Unlike Hebrew, the original divine language of heaven, our own English tongue incorporates words that have a doctrinal content. And so if someone asked me: "Are you a bigamist?" I will deny it, not because the word doesn't mean a man married to two women at the same time, but because it is used in a negative, criminal way. And I am not a criminal. Actually, I am a trigamist, but that word isn't in our language yet!
A monogamist is a man who is married to only one woman. I used to be one, I should know. A polygynist is a man who is married to two or more women. I am one of those too. However, I did not become a different kind of person when I married a second wife - I did not enter into a different form of marriage. I simply kept on marrying. Today I have three wives, and tomorrow I may have more.
I am not ashamed either. I can look back in my Bible and see that some of the most blessed servants of Yahweh had more than one wife. The relationship some of these men had with God is described as a friendship. Yahweh never criticised them for having more than one wife. He never said having more than one wife was a sin. No-one was ever punished for having more than one wife. People were punished - quite severely, actually - for adultery, and also fornication, but no-one was ever accused of being an adulterer or a fornicator because they had more than one wife. Indeed, in one passage the Bible actually says that Yahweh gave a man all his wives as a gift from heaven, and would be willing to give more (2 Samuel 12:8). Obviously Yahweh, our Father-God, who hates and detests sin, would never give a man a gift that would lead him to sin. Marriage - one man married to one or more women within reasonable limits - is never, ever, ever described as a sin, or as adultery, or as fornication. Ever. Indeed, biblical marriage is the most natural thing in the world. And it is blessed by Yahweh.
It is important, I think, that as Christians we speak only of what the Bible says. And since the words 'monogamy' and 'polygyny' (or 'polygamy') don't exist within its pages, we shall use them as little as possible in this book. We will let Yahweh do the speaking for us.
There's one other English word I do need to mention before I end this topic - and it's also derived from Greek - which is polyandry. Polyandry, which is a very rare practice indeed, is one woman being married to two or more men. And it certainly isn't biblical. Not only is this not marriage but, worse, it is perversion, as we shall see.