Marriage is a sacred bond between two people and the Bible generally speaks against polygamy. While polygamy was practiced in the Old Testament, it is not something that is condoned in the New Testament. The Bible says that God ordained marriage in the beginning where one man would be married to one woman (Genesis 2:24). The taking of many wives, or polygamy, was never in His original design.
It is sin going against God’s will and plan. The mere fact, Adam and Eve fell from a place of grace did not mean God never tried reaching out to them again. It is sin consciously going against God’s will. Proverbs 18:22; Mark 10:8; 1Cor.7. What about if you are already married, what then?
The benefits of marrying one wife include: fostering a deeper connection between a husband and wife, developing a strong family unit, and being able to devote more time and resources to the marriage. The disadvantages of marrying multiple wives include: increased competition among the wives for the husband’s attention and resources, the challenge of providing equal attention and care to each wife, and potential legal consequences if the practice of polygamy is illegal in the area.
However, it might not explicitly be forbidden in the Bible, but it is not God’s original intent. The closest the Bible comes to forbidding polygamy is Deuteronomy 17:17, which is properly understood as God’s command against a king of Israel taking many wives. If a man has multiple wives and becomes a Christian, he should do whatever is necessary to submit to the law (Romans 13:1-7) while still providing for his wives and children. If polygamy is legal, but he has no conviction against it, he can remain married to each of his wives, treating each one with love, dignity, and respect. A man who makes this decision would be barred from church leadership, but it cannot be said that he is in explicit violation of any command in Scripture.
The Bible About Marriage to More than One Wife?
Leviticus 18:18 instructs that a man should not marry sisters, and Deuteronomy 21:15 talks of assigning an heir to a man with two wives. Paul also spoke against polygamy in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6, which list “the husband of one wife” as a qualification for spiritual leadership. Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives in the singular, emphasizing the oneness of the union.
In the Bible, Jesus argues against polygamy by saying that God always intended for humans to be monogamous (Genesis 2:24). Furthermore, he claimed that it was only because of the coldness of man’s hearts that divorce was legalized (Matthew 19:6). Jesus spoke against polygamy, saying that it was a warped version of the lifelong committed relationship of a one-plus-one marriage (Matthew 19:4-6). You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), a rule of God, was used by Jesus to argue against polygamy.
He told them, “Moses gave in to your hardness of heart and permitted you to divorce your wives, but that wasn’t how it was in the beginning. Also, I tell you that if a man leaves his wife for any reason other than sexual immorality and marries someone else, he is guilty of adultery (Matthew 19:8-9). Biblical monogamy is based on God’s design for marriage as a reflection of Christ and the church. The Bible’s depiction of polygamy and divorce are not meant to be seen as endorsements of these practices but rather as examples of how far humanity has fallen from God’s ideal.
What Can Be Done When The Fruit Has Been Bitten?
In a polygamous Christian home, it is important to ensure that all members of the family are treated with love, respect, and dignity. All family members should be given equal access to resources such as food, clothing, and school supplies. All wives should be given equal attention, care, and support. All family members should be instructed in the ways of the Lord and encouraged to live according to His Word. Husbands should lead by example, demonstrating the love and grace of Jesus Christ in their homes. Finally, all family members should be encouraged to pray and seek God’s guidance in all that they do.
However, it is not Christianity to consciously go ahead to marry more than one wife. The Bible speaks clearly regarding marriage and divorce also. In his teaching on marriage, Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9). This means that God considers marriage to be a sacred, lifelong bond between a man and a woman. The Bible also says that a man should leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (one), and the two shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). This suggests that, according to the Bible, a man should remain committed to the marriage he has entered into and not be separated from his wife.
Some Views About The Situation
Some Christians actively debate whether the New Testament or Christian ethics allows or forbids polygamy and there are several Christian views on the Old Testament’s description of it. Most Bible scholars agree that polygamy is not condoned by the Bible, and that the ideal from God’s point of view is that one man and one woman join in marriage. Most people immediately give an answer like “he should divorce all of his wives but one.”
However, the situation is usually not quite that simple and the Bible does not explicitly forbid it. If polygamy is illegal where he lives, he should do whatever is necessary to submit to the law (Romans 13:1-7), while still providing for his wives and children. If polygamy is legal, but he is convicted that it is wrong, he should divorce all but one wife, but, again, he must not neglect providing for all of them and their children. If polygamy is legal and he has no conviction against it, he can remain married to each of his wives, treating each one with love, dignity, and respect.
The New Testament
There is no mention of anyone in the New Testament marrying more than one wife. The only instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech in Genesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists, including Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon. In the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6 give “the husband of one wife” in a list of qualifications for spiritual leadership. This phrase could literally be translated “a one-woman man.”
There is some debate as to what this qualification specifically means, but in no sense can a polygamist be considered a “one-woman man.” Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives, always referring to a husband and wife in the singular. It is clear that Paul is not stating that a husband might have multiple wives. While God allowed polygamy in the Old Testament, there is no indication that it is permissible in the New Testament.
Most of the cases of Christian polygamous family began probably with little knowledge about the word of God and the ways of a Christian. However, having the consciousness of what Christ wants and the initial plan of God from the beginning, we can divinely structure ourselves.
Furthermore, divorce is another option we as Christians frown against. Building a godly family starts with following the commands of the Bible. Wives are called to submit to their husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. This does not mean that the wife is inferior to the husband, but rather that submission is necessary to create order in the family. Husbands, meanwhile, are called to love their wives and not be embittered against them. Children are commanded to obey their parents in everything, and fathers are commanded not to provoke their children.
Building oneness in marriage works best when both spouses choose to fulfill their responsibilities voluntarily, without pressure or coercion. The husband should love his wife, and the wife should be a helper to her husband. Finally, families should prioritize their relationship with God, setting their hearts on things above and letting the peace of Christ rule in their lives.
For Christians, it is important to remember that the Bible does not explicitly prohibit polygamy, but it does discourage it. The Bible teaches that monogamy is God’s ideal for marriage and that it is the best way to protect and provide for one’s family. Therefore, it is best for a Christian to remain faithful to their one spouse, while treating all their wives with love, dignity, and respect.