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Under three things the earth trembles . . .

Discussion in 'Gentlemen Only' started by ABlessedMan, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Member Male

    Hello all,
    I was reading in a previous thread about the number of wives, and it set me to think about a passage in Proverbs.

    21 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up:
    22 a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food;
    23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress. (Pro 30:21-23 ESV)

    I studied the passage at considerable length, and will only post my 'conclusion' here.

    "The earth trembles at the inequity of things that ought not be. The servant may connive, but ultimately kingship cannot really be attained by mere deceit. Likewise, the fool is a fool, as such Proverbs says he should go hungry. The Proverb points to these "big" inequities, then shifts gears to the domestic situation of women. The "hated woman" is Leah or a second wife who is not loved by her husband. In every case God takes her side. The injustice of the "hated woman" being married is the injustice her husband commits. Likewise with the "mistress displaced" it is because the man has not maintained just relations with the women of his house. If he sees what he deems "injustice" in the universe he had best look to his own house. The earth shakes for the petty abuses of ‘little women,’ not just over empire and sapiential order."

    In the present, I have one wife, who very much wants another to join us . . . but we both have growing to do before that happens. How do you work to maintain a loving equity within your house? If a disagreement arises between them . . . how do you settle it gently? Jacob's life lays bear the pitfalls of plural marriage . . . and the same principles are active today. Any words of wisdom?
    andrew likes this.
  2. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    I feel like a dunder head for not knowing how to link a post, but try reading "letter-from-the-front-line" by Ginny. It's a sobering post. It's written by a woman, but is oh so appropriate for we men.
    andrew likes this.
  3. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    andrew likes this.
  4. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Member Male

    Thanks guys, and Thank you especially FollowingHim. It is good to know that I don't have to be poly to be here. I read the link . . . and it was great and helpful. I liked a number of comments in the thread. Perhaps I am borrowing troubles from tomorrow, but I believe this is the direction the LORD would have us go. Some days I think I am excited about it. Some days completely not. Today is a 'completely not' day. The LORD has called us to do a number of things that were not particularly what we wanted in life. They required growth in my faith, and trust in his ability to protect us and provide for us. Our family is much better for our willingness to follow.
    Perhaps it is easiest to be specific: before we went to the mission field we went through a BARRAGE of training. It didn't make our field a cake walk, but it did give us the tools that we needed to process our difficulties, to know we weren't alone, etc. I don't need another reason to be unwilling to follow. They are ready to hand. There are hundreds of reasons for not going to a dangerous foreign field. . . and sadly there are also many stories of people who went to the mission field for the wrong ones. In everything we undertake our relationship to Jesus is the key value, and he WILL provide for us. However, it has been my experience that he gave us a brain, and situated us in communities of faith, because he expects us to be co-workers in Christ. If this is really what God wants for us, I would like to be as prepared as I can be. If, at the end of the day, he decides that this isn't a PM isn't a place he is going to send us, it was not because I was unwilling to follow.
    So if this is what God wants for us, any guidelines for what a PM training would look like? Is it just 'being a Godly husband 'scaled up' or are there things that are over and above? Pitfalls? I don't want to over think things, but I also don't want to under think them. I want to be faithful NOW in preparation. What is your guidance?

    p.s. At this point we aren't 'actively looking' for anything. We are living our daily lives attentively and responsively. PM isn't really a 'goal' for me at this point and I am not sure it is what I 'want' or not. Hopefully, whether we are called to this or not we are still welcome in your fellowship?

    Thanks for your help and counsel,
    Mojo and andrew like this.
  5. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    Disclaimer: I am the husband of one wife.

    However, I have to think it comes down to understanding roles. What is your preference in the disagreement? Their will should be secondary to your will and family vision. If the wives are truly "under authority", pleasing their steward is of more importance than petty preferences.

    How do you settle differences between children or employees or volunteers?
    (1) Establish authority,
    (I forgot one). Hear out the matter!!!
    (2) Make a decision
    (3) Any appeals are still subject to and governed by the authority.

    Too often, we men have been conditioned to let the committed run the asylum! Not that any of us are . . . Crazy:confused:
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    andrew likes this.
  6. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    VV76 is on point. The biggest challenge is solving problems and resolving disputes, and the biggest reveal for most people is how much the wife's input dominates decision making, even in putative 'biblical' marriages, due to cultural influences.

    FWIW, we've been talking about developing a training course for biblical marriage for over a year. And there is a running on-again/off-again convo about developing a facility that could be used as a retreat center and training center. There's a big Catch-22, though, wherein the guys that have the experience and wisdom to produce such a course or staff such a center are all quite busy being productive heads of very large households, so ideas like that mostly get filed under the "someday/maybe" tab. Feels like we need a Kickstarter page or something to get some of these plans, well... kickstarted, or else we'll just get to it when we get to it.

    Meanwhile, what we have to offer here at present includes this online forum for general roundtable discussion of issues; private coaching/mentoring through PM, email, or phone; weekend hospitality in Texas, Florida, or Arizona at the home of my family or Nathan's or Ron's; and the periodic retreats we mount around the US. Lots of good things can be said (and have been around the forums) about the utility of spending actual face time either at a retreat or at someone's home. If that's not on the menu for you at this time, then phone/Skype contact is next best. PM me for more info if you're interested.
    ZecAustin and FollowingHim like this.
  7. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    ABSOLUTELY! We're "biblical families", not "plural families", for a reason. Focus on your role in the kingdom of God and building a biblical family. A biblical family will scale if you try to add a wife or wives; an unbiblical family won't.

    In the meantime, you are very welcome here as a couple interested in and supportive of the biblical model while not necessarily looking to become plural anytime soon. As you get to know us you'll find that most of us fit that description anyway.
    aineo and Verifyveritas76 like this.
  8. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    One more thought:

    You are unique in my experience as a man who has come through intensive training in preparation for a field mission who then understands perfectly the role of training in preparation for any tough assignment. We have had several requests for information, or a bible study course, or a manual or handbook, but 'teaching' is not 'training', and my sense is that you mean exactly what I think you mean when you inquire about training for plural marriage. Big props to you for asking a very important question.

    That's the prelude, my actual thought is this: A big problem we've had in this ministry and the larger plural community out there is the relative isolation and self-reliant habits of the men who come here (kind of a self-selecting set, for what should be obvious reasons). Four families came to mind instantly (probably because they're more current; I'm sure I can pull up more if I need to, but I'd rather not) that could have fared better if the man didn't have basically an "I got this" mindset. Ya can't help people that don't want help, or feel that they have to prove something by doing it on their own.

    However, the more guys there are actually asking for specific training (not just asking for 'help' or in some cases just looking for someone to tell them what they want to hear), the more motivating it is to actually make something happen.

    I think that's another thread, and I may kick that off tonight. I want to get back to your OP, but I'm out of time. More later! ("Dispute resolution" was a topic on deck at the recent retreat that we never got to, and it is absolutely central to keeping your team together, so more on that later.)
  9. Verifyveritas76

    Verifyveritas76 Moderator Staff Member Male

    ABM, I am in much the same position. If God has others for me, it will be apparent and by faith we will walk that road then. If not, that's ok! He's already blessed me with more than I deserved or thought possible. Till then, I'll be faithful with those entrusted to me and enjoy every minute with those I'm responsible for!

    In the meantime, I'm trying to learn everything I can to be ready if it comes, or to be a help to those around me. Glad you're here! I think you'll be a great addition to our little group
    ABlessedMan likes this.
  10. ABlessedMan

    ABlessedMan Member Male

    Thank you all very much. VV76, conflict tends to push me into withdrawal . . . which is something I am working on. My wife is likewise working on hearing correction, and making great strides. The idea of a training site, or course, or whatever format is brilliant. . . and pretty much precisely what I was asking for. The weight of life is entirely understood. I will also try to private message you (Andrew) when I figure out how to do that. (Technology and I frequently have a sort of hate/hate relationship).
    It has been fairly long, hard, and emotional day today. God has been good, but sometimes God is good and you still bleed a little. For now, I must study, but I will look forward to returning later.

    p.s. The 'dispute resolution' was just a 'for example' . . . a scary one to me . . .and the first that I could think of, but there is a LOT I don't know . . .and what is worse . . . I don't know that I don't know. Thank you gentlemen for your help. May the blessing of the LORD accompany you and give grace to your labors.

    In Christ,
    andrew, Verifyveritas76 and Mojo like this.
  11. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    To send a PM to someone you see posting, just click on their photo or name next to one of their posts, and a popup box will appear with a link option to "Start a Conversation" (this software calls the private message threads "conversations"). From there it will be easy.
  12. mystic

    mystic Well-Known Member Male

    Andrew, new members can't initiate conversations (currently anyway). You'd need to be the one to message him. Yo' popular!
  13. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Oops! Forgot about that....

    ABM, I'll PM you instead.
  14. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    Conversations will work for ABM now.
    andrew likes this.
  15. Slumberfreeze

    Slumberfreeze Well-Known Member Male

    Yeah, if there's any training going down, consider my name on the 'interested' list.
    andrew and ABlessedMan like this.
  16. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    You got it!