Dimitri and Joselyn (SSW s1e4, c2)

Note from the blog owner: Joshua is my husband and he is a new contributor to the blog.  This is his first post.  

I’d like to express a few thoughts about the recent interactions between the Snowdens and their new prospective wife, Joselyn.  There has been a lot said about it already (and much of it deleted already as well).  I agree that it was certainly a mistake for Dimitri to have been intimate with Joselyn so quickly, especially given the agreement that he and Ashley already had in place about it – Dimitri himself says as much.  It was impressive how open he was with Ashley about it all.  Even tho it was uncomfortable for sure (and so much about plural marriage can be), he came forward about it on his own, and I think it shows how strong their marriage is already.  Ashley handled the announcement with grace to spare (altho, I also choked on her tea just watching it!), and tremendous kudos goes to her for that.  Ultimately, the resolution of this problem is between them and Joselyn,

So, a mistake was made.  This no one doubts.  But what exactly the infraction was, and how serious, are other questions.  Actually, I think two offenses were potentially made by Dimitri.  The first was toward Ashley, and the other was potentially toward Joselyn.  Time will tell on the second.

There is a tremendous amount of imprecision in our language, and this can lead to controversy when it comes to sorting out the details of things.  To make things worse, in many cases the imprecision has grown over the generations as meanings of words have shifted, while still retaining their historical significance.  This is especially true in regard to words having to do with sexual intimacy.  Some of the accusations hurled at Dimitri are “cheating”, “open marriage”, “not a true polygamist”, etc.  But those insults are not words that we find in either the Bible or our civil codes.  Rather than using these terms, it would be more helpful to actually name the sin, or the crime, that was committed.

Of course the big two are usually adultery and fornication.  So, was it adultery?  My answer is, certainly not.  Adultery can only happen when a married woman has sex with a man who is not her husband.  That is the original, and best, definition of adultery (after all, it is the scriptural usage of the word), and as Joselyn was not married, then neither of them would be guilty of adultery.  So, it must be fornication then?  My answer is, not at all.  Fornication (as used in the scriptures) is referring to prostitution, and since Dimitri probably didn’t even pay for the date (the tab was likely picked up by TLC), I think they are both safely clear on this charge as well.  I realize the meanings of these words have been changed by our modern society and that the strict scriptural usage of these words has largely been lost to us – but I’ve always been a – reject the philosophies of men mingled with the scriptures – kind of guy.  I’ll do a separate, more detailed post at a later date about the scriptural usage of these terms.

If you outright reject what I have said thus far as too repulsive to even consider, well, to each their own.  I claim the privilege of living according to my own conscience, and allow you the same.  If you are still considering things, then you may be asking, “Well it sure seems like something is wrong here, what is it then?”  His first offense is simply that he violated the agreed order of things which he and Ashley had put in place.  As Ashley has already put so well, he only has to answer to himself and to her about that.

Ashley knows how hard Dimitri works to support and care for his family.  She knows how loving he is to his children, and to her, and I think anyone watching the show can see these qualities in him as well.  He is a loving husband and a devoted father.  She does not forget all the good in him for the sake of one mistake.  In fact, she feels like, “there’s really nothing to forgive” and that’s good enough for me.

Now, what about the possible offense towards Joselyn?  The scriptures do say something about what happened.  Not that the Snowdens are necessarily concerned with what the scriptures may say – as I realize that they are not especially religious people (please correct me if I am wrong here), but this will perhaps be of benefit to some of the fans who may be concerned with the scriptures.  Here it is:

Exodus 22: 16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

You will notice that this verse is about an unmarried woman (and who is not engaged to be married), otherwise the intimacy would be adultery.  The sin associated with this act would essentially come if there were a lack of follow thru – he should endow her to be his wife.  Premarital sex is a crime if there is no intention to marry, or if it leads the woman along when there is no intention of marrying her.  This is the main deterrent against premarital sex in the Bible.  If a man has sex with a woman, then he was supposed to add her to his family, and support her as a wife.  If a man can’t handle adding a wife to his family (whatever the reasons may be), then he shouldn’t be sleeping with single women.

I hope Joselyn stays, and I hope they can work it out.  I think they are a potentially amazing fit.  I know Joselyn has received advice online that she should, “Drop that Zero, and marry a Hero.”  The truth is, Dimitri is not a Zero (ask any woman in her late 20s or 30s what the dating pool is like).  I don’t think Joselyn could do better than the Snowdens (this is a compliment to the Snowdens, and not an insult to Joselyn).

So, there you go.  You thought I was saying that intimacy between unmarried people wasn’t that big of a deal, but it just may be that I think it’s more serious than many of my readers do.

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Note: SSW s1e4, c2 means Seeking Sister Wife Season 1 Episode 4, Commentary 2

24 thoughts on “Dimitri and Joselyn (SSW s1e4, c2)

  1. This principle used to be self evidently true and almost universally acknowledged. I think a large reason why it isn’t any more is because modern birth control methods have divorced sexual intercourse from producing children.

    If every sexual encounter had the real potential to result in a pregnancy, I highly doubt Dmitri and Joselyn would have escalated their physical intimacy so quickly regardless of intent or future commitments etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think your commentary is spot on. It is an unfortunate side effect of our modern society, with its numerous methods of birth control, that sex, marriage, children, and family are all taken with significantly less seriousness than they were in former generations. Many will take this as a positive development, but I think this view is extremely foolish and short-sighted, and (if continued) will inevitably lead to the collapse of western culture and society as we know it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am a bit lost at what you have wrote. The Snowdens aren’t married. They said so themselves. The Snowdens do not want to be married so that both women will have equal standing. And that equal standing would be as concubine rather than wife.

    Also, could you please tell me what happens if Dimitri decides not to add Joselyn to his family as his concubine? It would still be that he had premarital sex with a woman he neither proposed to nor was willing to add her to his family. So wouldn’t that be adultery? Moreover, Dimitri agreed to the terms he and Ashley has set. Going against those terms is breaking his words with the woman he loves. I’m sure there are rules in the bible about breaking promises and agreements whether verbal or written.

    Finally, a lot of people keep calling Dimitri’s affair with Joselyn a mistake. It was clear that he was desiring Joselyn in the previous episode. A lot of viewers saw this and made comments about it online. As someone who was raised in a religious setting, I know there are teachings about how to avoid temptations and such. If Dimitri felt himself desiring to sleep with Joselyn and willfully use that single dating as a cover to sleep with Joselyn (in other words, he planned in his mind that he wanted to have relations with Joselyn and used dating as an excuse to do so), how is that an accident?

    And, as someone who was raised Christian and became Muslim, I would like to point out how bad alcohol was in that setting. Dimitri mentioned Joselyn throwing back alcohol and how impressed he was. Alcohol takes away a person’s senses and leave a person’s soul open for sinful deeds. Would Joselyn have slept with Dimitri had she been sober? I am by no means saying Dimitri forced her or assaulted her. Just saying that the alcohol probably prevented Joselyn and Dimitri from thinking about the major consequences of their actions (hurting Ashley and breaking an agreement between two committed people). The overindulgence of alcohol lead to sins people would probably never have made if they were sober.

    All in all, interesting post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I notice he has no reply to your post. There is no refuting that the Snowdens said themselves they are not religious and they are not married. Funny how this blogger is supposedly well versed in the Scriptures yet supports this sham as not being premarital sex.

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      1. Note from the blog owner: Sarah’s comment was in my spam folder for 5 days before it was approved, so the author of this post hasn’t had a chance to respond yet.

        Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

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    2. Sarah,
      You have many interesting points, and I apologize if I do not get to all of them here. I would not say that the Snowdens say they are not married. They do say that they are not married in the eyes of the state, and those are very different things. He calls her wife. She calls him husband. They live together, share finances, share a bed, have and raise children together. They are married. They are husband and wife. Concubine may be technically correct, but in practical terms there is no difference. I’ll have a more lengthy post about what constitutes marriage one of these days.

      Dimitri’s breaking the agreement between he and Ashley carries the punishment agreed upon between he and Ashley. Agreements between individuals may be written, verbal, or perhaps even understood. In any case, it is between them. If Ashley thought it was a serious enough offence that she would leave him over it, I would support that. If she feels like a talk and apology is all she needs, I would support that too. The punishment for breaking an agreement between people is decided by the people involved (of course, if they cannot agree, then they may appeal to some higher judge or mediator to help them settle their dispute, but I digress).

      I don’t have any idea about the extent of Dimitri’s premeditation. However, it was still a mistake in any case. I don’t think using the word “mistake” necessarily means that it was an accident. Mistakes can be premeditated.

      Agreed that alcohol may have played a role in their poor choices in this instance.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “If Ashley thought it was a serious enough offence that she would leave him over it, I would support that. ” – But what about 1 Cor 7:10 about a wife is not to leave her husband? There seems to be no qualifications to this, and further Paul seems to emphasize that this command is from the Lord, and not from Paul, apparently giving it double importance? Your thoughts?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. A very excellent question. Verse 10 clearly says, “a wife must not separate from her husband” (this is the NIV), but I’m not sure that this is an unqualified statement. The next verse says, “But if she does…”. Verse 11 also says that, “a husband must not divorce his wife”, but even Jesus gave a valid reason for divorce (fornication – more on this later). Later, in verse 12, it does give a qualification; it says that a man must not divorce a wife – as long as she is willing to live with him.
        Verse 13 says the same thing but for the wife.
        It is true that verse 12 and 13 mention unbelieving spouses, but I think these commands are equally applicable to all marriages. I think the message is to take marriage seriously. Divorce should not be a trifling thing, and, despite the potential difficulties, spouses should not be thrown away as long as they are willing to stay and work towards living in peace. However, if differences become irreconcilable – and that is a very sad thing – and the wife is no longer willing to live with her husband (or the other way around according to these verses), then separation or divorce may be an option.

        1 Corinthians 7:10-15 (NIV)
        10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

        12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

        15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Is there anyone that can tell me where I can find the comments from Caroline- Lucas Williams? She was the first prospective ‘sister wive’ of Dimitri and Ashley. I’m really interested in her perspective in all of this.

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  4. Good commentary and I agree with what you say. I, too, was hoping that despite a rough start they would be a match. Sadly the error was compounded.

    What in your opinion is the penalty for a man who fails to “surely endow her to be his wife”? Or is the penalty that the rest of the community considers them to be married even if they themselves do not (and the formerly single women now off limits to all other men)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! The scripture says that the man owes the woman’s father the price of a bride, or dowry. This is where the word endow comes from – it means to pay the dowry. Deuteronomy 22:29 seems to set that price at 50 shekels of silver. This was quite a hefty sum actually; it was at least several months worth of pay (and maybe more than a year’s wages for some).
      Your point about the community is probably also very valid. The couple may have been viewed as if they were married. I’ll write some more thoughts about this in another post.
      Thank you for your insightful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Friendly Bible discussion here. Not intending to argue.

    I think the 1 Cor 7:11 instructions in the event of failure do not mitigate that the behavior in the previous verse is wrong. Meaning that just because there is a contingency plan to limit the damage, it does not follow that it is now ok to cause the damage in the first place.

    As far as the unbelieving spouse leaving, I am not sure there is anything you can do if your spouse leaves anyway, but it also seems to me significant that it is the _unbelieving_ spouse leaving. It seems to me a reach to apply this as justification for a believing spouse to leave. A believing spouse should be in submission to the Lord and do the right thing.

    In a larger picture, I believe we must always remember the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”. So which course of action is _most pleasing_ to God?

    1. “You are right. He broke a rule. I support you leaving.”

    2. “You are right. He broke a rule. I admire and respect you for forgiving him and keeping your vows even if he failed to do so.”

    I am thinking #2 is the right way for a Christian to respond.

    It seems to me we should always throw our support in doing the difficult thing and not the easy thing, especially if that difficult thing is the most pleasing to God. And one thing I have learned from studying God’s view on marriage, is that whether monogamy or polygamy, one thing he really hates is divorce (Malachi 2:16).

    And even if she leaves, it seems to me that she would now be un-marriagable as marrying a divorced woman is adultery (Matthew 5:32), right? It is as if the spiritual bond of marriage is permanent and a divorce is not valid in God’s eyes anyway, otherwise how could this be adultery by your own definition?

    Would love to know your thoughts if you care to continue the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries. I have enjoyed your questions very much. It is good to think about things you haven’t considered before, and that is what sincere questions do. So, here is my initial response.

      “I think the 1 Cor 7:11 instructions in the event of failure do not mitigate that the behavior in the previous verse is wrong. Meaning that just because there is a contingency plan to limit the damage, it does not follow that it is now ok to cause the damage in the first place.”

      I can definitely support this reading of the passage, and I would completely agree that staying together is the best in the large majority cases. However, even believers can be abusive (perhaps an argument could be made that they are not then true believers, but that is a separate issue). Perhaps I should say that, some who abuse their spouse, also proclaim to be believers. This abuse may manifest in any number of ways (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc.). I believe marriage covenants can be broken; furthermore, I do not believe that miserable marriages are pleasing in God’s eye. As far as judging when things become miserable, or when the misery becomes too great, or when the covenant is broken to the point of nullification – I think that would be between God and the parties involved. In some cases I think divorce can be the lesser of two evils, but that’s real. Sometimes our choices are not between good and evil, but between bad and worse.

      I do also want to make it clear that I am not advocating for the Snowdens to divorce (I am also not saying that you or anyone else insinuated that that was my position). I just want to clarify; I think they should stay together, and it appears that they already are – for which I am glad. I am simply stating that I support the individual freedoms of spouses to set most of the terms of their own relationships.

      “As far as the unbelieving spouse leaving, I am not sure there is anything you can do if your spouse leaves anyway, but it also seems to me significant that it is the _unbelieving_ spouse leaving. It seems to me a reach to apply this as justification for a believing spouse to leave. A believing spouse should be in submission to the Lord and do the right thing.”

      Now here is something to consider – neither of the Snowdens are believers (as far as I know), so does this passage even apply to them? And if so, in what way? It seems from the context that verse 11 is speaking to a situation where both spouses are believers. While 12 and 13 are about cases where one spouse is and the other is not.

      But in response, I agree that a believing spouse should seek the Lord’s will in all that they do – and perhaps especially in difficult situations. However, as I said above, perhaps leaving is the right thing in some situations. If that is hard to imagine, perhaps an analogy will be useful [and I know how much people love my analogies :-)]. The Lord is the husband (or at least betrothed) to Israel in the Old testament, and betrothed to the church in the New Testament. The infidelity of his people is compared to adultery or fornication. It is wrong for believers to leave their husband, who is the Lord, and go serve other gods. However, at least in the New Testament sense, God supports people leaving their first husband, and coming to join the body of his bride, if their first husband was Jupiter, or Marduk, or (insert other pagan deity). In other words, God supports divorce, at least in some spiritual sense, if it involves leaving the worship of other gods and exchanging it for worshiping him. I don’t know, maybe that’s useful, maybe not.

      “In a larger picture, I believe we must always remember the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”. So which course of action is _most pleasing_ to God?
      1. “You are right. He broke a rule. I support you leaving.”
      2. “You are right. He broke a rule. I admire and respect you for forgiving him and keeping your vows even if he failed to do so.”
      I am thinking #2 is the right way for a Christian to respond.”

      Agreed.

      “It seems to me we should always throw our support in doing the difficult thing and not the easy thing, especially if that difficult thing is the most pleasing to God. And one thing I have learned from studying God’s view on marriage, is that whether monogamy or polygamy, one thing he really hates is divorce (Malachi 2:16).”

      Agreed.

      “And even if she leaves, it seems to me that she would now be un-marriagable as marrying a divorced woman is adultery (Matthew 5:32), right? It is as if the spiritual bond of marriage is permanent and a divorce is not valid in God’s eyes anyway, otherwise how could this be adultery by your own definition?”

      Too much there to give my full comments on. I mostly agree. I will elaborate on my views in a future post.

      “Would love to know your thoughts if you care to continue the discussion.”

      There you go. Thanks for the great discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

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