“Regardless, each one should lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is what I prescribe in all the churches.” – 1 Corinthians 7: 17
I think the church got it wrong. For too long we have treated singleness as the Christian-life’s “plan b”, when God’s Word actually shows the opposite. In fact, Christianity is the only religion where singleness is honored and esteemed even above marriage.
The Apostle Paul clearly shares his opinion on the matter in 1 Corinthians 7:8: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.” Why? Because “those who marry will face troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this,” Paul explains in verse 28.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with marriage. A healthy marriage is an incredible picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. It’s an opportunity to put another’s needs above yourself, to love and care for another, while serving God as a family and couple. Strong, biblical marriages are valuable and powerful. But let me be very blunt– marriage doesn’t determine your worth. You’re not valued more or less based on your relationship status. In fact, marriage won’t fix your problems; it will only highlight them.
Tommy Nelson, a pastor in Texas put it this way: “Marriage is one sinner marrying another sinner, having sinners.” In marriage, there will absolutely be challenges, conflicts, and responsibilities that singles just won’t have to bear. So, why in the church have we put such unnecessary pressure on singles to settle down and marry?
Unlike every other religion in the world, Christianity is not dependent on getting married and having kids. Jesus’ great commission wasn’t “go and have children,” but rather “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).
Paul put it this way: “If you get married, that’s fine. But if you don’t get married – that’s better (my paraphrase of verse 38).” Why? Because singles don’t have all the responsibilities of a married spouse. You’re less encumbered. And the less encumbered we are with the things of this world, the more we can be wrapped up in the things of God. So, if you’re single, make the most of it – thankfully – for God’s glory.