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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is it lawful to have a second wife?

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Joined: 2006/7/6
Posts: 131

 Is it lawful to have a second wife?

I know the first example is in Genesis, a foolish man who boasted of his vengence being greater then Cain's protection.

But Abraham, was not considered guilty for having Ishael, for GOD does not bless sin.

Also GOD allowed Jacob to have Rachel even though The Christ came from HIS choosen Leah.

It seems that Judah with Tamar his daughter in-law became one flesh and Crist again choose that.

The WORD is not clear, but if Boaz confessed before the men at the gate that he was raising up seed for his brothers inheritance, not his own...I admit a weak point, but an open question.

Elkanah's second wife Hannah was blessed with Samuel.

David did overstep the command about kings not multiplying wives, that does imply that even under the Law which is a tutor, lawfully allows men to have more then one, not just so they do not divorce. It was not his First wife that Christ choose.

Also in the New Testiment, Paul the Apostle was Sanhedrin Pharasee, they required men to be married. Yet when he was ministering unto the LORD, many think she had departed in unbelief. Later he confessed by The HOLY Spirit that he and Barnabus were free to marry.

The LORD was Israel's Husband, and The Groom of the Church. and they will be united, yet not the same.

Just because it is a common practice in cults, does not dismiss it, like JW dont do Christmass legalistically, and even 7thdayAdvents kind of set apart the Sabbath, but not in truth...neither if done as a believer in an expression of devotion is unlawful.

I know the New Testiment also say's that in order to hold an office at a church, as Elder, Deacon, or Bishop(overseer) a man is to have one wife, and that implies that, the rest were not bound to keep that. Nor teachers, or evanglist's.

I ask because my wife is leaving me in disbelief, and she is hateful and despises the ministry I have been called to as an evangelist, refuses to fellowship consistantly.
if she leaves me, I can not, nor do I want to put her away (divorce) but I would hope that if she is bound to another man (Jesus acknoledged the woman at the well had (impling alive) five husbands, since HE is GOD HE recognized it.

Reconsiliation is best, in the begining one man one woman was the model. Twain made one. Yet if she is joined to another, it is a shame for her to be restored, David found that out the hard way. I know myself, I desire to have a helpmate, one who fears the LORD, not man, but I will not sign divorce papers.

 2010/1/1 1:24Profile

Joined: 2009/12/12
Posts: 592

 Re: Is it lawful to have a second wife?

You're first calling is to your family. Put the ministry on hold until that is in order. I would say a saved marriage will garner your more "reward" with Christ than any fruit you may reap in the ministry.


 2010/1/1 1:48Profile

Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


God does not need you.

God does desire that you be obedient to Him.

Your call is first to your wife.
Then your family.
Then the ministry.

We are a handicap to God's plans being carried out on this earth.

It is a privilege to be used, though we are earthen vessels (poop jars) for His glory.


 2010/1/1 1:57Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393

 Re: Is it lawful to have a second wife?

Did you talk about this before you got married? I mean did you make it clear and now she is backing out or was it your fault not making it clear. I mean it would be hard to marry a women then after telling her you wanted to go to Iran.

Is she a true Christian? If so something should be able to be worked out.

Is she just weak needing encouragement and having a hard time? Often even strong evangelist' have down seasons for extended periods of time.

Do you go to a good fellowship that is feeding her?

Are you asking too much of her? Women are the weaker vessel and often we can be too extreme even to ourselves.

Are you sure you are not wrong? I mean often times zealous Christians can swear they are right then often learn maybe a year later or so that they were wrong after breaking ect.

Can you seek counsel from Elders on this? It may be good to have a mediator and an experienced person who has endured seasons in the ministry.

I know of a Christian woman who is married to a devout Muslim who attacks her faith constantly. I could maybe put you in contact with her or maybe your wife and she may be able to give counsel.

I know now more then ever that the enemy wants to viciously kill us literally and so often marriages. We are under great spiritual battle and I will definitely seek to consistently pray for you for this next season and to give you clarity from heaven for even simple thoughts of theology can be clouded.

Women are the weaker vessel. It was Eve who was first attacked. The enemy is after your wife. Pray for her. Sometimes we cannot lean on our spouses for encouragement and must on God and mature Christians. Pray for her build her up.

Maybe think of it this way. I am sure there were times in ministry when you were too weak to go on. Therefore you were not able to at a certain time for one reason or another. Well, your wife is a part of you and just as you could not go on for some weakness in yourself now maybe you cannot go on as deep in this evangelism as you would like because your wife is too weak. I mean it is not as if she is saying to deny Christ or sin or something. I mean what if you had kids. What if there was some problem with your kid and they were ill and you could not go out evangelizing or something.

Not everyone is called to everything. I mean if we wanted to be really radical we could go straight to Mecca and preach knowing we would be killed. But, is that what God has called us to? Has God supplied grace for that? We are not sinning because we do not all immediately go there.

Are your sure you are not extreme in some way? Can you not do your ministry in some way that is by yourself without needing her by your side? Maybe more details would help.

I hope all I said is correct and hope you consider in with a sound mind from the Holy Spirit and not merely from me.

Often the best thing to do is just give things time. Often we can see things in a totally different perception a year later or so. Sometimes couple even split for a while to come back. There are often growing pains. He who is slow to anger if great in understanding.

 2010/1/1 2:18Profile

Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752


You're first calling is to your family. Put the ministry on hold until that is in order. I would say a saved marriage will garner your more "reward" with Christ than any fruit you may reap in the ministry.

Agree 100%


 2010/1/1 2:44Profile

Joined: 2006/7/6
Posts: 131

 She left Islam

I only met her because I was encouraged to hear how she was won, so I told her about my big deal. Months later at a missions conferance, I saw things she might I send it to her bible college, and we started talking, and prayed, she kept calling, and I said I was injured deeply by a relationship, and had dedicated myself single, so I felt that I shouldn't spend to much time with some other mans future wife. She still occasionaly called, but I felt like she wanted things to open up, but my heart was still injured, yet I would pray in the Spirit, and turns out after praying with her, I had a lead for an inturnship she asked counsel about that The LORD used mightily, when I heard of the works through a man, I felt so good that GOD had used me because I was deeply oppressed by the now. She called again and said "The LORD told me I am supposed to marry you" I was indignant but did not sin with my lips, instead I said "Well The LORD never fails, so I guess if that happens you'll know it was a true prophecy." I esteemed it lightly, as I intended to disappear in the jungle to minister to the Karen tribe I had read about in Don Richardsons "Eternity in their hearts." then 5 months later I was kicked out of Bible college because I wrote to the founding pastor, about some teachings that didnt match up, and the man who over saw the college had the dean refund my last quarter, said don't come back...and they put me on a list of people not allowed on property. I was so hurt and betrayed and the questions I raised were sound...I mourned before the LORD for monthes left alone, kind of feeling like The LORD had rejected me, then I saw her at a church, and was cordual. It came to mind sometime later maybe GOD had a plan, and this was a nudge...maybe to believe in her effort to speak by faith, by just hanging out to see who she is. Another time I revisited that church took an invitation to hang out with the Bible college kids, not many received me, but she really had devoured the stuff I sent her, and seemed to be a little isolated for her I went further, and invited her to meet some of my friends I had a "Christian" movie night with...gave her a token of rare precious music that had been songs in my pilgrimage...hoping she would be strengthened in her environment to overcome the enemies plan to stomp her the second she took a stand in Faith with courage. She started blowing up my phone so I would invite her to meet me at homeless feeds, agreed to get friends to help me prepared some evangelistic tools...seemed to love what I did. I talked to the overseer of her church to ask him if we could court with his approval (she had left her family when she left Islam) he said yes, things seemed to get better and better, but I told her I was a selfish jerk, in great debt, had an STD and my heart had deep scars I seemed to never escape, and I really felt unable to love anyone, and was unlovable. She said "I just want to serve The LORD with you." Then I asked her to meet with the overseer, he agreed, I again said all the things that had eaten up my life before Christ, he was so shooken knowing I was college bound from Bible college, and seemingly an upright man, he stumble at the prison, drugs, and especially the debt. He looked like he was sitting on a heater. But a month later she showed up at a homeless feed, and I started to think it had to be the LORD. Then I asked her if she would be willing to drive hours with me to a wilderness where I walked with The LORD. We went, I took here where deep calls onto deep at the noise of HIS waterfalls and started to voice my betrothal vow, she stunned stared back, then I asked if she had anything to say...she kind of repeated what I said, and I hugged her. Six moths later after a few hard trials we were married. But once married she a couple months into it focused on my debt and wanted to go to iraq as a translator on the frontline for $89000 a year to redeem me, I was touched but said no, then again she pressed me a few more times, I said no way...we had a fight, she called the police and when they came she said "he wont let me get a job" I said "she can work at Safeway, or anyplace around here" they said they did not have time for this. Then I encouraged her to attend classes with her cultural experience, as an arab and a woman she could be used mightily for GOD. But Now a year and a half later, she is fully in rebellion, has many times threatened to leave me to find another man...I think its the fear of the money, and she took a job 9 monthes into the marraige, I said "wait we should pray about it" she said we would divorce if I stopped her, and I was forced into submission, though I prayed alone, I had no peace then she didn't like me spending on evangelistic materials, and got her own bank account, started being very wanton, buying lots of nice things to go to school,I would take once in a while, but she bought top dollar stuff, and I paid the bills, and when things were hard at the end of the quarter, she would rail me for buying bibles, tracts, and blank media to duplicate...I paid for her clothes, she didn't contribut the aid she received, when I let her know I needed the last third of the power bill, she said "your not a man" and "if you want to be the head, you better pay for everyting" put me to shame for not buying her perfume. I started two businessed, one as a field technician I could schedual around engineering classes, and selling Christain apologetic dvds on ebay, so I could include things I would put together on break in the university lab. Once her classes picked up I did most of the chores, and she would not attend any of the 3 Bible studies UI attended, to do homework...and would provoke me to wrath for asking if she wanted to go. I could see her drifting, but she despised me and would not let me speak gently to her. She made lots of plans to enjoy time together but would get so angry she would destroy stuff, would fight the day before church, on trips she'd make me walk alone...then she met a christian gal like me, really zealous, befriended her, and seemed to nicen up and we would do Church, and evangelism together. Then she told me I should marry her friend, I was harsh with her and yelled at her hatful anger. Then she accused me of having an affair, I said she deserves someone better then me, and when I tried to ask this friend of hers what happened, she blocked my number...she then moved somewhere when I was out. I am about to sink in the hole GOD pulled me out of, and I am sure her problems are because of me, and I am in denial trying to justify myself even now. I am hopless, and a sinner bound fast by my past I though Jesus delived me from. I wish I could not exist, and I really know for sure I should not be allowed to hurt anyone else, and be isolated like HIS has allowed, that is where others will be safe from my "mr holy man" act, I have no love it seems to me. Just a selfish ass that brings affliction like a rain cloud. Did HE love me to bring HIM this shame? Am I HIS, did I really taste freedom from my shame, why is it near crushing me?

 2010/1/1 3:40Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393

 Re: She left Islam


Well, it sounds like it started off right.

I think the debt was the biggest problem.

Maybe she may have been burnt out by ministry too.

She also may have had some flesh problems and I think that to some degree the stronger Christian just has to die and love.

The best I could say is try to work past the debt and love her and get your marriage back before zealous ministry.

I think that you have to be faithful in the small then zealous ministry will be an outflow from there.

It could take time, and be beyond hard, I trust that this is the Lord teaching you and taking you deeper and maybe showing you areas you need to change.

Forgiveness is needed and leadership and the grace of God.

 2010/1/1 4:42Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1196
Germany NRW

 Re: Is it lawful to have a second wife?

I would urge you to seek advice from an older mature Christians around you who have proven faithful over the years. Ask God to show you one. Here you may get good or bad advice and you do not know the people here on SI and cannot check on their integrity. It is not save to seek counselling online.

 2010/1/1 5:57Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7511

 Re: She left Islam


You asked whether it is permissible to have a second wife. I will ask you a question: how will a second wife fix your problems? Looks to me like it would complicate it more. If you cannot make a go of one wife, how would the second one improve your situation?

I agree with other posters who suggest you go for counseling, but be careful what counselor you go to. Many out there would tell you to divorce...Now here we can get into a sticky mess...Many on SI think it is OK to remarry after a divorce. But the NT has the final word on this issue. Anyhow, divorce will not solve your problem.

I am assuming this is a covenant relationship - but you did vow before God that you would love her till death do you part, so you have an obligation with her. Another woman will only complicate matters. Surely you are not ignorant of this matter. The OT is replete with examples of this principle.

I suggest you put your ministry on hold for the time being and stop putting a lot of money into religious materials. Her spending could be done in retaliation to your spending.

These are my thoughts ...


Sandra Miller

 2010/1/1 7:50Profile

Joined: 2005/11/10
Posts: 530


Just want to agree with what narrowpath said. We can all pray with you and tell you a few things, but a picture (of your life) is worth a thousand words. In other words, you need a local Christian. You need to think of the most serious and godly Christian you know and find a way to go to them and share with them where you are at and if the Lord confirms their counsel in your heart, you probably need to submit yourself to them or "partner with them" in a peer relationship for a while so they can shepherd you through this, even if you don't feel like it. Make sure it is someone with a heart for marriage and reconciliation, and make sure it is a godly person you respect. If you can't find a person filled with God, you can go there with God, but it will be harder since you don't have accountability. All the best to you in Christ.

 2010/1/1 8:24Profile

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