Marriage is not the responsibility of every Christian

Christians ought to have a high opinion of marriage. Marriage is a good thing, created by God so that people would not have to be alone, and so that they could learn and practice love more intimately. Marriage is symbolic of the relationship between God and the church. There is much that a person can learn about God’s love for us from being married.

However, the Bible tells us that marriage is not for every Christian. The Apostle, after telling us that marriage is permissible and honorable, reminds us that not all are called to be married.

I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (I Corinthians 7:6-7 NIV)

When Paul tells the church at Corinth that it is morally acceptable to be married and have sex (within marriage), he is saying it as a concession, and not as a command. The Bible does not directly command people to be married. From a personal viewpoint, he wishes that all of you were as I am, that is, single. The Apostle Paul was single and he loved it. He was able to minister to God’s people much more directly because he did not have to take care of a wife. From his personal viewpoint, perhaps, more evangelism and ministry in the church would get done if there were more single people. nevertheless, Paul realizes that not all have the same calling, for each of you has your own gift of God; one has this gift, another has that. God Himself has purposefully made us different in this respect. Some of us have the gift of marriage, some the gift of singleness.

Sadly, I think some Christian families have trouble realizing this, particularly as it relates to their daughters. Some Christians raise their daughters in such a way as to equip them only for marriage and nothing else. I agree that it is generally good to train young women up to be mothers, but one cannot naturally assume that it is God’s will for each of them to be married. Therefore, I personally think it is OK for women to go to college and pursue other interests. I do not think it is usually very good for a young woman who has not yet found a husband to sit at home and survive off of her parent’s income until she is 30 or older. I just don’t think that is healthy. That is my personal opinion. Parents need to be open to the fact that not every boy or girl is going to be married, and that’s alright.

 

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One Response to Marriage is not the responsibility of every Christian

  1. The Radical One says:

    Not everyone will get married but we as a society need to return to seeing marriage as being an instutution where men protect and provide for women. I believe a woman’s father should be responsible for her support until she does marry. Single women have never been prohibited from having careers and they still shouldn’t be. The ancient practice of the father giving away his daughter when she marries is symbolic of male guardianship of women. Where once she depended upon her father for support and protection, now her husband assumes such role for her. Especially in America it is our cultural tradition that men are chivalrous to women and protect and provide for them. There is nothing wrong with a woman being supported by her father (it should be her father not “parents” realistically as her father should be supporting her mother) until she is 30 or so if she has not married. In the past, before feminism a father could be liable to support his daughters for life and his sons until adulthood when they were expected to be men and provide for themselves.

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