Read: 1 Corinthians 7:25-39
Those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. (v. 28)
I read an interview with a celebrity in TIME magazine (May 30, 2016) speaking about being single. What she said actually echoed Paul’s view in 1 Corinthians. She said, “I respectfully reserve a table for one in the restaurant of life . . . ‘They’—the married people—want me to join their happy kingdom where about 50% of first marriages and even more second marriages end up in the divorce incinerator. It’s not just okay to be single . . . it’s wonderful to be single, and society needs to embrace singlehood in all its splendiferous, solitary glory.”
I think Paul agrees. We tend not to pay much attention to the call to singleness in 1 Corinthians 7. Paul is telling us here that marriage is difficult, and he’d prefer we were focused on “how to please the Lord” (v. 32). Unfortunately, “the married man is anxious about worldly things, [like] how to please his wife” (v. 33). (My wife isn’t going to like this, but it’s in the Bible, dear.)
We in the church are a long way from embracing singlehood in all its splendiferous glory. Not only that, but we also create expectations for marriage that humans cannot achieve. The space between reality and expectation, for single people and for married people, can be filled with loneliness. The time has come for the church to lead the way in declaring that our identities come through Jesus Christ, regardless of our marital status. —Jeff Munroe
Prayer: Lord, may your church celebrate all people.