Bible Question:

I am a polygamist, what should I do? I committed polygamy when I was a non-Christian. I married once, then because of income problems I travelled abroad. There I met a girl and we got into relationship. My wife also got into a relationship with another guy and they had a child. My wife does not know that I married this new girlfriend without divorcing her. That is, I am now married to two women. Now, I am a Christian and a church leader. I have two children by my second wife. I knew that what I did was a sin, but now I do not know where to stand as a Christian. Please give me advice.

Bible Answer:

After the creation of Adam and Eve, God declared in Genesis 2:23-24 that a man and woman are to leave father and mother and become one flesh. God’s command clearly reveals that He intended for marriage to be between one biological man and one biological woman. God did not create multiple wives for Adam, nor did He create multiple husbands for Eve. Genesis 1:26-27 reveals that God’s definition of male and female, is a male and female who can together give birth to children. No more than one biological man and one biological woman is required to procreate. A third person is not involved.

This simple truth is echoed in one of the key qualifications for an elder in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6. The qualification is that an elder is to be a one-woman-man or the husband of one woman. That is, he is to be devoted to one woman. Since the elders of the church are to be examples for the entire congregation of godliness (Heb. 13:7), this qualification communicates a high standard to the entire congregation. Marriage is between one biological man and one biological woman.

Therefore, if you desire to please God, you will respond with obedience. Your first act of obedience should be to confess your sin of polygamy to God.

Second, tell your wives that you have sinned before God by marrying the second one of them. Then ask for their forgiveness.

Third, if the laws of your nation prohibit polygamy then you may have to divorce the second wife.

Fourth, tell your pastor of your sin. You should resign as a leader of the church. I would recommend waiting five to seven years before you consider being a leader in a church again. You need time to demonstrate that you are truly a godly man devoted to one woman. I would recommend that you resign as a church leader after step two. Seek the counsel of your pastor before step three.


Finally, when we confess our sins to God, 1 John 1:9 says that “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” Notice that He says He is faithful. That is, He will forgive if you are serious. He is also just. It would be contrary to God’s character for Him not to forgive. That is great news. He forgives even our intentional sins, assuming that you are serious about making things correct. In everything that you do, honor God.

Suggested Links:

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God's Original Design For Marriage
Marital Paradise Lost
The Privileges of a Wife
The Privileges of a Husband
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Is polygamy supported by 1 Corinthians 7:2?