What about Marriage?

Jeff Munroe

Read: 1 Corinthians 7:1-10

It is good for them to remain single, as I am. (v. 8)

Do you sometimes think that everyone should get married, or that marriage is the ultimate solution for loneliness?

It certainly feels that way in the church. We expect people to find a spouse. We ask well-meaning questions of late adolescents and young adults, wondering if they are dating and if they’ve found that special someone. I confess that I do this not only with the children of friends, but with my own children. I want them to live fulfilled lives, and part of a fulfilled life in my mind is being married (and having children as well).

But the Bible doesn’t say that is necessarily true for everyone. Yes, there are those verses in Genesis about a man leaving his father and mother, but there is a much longer section of Scripture from the apostle Paul where he calls marriage a concession to our lustful desires and extolls the virtues of being single. There is no question that celibacy is not for most. It is a spiritual gift that requires unusual maturity. Yet that’s how Paul wishes more of us could live.

Paul challenges many of our preconceived ideas. He’s extolling a theology of personhood where each person is complete before the Lord in himself or herself. Do you remember that movie some years ago, Jerry Maguire, that had the popular line, “You complete me”? Paul would only say that’s totally true of Jesus. We don’t become complete because of who we date or marry; we are complete because of Jesus Christ. —Jeff Munroe

Prayer: Give us wisdom about marriage.