It is with deep regret that we find it necessary to refute 119Ministries for significant error in their most recent video regarding their (un)Biblical position concerning polygyny.
While we admit this is a third rail topic laden with cultural and emotional baggage, we also believe that Truth is more important than public opinion. And, defending our Elohim, His Word and the honor of our fathers, the Patriarchs, is well worth the potential cost.
In the interest of ‘Testing Everything’, we present our well articulated response to 119Ministries’ error laden video. We are deeply sorry to see 119Ministries sacrifice their once solid reputation by handling clear Scripture so very poorly.
I’ve been thinking on yesterday, and how I was told by another woman how perfect I make myself out to be because I practice and teach women submission and patriarchy. This woman that “needed to be honest with me” is also a head covered, Torah observant woman. (Eye roll.) Why don’t you actually get to know me and ask questions? (Please and thank you). Which is why I can’t help but think about how much our fellowships are being subtly controlled by the women there.
So how’s y’alls fellowships doing? I’ll tell you what, our fellowship here doesn’t talk about submission, nor do we EVER talk Biblical marriage/polygyny. We only talk about “non triggering” topics. That’s what the women call it. It’s super cute and catchy, huh? And we don’t talk about such things even if they are in the Torah portions. Why do you think that is? Well, I ask, what husband wants to go home to a contentious wife?
I really just want to encourage you ladies to keep the good walk of faith, in faith. Gravitate to women who are actually PRACTICING submission, meaning they don’t just cluck like a bunch of loud hens. They walk the walk. It may have very little to do with poly,or a lot to do with poly. And please be cautious, or better yet stay out of the company of women that say phrases like, “WE (they speak for their husbands) aren’t called to that lifestyle. My husband would tell me.” Sure he would. “My husband said he can’t handle another woman in the house.” You may certainly be right about that one. Who in the heck wants 2 unsubmissive wives with mouths and attitudes? But do you think he would say no to 2 or 3 fully submitted, Yah fearing women? “It’s in the Bible and some people have chosen that life style, but it isn’t for us.” Again, that speaks for her idea of family structure, not his.
Speaking FOR your husband and family is not ok. But having genuine concerns and fear is something else. “It makes me feel…..”, or “This isn’t easy because…..” Those are valid statements, but feelings shouldn’t be the rule. Gravitate to a woman, even if not in a plural marriage, who is fully on board with submitting to her Heavenly Father and Head of the household…the one whom she calls master, whom she says “yes sir” to regularly. A sister who can be commanded to do something and not have to think twice about it. Follow that woman. Don’t have that woman in your fellowship? Then let it start with you.
Your covering should be able to speak authoritatively over you and his household. He should be able to correct you when needed, and tell you who he doesn’t think fits the bill in your friendships. If a “friend” isn’t helping you to grow, strengthening you, keeping you accountable and uplifting you spiritually, you need to move on. She is probably one of the reasons why your fellowship can’t be open in discussing all the triggering things men WANT to talk about. These women, even though not married to your husbands, can actually have control over THEM in the fellowship!! It’s always wise and good to be friendly, but by becoming close friends with women that resist submission, you may be enabling them to continue their rebellion. Thus your fellowship stays STUCK. Period. When will patriarchy and Biblical marriage ever be brought up and discussed? So if there is never any change, expect to find egg shells on your husband’s feet. Will you help him pick them off, or will he have to do it alone?
I think it’s safe to say that we all have people we admire and consistantly listen to. I’m not advocating hero worship, but there are a few out there that just simply CHARGE ME UP. As far as celebrity personalities, I try to regularly catch JP Sears and Mike Rowe. They tell the bare naked truth, even if it hurts. Someone I just recently discovered is a bold anti feminist named Suzanne Venker. A page I follow on social media shared one of her podcasts, so I gave a listen. Then I listened to two more, and I have to say I’m hooked!
I haven’t researched her enough to know exactly what her faith is, and I’m not sure that I would call her patriarchal. But faith-based or not, she nails how feminism has totally wrecked our culture, and thus our families. This website and featured writers unashamedly stand on the Word of God as the answer to all of our societal ills, but I for one welcome even a possibly more secular voice loudly proclaiming the undeniable truth. Below is a sampling…
Here at 113Restoration.com, our guiding principle is I Corinthians 11:3. The word picture we use to represent this verse is shown below. Hierarchy is represented by the superior positioned on the left side of the arrow with his subordinate on the right side of the arrow.
God the Father (YHVH) <- God the Son (Yeshua) <- Man <- Woman
In his letter to the exiled descendants of the ten tribes who were at that time living in and around Asia Minor (see I Peter 1:1-2), Peter was both explaining some fundamentals of the faith that they needed to know and giving excellent advice for walking in their public and private lives. My purpose here is not to expound on the entire letter, but to demonstrate that in the section 2:13 – 3:7 he was teaching the exiles the importance of respecting one’s superior in the hierarchy and loving one’s subordinate, in particular one’s wife. Let’s begin by considering I Peter 2:13-17.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God, that by doing right you silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Act as free people, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-servants of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
I Peter 2:13-17
Peter tells us to submit ourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. From the context, it looks like he specifically means the political rulers. He is saying that kings and governors are sent by Him, the Lord, as his agents for punishing evildoers and praising the righteous. That means if these rulers are sent by Yeshua, then we as Yeshua’s subordinates fear God and honor the king. I also want to point out that while we can act as free people, we should use our freedom, not to cover evil, but by behaving as bond-servants for God (see Romans 6:22 and I Corinthians 7:22 for Paul’s thoughts on this.)
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh.
I Peter 2:18
Peter now turns from free men honoring the king to the relationship between master and servant. He tells servants to be subject to their masters with all respect. Subordinates respect their superiors.
Moving from the general case of servants being subject to their masters, Peter now addresses the specific instance of Jesus Christ as the Master, and redeemed men as his servants.
21 For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, 22 He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself brought our sins in His body up on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
I Peter 2:21-25
What is the purpose that Peter is referencing here? The purpose is for each redeemed man to imitate Yeshua as He walked here on the Earth. Yeshua is our Example. Peter gives examples of how Yeshua humbly walked but what I really want to highlight is that Yeshua kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously (see Genesis 18:22-33). This Righteous Judge is none other than YHVH Himself. We were sinners and straying like sheep, but now we have returned to the Shepherd through his suffering, death and resurrection.
Yeshua looked to His Father and acted in love towards us. This is His example. I can represent this with another word picture.
God the Father <- entrust/respect – Yeshua the Son – love -> redeemed sheep
In the same way, you wives, be subject to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your pure and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely the external—braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on apparel; 4 but it should be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way the holy women of former times, who hoped in God, also used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; and you have proved to be her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
I Peter 3:1-6
“In the same way”, as servants respect their masters with all respect (2:18), so are wives to be subject to their husbands. Peter is saying that unredeemed men can be won over by their wives’ respectful behavior. Yes, wives must place their husbands above themselves in the patriarchal hierarchy, but that willing and respectful submission is so powerful it can win men for Christ!!!
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
I Peter 3:7
“In the same way” as Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ enables His redeemed men to die to their sin and live for righteousness, so do husbands enable their wives to die to their sin and live for righteousness. Outside of the equality they share in salvation, the husband must regard his wife as a subordinate and helpmeet.
The English phrase in an “understanding way” does not, in my opinion, adequately translate the Greek word ‘gnosis’ (G#1108). In Greek, ‘gnosis’ means the following:
knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding
the general knowledge of Christian religion
the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living
The redeemed husband dwells with his wife and brings her into a deeper and more perfect knowledge, and teaches her to know what is lawful and not lawful (what agrees with Torah and what doesn’t, what is holy and profane, what is clean and unclean). He understands what she lacks and supplies it so she is elevated in her understanding and walk. This isn’t about letting the wife continue in sinful behavior because she’s “weaker” and her husband needs to “understand” her.
As Yeshua trains and elevates the husband, so also does the husband train and elevate his wife.
The husband respects Yeshua and obeys Him. The wife respects her husband and obeys him.
Yeshua loves the husband. The husband loves the wife. Doing this honors his wife and he shares with her the joy and grace of salvation for in this, they are equals. Significantly, as the husband lives in an understanding way with his wife, his prayers are not hindered!!
Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
If a husband does not teach his wife and elevate her as Yeshua has taught and elevated him from being an unredeemed wandering sheep, he is not behaving righteously and his prayers will be hindered. Perhaps that’s a tactful way of saying “ignored”? If a husband listens to his wife more than he listens to Yeshua, as Adam did Eve, would Yeshua be disrespected? Wouldn’t that husband’s prayers get hindered (ignored)?
She questions why Christian parents seem to prefer sending their children to college to learn instead of encouraging them to marry young. Mrs. Alexander quotes someone on Twitter with whom she agrees:
“I would love to see: 1) Parents take more of an active role in their children’s courtships; 2) No more long engagements; 3) Teens/Young Adults chasing Christ under teaching parents, pastors, and family worship and a full dismissal of the statement ‘don’t get married till after college.’ If it be the will of the Lord for your lives: Chase Christ. Get married. Have kids. Grow. Grow. Grow. Grow. #make18adultagain”
@AdamPage85 on Twitter
She says she agrees with him 100%. I only partially agree with the gentleman.
His first point is that parents should take more of an active role in their children’s courtship. According to Scripture, that is the father’s responsibility, not both parents.
Mr. Page’s second point is an either/or proposition in that there are good points on both sides. A long engagement allows for time for the young couple to see each other in good and bad situations. On the other hand, a short engagement period means it’s less likely, but by no means guaranteed, that premarital sex would take place. There are other pros and cons.
As to Mr. Page’s third point about teens and young adults should be chasing Christ under teaching parents, pastors and family worship, I would strike the “pastors” from the sentence. Fathers are the primary teachers in the family. The husband teaches the wife and they together teach their children in family worship. Pastors and rabbis are Yeshua’s servants to train the fathers, however, Yeshua remains the father’s Master.
Getting rid of the notion of “don’t get married until after college” is another either/or proposition. It is true that there are professions that require advanced education. A college degree does add greater potential to earn more money throughout a working lifetime. If a young man meets a young woman in college and they decide to marry, that will put a great deal of stress on a fledgling marriage. College requires a great deal of time and effort and for the money involved, the student should give 100%. It is also true there are ways to earn a living and provide for a family that don’t require college degrees.
I think the big problem with Mrs. Alexander and Mr Page’s position is that they are treating young men and women equally. The men are responsible to provide for their household, and the women are to assist their husbands and be home for their children.
If women are focused on building their careers, they are not focused on helping their husbands nor on raising their children. For this reason, I have no problem with young women not going to college and marrying young. This way, they don’t exit college saddled with student debt. Neither are their minds and spirits poisoned by carefully crafted appeals to their emotions. They will more readily depend on and respect their husbands.
Young men on the other hand should indeed have a close relationship with Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). If they are not ready to follow Yeshua, teach their wives, and be able to provide for young families, they need to delay marriage. Being tested in a hostile environment that today’s colleges and universities have become is a good way for the young men to become experienced in spiritual combat and practice applying the lessons they learned from their fathers. On the other hand, a young man who hasn’t been given a strong foundation can fall to the manifold deceptions on campus. Therefore, I can argue that a somewhat older, godly and financially secure man is a better choice for a young girl.
All of the above said, what I teach my sons is “jobs, marriage, babies” in that order.
Lamech is the first recorded man to have more than one wife in the Bible. He’s denigrated as a murderer, and thus a poor example of a man to have more than one wife. Anti-polygynists use Lamech to argue against polygyny.
Let’s examine the Biblical record to see for ourselves just what was going on with Lamech.
A few years back, my momma decided she was going to start dividing up her nice jewelry between her daughters and grand daughters. She didn’t wear it much anymore, due to arthritis taking a toll on her hands, and wanted to oversee the passing on of her most treasured pieces herself. I’m not a “blingy” kinda gal, but usually seek out the unusual or especially meaningful things. As she and I sat on the bed looking over what the other sisters had not chosen, I spotted a set of white gold rings that had no stones in them. To be frank, they were dirty and had what looked like a red waxy substance lodged where small diamonds had once been. I picked them up and asked, “Mom, what are these? Where did they come from?”
“Oh those? That’s the set of rings Bob (my dad) bought me when we were first married.”
“Seriously? I’ve never seen these. I always assumed that the cluster ring you wore was the original. Hmmm…”
I didn’t go any further. I knew the rest of the story. She had not liked something about the original set and had the stones dug out and reset into one that she liked better. I knew the pattern of her behavior well. I have more than a few memories of dad shopping for mom or bringing home a gift from a rare trip, only to see a look of ambivalence cross her face. Later on he would recruit us girls into accompanying him, thinking we could shed some light on his potential purchase. That didn’t work either. I don’t remember anything ever really pleasing her. There was always something a little (or a lot) wrong with it. Wrong style, wrong color, or … fill in the blank.
Which brings me back to the sad, dirty, stoneless rings. “I’d really like to have those, mom. Very sentimental.”
“Well ok. What else?”
“Hmmm…well I really don’t see anything else that’s my style. Nope, this is it. Just the rings.”
“Well then, you might as well take this cluster too. Maybe you’ll want to have the stones reset at some point,” she said as she handed me the one she had worn daily before her hands were so swollen.
The rings stayed in my coin purse for weeks. Every time I dug for change, there they were. Finally one day I decided I was going to bring new life to the rings, and dropped them off at the jeweler’s on my lunch hour. He sent them off to be cleaned and resized, and I asked him about resetting options. The rings came back shiny and nostalgically beautiful. When he asked me about the stones, I replied that I would hold off on that. In the time it took for them to be sent off for resizing and returned, we learned that mom had pancreatic cancer. Everything unnecessary just went on hold.
Mom was only with us a little over 2 months after her diagnosis. After her passing and things had settled down, I happened across the rings once more. The time was right, and I said to myself “Let’s do this”. So back to the jeweler I went, and in less than a week they were ready. He was pleased with how well they turned out, and I shared their history with him. He smiled a little with a look of understanding.
Recently, I shared the story with a sister in the faith. It seems our mothers had a lot in common. Although we loved them fiercely, we recognized that they were strong willed, unsubmissive and seemingly never satisfied women. We are, with Yah’s help, trying to forge a NEW path and leave a legacy of what it means to be godly women. We shed a few tears that day, mostly for our fathers, and all that they had endured while married to these women.
So here’s to you, dad. The rings are BEAUTIFUL, and I will wear them in honor of you and all your attempts to please, and in honor of the man I now reverence and willingly submit to.
A common misconception regarding polygyny is that a man cannot love more than one woman. This common objection has caused me to spend a good bit of time puzzling over how this is supposed to work and why God allows what seems an inequity. Recently, a solid answer has come into view.
In my early research and conversations regarding polygyny, I often heard the illustration that a man or woman can have a child that they love so much that they think they could never love another the same way. Then, a second child comes along and they love that one just as much and somehow their heart is not divided between the two, but the love is multiplied. And, it happens again with a third and so forth.
It makes sense, but, how?
Originally, I thought the hearts of men and women function a bit differently. However, recent studies in a related area suddenly explained it as I realized that the hearts of men and women are the same. What I was not accounting for was a key factor: God’s created order.
Recall, 1 Corinthians 11:3 is our clear and concise guiding verse that reveals:
God <- Messiah <- man <- woman
Culturally, we are ingrained with an idea of equality between men and women and an assumption that mutual love and respect are due. Such is not the case according to Scripture. I will address this momentarily.
Here’s a chart that we can use for illustration in our discussion.
Barring a sinful case of favoritism, we culturally assume that a woman with two or more children can love and treat fairly more than one child, yet somehow assume a man cannot do the same for more than one woman. We believe a man can love multiple children in fullness and fairness, yet believe that he cannot do the same for more than one woman.
The error committed by both culture and the monogamy only mindset is that the relationship between man and woman is based in equality, however, God’s created order says otherwise.
Notice in our illustration that Messiah loves, provides for, and protects multiple covenant relationships with men. Men, likewise, have the ability to love protect and provide for more than one covenantal relationship.
Interestingly, in the illustration, everyone has only one master! All can have one or more subordinates. And, therein is the solution!!
A woman who is expecting her head to love her exclusively as she loves her head/husband exclusively, is violating the headship model and order. The relationship between man and woman, even in a monogamous relationship is not parallel or mirrored.
We, as humans, are hardwired to understand that we cannot have two masters! Therefore, a woman’s understanding of her love for her husband does not take into account her innate understanding that he is her master and therefore must be singular. She cannot, therefore, comprehend that while she can only love one master, he can have and love more than one woman in the same way she can have and love more than one child.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Yeshua is saying a man cannot serve God and an idol, however, the principle of serving two masters holds!
Simply, man is created to respect and serve Messiah, while he is also created to be fruitful and multiply!! In the created order and in his hard-wiring, he is fully equipped to serve One and love more than one.
Woman, in like manner, is created to respect and serve her husband while tending to and caring for a bevvy of children. In her hard-wiring, she can only serve one master, but love many children.
Now, returning to the second illustration.
In the world, man and woman are generally regarded as co-equals, not demonstrated in the illustration above. But, the assumption is that ‘love’ is due in both directions. In truth, Scripture commands respect from woman to her husband while the man is commanded to LOVE the woman. Ephesians 5:23-33 most clearly points this difference in calling/role out while parallelling the image of Messiah and the Qahal/ Assembly..
Man and woman are a parallel picture of Messiah and the Assembly. Respect/reverence flows up, love flows down.
22 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,…33 Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she reverences her husband.
Ephesians 5, select
A final thought, regarding a man loving his wives equally… Besides the fact that at no point is perfect equality or fairness ever commanded, each woman’s wants and needs can and do vary in a relationship. There is an ebb and flow.
Following is an insightful quote that addresses the necessary maturing of a man’s heart as he leads and guides his family.
Most men believe in plural marriage that they can love all wives the same or more than one; in theory that’s the goal but the heart needs time to be matured and trained to see that a man needs all his wives and not feel guilty about the ebb and flows of a heart. Like monogamy I believe a man can divide his heart in love but its not an instant thing or the second I’m called to plural marriage thing. If the heart is tender and led by the Ruach it does happen but don’t be disappointed if its not instant.
I think what I wrote above helps to understand how the individual relationships with each woman will ebb and flow, but the man, if he is walking as Messiah, he will seek to treat each woman as the unique and special creation that she is with specific and unique needs and wants that she has. He must do so in balance, according to the time and resources Yah has given him, but he cannot be constrained by a possessive expectation that he ‘belongs to’ one or another woman. They have no claim over him. Only Messiah!
This is challenging territory, but it is important to grasp so that we can orient our lives according to the ways of Messiah and the Torah that will rule the Kingdom of kol Israel.