There's no denying that living with the same person in a monogamous relationship for decades is hard work. We don't always see eye to eye, maybe we have a false sense that we're not sexually compatible, or we think we're going to get board. It means fighting temptation, doing the right thing, denying self and loving one other person with an unconditional love much like Christ loves us.
So when Scarlette Johansson said she believes monogamy is hard work, I agreed. Johansson went on to say that it's a beautiful responsibility but admits that she doesn't think it's natural to be monogamous.
With that, I disagree.
Being in a singular marriage is a beautiful responsibility bestowed on many of us by God and there is deep beauty in knowing one person so well that you trust them with your life, your past, and your future.
Monogamy is natural and God did design us to be in a monogamous relationship with one person.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” ~ Genesis 2:24
The Convenience of Believing A Lie
For the world, it is very convenient to believe the lie that we are like “the animals” and not meant to have many sexual partners throughout the course of our lives. The lie fits the lifestyle.
It fits the hurts and pains we experience at the hands of others. When we're hurt by someone cheating on or leaving us, it feels good to justify their actions by brushing off God's design as unnatural anyway. After all, if it isn't natural it explains away the behavior.
Satan serves up a lie that fits in with the lifestyle people want to live. The lie becomes their version of the truth. Unfortunately, this version of truth leads you so far from the original design that the real truth seems like a farce. Without God in the equation, the lie becomes real.
And on the flip side, we excuse away our own selfish sexual desires, fantasies, and actions by saying monogamous relationships aren't natural.
Harder Than Monogamy
The effects of sexual promiscuity or polyamorous relationships are hard to see when you're living the lie. But when we expose those lies to the Truth (Jesus Christ) we being to see that that the effects reach far and wide.
Promiscuity or polyamorous relationships have an impact on our lives that go far beyond the bedroom. It affects everything from our physical health to our finances.
The spiritual impact, for me, is the most troubling. It's also the impact that tends to get missed and causes much pain later in life. Sexual intimacy is a unifying act; it unifies two bodies, two souls, and two spirits. Spiritually speaking, you don't just walk away from a sex partner no strings attached.
I thought my “friend with benefits” relationship in my early twenties meant nothing. Until I would lay in bed, my husband beside me and be flooded with guilt and shame. I literally felt dirty all over but I couldn't escape myself. (Read more about my story here.)
Every event in the natural has a spiritual implication associated with it. In the case of sexual encounters, soul ties are created that don't go away when the ring comes off, the divorce papers are signed or Facebook status gets changed.
What's harder than monogamy?
The lasting long-term spiritual effects of sexual promiscuity.
Medical advances have minimized and sometimes eliminated the physical consequences of sexual sin but no pill or procedure can reduce the spiritual impact sexual sin has in your life. It's a hard road to walk, I know, I've been down it. It seems like hard work to stay monogamous because once you're down the road of promiscuity the alternative (healthy, biblical sexuality) is hard and often emotionally painful.
Safe Boundaries Set By God
God has set for us safe boundaries to enjoy sexual intimacy and have fun in the bedroom. Yes, your sex life can be spicy and you can be a smokin' hot mama in the bedroom with only one person. The boundaries God has set aren't meant to kill our sexual desires, they are meant to keep them safe. There's a saying that illustrates this point well. It goes something like this:
A farmer was asked – what's safer, keeping your sheep in a corral, open grazing land, or pasture. The farmer replied, “In open grazing land they are exposed to predators and they can get wander off and get lost. In a corral, they need constant attention for food and water. But in a pasture with a fence, they are free to roam, eat as they'd like all while being protected.”
We have an amazing God. He's set up a fence not to deny us but to protect us. The lie the world has bought is that the predator is our friend and the Protector is our enemy. Monogamy is hard work. It takes sacrifice, dying to self and resisting temptation. But the benefits far outweigh the work we must put in here on Earth.