Sometimes, when I’m truly exhausted, tired of being tugged on by children’s paws, and wishing I could sleep until next Tuesday, my husband approaches me with a mischievous grin, a certain look in his eye, a set of grabby hands, and I start to wonder: Would polygamy be all that bad?
I mean, really, did those Old Testament women ever look at their husbands and say, “Not tonight, buddy. Try the next tent”?
Many of my girlfriends – especially when their children were small and physically demanding - brushed away that stray thought from time to time. I know that we’re supposed to be horrified at the idea of sharing our husbands with anyone, and we are . . . sort of . . . mostly.
But there is something appealing at times about having another woman in the house. She could help with the cleaning, cooking and child care; converse with you when you need to talk more than touch; be your carpool partner to drive kids around to various activities; empathize with how you put up with your husbands’ idiosyncrasies; and take turns in the bedroom so you’d only have to keep up with half of your husband’s sex drive.
She could be the crucial tiebreaker in the debate of ESPN or HGTV. She would support you instead of chuckling when you ask your kids not to burp at the dinner table. She would have the proper response to “Does this make me look fat?” If the two of you could share clothes, your wardrobe would double. The other wife could be a fun roomie! The bonus would be her substituting for you when you feel more Sleepy Mama than Sexy Mama.
Think I’m living in a fantasy world? I agree! Polygamy never works well. It caused enormous problems for people in the Bible (remember Sara and Hagar, Leah and Rachel, Peninnah and Hannah, Solomon and his quadrillion wives).
We are hard-wired to have a jealous heart for our husbands, to desire only for ourselves what is truly ours. As much as I sometimes feel too pooped to pop, if my husband was with someone else, I’d lie in bed with the fingers of jealousy mercilessly poking at my heart and mind.
Scripture is clear on the one man/one woman plan. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Despite the variations on that theme in the Old Testament, God designed marriage to involve one husband and one wife. So it appears that I’ll have to find a way to juggle the laundry, the kids, the sleep, and the husband.
And the woman in the next tent will have to get her own guy. This one’s mine.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
Song of Songs 6:3