Differently

“Do you find yourself interested in becoming involved in that sort of lifestyle.” My mother asked with a deep sense of seriousness in her tone.

“No. Not at all.” I responded with just as much seriousness. She is afraid of that sort of thing. So fearful that I’m going to become some kind of “wayward” person because I often have edgy and “wayward” friends.

A friend of mine is polyamorous. She presently has 2 boyfriends. One is in an open marriage and the other recently divorced. Both are dear friends of ours and we spend a great deal of time together and talk about the fun events we attend with our friends. My mother is often wary of hearing about it, because she is constantly afraid that we too will decide to have an open marriage, thus sinning against God and choosing a lifestyle she is afraid of merely because she doesn’t understand it.

I have assured her on many accounts that we are definitely not interested in the poly lifestyle. We are very securely monogamous and happily so. Still, she asks, because of her fear and lack of understanding. I often make many points to my mother about the poly lifestyle to force her to think outside of her own biases. Mostly that is was a frequent practice in the Bible, because she relates much of what she feels is right and wrong is Biblically based, and we do not get many insights into what God thinks of polyamorous and polygamous relationships, we only know that it was a practice. Secondly, plenty of people have multiple partners before they choose to get married, and plenty of people have multiple partners even when they get married. At least in the case of my friends, everyone has consented to it and they also have friendships with each other.

My biggest issue with my mother’s constant question is this: Why does it have to mean it’s influencing my views of my own relationship? I’m allowed to know people who are different than me and have different relationships and lifestyles than I do. Just because I do, doesn’t mean I’m interested in their lifestyle. I am interested in them as individual people because I have built a friendship with them and care for them.

It’s something that my mother is learning slowly if she is learning at all, but the biggest point I want to make with her is Jesus was the “friend of sinners” meaning no one is perfect and no one is outside of his ability to be their friend, which means we should be open to having meaningful friendships and relationships with people who think differently, worship differently, and overall do life differently….because everyone does life imperfectly and differently.

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