Both married people and single people need to understand what the Bible says about singleness. If married people don’t understand the Bible’s teaching on singleness, it probably means they haven’t understood the Bible’s teaching on marriage.
Both marriage and singleness testify to the gospel.
If they are seeing singleness as being second-best, irresponsible, unspiritual, or lazy, that’s a sign they’ve not understood marriage properly because by implication they’re thinking marriage is more spiritual. They’re thinking that it is more spiritually grown-up to be married than to be single, and that marriage is somehow an intrinsic part of Christian discipleship.
All of those things actually are unbiblical ways of viewing marriage. Part of the reason we need to understand singleness in a biblical way is that it will help us understand marriage in a biblical way, as well.
The Ultimate Goal
The ways we misunderstand singleness reflects the fact that we’re looking to marriage in unbiblical and unhealthy ways. Both marriage and singleness testify to the gospel. Marriage shows us the shape of the gospel in that it models the covenant promises that God has made to us in Christ. Singleness shows us the sufficiency of the gospel because it shows us the reality of what marriage points to—which is our own relationship with Jesus.
That is the real marriage. That is the ultimate goal for all of us. Singleness is a way of saying that because I’ve got the reality, I don’t need the signpost, I don’t need the model of it. So if we if we’re not honoring singleness rightly, it means we’re not, by the same token, honoring marriage rightly—or the ultimate marriage that both of them are meant to point to.
- The Best Marriage Ever (Nancy Guthrie)
- Infographic: What's Your Take on Singleness, Dating, and Marriage?
- Marriage: A 7-Day Reading Plan