The Bible presents monogamy as the plan that conforms most closely to God’s ideal for marriage. The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman: “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [not wives], and they will become one flesh [not fleshes]”. In the New Testament, Timothy and Titus give “the husband of one wife” in a list of qualifications for spiritual leadership. The phrase could literally be translated as “a one-woman man.” Ephesians speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives. When referring to a husband (singular), it always also refers to a wife (singular). “For the husband is the head of the wife [singular] … He who loves his wife [singular] loves himself.

Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 3:2,12; Titus 1:6; 1 Corinthians 7:2

Polygamy is being married to more than one person at a time. It is not a common practice today though there are still groups that practice it. It is not legal in the United States.

The Bible is the most comprehensive text on marriage that exists. It has been the foundation for much of the current law concerning marriage though that is currently changing. In the Garden, God created Adam and Eve and gave them the charge to be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28). This was the first instance of marriage and so God established a couple as his ideal family. God established the one-flesh principle in Genesis 2:24, which was to be a mirror of our relationship with God. (Ephesians 5:32).  

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people with multiple wives. The Bible never specifically condemns polygamy but there are many examples where it had a negative influence on the family through jealousy and competition. The biblical example of one man and one wife, which is the way that God instituted marriage, is the example that is found consistently throughout the New Testament. The Bible also tells us to obey the laws of the land unless it prohibits the sharing of the gospel. (Romans 13:1-2; Acts 5:29). The issue of polygamy does not rise to this level. Therefore our stance is that the Bible commends marriage between one man and one woman.