Q. I am a poly-sympathetic Christian and am planning to get married in the near future. My wife-to-be knows nothing about polygamy. I'm scared to lose her if I tell her my belief. I believe she will come around to my way of thinking eventually. I've heard a lot of talk about monogamy-only 'marriage vows/covenants' binding men down so they can't take a second wife without the husband and wife renegociating the covenant. If that is true, can you suggest a vow which doesn't bind me to her exclusively?
My own view is that you ought to be discussing polygamy with your fiancée. If you don't, and you negociate marriage vows without the 'exclusion principle' (of not taking any more wives) she is bound to eventually find out your beliefs and question your motives. Quite apart from that you'd be living a lie. It could be argued that you are being deceptive too.
If you aren't going to tell her about your polygamy beliefs then I don't think you should be fiddling around with the wording of what will become a tricky marriage covenant. If you're really afraid to lose her then maybe the marriage isn't right. But if you have an unmistakable witness that she is yours and that it is right to marry her now without telling her about polygamy, then I suggest you enter a typical monogamy-only covenant and leave it to Yahweh to sort out both the belief system and the covenant later. But you must be quite sure that Yahweh wants you to marry her in this condition of not knowing about your polygamy, and you must be prepared to 'bite the bullet' until the right time to share your belief. Personally I wouldn't recommend this approach. It won't being you peace of mind and may open you up to temptation.
My own view is that you should share your polygamy belief with her, but before you do you should find out whether you are called into it or not. If you aren't, you can tell her straight out that you believe it is a godly principle but that you aren't called into it. But you'd better be sure because she may only choose to marry you on the assumption that you will not be living this lifestyle for life - she won't want to one day wake up to find later you've changed your mind.
If you believe you have been called into polygamy then you have an obligation to tell her, and must just trust in Yahweh to see you through, accepting the possibility that she will reject your proposal of marriage or break off your engagement.
My own view - which admittedly will cost you a high price (i.e. there's a high risk factor that you'll lose your sweetheart) is, as you may know from reading this site, that all Christians/Messianics should be taught to accept the principle as godly. It should in many ways be an article of Christian/Messianic faith, even if the majority are not called to live it. But then, again, I believe that transparent honesty pays, and is indeed the only way of a Christian/Messianic who is true to his Master. This path means to walk in complete faith in Yahweh to provide you with a wife or wives who are right for you. It means you must accept that your carnal nature may have deceived you, and that 'being in love' (as is so often the case) has nothing to do with Yahweh's will but more to do with the desires of Self.
But not everyone is so strong. Each individual must honestly examine his conscience and decide how he is going to live his life.
If your fiancée agrees to deleting the 'exclusion principle' (but be sure that it is there for the wife!), then I am sure you will be able to work out your own wording. You will find how we conduct our weddings and covenant-making in our Third Book of Abraham.