But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. (1 Corinthians 7:8–9)
Today’s big question: how should I view being single?
Many people think that everyone is supposed to get married and that God has that special someone out there for each one. For some people, God has prepared that special someone, but this isn’t the case for everyone. While some people serve God married, others remain single and enjoy greater freedom to serve the Lord. Let’s briefly explore how you should view singleness.
We need start by looking at some characteristics of marriage. When Jesus was asked about divorce in Mark 10, He replied by quoting from the first two chapters of Genesis. Rather than focusing on divorce, Jesus took them back to Genesis to explain His design for marriage. He showed that marriage was designed to be for one man and one woman for life and that that the husband and wife become one flesh. “Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).
If it is God's will for you to be married, you must realize that marriage is a lifelong commitment. It requires a great deal of hard work as two sinful people learn to meld their lives together in a way that honors the Lord who brought them together. The Bible tells us that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), so a married person must make every effort to have a marriage that glorifies God. Marriage can be a tremendous blessing from God as you have the opportunity to share your life with your spouse and with children, if God so blesses you.
If you are currently single then you need to exercise patience. If God wants for you to marry, you can be assured that He already knows the person you are going to marry. Since He is perfect, His timing is perfect. Although you don’t know how or when God will bring your spouse into your life, you can be content in knowing that He is in control.
But is marriage the only way a person can honor God? Not at all! The Apostle Paul told his unmarried Corinthian readers that it would be better for them to remain as he was—unmarried. He explains that the unmarried person can care “for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:32–33). Single people can focus their attention entirely on the Lord while married people have familial obligations to which they must attend.
Today’s big idea: as long as God is the top priority, both singles and married persons can honor Him with their lives.
What to pray: ask God for contentment whether He has called you to a life of singleness or marriage.