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In maintaining his responsibilities towards his wives, a man is to treat them equitably. Equity is an essential ingredient to have … where there is more than one wife. It should be understood that we are talking about equity and not about equality. To the uninformed I say, there is an important difference between the two. …

Equality means that everything is done on an even basis or the same thing in the same way for each wife. For instance, if a husband gives one wife flowers he will give each wife flowers. If he takes one to the movies, he will take each of his other wives to a movie. Equity on the other hand, means that each wife is dealt with according to her particular needs and requirements in a loving, fair and just manner …

Sometimes wives or husbands will expect equality to exist in their marriages. Whenever this is the case, that marriage will suffer unnecessary stress and strain. A husband who feels that everything done for or with one wife must be duplicated with each of his other wives is inviting hardships into his life. In addition to placing himself into an untenable position, since he cannot realistically maintain such a regimen, he is also teaching his wives to have unreasonable and improper expectations.

This kind of thinking inevitably leads to a mentality in some wives to live by comparison. Therefore, they will judge the value of their lives based on what is occurring with others, rather than what is occurring with them. They will seek to ensure that whatever another wife receives, they also receive and when they don’t, they will feel deprived or abused. This mentality will, in time, breed jealousy, envy and strife between wives who are taught to expect equality rather than equity.

Dr. Haraymiel Ben Shaleahk
Without Pretense: The Final Resolution of the Multiple Wife Controversy
2004, pages 164-165

The Bible in My Everyday Life by Eugene Franklin Reese was a topical Bible published in 1930 by the Systems Bible Company. The Introduction to the work was written by Dr. A.T. Robertson, the renowned Southern Baptist scholar of the Greek New Testament. Verse selections were made by Dr. Charles G. Trumbull, author of C.I. Scofield’s biography.

In the Alphabetical Index of Bible verse on page 466 under the subject “Polygamy” it reads: “See Husband-Wife (p. 212); Marriage (p.  293).” Of course, when you go to these two sections you read the standard verses of the Bible dealing with husbands and wives, and marriage with no verses referencing “polygamy.” Evidently these men recognized the fact that polygamy is simply the biblical marriage of a husband and wife.

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March 2010
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