IS POLYGAMY IDEAL?
Polygamy is the condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time. This means that in polygamy, one is legally married to more than one person at the same time.
Is Polygamy wrong? Let’s find out…
From Christ’s teaching in Matt. 19:3–6, it can be seen that monogamy is God’s ideal for marriage In the passage stated above, He cited the creation account in Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, saying ‘the two will become one flesh’ not more than two.
We can therefore establish that God’s original intention at creation was monogamy as the right system of marriage; this can further be buttressed with the fact that under God, Adam married only one wife, Eve.
THE NEW TESTAMENT & MONOGAMY
- In Matt. 19:4, we are told by Jesus that God created ‘one male and one female’ and joined them in marriage. Mark 10:6-8 (ESV): “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh”
The ‘two as one’ is the pattern on how marriage was to be conducted from the start, NOT three or four.
God took Eve from Adam’s ribs and gave her back to him as his wife (singular) showing God’s approval of what the marriage union is to be like. God always spoke of man’s “wife,” as singular, not in plural form.
- The New Testament teaches that, “Each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7:2). Monogamous marriage clearly depicts the type of relation Christ has with His bride, the church.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:31-32).
The church is called the bride; collectively as one (singular) each person is not a bride, as in plurality of spouses and marriages.
- Monogamy was the type of marriage that was acceptable for anyone that wanted to become a church leader in the New Testament.
“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1Timothy 3:2-5 (ESV)
Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well – 1Timothy. 3:12 (ESV)
This means that no one who is married to more than one person can be involved in church leadership, because the leaders must set the example for the rest of the church and as much as possible reflect God’s intention for what the Christian family should be like.
This verse could also imply that there were people in the church who could have been church leaders but because they were married to more than one person, they were part of the church fellowship, but restricted from becoming church leaders.
Polygamy is wrong, it is not and will never be God’s plan for marriage.
I’M NOW A CHRISTIAN YET A POLYGAMIST, WHAT CAN I DO?
Polygamy is sin. Like every other sin, we must confess it to God and repent from it. However, unlike other sins where repentance will mean leaving your old way of life behind, repentance in this situation will be different.
If you’re a Christian and a polygamist, you might say that a way out of this situation is to divorce the extra spouses until there’s just one left 🙂
Here’s what I think, It’s not the right way to deal with it! Divorce is also against God’s plan for marriage; it’s a sin and then committing one sin can’t cancel-out another sin, the same way a sinful divorce cannot correct a sinful second or third marriage. Rather, take Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:20(ESV): “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called”.
As a Christian, if you are already married to more than one spouse, then you should stay married to all your spouses and seek to live as best as you can to honour God and perform your responsibilities to your family. For instance according to James 2:1, you shouldn’t show partiality to one spouse over another.
An argument can be put forward that since being married to more than one spouse at the same time isn’t biblically right, then one can divorce a spouse to marry another, hence being married to just one spouse. Well it’s still wrong, remember – Jesus is against divorce (Matt. 19:3-9) 🙂
My advice;Don’t pass it down!
Let the polygamy end with you; don’t pass on the idea to your children. Teach them the way of the Bible, monogamy. When you do, you will need to explain to them carefully because they would see a contradiction based on the fact that you’re a polygamist. Tell them you were wrong for being a polygamist, let them know your mistake and encourage them not to make same. By doing this, you can demonstrate true repentance, being used by God to help them and even others make good decisions with respect to the right type of marriage.
I want to remind you that whether you’re a polygamist or not, irrespective of whom you are, God’s love for you is unconditional. Rest assured of HIS undying love.
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