Married vs. Staying Single

Signpost in blue sky with fluffy white cloudsAre you called to be married? In American culture, most people assume that they need to marry. Most don’t consider staying single as a valid choice. A few years ago I had a chat with a beautiful lady that was totally satisfied and content with being single. As we talked, the topic of my book came up. I told her I was writing a book about preparing yourself for marriage. She was very interested in hearing about it. She actually told me that she was open to the idea to get married, but that she hadn’t found the right person in her life. She shared about how her faith and love for God had been sufficient. Having the freedom to go anywhere in the world to minister was something she cherished. We talked about her calling to minister the love of God around the world.

Many single people I know are in this position of freedom too. There are many benefits to not being married and people should seriously consider if they have been called to be married as marriage can bring a whole set of challenges to a couple.

In 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 The apostle Paul says,

“Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others. I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me. But if they can’t manage their desires and emotions, they should by all means go ahead and get married. The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.”

Many men and women are not called to be married. Some don’t have the desire to get married and some haven’t found the person. Being single is a calling just as being married is. The worst thing that can happen to someone is to realize after they got married that marriage wasn’t for them.

I was a teenager when I clearly knew that I wanted to get married. I love children and I wanted to have my own! When I was around 14 or 15 years old, I went to an all girls catholic school. I think the nuns really liked me. Maybe it was the fact that I did really well in my religion classes. I don’t know what it was, but one day they invited me to visit their home. They asked me to consider the lifestyle of being a nun. I always had a deep love for God even though at that age, I thought God was far from me. Even then, I knew in my heart that I wanted to get married and have kids. Living a life as a nun was not God’s will for my life. There are so many good reasons to get married, but young people need to know if we are called.

I have to be honest with you and tell you that I love seeing couples together. I love thinking that someday my kids, my young friends, and couples in general will one day get married. I love weddings. I love what marriage represents. I love that God chose marriage as a gift of love for his children to teach us more about Himself. I even love that through the many struggles of marriage, we become the best people we can be. But don’t take me wrong, I would rather see people not get married at all than see them getting divorced.

Human beings have been created to feel emotionally and spiritually whole in this earth. The only way I believe we can be whole is only through the filling of God’s love in our lives. God is truly the only one that totally completes us and makes us whole. Many people try to fill the emptiness in their hearts through a mate. It is true that our spouse can be our helper and the main person to encourage us in our faith, dreams, and work. Still, only God can make us whole.

I always recommend to people who are interested in getting married that they find the love of God to make them whole. This is the only way to feel satisfied and content as a single and as a married person. Make sure you know yourself well. Dream big, and focus on accomplishing those dreams, whether you are single or married. After all, it is God who puts those desires and dreams in your heart.

Once you are filled with God’s love, you will be able to discern whether finding a mate or staying single is the calling that best serves your needs as a person.