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Protracted Singleness

1 Corinthians 7:32,33,38 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided … If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancée, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancée, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

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Protracted Singleness


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I remember as a single man in the church being made to feel inferior, being left out of social events because I didn’t have a wife. I knew there was something wrong with that, but at the time I just didn’t quite know what it was.

In most so-called “developed countries”, 28 percent seems to be a pretty standard figure for the percentage of households that contain only one person. That’s staggering. And even in more family–oriented places like Asia, the number of single person households is on the rise.

I know many people, Christians especially, who look down their noses at singleness, as though there must be something wrong with the person who is single all their life. But have a read to what the Apostle Paul, who was single, wrote about singleness:

1 Corinthians 7:32, 33, 38 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided … If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancée, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancée, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

So, as it turns out, in the Bible singleness is the higher calling, while marriage is a concession. So if you’re single, stop feeling inferior. And if you’re married, stop making them feel inferior.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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