Statistics tell us that 37% of adults over 18 are single. During the average persons life a significant portion of their life will be spent as a single÷typically the first 25 years of life is spent as a single and perhaps for the last 10-15 of their lives.
In spite of this many people take a dim view of those who are single: holding up marriage as an ideal.
The reasons for a person being single can be exceedingly complex.
For instance some are single for the following reasons:
1. Like their independence
2. Shyness 3. Caring for aging parents 4. Consider selves to old for marriage
5. Career is their priority 6. A past divorce
7. The marriages of those around me donât look that great
8. The death of a spouse
9. I donât have enough money on hand to pursue a potential spouse
10. Basically selfish person and my singleness enable me to look after my own happiness
11. This is Godâs will for my life
12. My singleness has freed me up for certain kinds of Christian service
As you and I consider the scriptures this morning, we are going to consider some scriptural reasons for remaining single.
The Bible speaks highly of marriage and just as highly of a person remaining single and unmarried.
An error of many parents is to push their kids towards marriage; whether it be by downgrading people who are not married or by continually pushing them to produce grandchildren for them.
Every Christian parent needs to teach their children about the benefits of being married and of the benefits of beingsingle. I propose to you that every Christian parent needs to make the case to their children regarding their being single, just as strongly as they would make the case for their being married.
I Corinthians 7 is the biggest text in the scriptures that concerns the topic of singleness. LETS READ THIS TEXT TOGETHER
Todayâs discussion of ch. 7 will not so much consist of an exhaustive study of any one phrase or verse. Instead, we are going to survey together the principles that come from this text regarding singleness.
A number of years before the writing of this chapter, the apostle Paul had spent 1.5 years founding the church of Corinth. He in a way was a spiritual father to them, yet for him they had at times precious little respect. It seems that they often contested his instructions to them in respect to how a follower of Jesus Christ is supposed to live. Hence at times in the books of Corinthians Paul is quite blunt and forceful.
We have this chapter and a number of other similar ones because the Corinthian church had a great problem in the area of relationships and sex. The city of Corinth was known for its immorality and for the temple of Aphrodite÷with its 1000 temple prostitutes who plied the streets at night. Because of all their problems in the area of sex and relationships Paul spent much time writing to them regarding the topic.
As you and I consider the text today we must understand very clearly that Paul is not against marriage. He is pro marriage as a simple reading of the text would indicate. However our focus is going to consider what he has to say about being single.
1. SINGLENESS IS A GOOD STATE TO BE IN
-repeatedly Paul makes this point
Note v.1 "It is good for a man not to marry"
Note v.8 "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am"
Note v.25-26 as he addresses virgins "I think that it is good for you to remain as you are"
For something to be good it means that there is something favorable and attractive to it. There is value in being single.
Shortly we are going to considers reasons for why singleness is a good state to be in, but first consider how many negative messages in life you have heard regarding the state of singleness. This principle contradicts them all: Singleness is a good state to be in. God loves and blesses singles.
2. THOSE WHO ARE MARRIED ARE NOT TO LIVE AS SINGLES v.1-7
Celibacy: not involving oneself sexually with another person is to be the mark of every non married or singleperson.
Married couples are not be to celibate, except for short periods of time where both parties have agreed to refrain for matters of intense prayer.
In the Corinthian church there was a group of marriedâs who thought themselves more spiritual if they refrained from sexual relations with their spouses.
Their minds and understanding of scripture had become quite twisted. From the teachings of Jesus they had learned that in Heaven there will be no more marriage or giving in marriage. So one of their goals became to try to have relationships that would match relationships in Heaven: so some stopped behaving as married couples ought to.