How to selflessly and profoundly love wives as Christ so loves the Churches
in helping first wives to joyfully and willingly embrace Christian Polygamy!
A very important discussion about the importance of TRUST began in December, 2000, on the Friends and Fellowhelpers Email Listservs, as one of the good men on the listserv asked an excellent question about the TRUST issue.This would lead to other posts and clarifications, which are now also posted at the web-site: "Love & Trust / Force & Distrust" and "That our Word be TRUE".
In starting this excellent discussion, a sincere and good man, named, N, (herein), made the following post, which is subsequently followed hereinafter by the rather "full" reply back to him from the Founder of this ministry.
May this be a blessing for all who read it.
To: FAF Listserv
Date: Saturday, December 09, 2000 11:57 AM
Subject: A question for the ladies
Ladies, I have a quick question for you. It has to do with a females insecurity of sharing a husband with another woman. Does some of this have to do with cultural upbringings? My wife wants to be the apple of my eye, to think she is so beautiful that I could never look at anybody else. She is the apple of my eye though... She feels inadequate, like she is not good enough if I even hinted at wanting another wife. This is definitely an insecurity, but where does it come from? What is the root?...
The Founder of this ministry replied as follows...
Of Strength of TRUST
(in Marital INTIMACY)
From: Mark the Founder, TruthBearer.org
To: FAF Listserv
Date: Monday, December 11, 2000 12:44 PM
Subject: Of Strength of TRUST (in marital INTIMACY) ... Re: A question for the ladies
Greetings in the love of the Lord!
Dear Friends and Fellowhelpers,
Here's another one of those "lengthy" posts I make from time to time. :-) While this is specifically addressed to N who asked the original excellent question to which my reply is addressing, this might be of interest to anyone else here who enjoys these kinds of posts from me. :-)
In any event, I do pray that this will be a blessing at least in some way for all who are able to read this...
While, obviously, I am not one of the ladies here (LoL), I would, nevertheless, add some thoughts here as well, to which I am confident that some ladies here could affirm if necessary. :-)
As this is going to be a bit "lengthy" (so what else is new from me, eh? LoL :-) and written off-the-cuff and rather quickly so as to get the reply out today, I apologize in advance for any typos or other like thing. I just pray that this be of value for you and/or anyone else who might read this.
Anyway, N, what excellent questions you ask! You do surely bless us!
To an extent, sure, it IS a "cultural upbringing", but the matter all actually goes further unto the heart of the matter when bringing Christian Polygamy to ANYONE, as well as a first wife.
Namely, we have to first realize what we are, in effect, "saying" to people, and that includes first wives, of course. That is, when we are bringing Christian Polygamy to someone else, including a first wife, what we are, in effect, then "saying" to them:
When it comes to marriage doctrine pertaining to polygyny, everyone they have ever known, every Christian pastor, historic leader, their faithful grandma who never missed a week of going to Church and read her Bible every day..... we are saying that all of them were...
That is a VERY heavy psychological burden for any one to bear.
Either the first wife or other person to whom we are saying this
is left with facing a choice of believing that
either everyone else is wrong or WE are wrong.
Initially, it does not matter how much Scripturality that can be shown. (Even we ourselves had to go slow and test all this before we ourselves were willing to fully accept the truth of Christian Polygamy, and if any us were not so slow, then such ones of us would then be such ones very vulnerable to being tossed to and fro on every wind of doctrine.)
This first burden is the first hurdle for anyone, whether first wife or anyone else.
And what is the implicit question behind this burden of a first wife or other person having to see that either "everyone else" is wrong or we are wrong?
The implicit question they are unwittingly asking themselves is, "Who can I TRUST here?"
The first wife or other person is asking whether they can trust "everyone else" or they can trust US who would bring them this matter.
This becomes even moreso at issue when bringing this to a first wife because of the marriage and thus the obvious closer bond than when bringing Christian Polygamy to others. As such, and because the question asked here was about first wives anyway, I will address the remainder of my post here pertaining only to first wives in this situation. (I just wanted to briefly start out here by showing that it also applies with other people as well, when we would bring them Christian Polygamy, although not to as much of an extent as with a first wife. :-)
In a marriage, of course, the absolute primary key to the strength of the bond of the relationship between husband and wife (other than Christ) is the matter of INTIMACY between them. Intimacy is not defined as a matter of "physical", but rather that of KNOWING each other spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, knowing each other's weaknesses and strengths and outwardly loving the other with other-centered selfless love. It is being able to have that restful and peaceful TRUST that the other genuinely and absolutely so loves so deeply that there it builds an internal peace in knowing that the other does indeed have the best interests of US in their hearts, not their own self-interest. The physical union is yet another means by which such KNOWING occurs as it is not a matter of self-gratification, but instead a matter of other-centered intimacy in a selfless physical expression of ministering a physical marital blessing in such physical union with each other. (This is why the Scripture is so accurate when it describes the physical union with the phrase, "and he KNEW her".) Anyway, the strength of the marital bond can be easily determined by the depth and strength of this INTIMACY in the marriage, this ability to so KNOW and TRUST the other.
And so, with this in mind, let's bring this back to what is happening for a dear first wife when her husband is trying to bring Christian Polygamy to her.
She is faced with that initial burden of either having to TRUST "everyone else" or her husband.
(Yes, of course, some one could say that she should TRUST the Scriptures, to which that would seem to be an obvious statement. No doubt, she should trust the Scriptures. That's a "given". But to say that, at this point, however, is to demonstrate that one is not understanding how women are able to think and feel, how they learn God's Word and all, which is most often a VERY different learning process than as is the case with men.)
Instead, the first wife in this situation with this burden is indeed confronted with a direct challenge to the issue of TRUST in her marriage, suddenly bringing a question to how strong the intimacy with her husband actually is.
(Women more often than men often analyze and re-analyze and re-analyze their relationships, especially their marriage, it's what they often do, although men often do not even realize their wives do this at all! This is not a "bad" thing, but is instead an approach by which women understand their "life" around them. :-)
And the one of first thoughts that will enter the mind of the first wife at this point is the question of "who seems to benefit" from this whole polygamy idea? And given all the cultural upbringing and stereotypes about the concept of polygamy, all the dear first wife first sees is the idea that this is something is "all about what her husband wants and *gets*".
So, that's a powerful "blow" to the TRUST factor, as she is now perceiving (although not necessarily rightly, but it doesn't matter, because the fact is, she is still perceiving it this way at this time) that her husband's bringing Christian Polygamy to her is something only in HIS self-interest, without any concern for her feelings.
Oh sure, he can say it's not as much as he wants, but in this first instance, she is not going to be able to receive it. This is simply because she is not yet in a paradigm (i.e., stage, way of thinking) whereby she could otherwise understand such deeper things. (This is why I am often talking about helping a wife go through the process of "paradigm-shifting" from "monogamy-only" to "embracing polygyny".)
At THIS moment, in THIS stage where she is "at", in THIS paradigm she is at this moment in, she only sees the topic of polygamy as a matter of her husband's SELF-interest.
And so, this moment right here becomes a very critical moment in bringing Christian Polygamy to her.
At this moment, suddenly the issue of TRUST in the solidity of her marriage is "screaming" out as an issue before her.
And indeed, at this precise moment for her, there is a momentary seeming breach in the bond of TRUST she can have in her husband. At this precise moment, though, it is a moment of doubt for her, and not necessarily a permanent issue, so that what the husband next does will most often determine whether or not she will become more entrenched in doubt and distrust or her husband will help affirm her that she CAN ever TRUST him.
It's not so much that polygamy itself that is the problem, but rather that it appears to her that her husband is out for his own SELF-interest and not caring about her feelings. And so, that adds further impact to her trying to figure out who she can TRUST to be "right" about their view of polygamy, is it "everyone else" or is it her husband? Since this initially appears to her as being something that is in her husband's own SELF-interest, she has further perspective to believe that her husband is the one who is wrong here.
And this is where the matter of love-not-force is so important. If the husband simply "goes forward" and applies the FORCE view of polygamy, and starts "blaming" his dear first wife as if she is somehow being "disobedient" here, then he is only deepening the DISTRUST, damaging if not yet destroying the intimacy of the marriage, and making it further more difficult for her to be able to embrace polygyny later! Indeed, the more he tries to FORCE the idea upon her, the more he is only making himself look like it's his own SELF-interest he is caring about, further appearing as though he has little care for her feelings, and only thus further "proving" to her in her own mind that he cannot be TRUSTED.
This is also why the matter of covenant breaking doctrine is so key, as such an affirmation from the Lord our God of the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force. For, if a man has bound himself to a covenant whereby he had given his word to his wife that he would "forsake all others", if he would unilaterally break that, then unless he obtains her freely given willful GENUINE ASSENT to re-negotiate the terms of the marriage covenant to delete that clause (because their Christian marriage itself is not derived from the terms of the covenant anyway), then he has only further proven to her one thing: he is a man whose word is not true. If he would thus so break his covenant to her, not only is he committing the "worthy of death" sin of covenant breaking as shown to us in Romans 1:31b,32, but he has simply further proven to this first wife that she was right to doubt him, as he has thus proven to her that he absolutely CANNOT be TRUSTED. He would have then moved her from having some temporary doubt about him unto a deeper matter of DISTRUST, and that brings a horrifying pain to her.
And so a potentially bad situation becomes tragicly worse and more difficult, even sometimes unto the horrifying tragedy of even divorce! (God forbid.)
Indeed, where there once was just doubt of wondering about
whether her husband could be TRUSTED, beyond that, if he would
openly show his willingness to break his covenant to her, appearing
to her as not caring what she feels about it, then she sees only one
a covenant breaker,
a man whose word is not true.
That is what she sees!
If the man tries to find ways to "wiggle" out of it, he only makes the DISTRUST even worse. It's not her fault in this. (Even if he is genuinely trying to be sincere, it does not change the facts. That is what she sees.)
And so, the first wife then perceives she has found the answer to the initial burden of the question of whether "everyone else" is wrong about polygamy or her husband is wrong.
Of course, we know this is absolutely inaccurate, but that is how she comes to that view, and it all makes total sense!
What does she see here?
Even a godly woman would look at this and could come to these thoughts.
She would compare the situation to what she would (rightly) know is in the Scripture (albeit coming to an incorrect conclusion).
And she would not see some good things.
Since the Christian marriage model from Ephesians 5:22-25 is that of the husband being as Christ and His Churches, she would be looking to see how "Christ-like" is her husband being. And she would not be seeing it all.
Indeed, what would she conclude from her observations?
And that is the point at which the dear first wife perceives that, since her husband is absolutely proving to her that, truly, his word is not true, that he CANNOT be TRUSTED, she is then in powerful pain at the horror to her that the intimacy between them is "gone".
No matter what he would try to say to try to gently suggest otherwise, all she is seeing is the actual true fact that his word is not true, that he CANNOT be TRUSTED. And that is a horror to her in seeing that as destroying the bond of their marital intimacy, so important and necessary to her in their relationship.
(My heart goes out to anyone in this kind of a situation, and I would only point these out for the sake of trying to protect any from entering into this kind of situation and for the sake of trying to reveal how things had likely fallen apart for anyone who might have fallen into this very heart-wrenching-situation. May this only be a ministry for all who read this, as this is truly a heart-breaking matter indeed.)
So, with that, she is left with concluding (albeit inaccurately, yet totally understandably) that she can TRUST "everyone else" and CANNOT TRUST her husband with regard to polygamy doctrine.
And the more she desperately tries to restore that TRUST to restore that intimacy to restore that marital bond with her husband, if he instead continues to accuse her of being "disobedient" or to apply the FORCE view or to continue to self-justify his willingness to be a covenant breaker and thereby show that his word is not true, he only further "proves" to her why she would think she is right that he is wrong about polygamy!
He may be genuinely trying to solve matters (as obviously he cannot compromise the truth of the Word). But the more he replies to her in these particular ways, the more he is actually still proving these things to her, as the way she very understandably sees it.
This breaks my heart, not only for the dear wife who is mistakenly perceiving a horrible perspective now about polygamy and the depth of pain to which she is then suffering at the profound horror to her of her feeling she has now lost that bond of marital intimacy with her husband, but also for the husband who is then on the verge of losing his first wife for ever, all because he was simply erring in wanting to otherwise "do right" and because he had not yet heard of (or received) the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force to so protect him from such error unto such carnage! It breaks my heart because, while I am certainly pro-polygyny, I am even moreso anti-divorce, as we know that the LORD says that he hates divorce in Malachi 2:16.
So, I said all that to say this... at that crucial moment of sort of being "when the rubber meets the road" when a husband is bringing Christian Polygamy to his first wife, at that specific first moment when she is faced with that initial great burden of the question of TRUST (i.e., can she trust "everyone else" or her husband?), a husband must now remember these principles of love-not-force here and first hold on to the matter of TRUST in the bond of marital intimacy.
If that TRUST in marital intimacy "goes", that marriage is well on its way to some profoundly tragic pain and the husband will most often headed down a path of causing even further DISTRUST between them. O how I would that that not be so.
So, instead, my counsel for any husband would be to first strengthen that bond of marital intimacy. Of course, one can not and should not make later covenants they cannot keep, such as promising to never live polygamously, because one is bound to their covenants, that their word be true. (How more can I emphasize that than by the preaching as I do about being bound in covenants, to not be covenant breaking, eh? :-)
Really, though, without that TRUST, nothing else between them matters with regard to their relationship being an example of the Christian Marriage model of Ephesians 5:22-25 of Christ and His Church.
Until that TRUST is assured within their marriage, as truly being as the Churches can so TRUST in Christ as His Love is so selfLESS and His Word is always TRUE, then a husband's act of trying to bring in matters of doctrine is simply not as essential *yet* for that marriage, given that GOD HATES DIVORCE.
Polygamy as a doctrine can always be dealt with later, but TRUST in the marital intimacy must be built first (or restored unto healing if it's been damaged), before a husband can really successfully go further with the matter of trying to help her embrace Christian Polygamy.
Please understand, I do not say these things to tear down men or to give women any supposed unScriptural authority over their husbands. Not at all. Rather, all I am trying to do here is help husbands have the Spiritual power and understanding to realize what happens here, why it happens, and what to not do, so as to truly love their wives and help them rather than lose them, as divorce so deeply aches my heart to ever see or hear about!
Indeed, perhaps, it is important that I stop here and take this moment to assure any one reading this who might still be unaware about some certain matters. Namely, I would further clarify that, as most now know about this preaching of these principles of love-not-force and all, this most certainly does not give the wife a sort of "veto" in things, as that would be wholly unScriptural. (We have long seen that the husband gives his wife his own authority for her to then use as a sort of "pre-authorization" given to her from him to later remind him that his word ever be true, when he makes any covenant with her.) Neither does this give authority to a wife to usurp or try to be over the man, as that authority is given to the man by God, not by any term within a marriage covenant, but purely by God alone, as we see the issues of headship clearly defined by such verses (among others) as 1_Corinthians 11:3 and Genesis 3:16. Moreover, as many here know, my own beloved ("first wife") princess calls me (small-L) "lord" (as seen in 1_Peter 3:6), not out of any force on my part whatsoever, but only out of her own joyous heart, all by love-not-force. This is not that I be exalted by this, but rather I am instead humbled profoundly by this, in that any dear precious bride is so able to so TRUST in me (in knowing that my word is indeed true, with such a strong bond of marital intimacy between us) that she is able of her own joyous heart to so willfully do that, for if I tried to FORCE that, then I would instead then be so unworthy of it to begin with. So, it humbles me and keeps me ever mindful of walking in such principles of love-not-force all that more!
With this understood, I fervently hope that it is clear that I am most certainly not trying to tear down men here and I pray that my motives in preaching these things of "profound love" and the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force be understood for what they are, that of trying to protect and preserve all marriages (because God hates divorce), trying to preach the loving way of Christ for all our good, and trying to help all families truly grow in Christ, each according to their own levels of calling, as we all go forward in the TRUTH BEARER Mission of Bringing Christian Polygamy to the Churches.
So, with this clarification here, it certainly also cannot be rightly said that I would ever somehow "give place to Jezebel" to usurp the authority over man.
Rather, the preaching of these things as the principles of the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force is, in one way, about how to sort of "get" to the same desired end result of husbands indeed Spiritually powerfully walking in proper headship. The only thing that is not familiar to most men is the profound depths of love to which this is calling and exhorting husbands to so walk, that they do so in what is known as "profound love", selfless, giving Christ-like outward-flowing love, rather than by the carnal taking matters into one's own hands and trying to FORCE it.
For indeed, one thing I would exhort husbands to realize is that, just as difficult as it might be for us men to slowly and eventually fully understand and embrace all the intense matters pertaining to the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force, we must stop for a moment and realize that it is that very same kind of difficulty through which our first wives go when we would bring them Christian Polygamy, and often even harder for the wives as they are termed as being "the weaker vessel" in 1_Peter 3:7!
So, instead of any or all of us husbands blaming first wives for the supposed "motes" in their eyes as if the wives are being "disobedient", as if they're not being as submissive as the Churches unto Christ, in the wives not yet being able to immediately embrace Christian Polygamy, all of us husbands must first remove the "beams" in our own eyes for not being as selflessly giving in such Christ-like "profound love" as Christ loves the Churches, in our being able to embrace love-not-force which teaches us to walk such "profound love" first.
If husbands think love-not-force is "hard" to fully understand and embrace, then just think how "hard" it is for their wives to do the same thing with Christian Polygamy. :-)
And with that, we therefore see that God has given us a way by which we husbands can most definitely have such deep understanding and compassion on our first wives in being able to see just how difficult and "hard" such matters really can be for such wives!
And the joyous result of realizing that is, as we men then do indeed learn how to embrace and walk in such principles of love-not-force, we are then far-far-better able and positioned to then indeed help our precious beloved first wives to indeed eventually willingly embrace Christian Polygamy later!
Isn't the Lord so awesome the way He brings things about for our good? :-)
So,anyway, to bring this to close...
By love-not-force, a husband can instead help his first wife, as he instead builds that TRUST, strengthens (rather than damaging) their bond of marital intimacy, shows her by his patience that she CAN TRUST him, that his word is ever true, unto his even being able to thereby later show his first wife that Christian Polygamy is NOT about his own SELF-interest (as he would have thus proved by his profound love and patience with her until she herself gladly later willingly embraced it!), but that it is instead (and she can TRUST him that it really is indeed) about his growing in such profound love of Christ that he is able to have such Christ-walking intimacy even beyond the one relationship with his first wife, even having more love to give than she might be able to receive all on her own.
And this all goes to the heart of your questions here, N.
While, yes, there is "cultural upbringing" which does have an impact in causing a wife's insecurity about the matter of polygyny, the "root" (as you call it) of it all is most found in the matter of TRUST in the bond of marital intimacy. Weaker TRUST, weaker bonds, increase that insecurity. Conversely, stronger TRUST, stronger bond of marital intimacy, reduce insecurity and pave the way for growth together in the Christian marriage.
The more a husband can help strengthen that INTIMACY, where the wife has a total peace of assurance of her husband's ministering Christ-like love for her, the more she easily does TRUST that he really does have that for her and the more she can then indeed grow with him in Christ, unto later even willfully and gladly embracing the truth of Christian Polygamy.
So, to overcome insecurity, I would encourage all to first start with building TRUST in strengthening the bond of marital intimacy.
And that's why I often sound like a "broken record" with regard to preaching the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force.
I pray that this has been a blessing for all who have have been to read this.
And I thank you, N, for asking such an excellent question.
I truly look forward to your further input in our discussions here, as you truly are a blessing.
May the love of the Lord ever be with you and your dear wife.
Continuing the Reformation...
Bringing Christian Polygamy to the Churches
© December 11, 2000, TruthBearer.org
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064
If you want to learn more about the "TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force", then you will want to sign up and join us on the Friends and Fellowhelpers email listservs too.
Parable of the Bricks
Of Strength of Trust (in Marital Intimacy)
Love & Trust / Force & Distrust
That our Word be TRUE