One of the ways we proclaim our great Savior to the world is through the institution of marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:32). We reflect God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love when we love our spouse the way He has commanded us. A natural question proceeds from our flesh…
Why Not Love Lots of People Then?
When a godly spouse is jealous of any improper affection that his or her spouse is devoting to another, that displays God’s jealousy. Polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved (dictionary.com). Our (western) culture has enjoyed the fruit of valuing Christian marriage for centuries. The footprint of Christianity on the establishment of marriage has made it enjoyable and productive. Even most secular cultures have laws protecting spouses from infidelity.
But some folks have attempted to usurp the Bible’s definition of marriage by proposing polyamorous relationships as normative and healthy. Polyamory comes from a root word meaning “love,” implying somehow that you can love multiple people. As is always the case with folks who try to redefine marriage and sexuality, love doesn’t have anything to do with their agenda. Ultimately, the goals of folks pushing for polyamory is to have multiple sexual partners, but without the guilt or legal consequences inherent therein. Men and women everywhere who embrace polyamory must also deny the natural tendency to become jealous when the object of one’s affection gives inappropriate affection to another.
I have even heard a “Christian” defense of polyamory that proposes that God loves “a lot” of people and calls them his bride, so we should go and do likewise. Although God loves many individual people, He has exactly one Bride (1 Corinthians 12:27). There is simply no defense for polyamory from the Bible. Even God’s people who had multiple wives must be said to have been living in rebellion to Him through that practice!
But God is a Jealous God
We are told in Exodus 20:5 that Yahweh is a jealous God. Because of His jealousy we are not to commit idolatry, that is, give our affection to any other god. Because there is only one God, it is bad for us to worship anything else and He is righteously jealous. This eternal moral law applies to every man and woman. So how much more jealous must God be when a member of the Body of Christ veers into an idolatrous relationship?
Our innate response to the one we love being with someone else is hurt and sadness because we are designed that way. Anyone who participates in or supports polyamorous relationships must deny the image of God imprinted on their heart by denying their jealousy. In so doing, we also deny the very essence of who God is and contradict the clear teaching of Scripture. Our God is a jealous God and His jealousy is a virtue that we should boast in, and our lives ought to reflect that we adore this quality of His.