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Should I marry or stay single?
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You can’t ask that! You’re only allowed to ask easy questions. Just kidding.


Actually the Bible offers some excellent counsel on this question.


Let’s start with the original plan. At the beginning of the Bible, we read that God designed human beings as male and female and that men and women were to connect with each other in a relationship that was so close and deep that they said to “become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. Jesus confirmed this and warned against those who would separate husband and wife because God had united them. Matthew 19:4-6.


So God’s general plan for people is that they marry. Great leaders in the Bible were married: Moses, Peter and the other apostles (Exodus 2:21; 1 Corinthians 9:5). However, there are some individuals that God calls to live a single life.  He told the prophet Jeremiah to remain single (Jeremiah 16:2). Jesus and Paul were both single throughout their ministry.


So should you marry? For most followers of Jesus the answer is YES! But how do you know if you are part of the “most” or if you are one of the exceptions?


First, pay attention to God’s ideal for marriage: one flesh. God intends that in marriage husband and wife share together deeply spiritually, physically, emotionally. If you are thinking of marrying someone who does not share you relationship with God, your marriage will always be hindered. You may be able to make it work, but you won’t be able to experience the deep spiritual and emotional intimacy that God intends for marriage (and that nearly every human wants). Paul wrote that we “should not be unequally yoked to unbelievers.”  (2 Corinthians 6:14). This statement highlights that followers of Jesus have different priorities, different values from other people. Any real partnership calls for unity in just these kinds of things.


Loneliness and romance can blind us, so if you are thinking about marriage, consult with others who know you well and care for you. That may include your parents, mature friends, your pastor.


And go slow in sharing affection physically. The more intimate you are physically, the harder it will be for you to pay attention to the spiritual, emotional and rational aspects of your relationship. You may think that living together will help you figure out if you are compatible. It doesn’t work. Eighty percent of marriages fail if the couple lives together before marriage. Waiting for sexual union until after marriage will help you experience God’s ideal of a happy, lasting marriage.

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Copyright © 2013. Written by John McLarty, Federal Way, WA.