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What Does The Bible Say About Multiple Wives

Similarity In Beliefs Goals And Objectives

Why did God allow polygamy in the Bible?

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? . Marriage is a blending of two lives into one flesh. This doesnt mean that husbands and wives must think and feel exactly alike in everything. Marriage doesnt extinguish individuality.

But if there is a broad divide in religious beliefs or other important issues, it will be much more difficult to achieve the oneness that God envisions for an ideal marriage. Forging a strong marriage is not easy at best, and becomes even more challenging when couples must try to bridge major differences.

Christian Quotes About Wives

Wives, be strong women of God, your strength can uphold your husband exactly when he needs it most.

A mans best fortune, or his worst, is his wife. Thomas Fuller

As a wife devoted, As a mother affectionate,As a friend our trust and love, In life she exhibited all the graces of a Christian, In death her redeemed spirit returned to God who gave it.

Wives, become an expert on your husbands strengths not simply a noticer of his weaknesses. Matt Chandler

The greatest gift a wife can give her husband is her respect and the greatest gift a husband can give his wife is to earn it.

Happier is the wife who learns to hold on to Jesus tighter than she holds on to her husband.

The most profound gift a wife gives her husband is her respect & the greatest gift a husband gives his wife is to earn it.

Men, youll never be a good groom to your wife unless youre first a good bride to Jesus. Tim Keller

The godly wife is a treasure to behold, a beauty to admire, a woman to be greatly cherished.

The man who loves his wife above all else on earth gains the freedom and power to pursue other noble, but lesser, loves. David Jeremiah

Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side. Zig Ziglar

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. Martin Luther

When a wife honors her husband she honors God.

People Who Are Obsessed With Jealous Thoughts

Usually they are the ones with thoughts of infidelity and immorality so they think that all people are like this, including their spouses so naturally they accuse their spouses of these actions and thoughts, even to the point of hysteria. How many virtuous women have been unjustly accused all of their lives of infidelity or immoral thoughts by their spouses just because he has a dirty mind?

It happened once that there was a man who was evil, controlled by lust, an alcoholic who came home so drunk one night that he fell asleep on the steps leading to the door. He never made it in the house. His wife, being used to such behavior from him , slept all night without him, woke up, made breakfast, and started to take the kids to school. She tried to open the door but could not because it was blocked by her husband sleeping off the alcohol from the night before. In order not to upset him even more she politely said . . .

Please dear husband, allow me to open the door so that I can take the kids to school. Her husbands reply go away you old prostitute, where were you, all night, last night?

Unfortunately, this happens all to frequently in many families where one of the spouses is unfaithful. The unfaithful one is the jealous one who creates crisis after crisis because of unjustified jealousy. In other words, the pot calling the kettle black.

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Outdated Ideas Of Marriage

The Bible never relents on the picture of marital customs, but the New Testament demonstrates a new possibility for women, one which was promoted by the New Church: singleness for women. Mary and Martha remained unmarried. Jesus mother appears to be widowed at some point, since Jesus commits her to the care of his disciple, John.

She does not remarry as far as we know. In the Book of Acts, we see that Lydia moved in the lofty circles of Roman commerce and industry, while Damaris held her own in the rarefied air of Greek academia and high culture. Damaris and Lydia were leading lights of Greco-Roman society.

Each woman above is important enough to be named, and not as wives. Even if they did marry, this was not significant to Luke. The church was commissioned to look after its members, which would include widows and unmarried women.

A new era had emerged in which marriage was not necessary in order to protect women. The Holy Spirit, moving through Christians, sought to protect every person in fellowship regardless of sex, age, or marital status.

Other Sources

How Scripture Makes Ethical Claims

Biblical Guidance in the Case of Adultery

Scripture nowhere presents polygamy and concubinage as part of Gods design for creation or as morally licit. While modern skeptics may suggest that Scripture uncritically embraces the polygamous and polyamorous practices of ancient cultures, the actual teachings of Scripture suggest otherwise. Far from being complicit in the sexual deviance of ancient cultures deviance that harmed and oppressed women and children both the Old and New Testaments rigidly uphold monogamy as normative.

Both the Old and New Testaments rigidly uphold monogamy as normative.

At the heart of this discussion is how we derive ethical principles from Scripture. Yes, Scripture records acts of polygamy and concubinage among Old Testament saints. But description is not prescription. Recording an action even an action of an otherwise upstanding hero of the biblical narrative is not in itself a commendation of that action. Few characters in Scripture emerge as heroically as the apostles, but no one suggests the Gospel writers want us to imitate Peters denial of Jesus.

Jesus himself models this type of whole-Bible ethical reasoning with regard to sex and marriage in Mark 10:29.

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Married Couples Should Have It Often

Queen Victoria famously instructed the Christian ladies in her realm to Lie back and think of the Empire a view of sex that seems pessimistic and pragmatic in the extreme. Thankfully the Bible presents a very different view. In addition to the goodness, generosity, and reciprocity mentioned above, the Scriptures also recommend a level of frequency that many modern Bible readers find quite surprising.

The Apostle Paul told his people:

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

At most, married couples could set aside a few days for dedicated prayer and spiritual observance only if both parties were in agreement but then they must come together quickly lest they be tempted to sexual immorality.

As in the Old Testament, so in the New, frequent marital intercourse is prescribed as a guard against a wandering eye and a lustful heart. The assumption is that if we drink deeply from our own cisterns we will be less tempted to draw from our neighbours well. There is great wisdom and great joy in following this inspired instruction.

Top 10 Bible Verses About Marriage

The Bible has a lot to say about marriage, so lets make a Top Ten List of the most important Bible texts about marriageand then look at each one more closely.

1) Mark 10:6-9 = God instituted marriage and gives it His blessing.

2) Genesis 2:18 = God created humans with an innate need and desire for the close bond that marriage provides.

3) Genesis 2:23, 24 = Husband and wife become one in the marriage bond.

4) Ecclesiastes 9:9 = Marriage is a lifelong commitment.

5) Ephesians 5:28, 33 = Husbands and wives are to love and respect each other.

6) II Corinthians 6:14 = Husbands and wives should be bonded together with a similarity of beliefs, goals, and objectives.

7) Exodus 20:17 = Husbands and wives are to be sexually faithful to each other in the marriage relationship.

8) Matthew 5:32 = Adultery is the only biblically acceptable reason for divorce.

9) Isaiah 62:5 = An ideal marriage relationship mirrors Gods loving relationship with His people.

10) Proverbs 31:10 = A strong marriage relationship is a precious thing.

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Husbands Owe It To Wives

Many historians think that the most surprising thing the Bible says about sex is found in 1 Corinthians 7:3-4:

the husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

One scholar, for example, puts it this way:

The marked mutuality of Pauls comments was, however, revolutionary in the ancient world where patriarchy was the norm. For the husband to have authority over his wifes body was nothing special. Pauls following statement affirming the reverse, that the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does, clearly pointed to a radical and unprecedented restriction on the husbands sexual freedom. It communicates, negatively, his obligation to refrain from engaging in sexual relations with anyone other than his wife and, positively, his obligation to fulfill his marital duty to provide her with sexual pleasure and satisfaction.

The idea that sex was to be mutual and that the husband owed it to his wife and that the wife had a right to claim it from the husband was revolutionary! It was unprecedented! No one had ever said anything like this, anywhere else in the ancient world.

Polygamy In Other Religions

Does The Bible Say I Should Have Multiple Wives?

Other religions have promoted polygamy. For example, according to Sura 4:3 of the Koran, Islamic men are allowed to take up to four wives under certain circumstances. Muhammad was granted the privilege of many wives in Sura 33 and had many wives. Modern Muslims practice polygamy in various ways according to their cultural context.

Historically, members of the Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy, although the acceptance of the practice changed as new revelation was given to the prophets of the church. Initially, the Book of Mormon decried polygamy. Jacob 2:2328 and 3:58 denounce the practice of polygamy as an abomination before God. Likewise, the Doctrine and Covenants state clearly that marriage should be one man for one woman . Later writings of Smith allow for unlimited plural marriage to virgins and directly contradict what had been written earlier.1

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What About Supposed Polygamy

Skeptics sometimes put forward a few texts in Scripture that they suggest endorse polygamy. Lets briefly take a look at two of the most plausible.

Deuteronomy 21:1517

As Moses teaches Gods law to the generation of Israelites about to inherit the Promised Land, he says,

If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then on the day when he assigns his possessions as an inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn, but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.

This command assumes that Israels leaders and judges will encounter polygamy in the nation. If thats the case, doesnt this command implicitly endorse polygamous relationships?

Not quite. This legislation, like many others in Exodus and Deuteronomy, is case law. Case laws dont articulate ideal standards of righteousness. They instead provide directions for Israels judges and political leaders on how to rule justly in light of the deeply broken and sinful situations they were likely to encounter. Note that the passage begins with If a man has two wives . . . not Since a man may have two wives . . .

2 Samuel 12:8

What About Separation And Divorce

There may be times when a husband and wife must be apart from each other, such as when one mate needs to travel to care for a family emergency. But the Bible discourages resulting from marital problems. Instead, it urges couples in such a situation to work toward reconciliation.1 Corinthians 7:10.

Adultery is the only Scriptural grounds for divorce. Hence, if a husband and wife decide to separate or to divorce for any reason other than adultery, neither partner is Scripturally free to date someone else or to remarry.Matthew 5:32 1 Corinthians 7:11.

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Can I Marry A Divorced Person

Now there are two more issues that must be discussed.

The first issue is that there is another reason a man or woman can be free to remarry. That reason is found in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16. That passage teaches that if an unbelieving spouse wants a divorce, then the believing spouse must let them leave. This is the second reason for a biblical divorce.

The second issue is that a person may be free to remarry, but what about the person they want to marry? The answer is that the other person is only free to marry if they have never been married or have only had a biblical divorce!

So, can I marry a divorced person? Yes, if you have never been divorced or have only had a biblical divorce and if the individual you wish to marry had biblical grounds for their divorce.

God Instituted Marriage And Blessed It

What does the Bible say about an open marriage? Does the Bible address ...

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled . We have already seen that God performed the very first wedding at the end of Creation week and blessed the new couple . Marriage is something that God Himself instituted and blessed. This is important, because it tells us that marriage is a good thing. It is one of the blessings that God has given us from the very beginning.

The Bible puts it like this: From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, . . . Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate .

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Men In The Bible Who Had Multiple Wives

Jacob: In Genesis, Jacob labored for seven years to marry the beautiful Rachel. She was the youngest, however, and tradition dictated he marry the older sister. So her father tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest – Leah. Angered, Jacob worked another seven years to marry Rachel. Moving forward, there is contention between the women, since Jacob loved Rachel more. They even gave their husband handmaids as concubines in attempts to undermine one another and maintain status. God allowed both women to bear sons, giving them protection and joy, but the relationship was never right. These tensions are documented in Genesis 29 and Genesis 30.

David: Though David was a man after Gods own heart, he was not perfect. For political and personal reasons, he took eight wives and multiple concubines. His first wife was his predecessors daughter, another a woman who saved his life after she was widowed. Famously, he committed adultery with another mans wife, Bathsheba, and when she fell pregnant he murdered her husband and took her as his final wife. His inappropriate desire led to the destruction of his family, as it gave his son Absalom the fuel he needed to start planning his own coup. While David was successful in keeping his throne, his family was broken. Details regarding Davids polygamy can be found in 1 Samuel 18, 1 Samuel 25, 2 Samuel 3, 2 Samuel 12, and 1 Chronicles 3.

Why Did God Allow Men To Take Women As Concubines Things To Keep In Mind

Why didnt God step in to say this practice is harmful and should not be done by Gods people? The Bible isn’t specific about why God allowed his people to continue in sinful systems like this.

We see Gods dream for human flourishing in the Garden of Eden with family, work, and relationship with him. But since the first human chose sin over Gods good way, humanity chose more and more sin that affected these ideals God approved of and set in motion.

Poverty was not part of Gods dream, but because human life now involved sin, God made laws to protect the poor from further oppression, knowing a sinful world would always include poverty .

Concubinage was not part of Gods dream, but because human life now involved sin, God made laws to protect vulnerable women from further oppression, knowing a sinful world would always include broken relationships between men and women.

Here are 2 other things to keep in mind while exploring this question:

1. God did not approve of marriage to involve concubines.

The fact that legal provisions were made for concubines does not mean that God approved of this marital model.

– In Genesis 2:22-24, God clearly designed marriage to be a union of one man and one woman.

– In Deuteronomy 24:5, God made instructions for a husband to prioritize his wifes happiness.

– In Malachi 2:13-16, God expressed anger at a husbands unfaithfulness to his wife.

2. The purpose of the law was to expose human sin and point to humanitys need for Christ.

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Dating And Choosing A Spouse

The Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with the pagan peoples who surrounded them ” rel=”nofollow”> Deuteronomy 7:1-4), and the apostle Paul advised Christians to marry only other believers ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:39, ). However, an already married Christian should not divorce a nonbelieving spouse ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:12-16).

There is no indication in the Bible that we are predestined to marry a certain person or that there is one special person or “soul mate” that we should find and marry. Except for the preference to marry another Christian, we are free to marry whomever we wish ” rel=”nofollow”> 1 Corinthians 7:39).


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