Marriage vs. singleness are they at odds? This is a great topic to discuss because the Bible outlines so many different situations or scenarios that people are in. In this post, I simply wanted to start with one verse in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 where Paul touches on marriage and singleness. Paul says both are a gift from God. So let’s ask the question, when it comes to marriage vs. singleness – is one better than the other? What does the Bible say?
In 1 Corinthians 7:7, Paul, who remained unmarried, talks about his own singleness and how he wishes more would remain single as he. Simply because of the work he did for spreading the Gospel message. He had no restraints other than his own devotion to the Lord. Of course that is his own bias opinion. But what he teaches after is the main focus I believe he wants us to hone in on. Let’s read the verse and discuss why marriage and singleness are not at odds with one another but each its own gift from God.
It’s a gift.
1 Corinthians 7:7 : “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”
Paul said each has its own gift from God; like spiritual gifts differ within the body of Christ so does marriage and singleness differ within the body of Christ. Each gift has its own purpose and plan designed specifically by God. Also, we are not about to tell you which is best for you, as the Bible outlines very clearly its up to the individual and God. There is no more importance in having a spouse than staying celibate and single. Each is it’s own gift from God, which means, each has a divine and important purpose in itself.
However, situations between persons may differ. If a single person is unable to resist their urge to stay celibate than its best for them to be married. As sexual intimacy must stay within the marriage bed as it is a spiritual union not just a physical one. 1 Corinthians 7:9, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Find Contentment over Resentment
Paul is happy that God has given him the gift of being content with remaining unmarried. Since this permits single-minded devotion to the Lord’s work. The key word here is “content”. Comparing our situation to our neighbours is a dangerous slope for our mind and our faith. If we start to view our situation as resentment and not find contentment we will be in competition with one another and not in unity. We must use our gift to see that its good. A gift is something to be used, admired, and thought highly of; especially a gift given by God!
Marriage vs. singleness – is one better than the other?
So, what is it then, one vs. the other? Would you say when it comes to spiritual gifts like prophecy or teaching one is better than the other? Paul says view marriage and singleness both as “gifts” and what do we know about “gifts”? In Romans 12:4-6, Paul says: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”
I do want to make clear that this post is not talking about if you are currently single that means that’s your purpose forever. Its simply stating that one is not better than the other – but each are a gift from God. Your gift can change into marriage one day. It is more about what we do now with our gift that matters, allowing God to take care of our future in His awesome plans for us.
Live as you are called… in this moment.
Paul continues in, 1 Corinthians 7:17, “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”
Pursue what gift God has given you today. If that’s marriage – pursue that in a Godly way, if that’s singleness – pursue that in a Godly way. Lets see our “relationship status” as a gift from God’s amazing grace. So we don’t lose sight of His bigger purpose which is making Himself known through us to the world.