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Marriage vs. Remaining Single Part 1

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August 7th, 2013 | Filed Under: Author, Marriage, Mitch Kuhn, Topical Studies0 Comments | Author:

The Body of Christ has been created to reveal the Glory of God to all of His creation in due time. A part of this manifestation is accomplished through marriage and a part of it through some remaining single. This brief study is going to explain the function of marriage and singleness. I will also discuss how to be content being single, if the Lord grants you this gift.
The world always has everything completely backwards. In most societies today, it is shameful to be single. If you are in your 30s and especially 40s and are not in a serious relationship or married, people start to wonder… what’s wrong with you? Personally, I’m quickly approaching 30 and others are beginning to press me more on this topic.

This is part 1 of 2 By Mitch Kuhn
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You can read the complete study in pdf format: Marriage vs. Remaining Single

The Body of Christ has been created to reveal the Glory of God to all of His creation in due time. A part of this manifestation is accomplished through marriage and a part of it through some remaining single. This brief study is going to explain the function of marriage and singleness. I will also discuss how to be content being single, if the Lord grants you this gift.
The world always has everything completely backwards. In most societies today, it is shameful to be single. If you are in your 30s and especially 40s and are not in a serious relationship or married, people start to wonder… what’s wrong with you? Personally, I’m quickly approaching 30 and others are beginning to press me more on this topic.
Marriage is certainly a wonderful union ordained by God for many; however there is a misconception that it is better to marry that to remain single. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul clearly explains that to remain unmarried is better, if we have the gift of self-control.

1Co 7:37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.
1Co 7:38 So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

Paul also explains that not everyone will have the gift of remaining single, because only God can give self control and contentment.

1Co 7:7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.

So why is singleness preferred?

1Co 7:32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.
1Co 7:33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world— how he may please his wife.
1Co 7:34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.

When you are married, you now have another person to treat as your own flesh. This is a stewardship given by the Lord and it takes a great deal of time and effort. The person who is single has far more time to devote to serving the Lord.

1Co 7:35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

There is another reason:

1Co 7:28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

Talk to anyone who is married, and they will tell you about the trials they encounter, which singles simply do not have to deal with.
God has ordained marriage and has written it in many people’s books to be married. Paul explains that marriage is actually a provision for the weakness of the flesh.

1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1Co 7:2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

1Co 7:36 But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry.

In order to remain single, God has to give the gift of self control. God distributes gifts as he sees fit, and everyone does not get the same gift.
1Co 7:37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.
Paul is a good example of the role a single person plays in the Body of Christ. He wrote the majority of the New Testament, and travelled all over spreading the Gospel and strengthening the Churches. He would not have had this kind of time and freedom if he were married.
Those that are married also serve a particular function within the Body of Christ that a single man cannot perform. One of the qualifications for an elder is to be the husband of one wife. Elders were the overseers of a local Church in the New Testament and set an example for how the Body of Christ was to function through their own family.
The Deacons were ordained as well to help the Elders with the oversight of the Church and were also required to be married.

1Ti 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

1Ti 3:12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

This study will provide more detail: http://tryingthespirits.com/2013-03/bishops-elders-deacons-and-disciples-part-2b/
I encourage everyone who is single to seek the Lord and see if He has given you the gift of self-control to remain single. In my experience, many people never consider that singleness is better and is to be pursued and sought after as a treasure.
Many people see marriage as a solution to loneliness or a lack of purpose in life. They want to get married and have a family to fulfill their life. These needs can be met through the Body of Christ.
The truth is that our physical family is not our true family.

Mat 12:46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.
Mat 12:47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”
Mat 12:48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
Mat 12:49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!
Mat 12:50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

If you are going to remain single, there are certainly going to be trials. In my experience the biggest trials are loneliness and persecution from the world.
To overcome loneliness, we must seek to fill our time with service to the Body of Christ. The Lord has given each of us gifts that he will manifest in due time. I suggest that you review this study by Larry Groenewald and pray for the Lord to show you how to best spend your time in service to the Body of Christ. http://tryingthespirits.com/gifts-ministries-and-operations/
I did a study recently called “Why Am I Significant?”. It talks about how we all have things of the world that we cling to in order to feel valuable or significant. It is possible for someone to have been given the self-control to remain single, but be discontent and even quite miserable because they think that they need to get married and have a family like most people. Our family and friends will often look at us as a failure or strange for not marrying. We need to come to see that we are significant and valuable because God works through us, not because we get married and have a family.
http://tryingthespirits.com/2013-01/why-am-i-significant-part-1/
So how do you know if it is better for you to remain single or to marry? Paul gives us an example of two different men who given the same situation, act very differently. It all comes down to self-control

1Co 7:9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

The first man is acting “uncomely” towards his virgin, which means he is having issues with lust. Verse 36 below is just a more detailed explanation of verse 9.

1Co 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

Why is there a need to marry? Because he’s burning and lacks self control.
Let’s compare him with the second man. This man is steadfast in heart, has not necessity and power over his own will (SELF CONTROL).

1Co 7:37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.

Verse 36 and 37 are contrasting the two men. By saying the second has no necessity and power of his own will, implies that the first lacks self control.

So here is the conclusion from Paul:

1Co 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. The one who marries does well, because he was burning, so it was better to marry than to burn. This is God’s provision to escape temptation.

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

The other man has been given the gift of self control so it is better to remain single and not marry.
Many people say that these men are engaged to these virgins, but I’m not convinced of that by the scriptures. The word for virgin does not mean fiancée; it simply means an unmarried woman in this context. There is a different word for “espoused” that is not used here. It certainly is implied that there is some kind of close relationship with both men and these two women, one does result in marriage and the other does not.
The man that stays single “keeps” his virgin. This means that he is preserving her in the Lord and leading her, yet not marrying her. He is able to do this, because he has control over his will and lust.
The word for “kept” is very interesting.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved (G5083) blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Jn 5:18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps (G5083) himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

Jud 1:1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved (G5083) in Jesus Christ:

The Body of Christ is our new family, and we are to treat them as such. We should be laboring to keep and preserve one another in Christ Jesus. This is all done through the Lord working through us, of course.
One example of this is, men and women behaving as brother and sister. If a man meets a woman that he could potentially marry, but has self-control and does not act inappropriately towards her, it is better to treat her as a sister and remain unmarried.

1Ti 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,
1Ti 5:2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

This concept is completely foreign to people in the world, who only walk after the flesh and regard one another after the flesh. However, if we are full of God’s spirit, we should no longer regard anyone after the flesh.

2Co 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

There are clearly still commands regarding the roles of men and women, and because we are still in bodies of flesh we do need to be careful that we remain above reproach and give no one any cause to condemn us.
With that in mind, it is good that we develop close relationships between members of the body of Christ, of both the same and opposite sex. Again there are certainly boundaries: it’s not wise for married people to be spending a lot of time with single folks of the opposite sex. We should also keep ourselves from any tempting situation and flee evil.
When a man is able to “keep” a virgin and not marry, there is a great spiritual benefit. Those that are not married are able to support and care for one another as brothers and sisters. Most of our physical families will not be walking in the truth in this life, so we have been given a new family. These relationships are used by God to help us remain content and faithful as we are drug down the narrow path to life.
As a type of Christ, our reward is the faithful elect, the saints, the Body of Christ.

Eph 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

As we forsake the world and are made more like Christ, we will start to experience the hundredfold return in the spirit.

Mar 10:29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
Mar 10:30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

The first step to being content and faithful as a single person is to be given the control over our lust. There are still other evil spirits to be overcome if we will truly enter into the hundredfold return. We must come to deeply love and care for the Body of Christ.

Joh 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This also applies to the married folks as well. No one will be fruitful and full of the joy of the spirit if they don’t love the Body of Christ.
I have been tremendously blessed through my relationships with men and women within the body. I can truly say that I have new brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. Having people of the same mind that you can love and be loved by is a real blessing and reward.
I have learned through experience that we must be very careful with these new blessed and pure relationships between spiritual brothers and sisters. It is quite easy to eat this strong meat in front of others who are weak and cause them to stumble.

Click here for part 2 of 2

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