Should every Christian marry

Marriage is a good gift from God. After God created Adam (Gen 2:7), he said that it is not good for the man to be alone, and so God created a helper for him (2:18). Being alone refers less to loneliness (as there is no hint of that in the passage), but rather to service to God – the point is that the man needs a helper (a woman) to help him in the service that God has given to him (2:18). Therefore, part of the purpose of marriage is service of God.

That marriage is a good gift is the consistent witness of Scripture: consider the Song of Songs, Jesus’ teaching on marriage (Matt 19:4-6), Paul’s teaching of marriage (e.g. Eph 5:22-33), etc.

This is because marriage is picture of the ultimate marriage, the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph 5:32). In other words, every Christian marriage should mirror and picture something of the relationship that the church has with Christ (some aspects of this are described in Eph 5:22-30).

However, nowhere in Scripture is marriage commanded for God’s people. Indeed, in Matt 19:11-12, Jesus says that certain people won’t get married, including those who choose not to for the sake of the kingdom (19:12). Paul also takes a similar view in 1 Cor 7. For example, in v. 8, Paul says, “To the unmarried and widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am.”

Therefore, not every man or women must get married. It is a good gift from God, and it does help in the service of our Lord; but equally as Paul says “a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided” (1 Cor 7:33-34).

So, there is a tension for those who are married. But those who don’t marry are freed from this tension, they are “concerned about the Lord’s affairs” (1 Cor 7:32).

However, every Christian/the church, is currently betrothed/engaged to Christ (2 Cor 11:2); and the church will one day be married to Christ (Rev 19:6-9), in the marriage that is of ultimate significance.

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