Ask any believer whether Jesus really did God’s will, and they will quickly respond with YES without hesitation. But wait a minute, isn’t it God’s design and will that everyone get married? In Genesis 2, we see that God called everything that He created good except being alone, right? And since male and female reflect the full picture of God’s image, any individual then is an incomplete representation of the image of God, right?
There is a myth out there that God wants and wills for everyone to be married.
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18
Here, nothing is mentioned about the man needing a wife or it not being good that man is unmarried, rather there was a need for companionship and community to complete the task that God had just given Adam. In a broad sense, we need accountability and connection with God and with others(others to help us) in order to be successful with what we were created to accomplish in God. We also know that this joining between Adam and Eve is a bigger story picture that reflects and foreshadows Christ and His Church(Ephesians 5:31-32).
I wonder if anyone ever went up to Jesus and asked him, why aren’t you married yet? Did anyone quote Genesis 2:18 at him and tell him that it’s not good for a man to be alone? When are you going to settle down and take care of your mother, Jesus?
“If someone had objected to Jesus’ singleness and said that it was not good for him to be alone, he very well might have motioned to his disciples and other followers and said, ‘But look around me. I’m not alone. I have these twelve who go with me everywhere. They have seen me through everything I have experienced in the last three years. I have other close friends, such as Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Remember, I said that whoever does the will of my Father is my mother and brother and sister. My followers are my family, and they are as close to me as a bride to a bridegroom.'” Al Hsu from The Single Issue
Even after all that, I do believe marriage is good.
“A man who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22
I also believe being unmarried is good.
“I say to the unmarried…it is good for them if they remain as I am.” 1 Corinthians 7:8
They are equal to God. Each have their own purposes, pros/cons, responsibilities, etc. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other or should be judged either way. Granted, that the Church at large doesn’t know how to handle unmarried individuals that well and has created a culture that there is something bad and shameful about being unmarried; singles church groups are usually viewed as a stepping stone for those ready to escape by the key of marriage. These groups are usually the lowest in attendance due to the abnormal social stigma they carry. A survey shows that 15-20% of churches have programs geared for singles. This is why we need a shift to see that just as Jesus did God’s will by remaining single, unmarried, and never having sexual intercourse, it can also be God’s will for many men and women still today.
Dr. John Stott had a lot to say when asked what were the reasons for people to remain single. Here is his response as noted by Hsu:
“I doubt if we could find a clearer answer to this question than in the recorded teaching of Jesus himself in Matthew 19:11-12. He was talking about ‘eunuchs’, meaning people who remain single and celibate. He listed three reasons why people do not marry.
- First, for some it is ‘because they were born that way’. This could include those with a physical defect or with a homosexual orientation. Such are congenitally unlikely to marry.
- Second, there are those who ‘were made that way by men’. This would include victims of castration. But it would also include all those today who remain single under any compulsion or external circumstance. One thinks of a daughter who feels under obligation to forgo marriage in order to care for her elderly parents.
- Third, ‘others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.’ These people, who are under no pressure from within or without, voluntarily put marriage aside, either temporarily or permanently, in order to undertake some work for the kingdom which demands single-minded devotion.
Before Jesus listed those three categories of single people, he said that not everybody could accept what he was about to say, ‘but only those to whom it has been given’.” Though nothing is always easy, there is always grace given to anyone wanting to be made holy like He is holy, following God’s will–whatever your status.
LEAVE A COMMENT – SHARE YOUR STORY
Which gift has God given you currently in your life- singleness or marriage? Do you value one over the other or are they equal? Do you believe it to be God’s will?