The People’s Blog: My Status and "The Marriage Mandate"
BLOGGER’S NOTE: Each Friday, I blog about what YOU, the people, want me to blog about. You can submit topics or questions that you’d like me to address HERE. I’ll choose one (or more) and depending on the subject matter and my mental faculties, the corresponding thoughts may be chatty or concise. Regardless, I promise that I will thoughtfully consider what is sent and will blog to the best of my abilities.
For this inaugural edition of “The People’s Blog,” I received a whopping two inquiries. HOO-ray. And you know what? I’m answering both of them, because I can. Because I need to fill up space. And because it’s Bonus Friday!
TOPIC NO. 1: Are you single?
DISCUSSION: Today, yes. But I can’t promise what tomorrow will hold. …
TOPIC NO. 2: I would love for there to be a discussion about "the marriage mandate movement" (which is, in essence, that there is a biblical command for all singles to marry and have children). Do you think that people are under a biblical imperative to marry and have children?
DISCUSSION: Personally, no. I don’t think that there is a CLEARLY stated biblical command for all people to marry and to have children. I don’t see that specifically in Scripture. I do see that marriage is celebrated and a good thing. But I also see that there is room for those who are single, too.
In Genesis 1:28, God spoke to an already paired-up Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and increase in number.” They were now together as a couple and were given their marching orders to procreate as a result of that union.
In 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, Paul says: “But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
I look at these verses and gather that there are those who God purposes to marry and have children and those who he purposes to remain single and serve him in this capacity. Each has their place in the body of Christ.
But I know that others do see this otherwise. Such as Al Mohler (perhaps he could be considered the leader of the “marriage mandate movement” you reference?). His “The Mystery of Marriage” message at a New Attitude conference about four years ago sparked some controversy.
For that side of the equation, you can read Mohler’s commentary on the first part of his address HERE. And go HERE for the commentary on the second part.
On the other side, I find it encouraging what John Piper has said about singleness in his message titled “Single in Christ: A Name Better Than Sons and Daughters.” He interprets “be fruitful and increase in number” for singles in terms of adding new believers to the Kingdom. Interesting. I never thought about it in that way. And it’s a different perspective for those of us who are not married (and desire to find mates and bear children) to consider that we are not without a purpose or a calling in this season of our lives. We are not relegated to "sideshow-freak status," and there is a place for us!
Listen to Piper’s message or read the transcript HERE.
I think there will always be a debate about this subject. Genesis 1:28 vs. 1 Corinthians 7. Which way is right? Perhaps both are, and there is provision and a different set of instructions for everyone.
In addition, it is vitally important to examine the heart. What desires has God placed there? Is he drawing you toward marriage and having children, and you are resisting? Or is he asking you to remain single (even though you have the desire to marry), and you are the poster child for bitterness instead of making the most of your situation? It can be helpful to process your thoughts and feelings with friends or family who love you and with whom you can be accountable. They can help you to see what you may not be able to see about yourself and gently direct you toward Truth.
Also what is most important, I think, is to study the Bible for yourself. What is God saying to you? Then, wait upon the Lord as you seek his direction and pray that your desires will line up with his for your life.
Whew. Well, that’s all for this week. Unlike myself, I kept this a little short and sweet. But in any case, I wish you a good weekend! And I’ll look forward to blogging for you again next Friday.
To have your topics or questions about anything and everything considered for the next edition of “The People’s Blog,” please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.