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September 23, 2009 / beidson

Monogamy is a Context

Sexual liberality has almost swallowed monogamy wholly.  We may have gained the freedom to get naked whenever we want withweddingring whomever we want, but only at the sacrifice of losing the only way to understand the world.  Monogamy isn’t a contract–it’s a context.  If we lose the story of monogamy, we lose everything.  Monogamy is the meaning of life.

By monogamy, I mean more than having a single sex partner (at a time).  I mean marital fidelity, lasting commitment, permanent wholeness.  Marriage is the way the world works, and in order for marriage to work, there must be monogamy.  You can drop all of the pieces of life into the paradigm of monogamy, and they will fit perfectly.  We have been suited for singular affection.  There is a pattern underneath marriage that we don’t always see.  Nevertheless, the world is shaped monogamously, and we are unavoidably attracted to being one with one other.

Ultimately, we become whole when we are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.  By being found in him, literally becoming one with him, we are restored to monogamy.  Apart from Christ, we are self-seeking idolaters.  God calls us whorish and adulterous.  Faithlessness is in our DNA.  But through Jesus blood, a new DNA is transferred to us–we are given the blood of God.  Monogamy courses through our veins, and every chemical and tissue and muscle in our body begins to long for wholeness and completeness.  The full weight of the curse presses on us as the reality of our helplessness and captivity is realized.  We are compelled to monogamy in every respect.

Understanding monogamy means to know the gospel, because the gospel is a story about sacrificial fidelity.  The brokenness of sin is the fracturing of fidelity, and so the gospel is essentially a story about how God has repaired the great breach of trust between us and given us again a way toward knowing him faithfully.  Jesus came to do the will of his Father, and Jesus’ disciples follow Christ only–they are forbidden to have two masters.  We die with him.  We live with him.  We suffer with him.  We will reign with him.  In Christ we have regained gospel fidelity, and have recaptured a monogamous vision for living.  This is basic Bible.  Jesus died for me.  This defines my world now.

We will never completely lose monogamy because Jesus, who is called Faithful and True, is preeminent, and therefore so is his kingdom of fidelity.  We may lose monogamy as a context in our culture at large, but our local churches must fight against this trend by continually pointing people toward sexual purity, marital fidelity, and finally, singular devotion to Christ.  If our churches lose monogamy, we will have lost our ability to communicate the gospel as well.  In fact, we will have lost everything.


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