There are now three towns in the Boston area that have approved “polyamorous” relationships: Somerville, Arlington, and Cambridge. They cannot legalize these relationships yet because that is a matter for the state of Massachusetts; but multi-partner marriages are now allowable. These towns have approved marriages of up to six people.
Interestingly, when the Supreme Court was considering approving homosexual marriage in 2015, Justice Samuel Alito dissented on the ground that once you change the definition of marriage, you open the door to all kinds of arrangements and you destroy any way to assess the validity of those arrangements. It seems Alito was prescient; the next wave of looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places is now here.
So let’s again be clear: the only form of marriage the bible endorses is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. This truth is so fundamental that it appears as soon as humans were formed into male and female sexes in the second chapter of the bible. (To be exact, sexes are created in the first chapter: So God created humanity in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them – Genesis 1:27)
Wait, doesn’t the Old Testament permit polygamy? No, the Old Testament describes polygamy, it doesn’t permit it. In Genesis 16, Sarah gave her husband Abraham her servant Hagar as a wife because she herself could not conceive a child. But scripture makes it clear this decision was a disaster. Polygamy in the bible is a sign of the foolishness and fallen-ness of the human race.
The reason Americans are confused about marriage is because we have forgotten the purpose of marriage. We think marriage exists to make us happy. That idea is romantic, but it’s false. The bible teaches that marriage has three purposes:
- Birth and nurture of children
- Intimacy and mutual support of husband and wife
- Social order
Americans affirm the second purpose, but ignore the first and third. Governments used to understand that marriage is fundamental to a stable society, but now they capitulate to an “anything goes” approach, and the result is chaos. Just look at our inner cities. Marriage is NOT just about one’s individual happiness; it goes far deeper than that.
Pop culture portrays falling in love and sex as the height of love. It’s not. The good news is that true sexual love is even better. But you only get to experience that if you’re ready for the self-sacrifice that true marriage requires.
And let’s keep in mind that sexual/marital love is NOT the greatest love. There are even better experiences of love available to you. The source of all those loves is the love of God through Jesus Christ. Forget pop culture – it’s incredibly stupid. Instead, tune in to the One who invented love.