5 May 2009

Singleness & the Church

Submitted by Paul Brown

Having left behind singleness just over two months back, I read this article, Making Singleness Better by Tim Adeney, with a good deal of interest. The article starts out by exploring the various comments of the Apostle Paul with regard to singleness and marriage. In 1 Cor 7, Paul suggests some reasons why one might choose to stay single, counseling that he judges that, in the Corinthian situation of the time, it is preferable to stay single, though no sin to marry. On the other hand, in 1 Tim 5:11-15, Paul counsels that, in the (Ephesian?) situation of the time, it is preferable for the young women to marry rather than stay single.

From this example, the author then moves to examine the situation of our time and make some observations—or rather, ask some questions—about singleness and marriage. He considers these three questions (abridged below):

  • What if most long-term singles aren't that way by choice but by circumstance?
  • What if most voluntary singleness is related more to simply not growing up and assuming adult responsibilities than to dedication to the things of God?
  • What if long-term singleness is a really lonely place to be?

In light of Scripture, how should we respond to these questions? Do the "what-if's" ring true? If so, then what about it? Have a look at Adeney's suggestions, then consider what it might look like in your life and your community. I don't want this to be a "bash-the-church-for-faults-I-see-but-don't-do-anything-about" sort of post. What positive response can we have?