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Singleness Vs Marriage: The Bible's Point of View

Updated on May 20, 2017
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Singleness is viewed in a bad light. It is treated like a dangerous infectious disease. Those who are not married are looked down upon by most of the married people. They are treated as people who are not complete. They lack an important ingredient which can/will make them to become complete human beings.

They have been termed as being out of touch with the world. Actually, singleness is shunned in every society. This has led to many single people feeling guilty they’re not married, depressed and confused what to believe and not to believe. They find themselves in a hot seat.

Is it a sin to be single? Is it a must to be married? Is it forbidden by God to be single? What does the Bible say about singleness? Does it favor it or is against it?

This article will look at three Bible readings which will compare and contrast Marriage Vs Singleness.

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First Scriptural Point Of View: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

We are advised we should be free from worries. A married man is anxious to please God and at the same time to please his wife. The same case applies to a married woman. It is noted in the above verses a married man’s interest or loyalty is divided into two – to God and his spouse. A married man cannot offer his dedication wholly to God. He should consider his wife to whom he should also be loyal to. Therefore, married people’s devotion is partly directed towards God and partly directed towards their spouses.

In the case of single people, they are anxious to please God – how he/she can best serve God and how to remain holy in body and thought. This indicates they are concerned how they can remain pure by not engaging in pre-marital sex. Sexual temptation is the most single factor that disadvantages most of the singles.

In no way does it mean a person should limit himself if what he feels or desires is not the case with his limitation. We should not limit ourselves against what we desire. If a Christian wants to get married well and good. If he wants to remain single no problem. The most important factor is to devote our lives as Christians to the service of God whether it is wholly (for singles) or partially (for married). This is the reason why we are advised not to be anxious. Whether we are married (or we will) or not we should aim to live a life that pleases God, and not to be swayed in our devotion to God.

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Second Scriptural Point Of View: 1 Corinthians 7:1-2; 8-9; 36

A Christian is counseled she/he should get married if she/he finds it hard to fight or control sexual temptations. If a Christian finds it hard controlling his sexual desires, then he should not remain single for the rest of his life. If he does so, he might be involved in sexual immorality (pre-marital sex, pornography and masturbation) which is strictly prohibited by God. If he wants to remain single he should be sure he is in a position to control his sexual desires and should ask God to help him.

Unlike married people, a single person has control of his/her body. He will not be told by his wife, “Why are you denying me my connubial rights?” Also, he won’t be bothered (frustrated) of why his wife is denying him sex until he is forced to ask his wife, “Why are you denying me my conjugal rights?” In the case of a married couple, a husband’s body belongs to his wife and a wife’s body belongs to her husband.

This indicates a single person who decides to remain single is able to control his sexual desires. This is unlike married people whom the majority get married because they find it hard to escape from sexual temptations. In today’s world it is hard for many people who are singles not to give in to sexual temptations. It is better to get married than to be involved in sexual immorality.

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Third Scriptural Point Of View: 1 Corinthians 7:26-28

“I think in the view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.” There is a high rate of divorces and separations all over the world. There are a lot of problems couple faces than single people. It is better to remain single to avoid complications in marriage life which can otherwise be avoided by not getting married. You will spare yourself from facing such tribulations which might lead to divorce or separation.

“Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.” It is better to be single. Nevertheless, if you are married work hard in ensuring your union is not severed. “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free.”Apostle Paul remarks in the above verses it is better for a person not to get married in order to be out of danger of the tribulations that faces many couples. “Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.”

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Gift Of Singleness

“I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of a husband or wife, and others he gives the gift of being able to stay happily married.”

Not everyone is the same. Some can bear to live a solitary life while for others it is next to impossible. For those who cannot live a single life, they have been gifted as husbands and wives while for those who can live a single life, they have been gifted with that gift of singleness. Some people are genetically single. They have never been in any relationship and are satisfied of that fact. Then, there are those who have been in relationships but have later come to the recognition they were meant to be single. It would be worth noting for those who have been destined to be single there are reasons as to why they were meant to be so. It is up to them to know why they were designed to live a single life.

Being Single is NOT a Curse ... It is a Blessing from God! Mario's Singleness Rant

As a final point, the Bible explicitly support singleness for three major reasons: to avoid the troubles faced by married people, single people are able to serve God wholly – their allegiance is not partially devoted to God and to their other half, and they are meant to live a single life for specific reasons. Single people shouldn’t hurry to get married. It is better to devote a considerable amount of time examining as to whether you want to get married (if not sooner, later in your life) or to remain single for the rest of your life. Seek God as to whether to live a single life or get married. If a single person feels the need to get married, he should not restrain himself from doing so. It is a person’s choice. It is not a sin to remain single neither is it a sin to get married. “But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned.” Ultimately, “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as a I am,” and “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

Got Questions Ministries summarizes well on this subject: "Singleness should not be viewed as a curse or an indication that there is “something wrong” with the single man or woman. While most people marry, a single Christian is in no sense a “second class” Christian. As 1 Corinthians 7 indicates, singleness is, if anything, a higher calling.” Furthermore, it is stated: “Following God’s plan, whether that be marriage or singleness, will result in the productivity and joy that God desires for us.”

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References

The following Bible verses are derived from The Living Bible translation courtesy of Bible Gateway.

1 Corinthians 7: 32-35

In all you do, I want you to be free from worry. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man can’t do that so well; he has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. It is the same with a girl who marries. She faces the same problem. A girl who is not married is anxious to please the Lord in all she is and does.[c]But a married woman must consider other things such as housekeeping and the likes and dislikes of her husband.

35 I am saying this to help you, not to try to keep you from marrying. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few other things as possible to distract your attention from him.


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1 Corinthians 7: 1-2; 8-9; 36

Now about those questions you asked in your last letter: my answer is that if you do not marry, it is good. 2 But usually it is best to be married, each man having his own wife, and each woman having her own husband, because otherwise you might fall back into sin.

8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—better to stay unmarried if you can, just as I am. 9 But if you can’t control yourselves, go ahead and marry. It is better to marry than to burn with lust.

36 But if anyone feels he ought to marry because he has trouble controlling his passions, it is all right; it is not a sin; let him marry.


1 Corinthians 7: 26-28

Here is the problem: We Christians are facing great dangers to our lives at present. In times like these I think it is best for a person to remain unmarried. 27 Of course, if you already are married, don’t separate because of this. But if you aren’t, don’t rush into it at this time. 28 But if you men decide to go ahead anyway and get married now, it is all right; and if a girl gets married in times like these, it is no sin. However, marriage will bring extra problems that I wish you didn’t have to face right now.

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      Chava 4 months ago

      So.. there are two choices only? Mary or stay single, but be happy!..

      And what if being single up into your late 40s is not your choice? ..

      You described a perfect clear and unbroken world, which is not mine and many others..

      So I want to add that there are a lot of single Christians who face more difficulties and pain then many married Christians. They do not choose to burn and want to get married, but it simply doesn't come! in their life. On top of that a lot of (married) people put a mark on them: you have the gift of staying single, so there can't be a problem for you. God should satisfy you, so be thankfull and don't complain..

      In this, their hurt and desire is not recognized, but ignored. They don't exist as different people, are excluded from church and fellow Christians are not coming along. Instead they are given reproach and feelings of guilt. Where is the church as family of God, in which joy and grief is shared?

      Who says being (unwantedly) single is the best choice?

      I'm thankful God doesn't exclude.

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      Robert E Smith 6 months ago from Rochester, New York

      I found your article very clear in how to view singleness versus marriage. I have been married twice and know that I am not one of those people that have the God-given gift of singleness. I totally understand the temptations you mentioned. Thank you for the information here. Bob.

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      Kawai 6 months ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the interesting summary of the Bible's point of view on being single. I agree there's nothing wrong with being single and God loves all..regardless whether we are married or not..he caters for both the married and unmarried..

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 6 months ago

      Ben you are a very good hub writer ! I have really found your hubs to be very informative in relationships. You are a good source of refrences a wonderful asset to HP.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 6 months ago

      God could care less about one's marital status.

      He loves single people just as much as he loves married people!

      Society, peer pressure, friends/family, and a competitive ego are usually the driving forces that make single people feel inadequate for being single.

      You will never truly be free until you stop caring what others think!

      Life is a (personal) journey!