What's YOUR Big Idea?

Relationship Design, Spirituality

Photo courtesy Krikit ♥

Late last week I was going through my Google reader and came across a post from Hayden of Through The Illusion. In this post Hayden was reacting to a post she read from Steve Pavlina and his wife’s decision to explore the realm of polyamory in their marriage. For those who not familiar with this term, polyamory is the practice or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of all involved.
Since I had not read Steve’s writing, I headed over to the source to get everything first hand.
It turns out that in his initial post he discloses his intention of focusing on his intimate relationships in 2009 – namely his desire to no longer limit himself to one person in his intimate relationships. To that end, he introduced the idea of polyamory.
My first thought as I read was that he is tired of his current marriage and he wants to open it up in order to avoid divorce – a fact he confirms in his next post.
After listening to the latest post, which is a lengthy podcast with both him and his wife, I get the sense that they view the role of their partner as someone to meet each of their personal needs – and needs that cannot be met by one’s partner become an avenue to expand into other relationships.
On Hayden’s most recent post (very good by the way), Steve commented… “The truth is that monogamy and polyamory aren’t choices. They’re perspectives. Really, all of us are polyamorous because we all meet certain needs outside of our primary relationship. So strict monogamy is something of a delusion.”
My reactions to Steve’s perspectives prompted me to ask (and answer) the question, “What’s my big idea about relationships?”
Let me explain where I’m coming from. I believe that marriage is designed to grow us up – to help us become better humans. We are created by God in relationship with Him for relationship with Him and for relationship with others. Our relationship with God matures through our relationships with our spouse and our children, and in turn these relationships mature because of our relationship with God.
Marriage is an excellent example of a relationship with God. We can share everything with God, and to a lesser extent, a spouse. The sacredness of marriage – emotional, sexual, and spiritual – is rooted in two people using their connection with one another to push, pull, and prod each into a deeper relationship with God. That’s what makes the marriage relationship so sacred.

The best way to experience God on this earth is in the quality of our human relationships.
~Martin Buber

Marriage is continuously getting dumped on in our society.
In their podcast, they boast about how in their view, being open to the idea of each person getting their intimate needs met outside of the relationship will actually make their marriage stronger. The flaw with this lies in the definition of needs. How do you differentiate between needs, urges, and wants?
In my mind, we have a natural state of being – that is, the way we exist in nature apart from God. And that natural state of being is unable to be satisfied apart from the Creator’s intention – which is for us to come into relationship with Him.
Taken straight from Hayden…

So, yes, marriage is inherently imperfect because people are imperfect. But flawed?

Marriage is personal development boot camp. You will demand much from your partner, as they will from you. You will be challenged to open your being in love, even as you are angry. You will be challenged to fully forgive transgressions both major and minor. Your marriage, in short, is the daily practical exercise of the opportunity to be your best self. And what you master at home, you take into the world.

We are all flawed and often seek for others to cover this flaw. In my book, this flaw is called sin. And the only covering for this is Christ alone.
If everyone is special, then no one is.
If I share everything with everyone, then nothing is sacred.
That’s my Big Idea – What’s yours?