Why are you not married?

It seems it is couples season. There are a lot of relationship seminars in town. I see the flyers everywhere and on radio programs. I spoke to a friend during the week. And he told me how happy he was that he was going to one of such programs.

‘It is a singles seminar.” he told me bashfully. “You know what that means? A lot of ladies are single and are coming for one purpose.” he winks. “It is the best place for a single guy to go to.”

This would probably add to the pressures of being single in this society. As if the kindly old woman who would nosily ask you, “So when are you getting married?” or the constant badgering of family and friends as to why at least you are not dating, is not enough. They say marriage is tough, but being single is a lonely life filled with harassment and badgering.  This helps to fuel the appetite for these summits and conferences.

I have quite honestly not been to any one of these, therefore I do not know and cannot speak into the content of these summits. I am not criticizing these summits. It is just an indicator as to what the culture thinks of marriage. I am more concerned about the societal status given to marriage and the lower status given to the single among us. It is not just the culture,  as individuals we crave companionship. Everyone at one point or the other, one time or the other, has thought about companionship and craved to have someone in our lives. Relationships we say are the bedrock of society. It is almost as if the craving for companionship is hardwired in us. The reason why isolation could be the cruelest punishment given to anyone is because we are social beings. Evolutionary biologist would say we have evolved into that habit.

The Bible says that in the beginning God created the heaven and earth and He saw that all He had created was good, it was very Good, Genesis 1:31.The only thing that was not good was a lonely man. And hence enters the helper. Note man’s reaction it is one of great joy.

“This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”  Genesis 2:23.

In Genesis 2:25, Marriage is declared, there is separation, unification, and consummation. The relationship is perfect with trust. As illustrated by the nudity with no shame. This is a perfect relationship. A relationship established by God and enjoyed by man in the presence of God. This is so because we are created like God (Genesis 1:26); a God that has enjoyed a perfect relationship since from before time; the relationship of the Trinity.

Surely that points out why we are so relationship crazy. Everyone should be in a relationship. But the picture above is a very perfect situation. You have probably been around long enough know things aren’t that perfect. The reason why things are not the same is because Genesis 3 happens. There is a sort of coup d’ etat against God. God’s abundance and good work is treated with disdain and cast away. The relationship between God and man is fractured, along with that is the relationship between man and woman (Genesis 3:6).

The most important question would be the function of relationship or marriage in our society. What does it mean? Is marriage a sort of high stool or crown that becomes the goal of every individual? What happens if you don’t get married? Well the Bible talks about marriage in the shadow of our relationship with God. Marriage points us to a greater more fulfilling relationship. In Ephesians 5:21-33, when Paul speaks about marriage, there is a direct correlation between the relationship between a man and a woman to that between Jesus Christ and the church. The man is to love the church like Christ loved the church even to the point of death. The submission mentioned in verses 24 points to a loving relationship not one to be abused. The man has the responsibility to make sure that they love their wives as their own bodies. Bringing no harm to them. And the holiness of the wife is also the responsibility of the husband; verses 27. Verse 31 quotes the proclamation on marriage from Genesis 2:24. We are in an everlasting relationship that is more important than the physical one we crave. It is growth in that relationship that would determine how our other relationships go. The cravings that we have for a relationship act as a sign board pointing us to a greater relationship. The relationship between God and the church; God and I; God and you. Our desire reminds us that we are social beings and are created for a close and intimate relationship with God. A very personal and relational God. Not a distant God or a God we need rituals and customs to get to. But one that came down in flesh to die so he can be that close to you and me.

What is there to be said about those of use who are single in this marriage happy culture? Does the fact that we are single make us defective in some way?

In 1 Corinthians 7, the Bible talks about relationship status and being Christian. I know a lot of people that are slightly disappointed in that part of scripture. Some friends claim Paul is too laissez faire on the matter and some just presume he is just discouraging on the matter. In 1 Corinthians 7:7, Paul says I wish everyone was like me, but each one has his own gift. I wonder if we see singleness as a gift. Especially if we are considered to be of marrying age or even beyond it. I don’t think our society treats singleness as a gift. It is often treated with disappointment and quite honestly with disrespect.

Do you see singleness as much a gift as marriage? For every one of us, whether we are in a relationship or not, our status is seen in the Bible as a gift. The place in life in which we find ourselves has been assigned to us (1 Corinthians 7:17). The goal has always been and will always be to grow in the relationship of our God and savior. The most important relationship you have is your relationship with God. Hence every other relationship you have or go into serves the purpose of glorifying God or ushering you into a better relationship with God. You see the Bible is not quick to compare one to the other or to say marriage is a bigger blessing because that is not the goal. Even marriage itself is but a sign an illustration of a marriage sealed by blood: one we have with God. If that is your stance then the question will not be so much why you are not married. But rather is your status leading you towards God? How well are you using your status for Christ? Your marriage decisions, like who to meet, where to meet,  how to grab,when to marry and who to marry are all viewed in the umbrella of Gods relationship.

If you are single like me, then know that our desires are right and good. But they are not an end in themselves. They point us to something greater. Something more fulfilling. I will continue to pray for a wife, a family. A family that I can love, because that is good and right and Godly. But I know that it will lead me to a more everlasting relationship. I won’t be in a hurry to change, but rather, no matter my status my first and foremost priority will be to grow in Christ. To get to know his will. I wonder whether in all these single seminars and relationship counseling sessions the center of relationship is Christ. I know most have heavily Christian overtones. But I wonder if we are taught to be content in Godliness 1 Timothy 6:7.

I am indeed single now and do not intend to remain single for the rest of my life. But If I am to be a Godly husband, the best thing I can do right now is to seek the number one relationship. It is to grow in Christ so that no matter my status, God is glorified. I wonder if our society understands this. I think if we did we wouldn’t put singles under so much pressure (aside the internal pressure we feel). I think if we did we would support them and help them grow.

Let all our relationships and the ones we don’t have lead us to Christ.

Living for Christ

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. Nice piece….whatever you do, do as unto the Lord….Single, Attached, Married, live as unto Christ…God bless you

  2. ”if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:8. Indeed whether we are singles or married it must all be unto the Lord. Thanks so much bro for this insightful exposition. God bless you.

  3. Marraige is from God and at the right time He blesses us with it.i particular dont see anything wrong when one is not married probabily its not his or her time yet

  4. Marraige is given to us by God and at the right time He blesses us with it, actually i dont see anything wrong if one, because its a matter of time and any way not every one is destined to marry

    1. Thanks Yaa, but remember the most important thing is what are you doing with your gift/status. Whilst you wait for the right time. Your singleness is a gift that must be used to serve God.

  5. Amen, brother 😀
    Our culture (and often our church culture) seems to suggest that singleness is just the awkward waiting room we arb around in before we get married. But it is a gift-both in the sense that its a time we need special grace in (just as we need extra help from God in being content in our marriage). But more than that it is a gift because its a time we can be far more liberal with our time and focus on serving others in a way that married couples can’t. (I would imagine it becomes even more of a juggle once kids enter the equation). I was really convicted by this as a single person and tried to use my time well but I wish I had used it better!

  6. I pray a heart felt prayer for all the singles in the body of Christ today, that this same mind and understanding be in us…..causing us to do exploits in the kingdom of our father. For a time cometh when we shall say we have no delight in these things-why? …..cos we have grown weak and our sight so dull we can hardly see.

  7. May the Lord richly bless you for your godly attitude to marriage, and your willingness to follow God’s will in this area of your life. I am in full support of believers who approach marriage very seriously, and only as led by the Lord. If this is what the future holds for you, then I have no dobt that God will bless you as you seek to do his will, even in this area. If not, know that you are and will be a blessing to others and that keeping your eyes fixed on our precious Saviour will make the sacrifice worthwhile, as it did for Paul.

    Throughout my life I have been blessed with many godly single adults in my life, both men and women. They were and are as precious to me as any aunt or uncle, and were safe people who helped me grow spiritually and were lots of fun too. I moved to my new church 10 months ago, and it is some of the older single members who have reached out to me the quickest and with great Christian love. I enjoy drawing on their wisdom, hearing their interesting experiences and learning from the fine example they set through the strength of their faith, their love of the Scriptures, and their relationship with Christ.

    As for marriage, I married young at a time of great rebellion against God. My husband, who is not a believer, moved out from our home nearly two years ago. My return in recent years to the narrow path of faith in Christ was a big factor in our separation. I continue to pray for his salvation and the resoration of our family. Many people can’t understand why I wait patiently, but it is what I feel called to do. Through my own hardships in marriage I now appreciate Paul’s views on marriage in a way I never did before.

    As I submit my life to Christ, I can finally understand submitting to a godly husband and the huge responsibility of a husband and shepherd of the flock. Marriage is serious business. Being a pastor is serious business, There are marriages that honour God, and point to Christ and his relationship with the church, and then there are most marriages…same goes for pastors. Keep walking the narrow path, whichever role you are in!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s