidelity is among the top three causes of divorce; a person becomes unfaithful to their spouse. Adultery takes place for various reasons and it goes contrary to the tenets of a monogamous relationship. A monogamous relationship is based on sexual relationships with one person, expectation being till death do you part. Remaining faithful is a struggle and this is not for the faint-hearted.
I recently watched Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch, where they were talking about polyamory. If you don’t know what this means, let me break it down for you. In a polyamorous relationship, one can love ‘equally’ and desire intimate relationships with different partners and the partners consent to each having such relationships. Everyone can see whomever so long as there’s consent to do so.
I was horrified at the thought of such a relationship. What struck me though was that the panelists said they had noted monogamous relationships do not work, seeing the increased unfaithfulness in such relationships. Why bother when you can have it all, they say. And their motto, No rules, just boundaries.
Here I was struggling at the thought of polygamy, thinking a co-wife or wives would drive me mad. Now this? Really? We know of polygamous relationships where one person, often the male, is married to more than one woman. Certain religions and customary practices do not frown on polygamy. Lately, there’s been support of these kind of arrangements since it is argued the Christian wedding is a white/western affair that aimed at killing our ancestral culture.
The difference between polygamy and polyamory is the liberty that the spouses or parties have to be intimate with whomever they desire.
These are just but examples of non-monogamous relationships. There are many others; swinging (partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others at the same time), open relationships (a marriage or relationship in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others), or any other form.
Talking to my daughter and her friends (18-20 years old), there is a general feeling that their generation is not keen on getting married. I was curious as to why. They cannot fathom the thought of being tied down to one person for the rest of their lives. But the main reason is because they have observed infidelity in many relationships, those of their families and family friends, and are convinced that monogamy does not work. Many families have been shattered by infidelity or the presence of third parties in a relationship. Our children are caught up in the middle. Divorce or separation has an impact on our children, and we must address these effects.
Is marriage overrated? Are human beings capable of committing to one person for the rest of their lives (till death do the couple part)? Is there any point in remaining or staying monogamous? Why bother getting into such an institution where remaining faithful will be a challenge? And if one is unable to remain faithful, what is the alternative? These are pertinent questions, but there is room to reflect on them.
What drives people to the point where they feel it is not possible to be with only one person?
Church has played a key role in pushing for monogamous marriages. If you have grown up in church, you are wired to look forward to marriage. Many programs, sermons even jokes focus on that. One can hardly go down any other path, marriage to one person is it.
I stand for marriages. Marriage is a good thing – for love, companionship, physical intimacy and procreation. Yet even without the latter, marriage is complete. My intention is to spark this conversation.
The Word of God offers us guidance on expectations of marriage. It is good to study it and find out why marriage exists, conditions of marriage and understand why it is one of the most attacked institutions of this day.
The world states that times have changed and we need to get with the program. But as with any other creation, we must always refer to the creator to understand how that particular creation exists. Marriage was created by God. We need to understand what He says and His expectations of the same.
- To the husband or wife, set a good example. People around you, including your children, are watching. Do your best to remain faithful.
- To the young adults, seek to understand the world of relationships before getting into all these forms of relationships.
- To the church, it’s time to teach and stand on the truth, set good examples, handle those who have fallen with grace, and come down to the level where the church can understand the concerns people have and be part of the solution.
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7.12
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2.24