22 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Married (Or At Least Delay Doing So), Part 5
22. You can serve or live for Christ better as a single person. This is my own number one reason for not being married.
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7,
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” (New Living Translation)Now I do believe that for some folks in ministry, being married has an advantage –I don’t believe that I, as a single woman, would be taken credibly if I were to teach a class on marital life to group of young married couples, for example. I do have flexibility in my schedule that has allowed me to takes weeks off to spend at camp with youth and children; I don’t have a husband to ask if it’s okay if I spend every night out this week at church either. I am also not tempted to trust in a spouse to supply needs that only God should be supplying (on the other hand, my temptation is to rely on me instead). My guess is that I probably wouldn’t be a very faithful and devoted Christian since I tend to be somewhat single-minded in my attention; unless my husband would really hold my feet to the fire spiritually, I would find it easier to rationalize away Christian commitment as taking away from “family time”.
OK, so I’m done for now with my list of reasons not to get married. A friend who reads my blog said this in an email, “That was way too easy … there are as many reasons not to get married as there are dysfunctional people. Can you name as many reasons "to" get married?” I told her that since people seem to be constantly running headlong into marriage, the ones considering it already have theirs –they could probably list dozens of “why to’s.” I have nothing against people getting married if they are healthy, mature, prudent men and women who love God and each other, and have decided to make a lifetime commitment, as best friends, to build and strengthen one another. They are couples who really know what it means to be a family and the Christian community is enriched by their relationship. However with divorce rates in the Church approaching (even sometimes exceeding) those in the secular world, someone needs to ask why are we so quick to get married and see marriage alone as the source of human fulfillment. Hopefully, these postings might cause someone getting married for all the wrong reasons to reconsider and postpone until those “reasons” reflect the deliberations of wise adults. It might also give encouragement to the single who feels the tug of war between the single life and living up to societal expectations to get married.
Now, I’m ready for the comments!