I commented in yesterday's sermon that just because the Bible reports something doesn't mean that it endorses it. Today's reading is a perfect example of that. The Bible reports that Abram became a polygamist (or at least an adulterer) by impregnating Hagar.
But if anyone reads Genesis with their eyes open and still comes away with a sense that polygamy was not just for TLC but recommended by the Bible, I honestly have no idea what to say to them. Every time in Genesis when polygamy is introduced into the story, it always ends poorly. This is the undercurrent of Genesis throughout. And what would be terrific is if that wasn't really an issue for us any more. And no, I'm not referring to Sister Wives or Big Love.
What I am referring to is the introduction of anything as a competitor in the one-flesh relationship. Anything. I'll provide you with two I see all the time.
Pornography serves as a surrogate spouse and is brutal on marriages, dehumanizing spouses and animalizing sexuality. It's awful. And sinful. And, I'll say it again, it's brutal on marriages. So if you have an issue in your marriage with this, get whatever help you need and take whatever radical steps you need to take in order to rid this poison from your well.
Parents are another surrogate spouse. Often one or both spouses will find confidantes in parents. This is especially true, though not exclusively so, of younger couples. It erodes trust, builds walls, and separates the ones who are supposed to be one-flesh. If you think this might be you or it might be your spouse, some good (though hard) conversations might be in order. And you might need some help from the outside via a counselor or someone else.
One-flesh is one-flesh. It's not something to trifle with or take lightly.