IS POLYGAMY WRONG OR SINFUL? IS IT APPROVED BY GOD?

I was convinced by some Christian thinkers that polygamy is not wrong. I deeply and seriously thought about this matter because of my curiosity. Many Christians asked me, “why don’t you go for polygamy?” I also replied to them in a smart way-  “that doesn’t matter whether I go for it or not but truth matters for me.” In the New Testament, there is no direct verse that condemns or opposes polygamy. 1 Timothy 3:2 and some other verses are not commands for a monogamous relationship but these verses require a monogamous relationship only for pastors and church leaders. These verses can’t be taken as a commandment for a monogamous relationship rather these can be taken as requirements for a specific position. Certainly, these verses make us understand that somehow polygamy is not right. We can say with confidence that there is not a single verse in the New Testament which directly opposes polygamy. Because of this reality, any supporter of the polygamous relationship will win the argument. Slowly I was also convinced by these Christians that polygamy is not wrong as far as the word of God is concerned. The study of the Old testament strengthened this idea because there are messages of God that permitted people of God to marry more than one woman. 

Let me tell you the fact that I was not convinced about this fact because of Christians or the Bible. Actually, I was inspired by a Muslim lady, who supported polygamy and argued that the Bible approves polygamy. My interpretation or understanding of the Bible was different. I always thought that there is no difference between polygamy or adultery. This understanding was shaken by this lady as she argued that polygamy is biblically right. I didn’t believe in her other teachings but her teachings about polygamy were appearing right to me. My realization didn’t come immediately but it came gradually as I involved myself in further study.

Today again I realized that my earlier realization was wrong. Polygamy is not right even though it may appear as the right thing. Why I am saying that? Let me prove it. I was not thinking about this matter at all but I was reading about the matter of the divorce in the Old and the New Testament. In the Old Testament divorce was permitted by God (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Lord Jesus Christ proved that even though it was permitted by God but it was not God’s will (Matthew 19:7-9). Lord Jesus here clearly proved that the permission of God because of human weakness shouldn’t be understood as God’s will. The truth is clearly revealed in His words- 

“Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Matthew 19:8 New International Version).

I thought about “from the beginning” (Matthew 19:8 New International Version). These words show God’s intention or will. He didn’t design divorce (Matthew 19:7-9). It is very important to know that it was permitted because of the hardness of the heart (Matthew 19:8). Something was lacking in the human heart. Because of that human beings failed to maintain Godly standards for family life. This failure led them to hate their spouses and finally, God allowed divorce. My topic is “polygamy” but I have explained these things because they are very much related to my topic. “But it was not this way from the beginning”- these words of Lord Jesus are also applicable to the matter of polygamy too. The law of Moses permits polygamy in the following words-“If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing, and marital rights” (Exodus 21:10 New International Version).

If the divorce was permitted because of the hardness of the heart, polygamy was also permitted because of some weaknesses. You can imagine that. Certainly, like divorce, polygamy was also not “this way from the beginning” (Matthew 19:8). God created one woman for the first man in the beginning (Genesis 2:22). God’s intention for the first man is clearly stated in the following verse of the Bible-

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 New International Version).It is very much important to know that in the beginning, God created one woman for the first man, and also He wished that man will enjoy oneness with one woman (Genesis 2:22, 2:24). God’s intension to discourage polygamy is revealed in the following verse of the Bible-

“He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray” (Deuteronomy 17:17  New International Version).Even though this verse is for a king but it is applicable for others also as far as the matter of the heart is concerned. If the hardness of heart was wrong, why this condition of the heart is not a serious concern in the matter of polygamy? Is polygamy is also an issue of the hardness of heart? Is polygamy the result of lust? Can a person who loves his wife, go for polygamy? These questions also should be dealt with seriously. I am not saying that because of polygamy you will lose your salvation or God will forsake you for eternity but I have realized that polygamy is not God’s will for humanity. If it is not sinful to marry more than one lady, it is not right either.

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Hasti

A student and teacher of religions and philosophies. A follower of Lord Jesus Christ

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