By Michael West
While I was thinking on a follow-up to last week’s edition due to responses and requests for counseling on how to fix some biting sexual problems tabled by some readers and callers, a mail that caught my attention surfaced. I have attended to similar issues on individual basis previously but the urgency of this case convinced me to consider the issue for this week.
Previously, some church ministers had sought my opinion on cases affecting some members of their congregations who had been in polygamy before coming to know Christ. And in conformity with their doctrines, a kind of forced restitution took place which was tearing the concerned homes apart.
At a fellowship last year, I expressed God’s desire for every woman to be fulfilled both as a wife and mother but the issue of increasing number of unmarried women globally should be addressed as a matter of serious concern. Some people believe that it is none of their business. “Once you make your choice among the lot, God will fix the rest women whichever way He chooses to do it.” I see this opinion as being selfish and insensitive. Will God create new set of adult men like Adam to marry our plenty single women? The solution is right with us but deception, hypocrisy and religious bigotry are the factors militating against the feasible option and the way forward. At a later date, we will discuss the reality of our conjugal situation without pandering to sentiments of convention and hypocrisy.
In her mail, the 41-year-old woman narrated the circumstances surrounding her situation and how her available option at the moment is either to accept to be a second wife or to remain single. Excerpts from her mail reads:
“I was born into a polygamous family. My mum is the second wife but we, the children, are very close and cordial. We bond so well that unless you are told, you will never know who is who among us. Our dad created that unity among us. In my undergraduate years, I lived with my elder half-sister. Till date, I wear her clothes, shoes, jewelry etc. We relate as if we are mates whereas she is my kid mom. So, our family is blessed because of love we share.
“I’m the only girl from my mom and everybody likes me because I’m big mummy’s look-a-like (the first wife). I was told that the only thing that connected me with my biological mother was breastfeeding. Big mummy actually nurtured me and I lived with her in her room from childhood till I went to boarding school during my senior secondary school years. She’s the one I cry to whenever I have any issue.
“Many years ago, my dad attended the funeral of one of his late friends, when he returned, he became sober, maybe because of the sermon he heard. He started praying and attending a popular apostolic church a bit far from our place. He became so involved in the church activities that he launched a family prayer altar every morning and evening before bedtime. A few years later, he was to be ordained a deacon but he was asked to separate from one of his wives, precisely from my mother being the second wife, as a condition he must fulfill.
“My dad said “no” he won’t do that. He’s blessed to have the two of them and he enjoyed peace at home. He told the pastor that he settled disputes for several couples who are monogamists and some of them asked him how he was able to have a loving family in a polygamous setting. My father revealed to his Pastor that he started experiencing stability and peace in his marriage after he married my mother as second wife. He added that big mummy knew that he would have another woman in addition to her. Now that he has given his life to Christ, he didn’t want to obstruct the flow of peace and unity in his family by divorcing an innocent woman for no reason. He said God will not throw him to hell for having two wives as long as he dedicates his life and his household to live right with God.
“It is a mystery to me that right from my service year as a youth coper, only married men have appeared to be serious in proposing marriage to me. Single guys just wanted casual relationship with me. I have tried and tried to make a few of my past relationships with single guys work but no, the efforts were futile. It irritates me to even date a married man much less to marry him.
“It is now 10 years that I have been insisting on “No single man, no marriage” but it’s like I may wait forever. I’m 41 last March and my dad asked if I have condemnation being a second wife. Big mummy called me, talked and prayed with me. My mom is like, “follow your heart” so that I won’t blame anybody later for luring me into polygamy. I get encouragement and support from my family members but I don’t know if I should consider it or still wait on God or I should embrace celibacy as my destiny.
“A man whose family is based abroad has proposed to me. His wife seems to be involved in the whole arrangement, too. She has called me a number of times assuring me that she is waiting for me to join her. She confided in me that before she married her husband she was told that he’s going to have two wives. She swore that she’s not pretending to me. She eulogised my look, voice texture and family background. My dad refused to tell me to go ahead or not, just like my mom.
“As someone I believe in, Michael West, what should I do? I’m in a fix. To be honest, I like the man but I hate polygamy. As it is now, it seems it is the only available option for me. Thanks for the good work you are doing, sir. God bless you.”
My honest response to you is in sync with your mom’s, “follow your heart.” I, too, do not think that God will sentence anybody to hell fire because of polygamy. The truth is that problems associated with polygamy are too much. Rivalry among the wives is a major issue. Unlike in your family, an average polygamous family is hellish. They often go spiritual and diabolical. Great destinies have been ruined and innocent children’s glory and progress have been stunted. Many potential leaders have been killed prematurely by wicked powers in polygamous family settings. Needless rivalry, unhealthy competition and mutual suspicion are the features of most polygamous families in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
In view of these, it is risky to opt for a polygamous family life in our society; but if one is graced like your dad, I will not pretend to signify support for you to go ahead and marry the man since you confess that you like him; more so, his wife overseas have been assuring you that she is willing to welcome you. I will conclude that you should pray and deeply search your heart if you are convinced to go ahead into polygamy. I don’t want to see your case in the light of your mom’s. Everybody has her own destiny. Live your life in tandem with the will and purpose of God and not according to anybody’s opinion. I wish you well as you take the crucial step this weekend. Peace!