The range of consensual non-monogamous relationships includes: polyamory (multiple romantic/sexual partners), polygamy (one person married to multiple partners), group marriage (each person in the relationship is married to the others), open relationship/marriage (a committed or married couple that is not committed to sexual fidelity), polyfidelity (a relationship with multiple partners but that restricts sexual activity to within a certain group), monogamish (couples that are sexually polyamorous but remain “emotionally monogamous”), swinging (similar to open relationships, but conducted as an organized social activity, often involving some form of group sex; sometimes referred to as wife/husband swapping), triad (a polyamorous relationship of three people), and relationship anarchy (participants in the relationship are not bound by set rules or norms).
Nearly 1/5 of under-30s have engaged in sexual activity with someone else with the knowledge of their partner, according to a 2016 poll. Overall, 11% of Americans said they have had sexual contact with other people with the consent of their partner, while 19% have had sexual contact without their consent. Younger Americans are much more likely to report having had sexual contact with other people with the consent of their partners…
Here are my thoughts:
This isn’t something on the fringe of our society today. This is a trending issue in the current sexual revolution discussions in popular media. I don’t know how much our kids are hearing about this, but they are and will soon be hearing about it much more.
I’m convinced that many (if not most or all) Christians who buy into some parts of the current sexual revolution, usually departing from an orthodox view of Scripture authority, will soon need to give the thumbs up to polyamory based on the kind of arguments they have been using to legitimize other behaviors the Bible calls sin. Some may object to that conclusion, saying that fidelity (not gender) is still an issue for them. I’m not convinced by their arguments and respectfully disagree. I believe a strong case can be made that they have already undermined the biblical rationale for fidelity.
All that being said, we’re called to love even those with whom we disagree, we need to talk about this with a humble spirit (and we really do need to talk about this, especially with our children), and fear about the future is a symptom of a creeping unbiblical perspective.
Be concerned. Be informed. Care. But don’t be shrill, anxious, and unloving if you actually want to win someone over to a gospel-centered perspective.