Patriarchy, Power, Authority, and Abuse vs. Love and Caring

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Garrison
Patriarchy, Power, Authority, and Abuse vs. Love and Caring

I know this sounds like too much for us  to deal with, but Hey, when did we ever do anything right?

In the Bible, in Leviticus, there is a specific command referred to the rights of widows.  A part of that concerns "the duty of the near kinsmen", wherein it specifically says that if a woman is left a widow without children, her deceased husbands nearest kinsmen has a duty to take her into his family and raise up children on behalf of the deceased husband.

Elsewhere, there is a provision that states in the case of a man taking a second, or presumably more, wife, he has the duty to maintain the physical provisions for the first, and may not disinherit her children, specifically the firstborn son.

Elsewhere there are many exhortations on the line of how a good husband cares for his family.

Nowhere in the Bible is there a reference to plural marriage that specifically says it is "a commandment", or that it requires a specific approval by any ecclesiastical authority.  We find evidence that Jesus was married in various sources dating back to near His time, and even in the Bible it is apparent that Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his wives.  It should be presumed, by the customs of the day, that he had children and was married, or he would not have been considered qualified to teach as a "Rabbi".

So what concerns me is the psychology of abuse that is seen in some quarters, of group or church leaders regulating families and directing marriage choices especially for younger women.  Being a "head of a family", or a Patriarch, seems in the light of our times, to speak more for individual choice, and the influence being that of teaching principles in love, more than being a hard-riding ruler. . . . .