In October, 2023, I wrote an article about open marriages and I warned of the coming “polyamory” trend. Fast forward just four months when New York magazine has a cover story on polyamory, explaining how it works.
In fact, they offer a practical guide to polyamory, answering many of the questions people might have about open relationships. This along with articles in the Wall Street Journal and other major publications reveals a combined effort to normalize this form of immorality.
For a culture that is determined to shun God and all that He stands for, a lifelong heterosexual marriage is no longer something to be celebrated. After all, marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God (see Genesis 2:21-25). Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy traditional marriage. Please understand he is not content to simply plant transgenderism into school curriculum and walk away. He is actively fighting to shred God’s original plan for marriage and the family.
So, while Christians are trying to wrap their heads around what our response should be to transgenderism, Satan has already moved forward with his next battle plan: open marriages or polyamory. And sadly, this new trend as seen in recent publications is quietly growing, especially among the younger generations.
What is an open marriage?
An open marriage is commonly defined as marriage in which one or both spouses are allowed by the other spouse to have sex with other people. The idea is that if it is consensual, then surely it can’t be wrong. In fact, many psychology classes are teaching students that open marriages are likely healthier because it can “boost relationship satisfaction.” Polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple romantic (and typically sexual) relationships, with the consent of all the people involved.
As one who closely monitors the culture, I suspect this open marriage trend will grow quickly. Especially, given the massive explosion in pornography addiction among young and old alike. Pornography feeds an appetite for variety and rewires the brain against the concept of monogamy. Keep your eyes open—over the next few years you will see open marriages featured in all forms of media.
So, what should a Christian’s response be?
Parents and grandparents must remind themselves, and teach their children that we are called to keep the marriage bed pure and undefiled (Hebrews 13:34). High divorce rates have seared the consciences of many Christians and the way we look at adultery. Adultery—even if it is consensual—is still a sin. Pulpits need to be warning against the sin of adultery.
No matter how you slice it (or try to justify it), an open marriage is not the picture of pursuing holiness. Adults, as well as young people, need to familiarize themselves with what God’s Word says about sexual immorality and adultery. [i.e., 1 Corinthians 6:13-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Galatians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:5].
We need to go back and study marriage and Who designed it. In Genesis 2:24, we read “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” An open marriage brings an additional person into the one flesh union.
Study what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 5:15-18, keeping in mind this was written by a king who sought wisdom from God:
“Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.”
I don’t care how you dress it up, polyamory or open marriage was not a part of God’s original plan and it is still a sin (see Ephesians 5:3). Do not allow yourself to be deceived. Yes, Hollywood will glamorize polyamory, but we must keep our eyes focused on God’s plan for a husband and wife. Teach your children the beauty of monogamy and God’s design for marriage.
At the end of the day, an open marriage is selfish. It’s the exact opposite of what healthy marriages need. Rather than compromising and putting your spouse’s needs above your own, an open marriage starts with self-centeredness and usually ends in disaster.
Do not give in. Do not allow our culture to redefine God’s institution of marriage. Instead, grow old with the wife of your youth—and help one another get to heaven!