My journal entries for December 2012 are filled with thoughts about the topic at hand, and amongst that are entries about life events, and other musings. January 2013 opens and retains the style as the previous year.
Let me begin with my journal entry from January 05, 2013 entitled “Home”.
In the beginning of my series [entitled]: “Answering: Why?” …in the prologue I state that I have no home. This is important because tonight at Havdalah I was praying “Where are we going?” and I heard in my spirit, “Home.” It was not until we were praying for the offering that it hit me, like a light bulb moment, I was told “home” and home is what I want, because I miss it. … Tonight, I was told we are going home. I shed tears. It felt good.
To be quite candid, the word “home” is quite generic, and therefore “home” can be interpreted in many kinds of ways. However, here in 2016, I have literally been “home” for two years.
Back in 2014, after much prayer, meditation, and discussion with Mary, I resigned from my work as a bus driver. At which time, I became a stay-at-home dad and began doing different tasks around the house, including finishing some homeschooling classes for our son.
But back in 2013 I had NO idea what “home” meant. My journal indicates that it seems that I felt that “home” meant a church home. However based upon things that happened later, after this entry, I am going to say that my church home is going to be the kingdom work done from within my home, part of which is getting my translation of Romans complete.
I want to add one last thing about that journal entry. When I resigned from bus driver and began working at home, it was quite difficult for me to adapt. The routine was just the smallest part of the change.
Instead, I really had to struggle with the concept of who am I? It took me the better part of two years to adjust to being at home. This is because I was trained up to consider myself a business man, or an employee, a contributor to the work force. Even pulpit ministry was a type of work, because certain things were demanded from me that as the minister I had to do in order to make it “appear” that I was doing work, like maintaining literal office hours.
But the point is, that when one has worked their entire adult life, work is how one identifies oneself. The work came first, always. That is what maintained the finances to provide the roof over our heads. That means that everything else was secondary, sometimes tertiary, and sometimes never accomplished.
Don’t get me wrong about where I am. I like being home. I am pleased.
I like being the chef. I don’t mind being the groundskeeper. I don’t mind being the technician for our automotive repair. And I don’t mind being the service person working on our facility, meaning home repair.
I like being able to provide the steady home environment. I like being able to help Mary. I like being able to help our children. When I was working fulltime, those were things that were done ineffectively.
I like being able to have bible discussions during the day. People call me. People visit. The ministry has not stopped. It just changed. In many ways, I accomplish more now than I ever could under the other system that managed our house.
Then we had a house. Now, if I can be so bold, we have a home. It just took some time to get there.
I now turn to my journal entry from January 07, 2013 entitled “Because of your love”.
While preparing for Havdalah last Sabbath, I lifted my hands to heaven asking: “But why?” and I had this feeling and thought find themselves in my being, “Don’t you get it yet? It’s because of your love.” I felt sheepish, but somehow appreciative. I asked “But why?” because I [couldn’t] bring myself to accept this [marriage of two wives], but I have come to accept this new situation as real.
It should be noted that the previous journal entry about “home” and this journal entry occurred on the same night. For me, that is important.
If memory serves, that was not the only time I was given such clarity. For me though, that was medication I did not really know how to intake. Let me explain.
Do I love? Of course. I love my wife and my kids and would do just about anything for them.
Do I try to do my best to embody Christian love? Yes. And I would do many things for my brethren.
But what does it mean “because of your love”?
To love something means you give your heart and soul to it. Right? For example, someone who loves their work pours their being into the labor. Or when someone loves their favorite automobile, they take care of it and know all kinds of details about it.
So when I wrestled with this matrimonial possibility, I asked “But why?”
I felt that I was being pushed into something I didn’t want. I felt cajoled into something against my better judgment.
I wrestled many years about this topic. The topic pissed off my in-laws. Discouraged and dismayed my parents. Several of our friends in the Christian faith couldn’t abide the direction.
So, I look back on this and look at what I was told and it makes sense, but it is also confusing. But here is something that I know is true: Love takes a person places that the mind can’t.
Let me discuss further this idea about love.
The culture I grew up in was primarily monogamous. Now don’t interpret that all the couples around me got married and stayed married until one of them died. No. In fact, some in the culture around me had been married at least twice, sometimes more.
In the culture I grew up in preferred married until death. But the fact that marriage/divorce/marriage occurred, and for some people occurred several times over, simply became reality. Christians had to resolve that marital issue in their own minds.
To be certain, I didn’t grow up around men having multiple wives. In fact, I truly believe that if I had grown up in a polygamous culture, then navigation to where I am headed would have been different. But since I grew up in a predominately monogamous culture, for me, the inner wranglings have been many.
I have really had to determine if I am the kind of person, man if one will, that can live this life. For those men who have multiple wives, this type of internal wrangling may never have happened, but for me it did.
I have really had to determine if the polygamous style families that I have researched represent the structure that I would actually live. Had I grown up in a polygamous culture, I would have seen a predominate way of living that culture. For me, I find it advantageous that I had never experienced polygamous culture. Without experiencing it, I feel that my investigation of it has been far more equitable.
To be impartial, there are incidents where both monogamy and polygamy have been unfair to both women and children. That is true.
So here is a truth. In monogamy, people abuse each other, routinely. That makes it difficult to find good examples of monogamy. Simply take a look at the divorce statistics. Yet monogamy does not suffer derision and ridicule.
As a minister, a Christian, a citizen, I interact with children from abusive and broken monogamy, I interact with wives (interpret that as a collective noun referring to the individuals that make up the collective) from abusive and broken monogamy, I have also interacted with husbands (collective) from abusive and broken monogamy – yes there are times that it is the wife’s fault because she is the one who is abusive or who has failed the marriage.
So, experientially, empirically, socially, culturally, monogamy holds no distinct social or cultural advantage for either encouraging well-developed families or prohibiting destructive behavior. Monogamy is simply the predominate social structure for marriage in the US culture. Yet in the minds of Christians, biblical monogamy is preferred over biblical polygamy.
I could get into lots of discourse about this, but I don’t believe this is the proper venue. However, suffice it to say, that I, like my reader, and like many who are general observers, am concerned about the development of the family. Family is the core element to a healthy society.
Polygamy, in and of itself, lived by the principles of having proper love for each other, along with the principles of a nurturing and a loving home environment, conjoined with the principles of encouraging self-actualization, is as beneficial to human development as monogamy that lives by those same principles.
I have witnessed the ills of monogamy. I researched similar ills in polygamy. The issue cannot be reduced to: monogamy = good, and polygamy = bad.
That is true because this is possible: monogamy = bad, and polygamy = good.
Those are true because when the principles deteriorate the marriage deteriorates, whether that marriage is classified as monogamy or polygamy.
Thus, this can be true: monogamy = good, and polygamy = good.
However, in the minds of many Christians, monogamy holds more “value” than polygamy. That is because in the minds of many Christians, monogamy equals righteousness and polygamy equals unrighteousness. Such is far from the truth. Because to God: monogamy equals righteousness, and polygamy equals righteousness.
That is the culture that I had to wrestle with. The United States culture has been predominately influenced by Christianity. For me, I think that historic reality is healthy. But there are problems, and how marriage is interpreted is problematic. I will save discussion about this particular aspect for another time.
For me, I had to wrestle with those realities. I had to determine what I loved.
First, I love God.
Second, I love Messiah, Jesus.
Third, I love the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, I love the Bible.
Fifth, I love truth.
Sixth, I love liberty in Christ.
God, Messiah, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, truth and liberty encourage people and permit people to be able to live truth.
That love had to be settled into my being, beyond just an intellectual ascent. I have heard many-a-Christian and many-a-minister, and many-a-preacher ascent to spiritual truth, yet deny that spiritual truth in practical ways. Which seems to indicate that intellectual ascent is practically worthless.
I could not simply intellectually ascent to polygamy, like many have done in the past. Intellectual ascent gives no credence. Intellectual awareness conjoined with practical actuality gives true credibility. To give a parallel, a minister cannot proclaim that women can serve in the church and then deny women the practical application. To say is to do. Ascent must become actuality.
However, to become actuality, one has to weigh the costs of the movement. Some will argue that movement to do right should be done, no matter the cost. Well that might be a grand statement, but it is a statement that reveals blindness.
One cannot simply move to do the right thing and ignore the costs, because there are costs. For example, there are many Christians that are coming to accept that God permitted women to have prominent roles in the Church. But there are those who will not accept that as true.
When Christians encourage and permit women to fulfill their God-given purpose there is fallout. That fallout encompasses those Christians who oppose the previous sentence, and the opponents will oppose. Some opponents can be won over. But winning over opponents is done after the price is paid for moving forward toward truth.
Truth is: in moving toward the truth, the truth wins, but not without costs.
This marriage is permitted by God, while opposed by some people.
That reality set heavily in my being. For in moving toward the truth, I have costs to pay, as does Mary, as does my wife-to-be.
I have chosen to pay that price. So has Mary. So will my bride-to-be.
But, there is something else I love.
I love my bride.
I love my bride-to-be.
Truth told the love of two women so far exceeds anything else on earth that the opposition has no sway over me.
The Scriptures say there are only two things worth more than jewels and rubies. One is wisdom (Proverbs 3.13-15, 8.10-11). The other is an excellent wife (Proverbs 31.10).
I know that God has led me to understand the Biblical permission of one husband having two wives. I know that a home built upon Christ and godly wisdom is a strong home.
God has already blessed me with one excellent woman. For God to bless me with two excellent women is a treasure above treasures.
A home blessed by God, Messiah, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, Truth, Liberty, Wisdom, and Wives.
That is a home I don’t mind coming home to. No. Scratch that.
That is a home I LOVE.
Blessings and Shalom