Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
(SINGULAR) – 1 Cornthians 7:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach – 1 Timothy 3:2
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. – 1 Timothy 3:12
The clearest evidence that monogamy is God’s ideal is from Christ’s teaching on marriage in Matt. 19:3–6. In this passage, He cited the Genesis creation account, in particular Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, saying ‘the two will become one flesh’, not more than two.
Another important biblical teaching is the parallel of husband and wife with Christ and the Church in Eph. 5:22–33, which makes sense only with monogamy—Jesus will not have multiple brides.
The 10th Commandment ‘… You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife [singular] …’ (Exodus 20:17) also presupposes the ideal that there is only one wife. Polygamy is expressly forbidden for church elders (1 Tim. 3:2). And this is not just for elders, because Paul also wrote: ‘each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.’ Paul goes on to explain marital duties in terms that make sense only with one husband to one wife.
The example of godly people is also important. Isaac and Rebekah were monogamous—they are often used as a model in Jewish weddings today. Other examples were Joseph and Asenath, and Moses and Zipporah. And the only survivors of the Flood were four monogamous couples.
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