Love Doesn't Divide
I sat with my friends Jenny and Phillip, watching a movie in their home. I was curled up on the floor with a blanket, watching as the man in the movie looked deep in the woman's eyes and said, "I love you. I've never loved anyone like I love you, and I never will." They kissed, resolved their issues and, of course, lived happily ever after.
After the movie, Jenny and I went to the kitchen to clean up and Phillip went to the restroom. Jenny was Phillip's second wife, and they had been married for two years. Somehow, they still lokked and acted liked newlyweds, but then, it was the same with Phillip and Miranda, his first wife who he had been married to for over twelve years. As I washed the dishes and Jenny dried, she said, "What are you thinking so hard about?" "That movie," I admitted. "This may sound kind of silly of me, but I want that. I want to be the light in someone's life. I want someone to love me with their whole soul. It's a hard dream to give up." "Who says you have to?" Jenny replied, looking sideways at me. "I haven't" "How can you say that? Phillip is married to someone else, how can he love you like that?" We were good enough friends that I could ask things like that without offending her. "That's a question you should ask Phillip," Jenny said. "Now, back to the dishes!"
Later, when I was alone with Phillip. I asked him about it. "I know what you mean. it doesn't really make sense when You think about it. I remember when I first started courting Jenny I wondered how I could ever love her the way she ought to be loved. I already loved completely. I prayed about it all the time. I even fasted. And then, one day, it happened. My soul expanded. I loved both of them with my whole heart. that's how I discovered, love doesn't divide, it multiplies." I just nodded. Maybe, just maybe, plural marriage was something I could live.
I asked the question again to a different friend after a difficult romantic situation that had ended in alot of pain for all of the parties involved. "There's no way this is as hard for him as it is for me," I said. "He has two other wives to comfort him, and I'm alone here." "You know, I thought the same thing when I was courting my husband and we were far away from each other. He would tell me he missed me, and at first, I wouldn't believe him. How could he miss me when he has two other wives to think about? After a while, though, I realized, he really missed me. Just me." Once again, I had nothing to say. I was learning here.
Plural marriage is not all about pain and sacrifice. Yes, there are those things in every relationship, but there is also a surprising amount of love and joy. In our own power, witha human love, we are limited. But the love that God puts in our hearts never divides. It only multiplies.