PART A - 2001
'Two's company, Three's a crowd!' 'Breaking through the 1 wife barrier!' I'm sure you've heard at least one of those sayings before. The first, modified by Sam Chapman to 'Two's company, Three's allowed!' is a rather amusing polygamous twist. 'Breaking through the one wife barrier' was a saying coined by Mark Henkel of Truth Bearer.
Well, my purpose today is to 'move on', as it were, from two-wife polygamy to three and beyond. Most first generation polygamists would probably tell you that managing two wives is more than enough and are quite content to settle with one on the left and another on the right, as it were. And that's fine, if you've been called to only have two wives.
Having won through all the struggles to get a settled polygamous family with two wives, you might think that adding a third is relatively easy. It isn't. For not only must you again go through the same struggles involved in introducing any woman polygamously but there is another very, very important factor which comes into the equation which, unless you know something about women, is going to catch the men unprepared.
Women, like men, are social creatures, but in a different way. Whereas men are normally content to have many friends, when it comes to women-women relations, they tend to thrive better in pairs. "Two's company, three's a crowd" is a most applicable expression when a third woman comes into the family because a third person is inevitably going to upset what may have evolved into a very cosy and smoothly-working relationship.
I am not saying that a three-wife family is unworkable or unattainable - with love and sacrifice, it most certainly is. But it is undeniably more complicated. Far easier, in fact, is a four wife marriage as the patriarch Jacob had. In plural marriage women naturally bond in pairs, and whilst this may not necessarily happen in your patriarchal marriage, there is a high chance that it will. It is for this reason that I personally favour multiples of two. But that isn't something we can control.
The mechanics of "2+ polygamy" was explained in a revelation received by our Order in the Sixth Book of Abraham, otherwise known as the Book of Darash. I recommend a careful study of this writing before proceeding. The book explains what 'Twin Sister-Wives' are and the dynamics of sister-wife relations, the importance of finding wives who compliment each other as much as a wife compliments her husband. The Seventh Book of Abraham takes this a little further. A sensitive and caring patriarch will go to a great deal of trouble to ensure that the wives are good for each other and not only think about his own personal needs.
But what if you have two wives who are so completely unlike each other in personality and temprement? How does one establish harmony in the home? The Books of Abraham explain how to successfully deal with this situation too.
I am, as our readers know, very keen on creating harmony between wives and in understanding the mystical significance of plural marriage. No doubt many of you belong to congregations that consist of many different kinds of people, and perhaps you even know situations where sparks have flown between those of very varied temprements. If the congregation is large enough, those of like pole doubtless keep away from one another, but in an intimate situation like marriage you cannot do this. The women have just got to get along if you're going to have them under the same roof.
To make a three-some work you must either (a) compromise, or (b) repent. The way of compromise, whilst valid in little things (like what colour wall paper to have in the communal areas of the house), is most definitely not acceptable in key areas like, for example, standards and discipline where uniformity is essential. In the case of the latter, change is the optimal word. And inevitably, some wives are going to have to change more than others in order to meet the standards required of their husband. Resentment at being the one who has to do the most changing is a natural reaction of the carnal [wo]man and, if allowed to rear its head too high, is a recipe for disaster. This is especially true if there are three women, where two are agreed and the third isn't. You have all the makings of civil war unless the husband can step in as a mature statesman and diplomat. The husband's purpose is not, however, to arrive at a Concordat (desirable though such may in the more minor issues) but, in all fairness and charity, to be a judge. He must decide the course of action if there is disagreement, and risk upsetting those who do not support him. He must lay down the law firmly in grace.
As I look back over the years of polygamous life I have lived I will say quite frankly that having two wives is a luxury in terms of inter-personal relations. It's three or more wives that really separates the men from the mice.
A different kind of wife twinship existed in Jacob's family because two of the wives were in actual fact concubines, being the maid servants of the Leah and Rachel. Their allegiances were slightly different. In the New Covenant, where there are no concubines per se (except in the spiritual sense of one who is an immature polygamous wife), allegiances or allignments will be on the basis of personality and shared interests. In an ideal situation, such shared qualities should be found intermixed amongst all the wives so that instead of ending up with wife cliques you have the happy situation where all the wives are bonding with each other in different ways. A large portion of the Books of Abraham discusses these different kinds of bonding and how to find family harmony.
When a new wife comes into my family, I make it a point of assigning her to one of the existing wives to instruct her in the ways of the family. The new wife therefore becomes a kind of apprentice, an unofficial 'concubine' (though of limited duration). This itself can be tough if the incoming wife is older than those already there, particularly if humility is not her forte. Even after wives have settled in I will often assign a leadership stewardship to a particular wife, and the other wives are expected to defer to her so long as that stewardship obtains. I may therefore assign a wife to be 'chief cook' with the responsibility of teaching other wives who perhaps are not so strong in this area. Another wife may have the primary responsbility for family accounting. Sometimes I may assign a join stewardship to two wives - for instance, two may be especially good gardeners. This way a dynamic is maintained and all can learn new skills from the others. As the wives walk more in the spirit and mature, the need for 'headships' of this nature diminishes and, it is hoped, eventually vanishes altogether.
Because three is such a difficult number to balance I may also rotate the care of a new wife between the two extant ones, or, if their are other wives, with more. Where love flows in abundance, there is in any case a natural mutual caring which requires little or no such 'assignments'. But for all the best intentions in the world, sometimes the 'natural order' breaks down as carnality intrudes, and so stewardship structure becomes very important. Like a plant growing rapidly in a plant pot, it must eventually be repotted and perhaps given a different aspect in the house in order to thrive. It may also need extra nourishment which, in the case of a polygamous family, may take many forms.
Every pastor worth his salt knows that the bigger your congregation gets, the better organisation is needed. And with organisation comes stewardships or ministerial callings. The polygamous family is no different. As it expands in wives and children, it needs increasing structure and organisation. Thus a family which began with only two wives will be a very different kind of organism to one with six - indeed, it would be difficult to compare the two. And thus the polygamist husband needs increasing skills in proportion to the number of wives (and eventually, children) he has.
I do not expect to find many men in the first generation of Christian/Messianic polygamists with more than two, or perhaps, three wives. Neither would I recommend the vast majority to take any more. Only as the principle becomes settled, regular, and familiar - and only as polygamous families learn to gather in mutually-supporting communities would I expect families to grow much larger. Then sister-wife friendships can cross family lines. The habits needed in large polygamous families really have to be bred from childhood in an environment where polygamy is the norm and not the exception. But I am looking ahead now.
Just as I know many patriarchs like myself do not advise men rushing into taking a second wife, so do I counsel polygamous patriarchs not to rush ahead into taking a third. Once you've managed a threesome then, I believe, it becomes much easier.
PART B - 2016
No two people are alike which means that no threesome is ever alike either. The reason for this is multiplex since there are numerous functions in any relationship bonding complex:
Where, for example, there is a defect in a wife's (and especially a husband's in the total marriage dynamic) relationship to Christ, there will be a vacuum in her heart which she will fill with other things. In that situation she will occupy her waking hours with substitutes for Christ (children, food, entertainment, others) and this will impact all the other relationships in the marriage dynamic. If there is a defect (like unresolved issues) in a wife's relationship with her husband she will likewise occupy the vacuum in her waking hours with similar things, and particularly with other sister-wives if she has a good relationship with them. When these things happen, a very distorted and ultimately dysfunctional marriage dynamic results caused by the unnatural stretching of the spiritual fabric, that can easily cause fractioning. Many a polygamous family has broken down when there are three wives present.
- 1. Each wife's relationship to Christ;
- 2. Each wife's relationship to her husband; and
- 3. Each 1:1 relationship between two wives.
I find it helpful illustrating the social and spiritual dynamic in a polygamous marriage by using geometry and in particular the geometry of what is called in come circles the 'Flower of Life' (see below):
Fig.1 The Flower of Life
Those of you who are into the increasingly popular hobby of therapeutic colouring books may have come across this pattern somewhere along the line. One of my wives really enjoys these as they are conducive to relaxation. The 'flower of life' is believed by some to be the very pattern or creation itself (and therefore of the Creator). It's basically an information system. Man has known about this from the very beginning and you will find reproductions of this motif in every religion of the world. It's very popular in new Age circles (no pun intended) where. like everything else, it has come to be idolatrously worshipped in place of the Creator. However, that should not distract us from what is very clearly built into the fabric of everything. This is a huge subject and may be of interest to those of you who love mathematics. I am going to use it as a simple illustration of the divine spiritual matrix on which complex relationships, such as a plural marriage, can be both understood and built.
The basic unit of the Flower of Life, known as the Seed of Life, consists of seven circles, one in the centre and six on the periphery. Interlinked they produced the characteristic six-petalled flower. Six, you will remember, is the number of man. There are twelve circles on the periphery of the Flower of Life.
Fig.2 The Seed of Life (left) and the Flower of Life (right)
If you are wondering if you have ever seen this pattern at school, then the answer is, yes, in nature, and specifically in your biology text-book. You will have seen seven-circled Seed of Life as the Egg of Life, specifically, in the third embryonic division of a zygote in Mitosis:
Fig.3 The Egg of Life (left) and the third phase of cell division (right)
The Seed od Life structure also forms the basis for music. You will find that the distances between the spheres are identical to the distances between the tones and half tones. So this is not something that has been made up. This is a heavenly tavnith or pattern.
The diagram below shows the proper relationship between the Creator, Elohim (God - coloured yellow), the husband of a polygamous marriage (coloured blue) and his three wives (red, green and orange) when they are properly relatied to Yahweh, their husband, and to each other:
Fig.4 The perfectly structured and harmonic polygamous
marriage of a man with three wives centred in Yahweh
You will see various connections represented by love-arcs from the several circles that form the Flower of Life showing the interconnectedness of those involved in the relationship. These represent the manifestation and multiplication of divine love in proper tavnith (pattern). It therefore respresents the principle of the eternal multiplication of love as it fills the universe:
Fig.5 The Flower of Life multiplying love in all directions in the universe
You will find more understanding from another perspective, using the two-wife model, in a very good articles on the main website, Prayer & Worship I: Probing the Deepest of Mysteries which will enable you to mentally (and at length emotionally) build up the bigger picture as you see how this sacred tavnith (pattern) covers every aspect of life. I recommend you read this article first and then return here to continue.
Now that you have read the other article, you will see how the spiritual dynamic of echadness works in a plural marriage with two wives and how they relate the the festivals of Israel. Summarising:
Fig.6 True tavnith with husband and two wives
You could even try superimposing this on the Flower of Life as you familiarise yourself with the heavenly pattern and dynamic. Obviously Yahweh-Elohim would form a circle around the whole in a true Christian/Messianic Plural Marriage.
You will also have noticed in the other article how dysfunction is introduced into the system when wrong notions about headship are applied to Christian/Messianic polygamy:
Fig.7 False falvnith with two wives and spiritually displaces husband
Using the same matrix (since Satan cannot use anything else as he is not a creator but a perverter) you will see how the husband has, in effect, become the third member of a lesbian relationship, at least positionally. The vacuum left by the husband voluntarily or under complusion leaving a vaccant position in the centre opens the door for a couple of demonic twins, Hecate and Lilith, whose rôle in the satanic agenda is to destroy gender rôles, unisexualise gender and ultimately to destroy marriage and family. They are 'female' demonesses devoted to the reversal of patriarchy to matriarchy as part of the satanic strategy to occultise the world.
One of the main symbols of Hecate is the triangle. In 1977 the LGBT community adopted the pink triangle as one of its many symbols. The black triangle is also being adopted by lesbians because of its use by the nazis in concentrations camps where lesbians and prostitutes were inturned.
Fig.8 Lesbian triangles
When the husband is displaced as the head by degrees, or in any degree, the movement to do this is Hecatic and Lilithic in origin, the ultimate end being a demonic centre:
Fig.9 Removal of the husband from the headship domain leading to Hecatisation of the wives and removal of Yahweh from the core
Please note that a wife's submission to her husband is supposed to be full, not partial, within the boundaries of the Divine Law or Torah (thus precluding ungoldly or unrighteous dominion by a tyrant-husband). The scripture does not allow for degrees of submission:
Without a full submission, the husband cannot be at the centre. And since the husband has been given full authority over his wife by Yahweh, to displace him even a little is to distort the Flower of Life so that there cannot be free-flowing of life from Christ to husband to wife/wives. What you end up with is a deminic marriage that gives glory to Satan and misery to all concerned. Trying to remove the demonic centre without restoring the husband to his divinely appointed place as head, to whom submission in Torah-righteousness is commanded, is like trying to rebuild a damaged bicycle-wheel without any hub or spokes to maintain the symmetry of the outer ring. In the divine system the husband is the hub and Elohim (God) the sphere that encloses the whole (see Fig.4).
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to (in the same way that you submit to) the Master (Lord, Yah'shua/Jesus)" (Ephesians 5:22, NIV)
"For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in Elohim (God) also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror" (1 Peter 3:5-6, NKJV).
Many women coming into Christian/Messianic polygamy do so with false feministic, socialistic, egalitarian co-headship doctrines in their heads and do understand the demonic foundation of such ideas which will dampen and ultimately strangle the free-flow of the Ruach (Spirit) in a marriage. The threesome polygamous marriage is a major hurdle precisely because it can either be heaven or hell - if the latter, then the wives end up assuming the three Hecatic rôles of (1) Young maiden, (2) Mother and (3) Old Crone. Unless there is repentance and proper restoration of the divine pattern, you will have hell-on-earth. And it will multiply with the more wives you have in the equation so long as this Hecatic core is present.
Hell on earth - the Satanic Triangle
The good news is that if you follow the divine pattern you can have a little paradise at home but it requires total self-surrender (of husband to Christ and wives to husband in Christ in divine tavnith/pattern). Anything else is just multiple-monogamy and not real polygamy at all.