A New Room in My House

September 14, 2011

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

Those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

The unmarried…is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

So then he who marries…does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

(1 Corinthians 7:8, 28, 32, 35, 38)

With all the needed emphasis on marriage in our day, we may be in danger of overlooking another good gift from God: intentional singleness for the sake of Christ.  I’ve nodded at this gift in the past and quickly moved on; my sense is that most of us have done the same.  But surely this option should be held out to the unmarried in our churches.  It should be spoken of in our pulpits and classrooms and around our kitchen tables.  It should be commended as a God-glorifying possibility to be weighed carefully by anyone who is unmarried.

In pondering intentional singleness in 1 Corinthians 7, it feels like God has broken open the side of my doctrinal house and added a new room.  More square footage, more windows, more space to move, more sunlight to give warmth — I’m certain the Lord actually means for some people to enter and enjoy.