Sunday, January 7, 2018

His, Hers, and Hers?

An old Jan & Dean hit featured the repeated lyric: “Two girls for every boy.” Some men think it’s cool to date multiple women at once. When I was in high school, my popularity increased after landing a job at a roller rink. I quickly compiled a list of girlfriends to call. One of them made it clear she didn’t want to be part of anyone’s harem. I really liked this girl and decided to go steady with her but broke off the relationship after a few days. At the time I missed the freedom of seeing other women. Years later after becoming a Christian, I started desiring to be married.

God designed men and women to be monogamous. Jesus repeated a commandment from Genesis in Matthew 19:6, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Two women and one man (or vice versa) cannot become one flesh. That’s like trying to plug an electric cord into two sockets at the same time. 

The Bible has accounts of men having more than one wife such as Lamech, Jacob, and Solomon. That doesn’t mean God endorsed this practice. The Mosaic law actually discouraged it. Deuteronomy 17:17 says, “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away…” Under the New Covenant, one of the requirements listed for a bishop or deacon is having one wife.

Still, there are Arab and African cultures permitting men to have more than one spouse. With same-sex marriage now the law of the land in many Western countries, there are individuals pushing for polygamy to be legalized here as well. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published a article with the headline: “People who practice polyamory say the lifestyle can be rewarding.”

There’s a joke that asks, “How many Mormons does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer?  “One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.” From a common sense standpoint, having more than one spouse creates problems such as jealousy amongst partners. It also sends the wrong message to any kids who are part of such families.

The marriage covenant is often compared to our covenant with God. He doesn’t want us having other gods besides Him. Likewise, married people shouldn’t seek an additional spouse. There are enough challenges having just one.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” - Ephesians 5:25

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