"If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn." (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)This scripture speaks of a man who's feelings for his two wives are at opposite extremes of emotions. For one he has intense and intimate affection, but for the other, hatred. It is not that she is merely unloved by him but she is hated by her husband, even to the point of being his enemy.
Putting aside the command that husbands should love their wives, even, if necessary, as their enemies, Moses focuses on the effects of one's feelings for their spouse upon their children. God intended marriage to be a blessing for those who marry and for their children, but when a marriage goes sour, the children can suffer as much, or more so, than the parents. In a marriage filled with acrimony and a waring between partners, too often the children end up as collateral casualties.
Moses' command here is that we should love all our children irrespective of how we feel about their mother (or father). We should not make our children pawns in our war with our partner; using them as chess pieces and weapons to manipulate and hurt our enemy spouse. Unfortunately, such behavior is all too common in our culture. Marriages fall apart leading to painful divorces and leaving the children in the middle; in the middle of fights, custody battles, and slanderous diatribes from one partner to another. Moses' command is to "stop it!"
Powered by ScribeFire.