There is no proper understanding of polygamy without patriarchy and certainly no proper living of it either. Patriarchy is a two way covenant but is rather different from the covenant of marriage itself. Whereas in marriage a husband primarily covenants to love and cherish his wife and she primarily covenants to obey him (the two areas of respective weakness in the sexes) and to be true to one another for live (and eternity) (Fig.1), the covenant of patriarchy is entirely different: for as the husband covenants to obey Yahweh, she covenants to obey her husband. Christ is his covering as the husband is the wife's (Fig.2):
Figure 2 is the consequence of Fig.1 because the respective covering and protection of husband and wife is the result of the respective covenents of patriarchy made by the husband to Christ and the women to her husband. Whilst I am sure most of you are aware of the theory I am finding increasingly a lack of understanding when it comes to practical application. The theory having therefore once more been clearly expounded and, I hope, usefully summarised in diagrammatic form, I propose to devote the remainder of this article to practical implications.
But before I do just one word about the polygamy situation: in the relationship between sister-wives, as in the relationship between the members of the Body in the Body of Christ, the relationship is one of mutual submission and mutual obedience:
"Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility" (1 Peter 5:5, NKJV)
The relationship between a husband and his wife is dual. On the one hand, they are brother and sister in their relationship to Christ, mutually submitting to one another in agapé/ahavah love as complete and total equals in the reception of salvation and in respect of the application of the Torah (Law) in their lives: but on the other, as husband and wife they are in an entirely different relationship which is the very opposite. The matrimonial relationship of a wife to her husband is identical to the allegorical matrimonial relationship of them both to Christ as LORD (MASTER) and SAVIOUR (PROTECTOR/ DELIVERER).
If we are to understand a wife's proper attitude towards her husband then we have only to look at the believers's attitude to our Lord and Saviour Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). With this in mind, let us take some practical examples from life to illustrate concisely and precisely just what sort of relationship ought to be obtaining between spouses.
To begin with, Christ not only has an obligation, but a natural disposition, to deeply love and cherish His Bride. His heart is one of overflowing and bounteous love. And whilst we know this is so because (a) of past (and hopefully present) experience, and (b) because the Bible tells us so, there are times when Christ seems distant and we are (because we are human and weak) wont to question this love. Perhaps we are going through trials and tribulations as part of a refining process and He seems, O, so terribly far away. Perhaps we are in rebellion against Him and in response to heavenly spiritual law, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) withdraws from us until we have repented. Perhaps for no other reason than carnal weakness and our listening to seducing voices of evil spirits as Eve did in Eden, our faith and resolve weaken. Whatever the reasons, there is the sense of absence and an inner emptiness.
I would like to suggest, and particularly to wives who are married to godly husbands, that similar process occur when wives cease to be properly alligned in a patriarchal relationship. Like the New Ager who believes he is God, there is a carnal tendency on the part of woman to think she is equal in authority to her husband and to treat him such in the marriage relationship. When she does this, she not only breaks the covenant of patriarchy (headship) but at once loses his covering and protection from fallen angels who have free access to attack her. (Prior to being married, she would have come under the headship and protection of her father). And in such cases, it is not untypical for the wife to get the spirit of a devil in her and to start turning into a Jezebel.
She need not suppose that the husband is under any less weighty covenants. If he in parallel rebells against the headship of Christ by disobeying His commandments, he in his turn loses the covering of Christ and both he and his wife/wives become open to demonic attack. Note that well husbands! When you disobey, both you and your wives suffer! And that, sisters, is one reason you are under a covenant of obedience.
Now I am going to give you a trivial (and yet not so trivial in the spiritual realm) example from the life of my own family. Recently my third wife went on a visit to a town just outside Moscow and visited an old school friend who, though a Christian, is very worldly in her attitudes. When she returned home she came back with a plastic bag full of videos, some of which her friend had given her and some of which she had bought cheaply as her friend no longer wanted them. They were your typical monogamy-only and/'permissive' love worldly Holywood type of films. She assumed, that because her friend was a 'Christian', that the films would be alright. I was not pleased, to say the least. While they were occupied with domestic matters, I one evening played about 5 minutes from each film to check them out. I immediately rejected all but one as immoral and totally unsuitable for our home. The last one I played through privately to check it out thoroughly and whilst it was borderline in terms of morality, it was definitely not something I would have shown to my teenage children and left me in a state of depression at its conclusion. I decided that this was neither instructional (I believe in showing some films which are educational in terms of clearly illustrating certain evils to be avoided) nor edifying. I decided in consequence to get rid of the whole lot.
One evening my third and and fourth wives came to me asking if they could see one of the films and I told them my decision. This did not go down well at all and it was suggested by one of them that I should discuss the matter fully with them and give my reasons. Though I certainly could have done (and usually do) I decided on this occasion I would not but invoke my headship prerogative without giving any explanation. This upset my fourth wife a great deal who felt she had a 'right' to be given a reason. From this developed this essay and, when she sees it, my 'reason'.
The principle of headship requires on the part of the wives, first and foremost, trust. It means that I expect them to accept my decisions on faith even if I choose not to give a reason. This is the nature of true obedience and the implications of a wife looking upon her husband as a 'lord' and 'master'. This submissive attitude does not imply repression except in the case where a husband is an ungodly tyrant. Rather it implies the kind of relationship that the Body (Church/Messianic Community) has to its Bridegroom (Christ).
I don't know if you have noticed but when you ask Yahweh to give you reasons for doing things in your life ... especially the unpleasant ones ... that usually He doesn't tell you why. Often (though by no means always) we come to understand the reasons why, as a result of obedience and experience. Most kinds of spiritual understanding do not come through intellectual processes alone but through actually living out principles. Understanding of the heavenly kind comes through living, and only through living.
As a Patriarch one of my responsibilities and duties is not only to be a protector on both the physical and spiritual planes, but as a head to educate my wives as to spiritual principles just as Christ has educated me through various trials and tribulations. Just as I do not need to atone for my own sins because Christ has done this for me, so similarly my wives do not need to pass through every kind of trial and tribulation as a head because it is my responsibility to shoulder them as their head. They will have trials and tribulations enough of their own as mothers. By accepting my calling as a Patriarch-Husband I become a human shadow of Christ. I am not, of course, perfect, which is the main difference, which is why in a patriarchal marriage we have the mutual submission and obedience to Christ ... that is the principal area in which we differ in our relationship with our Lord. Nevertheless, I am a kind of 'atoner' in the areas where I have been given responsibility to be their burden-bearers because I am supposed to receive the fiery darts of the enemy as their shield or covering. Their surrender of the privilges of headship comes with the reward of being protected in spiritual warfare and in other ways. In patriarchy and polygamy there is actually a complete balancing out of blessings. Only we receive our blessings as men and women in different ways.
There is this absurd notion, compounded by an (often willfull) ignorance of what the Scriptrues teach, of the respective blessings and responsibilities of men and women. We are not the same and identical things are not required of us. That is the way we have been made. What a woman may sacrifice in terms of sovereignty she is compensated for in spiritual and temporal protection. More importantly than that, I suppose, is the fact that she is justified in following the tavnith or pattern which Christ has ordained for her just as he is justified in following the pattern which Christ as ordained for him. Both are justified (made righteous, holy) in being obedient to their respective spheres.
Where my fourth wife went wrong was in forgetting for a moment just where the boundaries lie. For a moment, she started thinking like the world and the voices of atheistic feminism. For a moment she rebelled and lost her covering and was for a while spiritually destitute. She 'expected' me to behave in a certain way whereas that was not a right she possessed as a wife.
Now we could sit down and 'reason' as other humans do. However, the only reasoning enjoined by Yahweh is the reasoning in Scripture. We are to reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18) on the basis of His revealed principles and not on the basis of the world's corrupt (or however reasonably sounding) philosophies.
Now I could, if I had been driven by a false spirit, have refused to give my fourth wife a reason just because I was being stubborn, proud and 'bloody-minded' but this was not my reason. I chose not to give an explanation for my decision because I expected her, as a wife submitted to me as her master and lord, to trust and obey me without question just as I am expected to trust and obey my Lord without question. Admittedly, it can be difficult for a wife to yield in such a way if the husband she is married to demonstrably shows that he isn't much submitted to Christ at all but only to his carnal lusts. And to be sure, there are plenty of such men about who are a disgrace and who probably shouldn't even be married. However, this failure on the part of many men does not abrogate true principles.
Naturally I forgave her when she came to ask for forgiveness for being rebellious. And naturally I expect her to forgive me when, on occasions, I make less than perfect decisions, which is inevitable. However, I refused to compromise on the patriarchy principle and expected - and will always continue to expect - obedience in trust. It is not often that I require such simply because it is not often that such conflicts arise, and when they do, it is not usually over a salvational issue. However, even the 'minor' infractions do have very serious consequences when it comes to a wife's spiritual protection because when she rebells she opens herself up to attack by fallen angels. Worse, the marriage covenant is partly severed and a wall of partition is erected between husband and wife. The closeness and intimacy of mutual obedience and submission in their respective spheres is destroyed.
In the world, compromise is reached and the relationship - not to mention the spiritual bridge with heaven - is also compromised. The brightness of the marriage and the depth of the relationship with Christ fades. There are ugly stain marks ... spoiling blemishes.
There is no compromise in Patriarchy and, by extension, the Gospel life. There really can't be. Almost all the time I give reasons for my decisions but there are times when I do not feel I have do. And a wife certainly has no right to ever expect reasons to be given any more than I as a patriarch have the right to ask Yahweh to explain His actions. This is surely, is it not, the lesson that Job learned? Even after going through all the hell that he did, and the terrible loss of family, property and health, Yahweh still did not give him the reason for his suffering but rather blessed him with more than he had before. Now you husbands and wives ought to be learning something from this, because there is a key spiritual principle tied up in it, one which Babylon loathes and does everything in her polluted strength to overturn.
I wonder if the brethren and sisters have really understood what their respective rôles are in the marriage relationship, and why they exist the way Yahweh has created them? Are you men willing to accept the kind of redemptive and sacrificial responsibility for your wives that Christ took for the Church (Messianic Community)? And are you wives willing to be in the same kind of submissive obedience to your husbands as the Church (Messianic Community) is supposed to be to Christ? Have you truly understood the implications? How many of you wives actually call your husbands 'sir', 'lord' or 'master'? And if you do, do you truly understand the implications of those titles?
Let me ask you (by Western, liberal standards) a 'shocking' question - do you wives ever bow to or kneel before your husbands in contrition and submission? Yes, I mean that literally. Is such a notion shocking to you - perhaps undignified, maybe even humiliating? I know most women would see red at the very thought of it. But then most women have no idea who they are, let alone the kind of relationship they should have with Yahweh, even if they call themselves 'Christian' or 'Messianic'! Even a lot of men would see red because by the same token they have abrogated their responsibilities as men and as husbands and regard themselves as 'equals' to their wives ... everything has to be 'shared' these days, doesn't it? Yah forbid that we should ever prostitute the truth in order to appease that whore called 'Babylon'! For this is no different to saying that Christ is now equal to the Church (Messianic Community) and that we must become joint atoners with Him! (For those of you who don't know, this is actually the teaching of the Moonie cult, the formerly-called 'Unification Church'). See the important article, Coheadship in Marriage: Exposing a Modern Heresy.
You may expect a list of excuses from the sons and daughters of the whore. They will tell you that such behaviour (such as wives kneeling or prostrating themselves before their husbands) to be barbaric, demeaning, and actually idolatrous. But such is, I may add, willful ignorance. Bowing down to angels kings, husbands, and fathers as a form of deep respect is entirely biblical and Yahweh-approved. Isaac thus blessed Jacob/Israel (Genesis 27:29) and Joshua thus did obeisance to the Angel of Yahweh (Joshua 5:14). Ruth bowed down to the ground before Boaz as a true wife should to her husband (Ruth 2:8-10) as did the Shunnamite woman before the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:37). Lot bowed down before the two angels of Yahweh (Genesis 19:1) as did David when he did obesiance before King Saul (1 Samuel 24:8). Bathsheba and Nathan bowed down before King David on his deathbed (1 Kings 1:16,25) as did Jacob to his elder brother Esau when they were reconciled (Genesis 33:3). You will find numerous other examples in the Bible (Genesis 23:7-13, 33:4-7, 42:5, 43:26-29, 48:9, Numbers 22:31; 1 Samuel 20:41 and 25:41). The only distinction that has to be made is bowing and prostration as a sign of respect and that which is done to worship, for only the latter is idolatrous if it is not to Yahweh alone (Matthew 4:9; Exodus 20:5; 23:24; Leviticus 26:1; Zephaniah 1:5, etc.).
Now you may feel uncomfortable with such a practice but believe you me there is no better way to train your children to have respect for both domestic as well as divine authority. I make it a principle to bow to those in the Covenant who are older than I am or who have authority over me. And there are even times when I give a slight bow to my wives, not because I am acknowledging any headship over me, but out of respect for them when I see them honouring Yahweh my Elohim. Perhaps some may think me quaint if not a little ridiculous but I have tested the fruits of such things and know them to be good and spiritually healthy. One voluntary practice that we have had many years in our house is the wives kissing my feet as a token of blessing before I go to sleep (see Letter to Biyqah Ch.5, v.28)
There is nothing like kneeling to show contrition in repentance. The trouble is there isn't much contrition, humility or repentance in the arrogant and self-sufficient West any more because it is so utterly consumed with the unisexual culture and idolatry of 'rights' and 'self'. It is a cursed culture, doomed to collapse in on itself.
It's polar opposite is the equally obnoxious macho-patriarchy of some religions and cultural customs. We do not stand for those either. In recent times I think we have been appalled and shocked by the woman-hating and -despising culture of the radical Moslem Afghan Taliban régime and ISIS. We, as Christian/Messianic Patriarchs who believe in true women's liberation, are as revolted by that form of oppression as we are by the unisexual, feministic arrogance of the West.
So I am very serious and earnest when I talk about proper patriarchal respect. A wife who bows, kneels or prostrates herself before her husband in deep respect and loving adoration as Ruth did before Boaz is in no way to be condemned or riddiculed but to be praised, so long as this is not done out of compulsion, emotionless habit resentfulness, or the kind of worship which belongs only to Elohim (God). Both men and women must retrain their consciences to think and behave differently. By the same token, are the men willing to do the same to men in authority over them? And do we as servants of Yahweh, do the same in worship of the Most High? I frankly see little kneeling these days and almost never prostration. If you want to experience a little humility in your lives, I recommend you do this in the presence of others sometime. It will go a long way to dismantling the haughty and arrogant spirit of the cultural baggage we have unconsciously inherited from this wayward and idolatrous neo-pagan generation which is even now fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel by setting up the Abomination of Desolation in the human temple in the form of the worship of man ... of self (Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).
So take a look at Fig.2 above again and instead of 'submits to' substitute 'bows down to', 'kneels before', and 'prostrates before', remembering that to Yahweh-Elohim it is worship and to man a token of deep respect and love.
I really think that many people who have been infected with the 'pals with Jesus' doctrine really believe that at the Judgment Bar they are going to march up to the White Throne, shake hands with the Almighty, and say something like 'Hi, Dad!' Such are under a demonic delusion. This is a fruit of false patri-matriarchal doctrine which, though not pure feminism and Jezebelism, yet isn't very different, because it is a fruit of the 'equalisation' of the sexes caused by monogamy-onlyism. El Elyon - the Most High God - is not our 'pal' - He is our Creator, whose thoughts and ways are not like our own (Isaiah 58:8-9), whose relationship to us practiaclly-speaking is as the Cosmos to a grain of sand. Christ is not our 'pal' either - He is our Lord (Master, General, Benevolent Dictator) and Saviour (Redeemer, sin-purchaser). Yes, He is the "Friend" to the elect, but that is only after a complete PURGING of, and submission by, them. Until then - whilst sin finds its habitation in us and we have not overcome - we are servants.
Wives, have you ever considered that as Yahweh's thoughts and ways are not the same as ours as mortals, that the thoughts and ways of men might perhaps not be identical to women? And brethren, have you taken the reverse into account also?
We will always be in subjection to Christ and Yahweh. Our relationship may grow and we may arise in His favour by becoming truly friends as King David was when he was true, but we can never assume that, for this would be an act of inflated human presumption. In the same way, as the relationship of trust between husband and wives grows, and a proper redemptive and yielded spirit prevails, respectively, between them, so the relationship deepens to the point of ecstatic consummation.
This is the Christian/Messianic path and there is no other. Without it there is no proper respect, no proper awe for godliness, no deep appreciation for love. Love, to be multiplied, must have a vessel. And that vessel is obedience and deep, deep submissive respect.
None of this, to be joyful, can of course be forced. It has to spontaneously arise out of the sanctified heart in Christ. Where this spontaneity is lacking, you have only oppression, slavery and tyranny. As such, therefore, I have never required it of my wives, just taught them the Way of Elohim (God) and challenged them to consider these things. For I know that if they love the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) as they say they do, that they will come to it of their own accord in the end.