In response to Scarlett Johansson's comments on monogamy
When Scarlett Johansson recently stated, "I don't think monogamy natural," she's actually touching on a truth the Bible affirms. I believe her statement invites a response and opportunity to share the truth about our self nature. Please hear me out.
The truth is the idea of monogamy for life is an idea we find in the Bible when God designs the covenant of marriage and makes man and woman to live in perfect harmony. When sin entered the world, we became its prisoner and slave to obey the desires of our sin filled nature that is against God. So because we were born with a sinful nature, she’s right in saying it’s unnatural in and of ourselves to live a life of faithfulness outside of God. She’s actually affirming what the Bible teaches. We have a nature that is completely and utterly opposed to God’s design for our lives. Paul wrote in Romans 7,
"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
God’s plan is for each of us to enjoy the blessing of a marriage for life with one partner. But we are born in a nature that makes us enemies of God and his ways. We naturally don’t submit to the law of God. We are born rebels against God, so to say it’s unnatural to obey what the Bible teaches is absolutely correct. As a matter of fact the Bible says the law of God was put in effect as a tutor to lead us to Christ, because apart from him, we can not live up to God’s standards.
So while I completely disagree with Scarlett Johansson’s decision to break the covenant marriage she made before God with her husband, the truth is apart from a relationship with Christ, we are completely sinful and can not obey the law of God. Case in point for Scarlett.
In her flesh, she can’t obey God’s law to be faithful to her spouse the rest of her life. The nature of sin is to disobey the law of God. Apart from faith in Christ, we are slaves to sin, meaning we can’t help but sin. Sin is our master, whether we realize it or not, apart from Christ, we can’t help but do the wrong thing. So her comments are a perfect opportunity to share with her that because she finds herself not able to be faithful for life, we are invited to be renewed in heart by faith in Jesus Christ. God invites us to an entirely new nature by putting our faith in the work of Christ's death and resurrection. Rather than live enslaved by our selfish desires, God invites us to freedom through Jesus Christ.
When we invite Christ into our lives, we receive a new heart with a desire to obey God and the power by his Spirit to put our old nature, full of sin and refusing to obey God’s laws, to death. Just as Christ died and rose again, we can put our old nature to death and be raised new with Christ. God then gives us his Spirit to empower us to obey him. The Bible says all things are made new when we come to Christ. Then we daily bring to Christ our sinful desires and trade him for his power to live a life for him. As we do he gives us a new nature that desires to do his will.
So Scarlett, you’re right, it’s unnatural to stay faithful when we live life apart from Christ. But don’t stay there. God has such better plans than to stay enslaved to our own selfish, sin filled desires. The pleasures of knowing and loving God are so much better than living according to our sinful desires. So come to Christ and be raised new with him.
As C.S. Lewis said so well, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
So monogamy is God's way and therefore has our best in mind. It may be against our natural selves, but in Christ who is the Way, it's the best way and the only way.