Welp, after the whole “yeah I’m the second wife…[or whatever],” conundrum (linked here) with Jane. I decided to look at what the Bible says about marriage.
Especially, polygamous marriage…marriages.
Note: Just because God allowed men to marry more than one wife in the Bible, does not mean that it pleases God, or that God approves of it.
Let’s skip all the formalities people usually begin with when talking about marriage, and just cut straight to the chase.
Point #1: The Original BluePrint…From the beginning, God created ONE suitable helper (In Hebrew it’s: ezer kenegdo- “life saver beside”)
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Notice it says “male and female he created them.” Yes, from the beginning God intentionally created man needing woman to adequately reflect God. Sorry if that bursts your bubble (but I digress).
Husbands you reflect parts of God, and wives you also reflect parts of God. And together you reflect the image of God more fully.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
God did not make a mistake and happen to just cover it up by hastily creating a woman (notice Adam was only given one woman to complement him).
It appears as if God purposefully made Adam without all of the necessary qualities to adequately reflect God alone.
And then he even told Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone,” the implications of this statement are important. It seems as if God wanted Adam to know and feel that it wasn’t good for him to be alone before creating Eve. It’s almost as if God wanted Adam to feel his own needs, limitations, incompleteness, loneliness, incapabilities…so that Adam would also see his own need for woman.
God by nature of being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is in fellowship, relationship, with Himself. Therefore he made Adam with a void, that could adequately and suitably be filled by fellowship with Eve.
Marrriage is a Beautiful union that very literally is supposed to reflect God himself. Notice I said “supposed to”… because humans have really messed up what it seems was God’s original intent for marriage in the beginning.
We as one husband and one wife have the potential to reflect the image of God to the world (how amazing is that?!). One man and one woman are enough to reflect the image of God. Why do we need any deviations or additions to what God created as a masterpiece.
Point #2: Jesus and His Bride (singular) the Church
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
There is only one universal church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23).
Yes, there are local assemblies of believers that individually make up the larger universal church.
In Ephesians 1:22-23 it gives the analogy that Jesus is the head of the church. Well, if Jesus is the head…he can only have one body. One head = One body. That is usually how it works. One leader one universal church.
If these examples aren’t enough let’s go to…what I call the (dum, dum, dum!) MARRIAGE CHAPTER (lol 😂) Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
😌Okay… now this gives me a whole lot to work with.
When you read these verses notice that anytime “husband” (singular) is used, “wife” (singular) is used. And anytime husbands (as in talking about many different individual husbands) is used, wives is also used (as in talking about many different individual singular wives of those singular husbands).
Hopefully I’m making sense. The pattern here is, that one husband has one wife, and one wife has one husband.
In verse 31 it says that a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. It doesn’t say united to his wives (plural) and it also doesn’t say three or four will become one flesh, it says the two (meaning one husband and one wife) will become one flesh.
Now my question is: if the original blueprint (Genesis 2:24) was for one man and one woman to become one flesh, what happens when one man marries two women? Does he become one flesh with two women? But wait…then he is not one flesh anymore he’s two separate fleshes.
It’s like the man would have to break one flesh with the first woman, to become one flesh with the second woman, and continuously break that “one ‘fleshness'” with each woman in order to maintain two different wives.
If having more than one wife sounds confusing…it’s because it is. It’s messy. It involves hurt feelings, bitterness, and frustration on both the women’s sides and the man’s side.
The man has to figure out how to love two different women at the same time, which I’m sure is difficult. Because as humans we are sinful. We can reflect traits of God, but we are not God. There may be slight favoritism, there may be quarreling or complaining amongst the two fleshes because the husband is trying to commune with both simultaneously.
That’s probably why Jane felt animosity towards the other “lazy woman [wife].” She is in a dual union, that God never intended for her to have to be in. Her oneness with her husband is constantly being broken when he “communes” with the other wife.
Can you imagine a lifetime where someone is constantly ripping your flesh?
Well, that’s what Jane will have to endure for the rest of her life, unless their husband passes away, or the other wife passes away. And my heart aches for her, and although there is nothing I can do, I continue to pray for Jane.
Maybe, just maybe, writing this will help us one day counsel someone who may be considering becoming a second wife.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to save someone’s marriage, and give wise advice to a young lady who has a world of opportunity in front of her; knowing that her world doesn’t always have to include marriage.
Maybe one day in this community, it will be more widely accepted that a woman’s voice will stand alone, without the presence of a husband’s support.
But until that day…I continue to pray for the many Janes in my community, and for women to be seen as a reflection of God, just as much as men are seen as a reflection of God (Genesis 1:27).
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. -Genesis 1:27
Love you, and God loves you so much more!