Sister-Wives Relationship Lessons

The story of the first and only sister-wives recorded in the Bible teaches us that the challenges we face in relationships are not new and God’s standard is perfect. I wrote a 5-day plan highlighting lessons from the first and only “sister-wives” relationship recorded in the Bible. Here is a preview:

So she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [secondary] wife, and Jacob went in to her. Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a son for Jacob. Then Rachel said, “God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son [through my maid].” So she named him Dan (He judged). Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, conceived again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. So Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali (my wrestlings). When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing [children], she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as a [secondary] wife. Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a son for Jacob. Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad (good fortune). Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a second son for Jacob. Then Leah said, “I am happy! For women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher (happy). Genesis 30:4-13 (AMP)

Rivalry or comparison was so strong that it inspired the names Leah and Rachel gave their children. Their children were born into an emotionally unhealthy and tense home. Perhaps this environment also influenced their children’s mindset. Some of their children were unforgiving, hateful, and committed murder. For example, Reuben slept with one of his father’s secondary wives (Genesis 35:22), nine children planned to murder their brother out of envy (Genesis 37:19-21), and two unforgiving brothers deceived and murdered all the men in a city (Genesis 34:25).

Whenever we are struggling with personal or relationship issues, we must keep in mind that our victory or defeat has generational effects. Hence, we must press in for our victory. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction, mental health challenges, or dysfunctional family relationship patterns, don’t give up on your victory. Wholeheartedly seek the one who has guaranteed your victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14). In Christ, you can break the cycle of trauma.

Most certainly, God saw the devastating effects of marrying sisters and declared, “Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.” Leviticus 18:18 (KJV). Jesus made it clear that God’s desire is a monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)

I am familiar with the devastating effects of polygamy because I grew up in a society where polygamy was a dominant cultural norm, and my paternal grandfather had many wives. Strife, jealousy, bitterness, and other relationship conflicts that stem from polygamy do not only affect spouses, they affect children as well. Studies have shown that women and children in polygamous homes have more mental health problems than those in monogamous families.

When we choose to follow God’s standard for relationships and other aspects of life, we save ourselves and a generation of people from heartaches and trauma. The enemy wants us to believe that God’s standard impedes our freedom. We must not fall for lies. God’s Word brings liberty (James 1:25; John 8:32). Are you compromising God’s Word to keep your marriage or any other relationship? It’s time to surrender your relationships to God. God wants the best for you.

May your eyes be opened to see God’s Word as wonderful, not burdensome to obey (1 John 5:3; Psalm 119: 18).

Learn more in the 5-Day reading plan below

If today was your last day on earth, do you know where you will spend eternity? Are you sure you will make it to heaven? If you are not sure, you need to give your life to Jesus Christ. Please say the prayer below and let me know about it here.

Say this: Heavenly Father,
I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe you exist and you sent Jesus to die for me. I receive your love and forgiveness. Reveal yourself to me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen

Welcome to God’s family!


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