Poly is Greek for “many.” Amor is Latin for “love.” The Urban Dictionary defines it as “The state of having multiple sexually or romantically committed relationships at the same time, with the consent of all partners involved.” OpenMinded.com says it’s for people who are open to “modern” configurations of romantic and sexual relationships. Founder Brandon Wade describes the polyamorous as “ethical cheaters.” (Oxymoron alert… Does open adultery make it okay?)
This was not Wade’s first foray into exploiting sexual sin for profit. In 2006, Wade launched SeekingArrangement.com, a “sugar daddy” dating website (4 million subscribers). WhatsYourPrice.com followed where subscribers “bid” on a first date with a woman. (Does this sound like prostitution?)
God’s not. He warned us about times such as these.
With the Lord’s authority I say this: “Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity” (Ephesians 4:17-19, NLT).
Is monogamy outdated?
“Modern” is that marketing term that’s used to suck us in. Who wants to be old-fashioned? It’s advertising peer pressure. But is being polyamorous modern?
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” History is replete with periods of sexual hedonism, such as the “revelry” in the Golden Calf incident (Exodus 32). The temples of Rome and Greece were full of temple prostitutes even as Jesus walked the earth.
In 1972, The Open Marriage was on overnight best-seller. Ironically, author Nena O’Neill was pro-marriage. She stated, “It was never intended to be a guide for swingers.” In fact, in 1977, she published The Marriage Premise which stated that fidelity was perhaps “not such a bad thing after all.”
The pursuit of pleasure
Man has been trying to fill the emptiness in his heart with artificial junk since the beginning. Hedonistic pursuits temporarily satisfy itches, but ultimately leave deeper emptiness. In 1883, Henry Sidgwick, professor of moral philosophy at Cambridge, coined the phrase “the paradox of hedonism,” the idea that pursuit of pleasure may actually interfere with attaining it.
Nothing new. Ecclesiastes 2 contains Solomon’s exposition on the result of the pursuit of pleasure. “I said to myself, ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the “good things” in life.’ But I found that this, too, was meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:1, NLT). Ultimately he concluded that true happiness is found in God and keeping His commandments.
Products work better when we follow the manufacturer’s guide. God designed us to be monogamous. Physiologically, He created bonding hormones which stick us together. They lose their stickiness with multiple partners. STD’s are the obvious consequence of sexual sin. Monogamous intimacy is linked to living longer, lower rates of depression, higher immunity and better health.
Psychologically, multiple simultaneous relationships lead to jealousy, anger and hurt feelings from favoritism (even if at first we agree to them). Case in point, Sarai told Abrahm to sleep with Hagar to create a child. Later Sarai turned on Hagar because jealousy took root. (Genesis 16)
Marriage is a picture of our relationship with God. God is a jealous God – not because he’s selfish, but He knows our design and He knows divided hearts only lead to trouble and pain.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24, NLT).
What can we learn from this?
Monotony was the number one excuse for cheating. While hopefully seeking a polyamorous relationship is out of bounds for your marriage, keeping the excitement, sexual stimulation and emotional intimacy in your marriage is part of God’s plan.
What can you do?
- Stay sexually connected, even when fatigue sets in. Find ways to keep sex exciting.
- Avoid pornography or sexually-charged romance novels. These raise expectations to unrealistic levels and cause dissatisfaction with your spouse.
- Avoid comparisons. Comparing your partner to others may cause you to focus on what you don’t have (coveting) instead of blessings. “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
- Don’t let children become your idols. Be sure your connection with one another is the primary focus. Do date nights away from the kids. Take turns doing things the other likes.
- Cuddle often and kiss for at least 5 seconds every day. No joke… this releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone.
- Eat right and exercise together. The resulting endorphins will make you feel good together.
Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:15, NLT)
Patricia Hartman is a CPA/partner at Kofsky, Hartman & Weinger, PA. www.khwcpa.com. She is also a speaker and author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com. She is also president of South Florida Word Weavers and a board member of Living Water Christian Counseling.