Topic of Discussion: Holiness vs. Marriage? (Is It Possible?)

This just posted on facebook as a result of much meditation on 1 Corinthians 7 -

So question for all my single/unmarried/dating/engage​d friends out there: Would you opt to stay single if you knew that it would bring more holiness in your life to wait?


I shall post the results for this soon, along with my possibly radical perspective of what I believe the Bible says about one of the single-most priotized desires of humanity - marriage.

You can now find that response here.




Conversation Progression:

Jeff C. -  To wait till when?

Sarah Faith -  well, according to 1 Corinthians 7 - to wait until you couldn't control your desires for someone anymore. In accordance with the scriptures then, you should get married so you don't succumb to temptation. And I'm not saying, "wait until y...ou guys can bearly keep your clothes on while making out. THEN MARRY FAST. " I mean - wait until you know that you can't wait anymore or - (depending on how your relationship with God is about timing) - until God gives you the go ahead. HOWEVER - my question takes into concideration that you may have already GOTTEN the go ahead by God about who you should pursue. What I'M suggesting is actually making a decision that you're not REQUIRED to make - but COULD. And WOULD you? This is the idea my question is meant to propose.

Anonymous girlfrien d  - I wouldn't opt out of something God has given to you. If God has been convicting you that your current relationship is not honoring to Him and you are staying in it simply because you're afraid of being single. Then you may need to be single for a period of time so God can work on the issue of you being fearful, and through that you will better reflect His holiness in your life. On the flip-side, if you have trouble with desire, you should be married. But it's a personal thing - if you're body doesn't burn with passion then it will be easier for you to wait longer before getting married. If God makes it clear to you to wait, He will back you up with the grace to persevere through it. Search your heart, listen for God's direction in your life personally.

Anna Joy -
I know whatcha mean Sarah :), and though it's not a flippant "ohh I choose this" if I knew that was the greater choice for my pursuit I think I would make that choice..and like carrying your cross, it'd have to be an everyday decision. Did ...you know right before Hannah & Jared got married..She made the choice to give everything up for God even though her wedding was two weeks away, and after her heart made that decision God told her to go and marry Jared and He would bless them. :)
FayFay -  I'd like to take this opportunity to point out singleness is referred to as a "gift" from God, in that same book I believe. We are not all given this gift. It seems to me that instead of asking, should I choose this, we should ask, did God choose this for us? Because ultimately, we are all called to the sort of purity you described. Singleness is similar to a call to preisthood, I feel.
Sarah Faith:  Hannah  and Jared's story is a beautiful one, that is for sure, Anna! And I'm not necesarely talking about the gift of singleness but the choice to wait (not forever, rather postpone if you will) on a desire fulfilled as it presents itself, if you KNEW it meant greater holiness in your life. :)
Ben B. 
I agree with Fay on this one... being single is a great gift. I feel like the question itself almost implies that marriage is to be preferred, which I guess is what you feel like our culture (both in the church and out) encourages. As mentioned, though, the Bible seems to say otherwise.

The answer, I think, is to stay in the present. I'd like to be married someday, but right now I prefer singleness. I feel like it's a gift I won't have forever so I need to make good use of it! In any case, though, my call is not to worry about how that transition will be made, but instead to give God glory in the position in which I find myself. The way I see it, holiness produces the decision, not vice versa.

For me, I feel like I'm just finally learning how to really honor God as a single man... so if He wants me to do something else, it should produce a whole bunch of new ways for me to bring Him glory! Every step (singlness, dating, engagement, marriage)is a new chance for that if it's about what he's doing, not what we're doing.

If we really offer everything to him, I don't think there will necessarily be a "holier" choice, but all of it can work together for our good as we love God. Nothing offered to God is wasted.

Rebecka -Question for Sarah: Which matters most? Your happiness or holiness? If knowing something will make you more like Christ than another choice,is it then disobedience if you choose a path that makes you less Christ-like? The sin of omission... knowing good that we ought to do and not doing it.


Jeff If you are truly not happy doing something should you really do it? Even if it is holy. Would God want you to if it wasn't in your heart?

Anna-  God changes our want to's..I think we'd be happy to make that choice if it was a true desire in our heart.

4 comments:

  1. Recall, though, that Paul clearly states that this is a desire that he has for people, and not necessarily a command from God. This segment of scripture is simply Paul's opinion on such matters.

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  2. well of course. I'm using what Paul says to set up my question with definition. I am not stating that there's only one absolute answer - because there IS no wrong answer. I am merely asking what people's response would be. But there's a radical suggestion FROM Paul - and thats the kind of mindset I want to look at today.

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  3. I agree with Fay on this one... being single is a great gift. I feel like the question itself almost implies that marriage is to be preferred, which I guess is what you feel like our culture (both in the church and out) encourages. As mentioned, though, the Bible seems to say otherwise.

    The answer, I think, is to stay in the present. I'd like to be married someday, but right now I prefer singleness. I feel like it's a gift I won't have forever so I need to make good use of it! In any case, though, my call is not to worry about how that transition will be made, but instead to give God glory in the position in which I find myself. The way I see it, holiness produces the decision, not vice versa.

    For me, I feel like I'm just finally learning how to really honor God as a single man... so if He wants me to do something else, it should produce a whole bunch of new ways for me to bring Him glory! Every step (singlness, dating, engagement, marriage)is a new chance for that if it's about what he's doing, not what we're doing.

    If we really offer everything to him, I don't think there will necessarily be a "holier" choice, but all of it can work together for our good as we love God. Nothing offered to God is wasted.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I couldn't resist puting in my 2 cents into this subject, because as of late this has come up multiple times in my life!

    I joined a group of guys who started a "single guys fellowship" where one of the founders disclosed his thoughts on 1 Cor 7. He was talking about how the church always puts emphasis and prayer into marital relationships and forgets all of the single people. The purpose of the group was to get together and support each other - fair enough, it can get lonely. However, my concern rose throughout the meeting as to whether or not we're taking our own psychology, prejudices and experiences into these passages.

    I know of a guy who went through a rough break-up, then he read these passages about being single being better and kept on stating stubbornly that he didn't want to date anyone or marry...and now he's dating a non-christian! At the end of the day you see how he took his emotional situation and made scripture apply to his situation? Is that what Paul meant?

    You notice that much of these passages talk about "live as you are called." Were the Corinthians asking: "Some of us aren't married, what do we do?" Paul gave them advice on their current position. Do we really need to over-spiritualise all of this? Neither one nor the other is better, live as you are called.

    Are you married? Stay married. Are you single, then be single! My current condition is that I am single, ok good! I personally haven't met anyone I'm attracted to and I just accept that that is where God has me now, no need to spiritualise it.

    What matters is that we're following Christ and I think that's the point. He is coming back soon, and we're told to still see to the mundane. If you get married, you have worldly troubles...fair enough. Marriage is also sanctifying. If you're single, then you can serve God because you have time and you're without those additional worries.

    Live as you are called!

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:15