A reader of Divorce Minister wrote in asking for me to tackle the old saw that “monogamy is unnatural.” It did not take me long to think of an old Steven Curtis Chapman song addressing such a fatalistic, naturalistic stance:
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
-I Corinthians 6:12, NLT
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, KJV
Monogamy is the Christian norm for marriage. Jesus restated this in the Gospels (e.g. Mk 10, Mt 19, etc.). So, the question of whether or not monogamy is natural really has no place within genuine Christian community. It is a settled matter for anyone who claims Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Monogamy–or celibacy–is the expectation for faithful Christians
(see I Corinthians 7).
In addition to this point, I would also note the arrogance of someone making the statement, “Monogamy is unnatural.” They are claiming to know better than God–at least as God is revealed in the Bible–on this matter. He did make us after all. Maybe He would know what is best for His creatures?
God made us as more than the sum of our appetites. It is a sad person who is driven completely by his appetites–whether sexual or otherwise–and not his chosen values or goals. Such a person is a slave to those appetites.
Christians are called freedom and not slavery to our appetites (see I Cor 6:12).
In review, Christians are called to monogamy as the only acceptable and non-sinful expression of sexuality besides celibacy (see I Cor. 7). So, any other position is outside of orthodox Christianity. A spouse who insisted on polyamory or polygamy may thereby qualify as a non-believer in practice as such an insistence is outside God’s intention for marriage.
Second, Christian theology denies that monogamy is unnatural. God created humans, and His opinion on the matter is the most important. The Bible is clear that He made man and woman for monogamous marriage. So, orthodox Christianity teaches that monogamy is more natural than any other sexual relationship arrangement (apart from the gift of celibacy–see I Cor 7).
Finally, anyone making the argument that “Monogamy is unnatural” is acting as an apologist for adulterous spouses. They are espousing and supporting an untruth. In other words, they are supporting the Father of Lies in that stance. Furthermore, this person is either trying to rationalize someone else’s cheating, their own, or their future infidelity (or a combination of the three).
We are all allowed to make our own choices and decisions. God gave each one of us free will. Some people do not claim Christ as Lord, and therefore, they are not expected to follow His teachings on these matters. However, for those who claim Christ as Lord, monogamy (or celibacy) is the expectation, and anyone teaching monogamy as unnatural is a false teacher.