Is it right for a man to marry many women: Polygamy?

One Groom, Four Wives: This really happened in South Africa a couple years ago …. Milton Mbele, a traditional polygamist exchanged vows with four brides simultaneously, all aged between 22 and 35

Polygamy is a practice in which a man marries two or more women.  The question that the prophet and all of us wish to discuss through our comments, is whether polygamy is right or not?

Recently, the Prophet from Galilee had a chance to ask three Malawian men why they have married many wives in their life.  The first man said that at first he did not want to marry two wives but that he was forced to marry his second wife after discovering that his first wife was barren and could not give birth to children.  He therefore decided to marry another woman in order to have children with her.

The second man said that he married his second wife after discovering that his first wife was lazy.  He therefore married the second wife to help him to work in the garden. He also added to say ‘nkazi akakhala m’modzi panyumba amanyada ndipo amachulutsa mwano kwa mwamuna wake’ (when a man marries one wife, she does not respect the husband).

The third man said that soon after his first wife had given birth, he lost interest in her and needed another wife.  However, after asking women, the Prophet from Galilee, discovered that many women do not like the practice of polygamy as it is a practice that only favours men.  Is it right then for men to marry many wives?

To answer this question, we will not quickly run to the bible for the simple reason that some people do not accept the bible but we will appeal to natural reasoning which is a common basis for all human beings regardless of different religious Churches and beliefs.

First of all, polygamy is an unjust system to women and it is an evil that punishes women.  It is a known fact that polygamy brings jealousy among women.  This happens because when a man marries a second wife, he generally loves the younger second wife more than he loves the elder wife.  This therefore creates tension and hatred between the first wife and the second wife.

Because of this hatred, each of the wives tries to win the love of the man to her side.  This is why we hear of stories about medicines, herbs and concoctions that are added to the food of a man as love portion so that a man may love the first or second wife.  Usually when the first wife cooks her food, she will add konda ine,(love portion herbs) and the man usually eats the food without knowing.  The same happens when the second wife gets her chance to cook food for the man.  She too will add some konda ine.  The composition of konda ine is usually bad.  Some say women take the tail of a lizard (mchira wa buluzi) and cook it together with the food.  The logic behind taking a tail of a lizard is that a lizard usually stays around the house, so if a man eats the tail of a lizard, he will stay at the house of his wife and forget about the other women.  How many lizards then have men eaten?  Putting women in such a situation is certainly an evil and to make matters worse, sometimes women end up killing each other or end up killing their husband.

Secondly, biblically, in the book of Genesis (Genesis 2:24) we hear that God created one man and one woman, Adam and Eve.  He said one man and one woman will become one body.  Logically, I agree that two people can become one body.  But if a man has two or three wives, how can three people, become one body?  How many noses or ears will that body have?  If God had wanted polygamy, right at the beginning, he would have created one man and two or three women to be married to Adam.

But God created one man and one woman to show us his wish that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  God wanted that one man should give himself totally to one woman and vice versa.  The act of sexual union is supposed to happen between one man and one woman who are rightly married.  This sexual act should never be shared with anybody else apart from your wife or your husband.

And sex should happen only for those people who are rightly married.  Any sexual act therefore done with the second wife or third wife in Mitala (polygamy) is adultery.  And any sex done for those who are not married is fornication.  Both adultery and fornication are sins that will lead us to hell. 1 Corinthians 6:9

In defending themselves, some men say that great men like Abraham and Solomon had many wives therefore such men feel that they are right as well to marry many wives.  However what we should know is that even if this was done by Abraham and Solomon but it was not right.  God at the beginning created one man and one woman, therefore marriage should be between one man and one woman but after seeing that Abraham, David, Isaac and Solomon had sinned, God sent his Son Jesus to correct this mistake.  And in his correction of what Abraham and others had done, Jesus said, ‘a man will leave his father and mother, and the TWO will become one.  And what God has united, let no man separate.’ Mark 10:7, Ephesians 5:31

As a nation, let us unite in stopping the practice of polygamy.  Our friends in Europe stopped the practice of polygamy long time ago and it is illegal in Europe to have two wives regardless of whether your Church accepts polygamy or not.  You can be arrested if you marry two wives in Europe.  I think it is time for our parliamentarians to consider passing a law of forbidding polygamy in Malawi.  The Prophet from Galilee would support such a law.  However, the prophet thinks that in this case, the law to forbid polygamy would not target those who are already polygamists but would prohibit those who may wish to marry many wives after passing of the law.

Polygamy is an evil on women, don’t you think so?

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