Christianity and Polygamy.

I was moved to derive at the topic above, after the country’s former chief Justice penned the following words below.

Former Liberian Chief Justice Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott said, “Dowry payment is legal marriage under the laws of Liberia.

A traditional marriage is polygamous, meaning the husband is entitled to multiple wives.

A woman who accepts traditional marriage accepts for her husband to have as many wives as he can afford/desires.

ALL those participating in and attending the traditional marriage ceremony are witnesses to her consent”, she noted.

From a sociological background, and reading from a course in sociology called marriage and family, I agreed with her, but not 100%.

To begin with, let’s understand the definition of marriage first.

Marriage is defined as the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

The Bible Defines Marriage as a Covenant.

In Malachi 2:14, marriage is described as a holy covenant before God. … This demonstrates that both husband and wife see marriage as more than just a physical and emotional union, but also as a moral and legal commitment.

There are two major forms of marriage relationships: Monogamy and polygamy.

Monogamy requires one man to a woman, unlike polygamy that involves many wives or husbands.

Another hilarious form of a polygamous marriage is what I call Polyandry, where several husbands shared a single wife.

How? When a woman married a man, she automatically becomes wife to all her husband’s brothers.

This kind of marriage is practiced in India.

Following the above definitions, let’s come back to what the erudite lawyer said.

Dowry payment or African wedding are both customary marriage- we often refer to as traditional wedding.

Customary marriage a polygamous form of marriage. It involves many husbands or wives, as stated by former Chief justice Scott.

Statutory marriage, is what we refer to as the civilize or white wedding.

This kind of wedding is preceded by the payment of dowry and the wedding later.

Since ” dowry” is the main meat of contention, let’s get an understanding of it.

Dowries are sets of assets (money, material goods, real estate) that a bride’s family gifts to a groom when the two are wed.

The purpose of a dowry is often threefold. First, it gives the bride and groom the money and goods that they will need to build a home together.

Second, the loss of a dowry gives the bride some manner of protection in cases where her husband becomes abusive and/or the marriage ends in a divorce.

Dowries are conditional gifts, meaning, in essence, that the rule of “no takebacks” does not apply.

Takebacks are very much on the table. In the case that a husband and wife divorce, the husband is expected to repay the dowry to the bride’s family.

Lastly, dowries can serve as a kind of enticement to potential grooms, as a larger dowry could make a family’s daughter seem more marriageable.

We won’t go into this too deeply as, frankly, the implications here are kind of gross.

The opposite of a dowry is a “bride price,” also known as a “bridewealth.” As you might have deduced from the name, this is money that the groom would pay to the bride’s family in order to secure her hand in marriage. Once again, the implications here are … not great.

From the passages, we can deduce here that dowry payments are not only for women. Anyway, thank God for civilization.

What does the Bible say about marriage?

Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”.

Let’s look at Romans 13:8 as well: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law”.

To put it succinctly, 1 Corinthians 7 says, since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

God’s plan is one man to a woman, one woman to a man.

To conclude, both traditional/ customary and statutory/ White marriages are backed by law, when marital certificates are obtained.

Most people linked to polygamous relationships are the muslims, traditionalists and other sects.

Thankfully, Cllr. Scott has sounded a caveat, but no decent Christian man from a Bible believing church will harbor such a thought to get a second wife, because he married the first one traditionally.

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