Misunderstood Polygamy

In talking with people about the Bible, inevitably this comment will come up in conversation.
Them: “Well I’m not so sure I could pray to someone who is so negative towards women…men having multiple wives…it’s so archaic and chauvinistic.”
Me: “I agree. Polygamy is perverted. However, it’s important to know God was never the author of it, even though he allowed men to make it so through free will.”
This topic has become more popular in recent years due to the reality show Sister Wives, showing a particular sect of Mormonism in Utah. I have only seen one episode, but it depicted the deep jealousy, and hurt feelings because their husband was taking a new wife on a longer honeymoon than they had gotten. If there were emotional constraints on that one issue, I can imagine the depths of hurt on a daily basis, and the numerous daily complaints. Who would want to live like that?

Personally, what is important to point out is that the very nature of God is love. He united a man and a woman in a tangible reflection of His great love for mankind. A woman’s tenderness and deep compassion are a balance to a man’s strength, and willingness to fix an issue. A man’s need for physical affection is tempered by a woman’s emotional fragility. Beauty and Braun. Logic, and Love. But in polygamy, those balances are upset by a third party. Or fourth…and so on. A man must try to sustain the emotional needs of many, while the woman must restrain deep jealousies. God never intended such stress on any marriage.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors.

“Let’s look at where polygamy first crawled into history. Genesis 4:19 tells us: Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.
Lamech disobeyed God’s very specific directive in Genesis 2:24: ‘A man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’
Tough assignment becoming one flesh when three or more get involved.
We need to nail solidly into our lives two important precepts that come from these scriptures. First, prevalence does not equal acceptance. Just because polygamy became a common practice, God did not change the rules.
Polygamy did not become acceptable with God because it became common with man, any more than research polls cause Him to change His mind about any other sin. Our God is incredibly public opinion resistant. Second, a man cannot be one flesh with two women. Nor can a woman be one flesh with two men. According to God’s math, only two can become one.”

Excerpt from David, A Heart Like His written by Beth Moore


3 Comments Add yours

  1. L.M. says:

    I don’t think I have heard many people defending polygamy as a result of ‘Sister Wives’ or any other TV show. That might just be because I don’t watch a lot of TV but I don’t think so. In my experience, the roots of this debate are intertwined with conversations about homosexuality, homophobia, gay marriage and Christian bigotry. I know that seems like a stretch but let me tell you what I mean:

    Some Christians repeat (again and again and again and again) the idea that same-sex marriage is wrong because it is not “traditional” marriage or “Biblical” marriage. Some drag out the same old argument that marriage is based on the Bible and therefore marriage should be between one man and one woman, just like Adam and Eve. Some even try to oppress gay people by trying to pass laws for a secular society that force non-Christians to play-act Christianity’s specific religious requirements (e.g. the stuff about two men lying together being an abomination and whatnot).

    In response to this kind of thing, other people tend to point out the many Biblical relationships that did not fit into the “one man, one woman” framework that modern Christians attempt to promote. People also point out the many relationships in the Bible that were not exactly wholesome. In one Bible story a guy is tricked into marrying two sisters and ends up having babies with each sister AND their servants. That’s one man and four women! Another guy gets drunk and has sex with his daughters in order to have more children! One guy is tricked into having sex with his daughter-in-law because he thinks she’s a prostitute (like it’s completely fine to have sex with a prostitute). Another guy has no children at all and spends his time hanging out with prostitutes and other dudes. Again, this does not fit the modern, supposedly “Biblical”, idea that the only acceptable way to be involves totally married sexy times between one man and one woman.

    In my experience, that is why people focus on polygamy: because it provides insight into Christian hypocrisy and bigotry. Not because of reality TV shows.

    I would write a whole thing about the sexism in your blog post and I’d highlight your sexist ideas about the roles men and women play in relationships (e.g. “A woman’s tenderness and deep compassion are a balance to a man’s strength, and willingness to fix an issue. A man’s need for physical affection is tempered by a woman’s emotional fragility. Beauty and Braun. Logic, and Love.” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…) but I am genuinely too tired and too bored to indulge such unpleasant ridiculousness. Maybe your old fashioned sexist tendencies will work themselves out. Or maybe I’ll have a little nap and write again later.


    1. L.M. says:

      Note: by ‘defending polygamy’ I mean defending polygamy as a reason for not believing in your god rather than defending polygamy as a practice.

    2. Tidbitter says:

      Hi L.M.,
      Thank you for your opinion, and as usual, we agree to disagree on a couple of issues. That’s ok.
      First, I’d like to point out that I highlighted the issue of polygamy after watching a segment of the History Channel. I’m not focusing on polygamy for any other reason except my disdain of the lifestyle.
      You are right on the few examples of biblical perversion written about in mostly the Old Testament. However, those examples were unsanctioned by the God of the Bible. Marriage between one man and woman was authored by Him in the very first book. As a matter of fact, right after the business of making the world. When Christians say the words, “biblical marriage”, it is implied that the behavior was ok’d and even blessed by God. A high-five for a marriage from the God who made us. Polygamy, and homosexuality, along with numerous other behaviors you mentioned were not. I personally think that God allowed those sins to be mentioned to all who would read it, is so we could see our human deviance and understand our depravity as a whole. That there’s none righteous, not even one…
      As far as sexism goes, you and I simply differ. While I don’t see either sex as superior, nor inferior, I don’t understand your wincing at my post. While I believe anyone who has eyes to see, can see physically there are distinct differences between men and women, I believe emotionally there are distinct differences as well. Unless one has been a hermit for a number of years, or had very limited contact with the opposite sex, anyone can see we have different emotional needs, or at least different ways of attaining and meeting them. If you disagree, that’s ok, you’re allowed.

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