Breakpoint recently featured an article on “radical monogamy.”  Radical monogamy, as described in Vice magazine is “an exclusive relationship commitment that’s chosen, not blindly accepted… Monogamy that is radical is chosen from among the many equally valid relationship options, including polyamory.”   It appears that even some who want to remain sexually open-minded would still prefer and choose a monogamous relationship.  

Proponents of radical monogamy “stress that the decision to remain in an exclusive relationship was made by themselves, and for themselves.”  This proposal reflects the cultural view of seeing freedom “only as freedom from any and all restraint.” The significant moral flaw of radical monogamy “is to suggest it’s only valid if it’s what I want, rather than because it is morally superior.”  It is still “the me first” emphasis found in the sexual revolution. 

Of course, a biblical view of monogamy is built on an exclusive commitment of a man and woman, who  choose before the Lord to make a lifelong commitment to one another (Judy and I are on year 56).  Jesus tells us when a man and woman marry, “the two will become one flesh” (Matt 19:5).  Then he gives this  warning, “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (v. 6).  I would call this “faithful” monogamy, rather than “radical.” 

This was the Creator’s plan from the beginning, in creating “male and female.”  Marriage was his gift to us.  Monogamy has divine origins going back to creation.  Viewed from a cultural perspective, God’s intention for monogamy goes far beyond our cultural norms, making it truly radical.  Jesus clearly states, “So they are no longer two, but one” (v. 6).  

Even more radical is God’s intention for a man and woman becoming one flesh to reflect Jesus’ love for his church.  Paul describes this relationship as a mystery.  “This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).  This is beyond radical; it is a mystery.  Men, you will never fully understand your own marriage.  It’s a profound gift. 

Since God’s intention is for our marriage to reflect Jesus’ relationship to his church, He gives men some sober instructions: “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.  Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty.” (Eph. 5:25-26 – Message).  That’s radical.

Pope John Paul II gave the church a wonderful study of Eph. 5:31-33 in his “Theology of the Body.”  The Pope’s thesis:  “Only the body is capable of making visible the spiritual and the divine.  It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the mystery hidden from eternity in God and thus to be a sign of it” He maintains that the union of man and woman is meant to proclaim and participate in the “great mystery” of Christ’s union with the church.  

Further, the Pope declares that a faithful marriage of two being one flesh can have a prophetic message in our post-Christian culture.  Imagine such a dimension to your marriage.  I personally embrace the idea that my marriage can be prophetic within the culture. 

This presents a challenge for men:  1) the enemy does not want marriage to reflect Jesus’ love for the church.  It will be a fight.  2) It will take all you have spiritually to love your wife as Jesus loved the church.  You will need a lot of grace.  3) You will truly be countercultural in your lifestyle.  There is a price to pay.  Are you up the challenge?