Scripture: (2 Chr 11:21 NKJV)  Now Rehoboam loved Maachah the granddaughter of Absalom more than all his wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and begot twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

Observation: Rehoboam was the king of Israel after his father Solomon passed away.  This section of the Scriptures tells us that he married a number of women and also had concubines, much like his father, although not as many as Solomon.  Among the wives he had, he loved Maachah, granddaughter of her uncle Absalom.  As it’s often the case, since she loved Maacah most, he also preferred the son he had with her, Abijah.  Rehoboam had other sons, and he placed them all in charge of several of the cities in Israel, but with Abijah he had a special plan for him to be his successor in the throne of Israel one day.

Application: God does not condone polygamy, and in most countries it is illegal.  And yet we have come to accept a different form of polygamy – successive marriages, punctuated with divorces in between.  As we heard the news of celebrity divorces and remarriages we used to be shocked and ashamed, now it’s become fodder for entertainment.  Recently I read a book which contains some interesting facts about marriage.  One of them is the number of times some famous people have been or were married.  Here’s a sample:

Married Nine Times
Pancho Villa
Zsa Zsa Gabor

Married Eight Times
Elizabeth Taylor (twice to the same man)
Mickey Rooney

Married Seven Times
Lana Turner
Richard Pryor (Four times to two of the women)
Martha Raye
Stan Laurel (three times to the same woman)
Jennifer O’Neil
Larry King

Married Six Times
Johnny Weissmuller
King Henry VIII
Jerry Lee Lewis

Married Five Times
Ernest Borgnine
Heorge C. Scott (twice to the same woman)
George Peppard (twice to the same woman)
Ginger Rogers
Eva Gabor
Judy Garland
Henry Fonda
George Foreman
Tammy Wynette
Clark Gable
Richard Burton (twice to the same woman)
Billy Bob Thornton
Martin Scorsese

     While some may say that it’s only celebrities that change marriage partners so often, there are others who jump in and out of marriage just as much and as quickly.  Certain professions tend to lead to divorce and remarriage more often than others – law enforcement, military, entertainment, etc.
    One of the interesting facts that has come out of research is that each successive marriage after divorce lasts less than the previous.  In other words, if the first marriage lasted a number of years, the second will last less than the first, the third marriage will last than the second, the fourth marriage will last than the third, and so on.  Instead of finding marital bliss with more successive marriages, many of these people find out they were happier with their first spouse than they were with any of the other that followed them.  While there may be some romance and passion for a while on the other marriages and relationships, eventually there settles an emptiness and dissatisfaction which leads to another divorce and a search for fulfillment in yet another relationship when the key to happiness was in the first marriage.
     Rather than entering the marriage and divorce go-round, make every effort to maintain your current relationship strong, look for ways to meet each others’ most important emotional needs, look for the best in each other rather than concentrate on the negative side of the other.  Rather than jumping ship on your spouse thinking that someone else can make you happier, look for ways to make your spouse happy, to fulfill with them your marriage vows to live with them in sickness and in health until death do you part.  Hopefully you will find more ways and reasons to stay together with your spouse rather than finding out  later, two or three spouses later, that what you have now, and which you will never recover if you leave it, was better than anything you have had since.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, we know you don’t accept or condone polygamy and that you hate divorce.  Help us to value each other and to cultivate daily a strong marital relationship so we have the most fulfilling experience and at the same time bring the highest honor and glory to You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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