Each day the maiden gazes down the road for Prince Charming. So far all that's come is a toad, a turtle, and a chicken who won't lay eggs. She returns to her tower and repeats the waiting process for another 365 days. Waiting polishes patience into a shimmery gold, but who waits for something that might not be coming?
No one knows who or what will come tomorrow (James 4:13-15, Ecclesiastes 8:7). Has God said, "I am preparing a husband for you?"
A knight in shining armor riding a white horse, is every girl's dream. But let's face it, Prince Charming usually ends up being a peasant riding a donkey. I've noticed conservative Christians have a habit of overestimating marriage, training their daughters from childhood to be a mother. Then when Prince Charming takes his time, the girls become so desperate that they mistake a beggar for the prince. However, the world undervalues marriage. Divorces are as common as weddings, and the world thinks it's fine for a man and a woman to live together without saying their vows.
But both circles overrate romantic relationships. A person isn't considered complete until they have a love interest. How often has a friend, coworker, or relative asked, "Been on a date yet?" "People in society and even the church can be insensitive, condescending, and rude toward those who are single by assuming something is wrong with them or they are desperate to get married." (John MacArthur, Divine Design, page 107) Unfortunately people are quicker to play Cupid than solitaire.
"But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband." (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
Singleness is a gift (v. 7), not a curse. Singleness has as many (if not more) advantages than marriage. Everyone has worries, but when you are married, those worries multiply like tribbles. The celibate are "free from concern" whereas the married have their "interests divided." The hardworking mother has meals to cook, a house to clean, laundry to do, and Tommy just threw a banana at his sister's face. She has too many things to do, not enough time, too many bills, not enough money.
Furthermore, single people don't have anybody competing with their love for God. It's all very fine to make your husband comfortable; making his favorite dishes, dressing attractively, watching television together, etc., as long as you remember it is more important to please God. Marriage is so demanding, making it easy to forget to put God first. The single Christian has no one to please but God. Marriage is not evil, anymore than icing makes a cake taste bad. But there are lots of cakes without icing that taste just as delicious, and sometimes better. "But if you marry, you have not sinned" (v. 28).
Marriage is overflowing with blessings. Married people are rarely lonely and have the opportunity to raise godly offspring. After all, we single people wouldn't exist if it wasn't for our parents' marriage. "Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you" (v. 28). Marriage isn't all sugar and singleness isn't all salt. Both lifestyles have their pros and cons. It is Paul's opinion that a single woman will be "happier if she remains as she is" (v. 40) and that "it is good for them if they remain even as I" (v. 8).
The unmarried can devote more time and effort to their job, friends, and family. The greatest benefit is the extra time they can spend with God. Their prayers and Bible reading lack the distractions of marriage. If someone needs help, they can give it without worrying about neglecting their own family's needs. Because of their singleness, they have the unique opportunity to serve God more exclusively.
The main drawback of the celibate is loneliness. "But you can be single and not be alone. You can have friends, and God will bring people into your life to fulfill your need for companionship. Singleness before Him is a good, honorable, and excellent state" (ibid., page 107). As introvert, I don't have a lot of friends, but I have enough to dissolve the clouds of loneliness. And God has blessed me with a family that will always be there for me, even when my friends have abandoned me.
I honestly believe with Paul that "he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better" (1 Corinthians 7:38).
Mariposa is a self-taught artist and aspiring children's author who captures the glories of God's creation on paper. She has a Ph.D. in creativity and a master's degree in imagination.
Aberdeen is a book-eating, ink-drinking dinosaur from the createtus period. When he isn't falling into plot holes or taking cover from the volcano of ideas, he's hanging out with Dee-Dee the doodledactyl. Read full bio