Today and in the past, some cultures and some religions have allowed and allow both monogamy and polygamy. Which one does the Bible advocate as the best family institution?
When God made man and woman, Adam and Eve, God could have made multiple wives for Adam, but he didn’t. Genesis 3:20 (YLT) states “ And the man calleth his wife's name Eve: for she hath been mother of all living.” God started the human family with the arrangement of monogamy.
Later, as mankind deviated from God’s original monogamous family arrangement, polygamy was introduced by mankind. Polygamy was not God’s original arrangement.
Mankind becameso wicked that God determined to destroy every rebellious person. God told Noah to build a huge ark and only those that got into the ark survived the world-wide flood. The Bible shows that only eight individuals survived the flood: Noah and his wife and Noah’s three sons with each having only one wife.
Later on, again polygamy resurfaced. Even men of faith took on more than one wife. While some men took more than one wife and God tolerated it for a while, Jesus showedthat in the Christian arrangement, a man should have only one wife.
Jesus pointed in Matthew 19:4-6 that God’s original purpose was that man should have only one wife and that the two should become one flesh.
In the Christian arrangement of things, we never read of anyone having more than one wife. There are a few Scriptures that point to the having of only one wife. (See 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
Why did God tolerate polygamy? Just as he tolerates wickedness for a time, he also tolerated polygamy for a while. His purpose was never to have wickedness go rampant. As he works his purpose, eventually wickedness and wicked ones will disappear from the universe. (See psalm 37:9-10; Proverbs 2:21-22)
Those who follow the whole Bible no longer practice polygamy but have only one marriage mate. One day polygamy will not exist anymore. The Bible advocates monogamy and no longer allows polygamy.