Sunday, August 16, 2020

Overheard at Table 4: Deacon in Training - A Husband of One Wife

Deacon in Training

Husband of one wife

In current American/Latino culture, can mean a guy who is faithful to his wife.
As in ... a man who is not seeking sexual conquests.

Morally pure.

But the "husband of one wife" can mean more.

In ancient cultures, men were able to take on extra wives for several reasons, including if a woman's husband died, the brother could take her as wife, even if he was already married.

Having multiple wives was also a way for the wealthy to increase their wealth, consolidate their wealth, and grow their wealth.

So, in the primitive church, a husband of one wife may have had the meaning that, to be a deacon in service to Jesus Christ, you ONLY had one wife, meaning that you were: 1) of humble means (not having too much wealth), and 2) you had the time and energy to focus on ministry (let's be honest: maintaining multiple households takes a lot of time and energy!)

So, yes, while in our age, this is definitely an admonition against machismo and adultery and fornication, it also speaks of having a stable, maintainable household, in which your marital needs are met, but is not too much that it keeps you away from ministry.

On a last tactic: I would also propose (although this is just my opinion), that it is important to for a deacon to HAVE a wife.  Why?  For two reasons

1) A man who has a wife knows what it is to have marital responsibilities, which should make him better equipped to understand the needs of people to whom he is ministering.

2) A man who has no wife and falls in love, well, that takes a lot of time.  When two people fall in love, several studies have shown that there are approximately two full years of a "bliss" in which the two people can only think of each other, that their entire waking moment is only for each other.  This is the "everything is perfect" stage of the relationship.  Such a courtship makes a person almost incapable of taking on the responsibilities of a deacon.  It is best for a person to be past this stage and in a stable, loving, supportive marriage, which should equip the person best to take on the responsibilities of such a ministry.

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