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The 12 Books of Abraham
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    23. The Abuse of Marriage

    A charge commonly levelled against polygamists is that they are abusive of women. And it is partly true. Some men living plural marriage are abusive. But so are a good many men in monogamous marriages. If abusive polygamist men makes polygamy wrong then abusive monogamous husbands makes monogamy wrong as well. And there are abusive wives in both.

    The fact of the matter is that you will find abuse wherever you find men and women in a conjugal relationship with each other, irrespective of whether the relationship is biblical (monogamy or polygamy) or not (polyandry, polyamory, homosexual and lesbian relationships, swinging, etc.). There is, however, no evidence that plural marriage is more abusive than monogamy. Indeed, the reverse is usually proven to be the case. It only appears worse because some polygamy cases are given high media prominence.

    Women (and sometimes men too) must be protected from abuse no matter what kind of relationship they are in. If the truth be known, most of those who hate plural marriage are women who have a feminist agenda and who deep down hate all men. And attacking multiple marriage just becomes a smokescreen hiding a sinful tendency in women who want to rule. The issue is not, therefore, so much monogamy vs. polygamy but of patriarchy vs. matriarchy. It boils down to power and who has it.

    This was the issue that consumed Miriam, the wife of Moses, and for which Yahweh punished her with leprosy (Numbers 12). Just as it is dangerous for a man to try and force his way into plural marriage without his first wife's consent so it is equally dangerous for women to challenge Yahweh's headship Order (patriarchy). Rulership is man's responsibility, not women's. At the same time, there are checks and balances to ensure that patriarchy is not abused, just as there are checks and balances to ensure that marriage is entered into in the right way.

    As ever, we must obey Yahweh. And those who challenge His Torah (Law) are risking the same kind of judgement as Korah and those who followed in his rebellion. It really boils down to whether you fear Yahweh or not.

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    This page was first created on 1 March 2003
    Last updated on 26 February 2009

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