To marry or not to marry?

Does the Bible promote celibacy?

When I was younger I was told by my Bible school superintendent not to marry and serve the Lord.

He quoted this verse.

1 Corinthians 7:28

But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

“Worldly troubles”.

I want us to see what this passage is about in its context.

1 Corinthians 7:26

I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.

I want us to see the words “present crisis” and read the same together with this verse.

1 Corinthians 7:31

and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

“The world in the present form is passing away.”

This is about AD70. That’s the present crisis. It’s about the destruction of Jerusalem. The world under Moses.

That’s why they are to avoid marriage. That’s the “worldly troubles” they were going to go through.

The Bible does not promote celibacy. It tells you to “be fruitful and multiply.” 🤗

Thank God I didn’t listen that load of garbage.

2 Comments

  1. What about Jesus’s admission that it was better not to marry?

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Note that there is NO condemnation of those who cannot accept it, but that Jesus still acknowledged the truth. Divorce(the context of the statement) isn’t somehow made okay through grace, either-rather, God has said that He hates divorce. Jesus explained that the law can be summed up by the commands to love God and to love others as yourself, and doing something God hates is certainly wrong no matter what-law, no law, simplified law, grace, what have you.

    Paul also wrote that it IS GOOD to be married-but BETTER not to be married.

    It’s clear, I think, that the takeaway is that there’s nothing wrong with getting married, but that it’s even better to stay single. Jesus implied that there’s nothing wrong with being unable to accept that, but that “There are some who live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” Meaning that doing so is certainly for the kingdom of God-in other words, that although it is DEFINITELY not wrong to marry, one can do even better by staying unmarried (if they would not “burn with passion” as Paul warned about).

    Your superintendent was certainly wrong to tell you not to marry, as both Jesus and Paul left it up to the individual, but one option is better, for those who can accept it and are not in danger of burning with passion.

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