Why Marriage is No Longer Monogamous?

It seems that monogamy is not as popular as it once was. Man has always had problems with God’s arrangement of one man and one woman married for one lifetime. But, why are so many leaving monogamous relationships for affairs and even bigamy?

Reason #1: Monogamy is Misunderstood

Although the term “monogamy” is not found in the Bible, God created marriage to be monogamous from the very beginning (Gen. 2:18f). So who gets to define monogamy? Shouldn’t God define what He meant by monogamy? Yet mankind has mixed up or confused the true parameters of the marriage relationship.

For example, actor Clint Eastwood, is said to have sung “She Made Me Monogamous” to actress Sondra Locke. However, he was married at the time to Maggie Johnson and did not divorce her until nine years after he began his affair with Locke. However, Johnson and Eastwood had an open marriage, which allowed him to father children with other women. Furthermore, Locke was married to someone else her whole life. Obviously, God’s definition of monogamy is not the same one used in Hollywood.

Furthermore, Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington says, “I don’t think we are a monogamous animal. A really monogamous animal is a goose – which never mates again even if its mate is killed.” (Live Science, Jeanna Bryner, Sept, 6, 2012) In contrast, God does not define monogamy as married only once but married for life (Rom. 7:2,3).

Monogamy involves marriage between a man and a woman. These two have a right to be married. They have not divorced their spouses for any other reason than adultery. They are not married to any one else. And it is just as important to remember that a true monogamous relationship does not allow for any sexual activity outside the marriage (Heb. 13:4).

Reason #2: Monogamy is Not Natural

Franklin Porter, Ph.D. said, “I don’t feel like it’s natural to be in a monogamous relationship. From an evolutionary standpoint, men are wired to impregnate multiple women to further the species.” An article posted on May 20, 2016 in Psychology Today is entitled Monogamy Is Not “Natural” For Human Beings: It’s complicated: The imprint of polygamy. This article claims that humans “carry the biological imprint of polygamy, the opposite of lifelong fidelity to one mate.”

However, God created man and woman for each other from the very beginning. “Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:22-24).

Reason #3: Belief that Monogamy is a Man-made Construct

This brings us to the next reason monogamy is not a valued virtue by many. It is believed that society has come up with this idea of marriage being monogamous and not God.

“Among mammals, just 9 percent of species are monogamous; among primates, just 29 percent are. Humans are a diverse lot, but before Western imperialism, 83 percent of indigenous societies were polygamous, 16 percent monogamous, and 1 percent polyandrous (where women have multiple husbands). …Our polygamous past is very much with us, though, and not just in the contemporary societies that still allow men to have multiple wives: It seems to be built into our very bodies….Monogamy, after all, does not come naturally; it is not the norm unless a society enforces it as such. (Institute for Family Studies, Is Monogamy Unnatural? by Robert VerBruggen, March 29,2016).

So if man made marriage monogamous, man can just as easily change marriage to being an open sexual relationship.

Reasons #4: The Belief that Monogamy is Monotony

Barbara Kingsolver, in The Poisonwood Bible, wrote “we Christians have our own system of marriage, and it’s called Monotony.” Mankind would like the term “monogamy” better if it sounded less like “monotony.”

The Bible does not describe marriage as monotonous. “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love” (Prov. 5:18-19). “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22),

Reason #5: Monogamy is Too Hard

Scarlett Johansson told People, “I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person. I might be skewered for that, but I think it’s work. It’s a lot of work. The fact that it is such work for so many people—for everyone—the fact of that proves that it is not a natural thing.”

True, marriage to one person for life can require a great deal of work. Peter told “husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). And he told wives, “be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1,2). Paul said, “let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33).

A monogamous marital relationship is good because God made it. It is man who has rejected it.

— Daniel R. Vess

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