One question both men and women will ask themselves once they reach adulthood is, should I get married?
Most people choose to, as it just seems like the normal thing to do. However, of course, not all do.
What is the bible's take on marriage?
The bible does give advice to Christians about marriage.
Paul, the author of many books of the New Testament, gives his opinion about marriage.
1 Corinthians 7 is the best chapter in the bible concerning views on marriage. Paul speaks about marriage extensively. There are some great points in this chapter, which we'll go over below.
Just for background, Paul was unmarried. He was one of the greatest workers for God's Kingdom. He was a chosen instrument of Christ. We see this in Acts 9:15 'But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.' Paul states that he wish all men (and women) were unmarried as he was in 1 Corinthians 7:7, " I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that." Paul states that not everyone would be able to accept this, as not everyone has this gift to be able to stay umarried without engaging in sexual immorality. Paul states it is better to marry than to burn with passion. We see this in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, " Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
So Paul states that Christians should get married if they cannot control themselves, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Paul did not give this advice as a command, meaning it wasn't a fixed law of God but rather simply advice based on his knowledge. Paul stated that because of the present crisis, it is good for the unmarried to stay as they are. He goes on to say that those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and he wants to spare Christians of this. This is stated in 1 Corinthians 7:25-28 "25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this." The marriage life can be very difficult and troublesome, as acknowledged by Paul.
Paul stated that the time is short and this present world is passing away. He wants us to be wholly committed to God rather than to other people in relationships such as marriage. This is stated in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, "29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." This showed the urgent message that Paul was sending to those who weren't married. The world is passing away. What Christians need is to be fully committed to God with no distractions and save themselves from this evil, corrupt world.
Paul states that Christians should not get married because marriage can be a distraction in a Christian's commitment to God. When a person is married, s/he has to be committed to his or her spouse and this can consume a lot of time and energy, which brings one with less time for the Lord. Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, "32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." An unmarried man does not have a wife to worry about, to take care of, and to cater to; thus, he is able to dedicate himself more to the Lord in an undivided fashion. A married man does and his interests are divided.
Nonetheless, getting married is not a sin. However, Paul states that those who do not get married do even better than those who do. This is stated in 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, "36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better."
So with the fact that Paul states that the married life is full of trouble and it makes a Christian's interests divided, Paul states it is better to stay unmarried. But if one cannot control himself, he or she should be married. The one who doesn't marry does even better than the one who does. However, it is a choice. Marriage is not a sin.
Just as a note, I'm currently a 31-year-old man and I've decided to go the way of Paul. I have decided that I will live an unmarried life as Paul and Jesus did. As Paul stated, the married life is full of trouble and strife. And because you have to really be committed to your partner to make for a successful marriage, it leads to divided interests. I feel that being single can make one more devout to God, as the single person doesn't have a partner to commit to and care for. With that said, I really enjoy the unmarried life, but we each have our own gifts.
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