Those of you who are scientists and have perhaps had some theoretical education in computing may have come across the word 'multitasking' which, though still not in my dictionary, is becoming part and parcel of our language. Computer technology has changed many things in our modern world and introduced its own vocabulary which gives a clearer pictorial representation of actions that can be usefully employed in our own human interactions. Another computer term, 'interfacing', conveys a linking or connection between two objects. Thus when two human beings are interfacing, one can say that meaningful contact is being made between them.
In computing we know that a single processor has the ability to carry out several tasks at apparently the same time. As you are reading this article I expect that you have several computer programs loaded and operating simultaneously. At the very least you will have Microsoft Windows (or the Mac equivalent) up and running and also a browser (like MS Internet Explorer or Google Chrome) with which to read this page which is written in HTML. The ability of a computer to do this is called multitasking. Whatever you may be experiencing on your PC right now conceals what is actually happening inside the processor. For what is actually happening is that your PC is switching between MS Windows and the Browser - it is not running them at the same time but only appears to be doing so, and the reason for this illusion is that it is doing it so fast that you don't see the process in action.
An objection that some people make to polygamy is that a man married to several women cannot interface with them in quite the same way as in monogamy. Whilst it is true that in any situation where there is interaction between more than two people (as in a monogamous marriage with many children) it is not possible to give as much unique one-to-one 'time' to each person, it is not true to claim that one cannot either:
There are, of course, many excuses in circulation against polygamy which placed in other contexts make them look very silly. There are many types of human relationship. For instance, a man in a monogamous relationship who is a sailor or a politician who has to travel far to the national capital is away from home a very long time. By contrast, a monogamous man who works just around the corner from where he lives and works a 9 to 5 job 5 days a week is, if he is a devoted husband and father, able to spend far more time with his wife than the sailor or politician. Do we then conclude that the sailor's or the politician's marriage is 'inferior' because he cannot give as much time to his wife (and children) as the one who works locally? What about doctors who may have very little home life? Is their marriage life inferior? To say that polygamy is inferior because it cannot give as much time to each individual wife is as equally a preposterous assertion as in the example I have given because they both have the same basis. The rightness or success of a marriage is not measured in terms of time but in terms of quality.
- (a) Give as much love to each individual person; or
- (b) Fully interact with them as humans in a multiple/polygamous situation in a mental, emotional, psychic, sexual and spiritual way.
A lack of time is not the main issue but QUALITY time
Not everyone is cut out to be a bank manager or a football coach. Most who have skills or interest in banking or football are better suited to being clerks or football players where their skills may come to the fore. That doesn't mean a manager is superior as a person to a clerk - it simply means he has been gifted by Elohim (God) to fulfil the task he has been called to. Some people are better managers of people than others. We are, however, all called to be managers, whether as men as 'managers' of wife and children, or women as 'managers' of children. We all have multitasking skills but in some it is more develeoped than in others.
This does not mean to say that a banker - who must multitask with the men and women in this employment - is automatically going to make a good polygamist. The multitasking skills on bank management and polygamy, though having certain similarities, are by no means equivalent. It may be that one of his clerks would make a better polygamist than his boss, for there are different types of skill involved. By the same token, the man who cleans the office floors might make the better Pastor of the three: he may be able to multitask with people spiritually even if on the professional level he is not really very good at doing more than one practical task (like floor sweeping) at a time.
However, I think to is true to say that certain career-types can have an advantage in the polygamist stakes. Organisational skills are certainly helpful but a polygamous family, whilst organised, is not an 'organisation' like a bank. It is a living organism. Therefore someone who is a schoolteacher, for example, who must interface with many different types of person simultaneously and create a classroom echad or unity would probably, if he or she has the right heart and spiritual attitudes, make a good polygamous husband or wife. A bank manager, by contrast, who is mostly secreted in his office and is in less direct touch with people (because he uses executives for that purpose), would probably not make a good polygamist. Doctors and nurses - and particularly the latter - would probably possess many good helpful social skills that would facilitate them living polygamy.
Polygamy is not an organisation but a complex living organism
I am not, I hasten to add, suggesting that you should rush off and start courting all the schoolteachers and nurses you can find! Those who are called to this lifestyle are not so conveniently marked by heaven as to make them easily identifiable in terms of profession. There are, after all, terrible nurses and teachers. And were we to follow a biblical checklist, we would be restricted to recruiting from amongst kings and shepherds, and there frankly aren't that many around these days! Those who are called into polygamy have qualities that are not necessarily identified by their professional lives. Indeed, some may have no profession (as understood in worldly terms) at all. Yahweh calls whom He wills, whether they have yet attained the stature required for polygamy or not.
But what of multitasking? A polygamist man must be able to interrelate with all his wives in such a deep and meaningful way as he can develop a relationship with them of such transparency and honesty that they are, to all intents and purpose, one (echad). And the key to multitasking, as we have seen from the computer model, is speed.
Some of you 'oldies' may remember the old 286, 386 and 486 computers. Multitasking was a gourmet's delight using an old 286 (i.e. nearly impossible) but began to be a reality with the faster 386s and 486s. Now, with our Pentium range, it has become 'hamburger and French fries' - multitasking is no longer the domain of the gourmets. Our current PCs are fast. And when I am working on my PC I may have as many as a dozen programs operating at the same time.
The ability of any machine to successfully multitask will be apparent when things start to go wrong. In my last PC (2003), which was a Pentium 1, the machine would start slowing down and then crashing beyond a certain number of programs being loaded at any one time. It was frustrating. Not until I upgraded was I able to enjoy the freedom of having more programs up and running and relax about the whole works crashing.
Whoever you are (and I am principally talking to men now) you are, based on your spiritul state (and a number of other factors, including economic) only able to manage one, two, three, or four (or more) wives. If you try to marry beyond your ability to successfully multitask with them, your marriage will first slow down and then crash. This is a simple scientific observation. King David was able to manage his big family but King Solomon defintely wasn't. The latter crashed big-time and his 'PC' was a write-off ... his foreign wives introduced fatal 'viruses' too that ultimately destroyed him.
Men, being what they are (sons of Adam), always think they can handle 'more'. You have heard, I am sure, their idle boasts. The Bible warns about the arrogance of youth, both physical youth as well as adult infants (men who are old physically but who spiritually are still in nappies/diapers). To be a polygamist multitasker you have to have a certain level of spiritual maturity. There are just no two ways about it. You may think you are multitasking when in fact all you are doing is running panic circles around your women and end up fencing them in because you are not able to make genuine contact with them. Such a marriage is on the rocks - it just can't work, anymore than my old 286 could have run Windows 2000 and MS Internet Explorer 6. And the biggest tragedy of all is when a teacher of polygamy is a spiritual infant and ends up leading many students to destruction who imitate his terrible example.
To be able to multitask requires speed - or in human terms, to have a unique combination of sensitivity and resilience. The best computer programs are those which are fast and are fully debugged. As you know, a single bug in a computer program is enough to make life miserable. Do you remember some of the Beta versions of the first Operating Systems? They were awful! I remember the early struggles with Windows 3.0 and 95. It is a wonder I did not go bald.
It is the same in biology. A single base error in a DNA sequence makes the difference between normality and diabetes. A single pair of molecules amongst zillions. And if a man has a fatal character flaw when it comes to inter-personal relations ... though he may be most capable in every other area - it will be enough to ruin any chance he may have of having a successful polygamous marriage. He just can't multitask! When a crisis comes he just crashes ... or goes ballistic. I have come across some patriarchs who have seemed ideal for polygamy but who had the most destructive tempers. A foul temper does not equate with patriarchal headship or with strength of character (remember Cain?). Anger, the Bible tells us, is like the sin of murder. The Saviour Himself declared that such a person was in danger of hell-fire because of the terrible destruction that anger can wreck. I have known several polygamous marriages ruined by a man's inability to control his temper. A person who has an unresolved sin-area that provokes violent anger should NOT be entering polygamy! And I would suggest that that is equally true for women who have a similar tendency, because anger does cause such terrible destruction to adults and children alike. Anger births fear and there is no spiritual freedom in fear. It's a bug and it causes marriage programs to crash 'big-time', often irrepairably. And if it is the husband who has the problem, then everyone will be violently (and possibly irrecoverably) felled.
You've all heard of 'road-rage'. It's a phenomenon of our times. And those who succumb to it are often very deeply wounded inside and just cannot cope with even the simplest of situations. Which is why I most emphatically insist that those who have come from abusive backgrounds should not even enter monogamous marriage until they have been healed. These days deliverance and marriage cannot be separated which is why, in spite of the right socio-political conditions for polygamy to be birthed, it is a bad time in terms of psychic/emotional preparedness for people to enter polygamy because never have people been so damaged inside as in our day. Thus modern-day polygamy has both great advantages and enormous disadvantages. We cannot afford to be less careful, than say 50 years ago, simply because political conditions in the West make the living of this lifestyle easier than in the past.
Men with rage issues shouldn't even be married
Polygamy is not showmanship. Showmanship can never sustain it. Sadly, though, our Western culture revolves around showmanship. You all know what political 'spin' is. And we all know about Hollywood. These 'industries' are about the creation of 'images' or 'illusions' or reality. Many people are 'projecting' images of their marriages to the public but they are living double lives. They dare not admit weaknesses or problems for fear of damaging their 'image'. The gap between reality and illusion gets wider and wider until the marriage inevitably collapses. And yet showmanship, which in the last century was birthed in America (by a Polish Jew), has almost become a whole way of life and to a major extent has substituted for reality. Life has become a kind of auto-propaganda exercise. And people believe it, because it is 'better' than reality. And we do want things to be better.
As I have written elsewhere, the last year (2002) was the great illusion-popper in Christian/Messianic polygamy. We saw the media hype created by some of the poly ministries - the books, seminars, retreats, etc. - promoting the lifestyle, and the bakruptcy of some of the polygamous marriages of those promoting it. Some of the teachers aren't even polygamously married! And some (I am sad to say) are just bold faced liars. Some have dumped wives when the wives didn't meet up to their expectations. Some are physically violent. In short, the modern monogamy culture, with all its woundedness and sickness, has been transplanted into polygamy. And it's been ruinous.
The success or failure of Christian/Messianic polygamy depends on the ability of mutual-multitasking - not just the husband multitasking with his wives, but his wives multitasking with each other, and husband and wives multitasking with all their children so as to create a single echad communion. The result should be a web of intimate relationships as illustrated in the diagram to the right, which is an illustration of a husband (purple) and 7 wives (the ideal number of Isaiah 4:1) - 8 people in all. Add Christ and you have 9 (333). Have you ever calculated how many relationships there are in a group consisting of 9 souls? 27 relationships (2+7=9=333 ... for those who are interested in gematria)!
What is polygamy? Polygamy is intimate echad relationship! Not any old relationship, but relationship in Christ. Christ is the multitasker. Christ enables committed disciples in polygamous relationship to multitask - to relate simultaneopusly with everyone in that marriage in the same way that the Bride of Christ is able to mutually multitask with their Bridegroom, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). What is the railtrack on which we multitask? Torah - His unchanging and unchangeable New Covenant Law. What is the engine of multitasking? Love - the pure, unconditional, mutual submitting love of Christ. How do we start multitasking? By submitting to, and obeying, Christ once we have met Christ as our personal Friend. You have to know Him yourself - not as a set of doctrinal propositions but as a real Person who is alive. You have to meet the Son of the Living God, Yahweh-Elohim, by inviting Him into your heart.
The responsibility of a husband in a marriage with, say, seven wives, is enormous. They are called to obey and reverence him, and if they love him, they will look up to him. In the same way that children learn to become what their parents are and not what their parents teach them, so wives properly submitted in love to their husband learn to become what their husband is and not what he teaches! Is teaching unimportant? Far from it - teaching (if it is true Torah) is the railtrack on which the marriage will move, but the railtrack doesn't make the train - the train merely rides along it. What makes (or breaks) a wife is what a husband is, and if he is truly in Christ, she will be richly blessed, and the principle of submission and obedience will be justified. But what if he is not in Christ (though he may teach about Christ and think he is in Christ)? What will happen to her? She will become like him. And if he is on the way to hell, that's where she'll go too unless she breaks free. And she will neither interface or multitask. Rather, she will be alone and fruitless - a shrivvelled raisen revolving around a bloated coconut.
When Paul says that believers should not yoke themselves unequally to unbelievers he is not saying it is OK to marry nominal believers or unregenerated believers. The question is: how can we know whether someone who professes Christ (however vigorously) is a believer or an unbeliever? What is true, Christian/Messianic belief? To have true Christian/Messianic belief is not to follow a set of doctrinal propositions - to have true Christian/Messianic belief is to actually interface with Christ - to encounter the resurrected Messiah as a living Being, power, and presence ... and to then naturally live the doctrinal propositions of Torah out from that relationship.
We know that marriage can be a show. So can Christianity/Messianism. People can go through the motions of Christianity and apparently have a spiritual life but which, in truth, is psychic and not spiritual. It is the difference between spiritual and psychic that fools people. We often associate 'psychics' with occultists and occultism but did you know that you can be an occultist and never talk about anything else but Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)? Did you know that the 'tares' Yah'shua (Jesus) says grow up together with the wheat are so similar in appearance that you can't actually tell them apart until the fruits show and ripen! That's right - people can be talking and preaching Christ, and even living a Christian-like lifestyle, and yet they are tares - counterfeits - because they have never encountered the living Yah'shua (Jesus). They don't know Him! And one evidence that they don't know Him is that they are not obeying His commandments! They despise Torah. True, you can be living Torah legalistically (trying to be saved by works, which is impossible) but not know Christ ... as Judas did not ... but to equally say that you do not need to be obedient is to declare yourself lawless and be condemned by Yah'shua (Jesus) for the same.
I have heard polygamy ministers disdain echad Christianity/Messianism and polygamy as 'religious' as though it were some sort of works-based salvation (which it is not). I have been personally accused of these things by those who have since fallen and demonstrated the foundation of their religion and ministry was anarchistic and lawless. More, sadly, will follow. One interesting thing about Christian/Messianic polygamy is that it causes the wheat and the tares to grow up fast - it doesn't take long to separate them out because of the fruits within the marriages. (And remember, wives can be 'tares' as much as husbands). In that respect, it can be quite frightening for some but most especially for those who wish to remain concealed from light and truth.
Are you planning to live polygamy without a true life in Christ? Don't do it. And don't just go through the motions. There are a lot of fakes out there who are pretending to know Christ in order to seduce Christian and Messianic women into polygamy. And the reverse is true also - I recently exposed one European woman pretending to be a believer who was actually a swinger trying to get into the United States by deceptive means! And I knew another woman who turned out to be a satanist and who had serially 'married' into several polygamous families leaving chaos and destruction in her wake. You can't be too careful.
If you truly love Yah'shua (Jesus) and are a 'people person' then polygamy may be for you. And yet I have also known some very shy and reticent people make excellent polygamists. Life is full of surprises. But certainly, whoever you are, to be a polygamist means you must be, or become, a skilled multitasker too - someone capable of interacting with many people in an intimate environment. That means multitasking not only with many people but interfacing with them at every level and facet of their being. You will unlikely be able to do it all at once but such should always be your goal. It cannot be forced and it must be preceeded by divine healing if there are any areas of woundedness in the soul. I have noted that many people are coming into polygamous marriages as survivors of abuse, both sexual and ritual, who may require much time to heal and thus enable them to enjoy the kind of intimacy which is the fullness of echad polygamy. So make sure you know everyone's background before entertaining romantic thoughts. That is by no means to say that abuse victims should be excluded from polygamous families but it is to say that everyone should know what they are getting into - husband and existing wives and children - before they embrace such a person who will require much tender care. I know one abuse victim who married into a polygamous family who was just 'dumped' because she didn't 'fit in' smoothly enough.
Finally, let's not forget that married women are multitaskers too, even in the monogamous situation. Polygamy is '(multi)ntasking extraordinaire'.
Multitasking is one of the most difficult, complicated, challenging and - ultimately (if done right) - exhilarating spiritual activities that a son or daughter of Christ can engage in, and more so in a polygamous marriage which is more than compartmentalised or 'multi-monogamous' marriage. It is an acquired skill obtained in proportion to your willingness to surrender to Christ and to be willing to open yourself up to husband and sister-wives. Do not be afraid to try it.