So, this man from Nigeria is married to two wives and it has been so for well over 30years. But when he sits and recounts the events of his life, the greatest regret he says he has is entering into the polygamous life style.
As it is impossible to love both women equally and also impossible to love both women as himself unconditionally as the Lord has commanded the husband to do, his home is hanging imbalanced. Naturally he feels a little more affection for the second wife above the first, yet the first wife tends to hold him in high esteem and treat him with more respect and love more than the second wife.
In the Nigerian culture, with the older generation, there is rarely the case of divorce. We find divorce been heard of more with the younger generations but not with the older ones who have been married for upward of 30-40years. So this man is not thinking of divorcing any of his wives, he is unable to bring the two women together as one entity, and so his marital life is in a way, a big mess.
However, one thing I discovered in this marriage situation is that God has favoured the first wife above the second. Her own children are doing better in life as adults than the children of the second wife. The success rate of the children of the first wife is higher than that of the second wife. And who is it that does not want to be identified with success? So this man in question wants to be known as the father of the children of the first wife more than the children of the second wife, yet he loves his second wife more than his first.
In all of this I see God's unsearchable wisdom, He has decided to be fair to the unloved wife and then bless her with successful children who will love and care for her in old age. But I always ask myself this question, is the pleasure of having two wives worth the trouble of having to cope with the strife, malice, jealousy, and even hatred associated with polygamy?
From the days of the Bible, going by the examples of polygamy found in the Bible to this present generation, it is common knowledge that polygamy is usually characterized by things like malice, strife, jealousy and hatred. It will take the grace of God for a polygamous home to enjoy as much peace, love and harmony as that of a home built on one man and one wife marriage.
In as much as God has not spoken against polygamy directly, and a polygamous man is still opened to receiving grace and favour from God such as one received by Jacob and David, yet Paul says a polygamous man is not allowed to hold a position of leadership among the congregation of the men of God.
1 Timothy 3:1-4
Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
It is important to know and appreciate that one quality the Lord looks at as He picks a shepherd over His people is that such a shepherd is not married to more than one wife. Such a leader is suppose to be one that leads by good example even as it entails the issue of marriage and the home. This is so because a leader is unable to lead effective in an atmosphere of hatred, malice, chaos which are major attributes of polygamy.
When God observed that it was not good for a man to be alone, from the ribs of the man, He formed a wife for him. It was okay by God's design that a man can afford a missing rib out of which a wife was made for him. But there will be an imbalance in the bone structure of the man if God had to take more than one rib, thus taking two or more ribs to form wives.
If only the men can understand and appreciate that they carry more weight than they are designed by God to carry when they marry more than one wife. Based on God's plan for the man, there is room for just one wife as it is just one rib missing in him. If for any reason more than one rib was extracted by God from the man, there will be a bigger vacuum in the man's life where more than one wife will be required to fill. But God who created man and who knows what lies ahead for the man He created has made room in his life to accommodate just one wife and the only wife needed to make the man complete and fulfilled.
My little word for the man is this, just as it is important for the woman to seek and obtain the approval and leading of God before accepting a marriage proposal, so is it important for the man to seek the face of God and allow the Lord lead them to the woman He has made for them. When you let God make and present a wife to you just as He did for Adam and also for Isaac, the need to take a second wife will not arise, because the Lord will present to you the exact match of you in your wife noting that the God who created her made her from the rib He took out of your body.
When we consider the polygamous stories of the Bible we will notice that those who went into the polygamous style of marriage where those who did not seek God before picking a wife for themselves. There is no marriage crisis that is beyond the reach of God to solve when we are wise enough to hand over the situation to him. But when because of the lust of the flesh a man decides to take a second wife for himself, he is tending towards over-stuffing the vacuum in his life that most probably will lead to more chaos than he originally bargained for.
In order to avoid polygamy that culminate in marital crisis, its important that a man seeks the face of God before making a marriage covenant with any woman. As for you woman I will advise this, a man who has a wife in his life and home is not God's best for you to marry. There is a man from whose ribs God formed you. Seek God's face for that one man and marry him. May the Lord help us.