The Still Speaking God Can Still Say “No!”
“Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Key parties might have died with avocado colored refrigerators, but polyamorists still celebrate infidelity. Even worse, they call it progress.
Here is their argument: We aren’t biologically inclined to be faithful. Monogamy condemns millions to choose between dishonesty and dissatisfaction. Why not be truthful? We can be married while sleeping with other people, so long as both members of the marriage agree. Honesty and pleasure embrace in an ethical advance.
I worry that some in our liberal church might buy this line of reasoning. Many of the secular voices we rely on have. Sex-positive therapists suggest polyamory to struggling couples. The New York Times weighs its merits. But, the belief that God is still speaking does not mean She says “Yes” every time America gets excited. The still speaking God can still say “No.”
Monogamy does not begin with us. Monogamy is a response to the fidelity of God. Made in God’s image, we promise ourselves to one another, just as God has promised Himself to us. Monogamy echoes God’s faithfulness.
God will never forsake us. What does that look like? It looks like Jim and Richard exchanging wedding vows sixty years into their relationship. It looks like Wayne helping his wife Susan out of her wheelchair to stand and sing a hymn two years after her stroke. It looks like a wild-eyed bride stepping into the sanctuary and toward something much larger than herself. It looks like a groom with tears in his eyes making a lifetime promise he cannot understand because he’s twenty-five years old.
What does God’s faithfulness look like? It looks like monogamy.It looks fierce, intense and overwhelming. It looks soothing, exciting and permanent.
Dear God, thank you for sticking with us. Amen.
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is the host of “Preachers on Preaching,” a weekly podcast sponsored by The Christian Century.