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In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helpmeet (helper).” Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn why it was not and still is not good for man to be alone.
Table of Contents
- Why It Was not and Still Is not Good…
- First, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not have the help he needs.
- Second, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not be able to fulfill God’s second command.
- Third, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not be able to enjoy certain desires.
- Fourth, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not have the benefit of a woman’s positive influence.
- Fifth, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not experience the sanctifying effects of marriage itself.
- Moving from “Not Good” to “Very Good”
- Are There Any Exceptions?
- Marriage Is the Expected Lifestyle
The text in this post is from Your Marriage God’s Way, and the audio is from the accompanying audiobook. I am praying God uses the book and workbook to strengthen marriages and exalt Christ.
For six straight days, God created dry land, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and animals. At the end of each day God saw what He created and saw that it was good (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But after God created Adam, for the first time in the creation account He saw something that was not good—man being alone: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18).
God’s statement is even more interesting when we consider that Adam and Eve had not yet disobeyed Him. We do not typically think of anything being “not good” until after the fall. Because Adam had not sinned yet, it was not Adam himself who was not good. Neither was it anything he had or had not done that was not good. It was simply Adam being alone that was not good.
Why It Was not and Still Is not Good…
Let’s understand why it was not—and still is not—good for man to be alone.
First, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not have the help he needs.
Leading and providing for a family is a lot of work. There is a significant load on men’s shoulders, and a wife can help lighten it. This is why the apostle Paul states, “Nor was man created for woman, but woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:9). A lot of discouragement can come a man’s way, and if he does not receive encouragement from his wife, where will he get it? Yes, there are other resources such as Scripture and relying on the Lord, but if those were all God wanted men to have, He would not have said, “I will make him a helpmeet.”
Second, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not be able to fulfill God’s second command.
“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Children are one of God’s greatest blessings.
Third, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not be able to enjoy certain desires.
God has given men and women healthy sexual desires to enjoy within marriage (Hebrews 13:4).
Some of these desires go beyond physical intimacy. God creates people as relational beings with emotional, mental, and social longings that are best fulfilled in marriage. People can serve as great friends, but they do not take the place of a spouse. For those who choose to get married, God wants them to have a steadfast companion all through life, and part of the reason He created the marriage relationship is to make that possible.
Fourth, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not have the benefit of a woman’s positive influence.
While it is not always the case, it is common for married men to become gentler and more sensitive. After Katie and I were married, my parents frequently told me how much she influenced me for the better.
Fifth, it is not good for man to be alone, because he would not experience the sanctifying effects of marriage itself.
God accomplishes much of the work He wants to do in our lives through marriage. After Scripture and the Holy Spirit, marriage is the greatest way God teaches us forgiveness, sacrifice, patience, dying to self, and more. When people remain single, they are more vulnerable to selfishness as they get used to living only for themselves. A married person has the obligation to care for their spouse, and this is wonderfully sanctifying.
A nice companion verse to Genesis 2:18 is Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” When a man receives a wife, he should understand he is not receiving a gift that is neutral or amoral. Instead, he is receiving a gift that is positive and moral. To illustrate how much of a good thing a wife is, consider God’s observation when He finished creating the heavens and the earth: “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). This is the end of the sixth day, but earlier in the day, in Genesis 2:18, God observed, “[This] is not good.” What had changed in between “not good” and “good”? God had created a woman. That is how much of “a good thing” a wife is. The addition of a woman can transform a situation from “not good” to “very good.”
Moving from “Not Good” to “Very Good”
A husband should see his wife as someone who takes him from “not good” to “very good.” When a wife thinks about her husband, she should see her role as helping him move from “not good” to “very good,” and treat him in such a way that he can see her as “a good thing” and as “favor from the Lord.” She should gladly strive to give him the help he needs and, most importantly, the help God wants him to have.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Paul discussed some exceptions. In 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 he wrote:
I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
While Paul calls marriage a gift, it almost sounds as though he is saying singleness is better than marriage. The only way to understand these verses is by considering Paul’s words at the end of the chapter, where he explains why singleness was a gift for him and can be a gift for others. In 1 Corinthians 7:32–34, he wrote:
I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.
Paul is referring to people being without the responsibilities that come with having a spouse. Every married person—especially those with children—recognizes that a family takes a lot of time and energy that could be committed directly to serving the Lord. I pastor a church, but my most important ministry is to my wife and children. If I were unmarried, I would be able to commit even more time to studying, meeting with people, teaching, and so on. The apostle Paul himself is a good example. He had a ministry that a man with the responsibilities of a family could not have fulfilled. He wanted others to be able to serve the Lord with the same singleness of mind he was able to have.
Paul further clarifies his view of marriage in verses 27-29, where he points out:
Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short.
When Paul was writing, the early Christians were facing increasing persecution that led to one of the darkest eras in church history. It culminated with the Roman emperor Nero throwing Christians to the lions while committing many other atrocities against them. Paul knew these Christians could get married but then find themselves fleeing for their lives. This is not a safe situation for anyone starting a family. Jesus made a similar statement when forecasting the coming destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70: “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” (Matthew 24:19).
Paul’s advice might apply today to a missionary heading into an area of the world too dangerous to take a family or to a young couple risking discovery in an underground church in a closed country. The important point to notice is Paul’s words were never meant to imply that singleness is somehow superior or more spiritual than being married.
Marriage Is the Expected Lifestyle
In fact, when Paul wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy, he warned, “In latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Paul then gave two examples of these demonic doctrines, one of which is forbidding people to marry (verse 3). When we consider the problems caused by people attempting to remain single who are not called to singleness, we can see why demons desire this. Marriage should be viewed as the normal, healthy pattern for all men and women save those few who have the gift of singleness as Paul did.
I came across this article and it was very enlightening for me. I never really considered all the reasons why man should not be alone. As a single man who is approaching 40 years of age, never married with no children, I have the desire to be married one day. I have received my share of criticism including not being able to support a woman or family financially, but can support myself. Health issues including a heart condition has made dating a challenge too. However, we serve an amazing God and I can’t imagine life without him.
Nice to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your faithfulness to the Lord in your single state.
Thank you for this article. I have recently been separated from an abusive marriage. I wanted to know what God says about being alone. I needed answers as to if it’s okay to feel the need for someone to talk to, and if it’s okay to ask God for a friend.
I am sorry to hear about your separation. You asked about what God says about being alone. It depends what you mean by being alone. If you mean alone because you were separated from an abusive husband, then that would be reasonable. If you mean alone because you divorce your husband, that would not be reasonable. Please see this post I wrote about divorce and remarriage. The Bible encourages us to have friends and counselors, so it’s definitely okay to look and pray for both. I would encourage you to reach out to your elders and possibly their wives.
You don’t know a thing about unwanted singleness. I have been alone since 1984 when I got saved. I have no one to help me. I have to do everything. I am tired of this mess. Since now I am 75 years old there is still nobody for me. I truly regret being saved. I can’t believe I have been alone this long. Being single is a punishment. Heck I was punished before I was saved but didn’t really know it. I have been through hell with Christians and unsaved men. The unsaved were not as bad as Christian men because they all want the same lust and more lust. A Christian man should have this under control. Pigs!
I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through. I don’t think it is too late for you to marry. I have seen numerous people marry at your age, typically for companionship.
I’m not sure how you can say you regret being saved? Did you get saved for this life or the next life? It sounds like because this life has not gone how you wanted, you regret being saved. But we are saved primarily for the next life: to be able to go to heaven and to avoid going to hell.
What do you consider someone who prefers being single not to have more time for ministry but simply because they cannot live happily in a household of people? They need a lot of time alone. A spouse and children would suffocate them. They would not experience the advantages you cite. They were made eunuchs, so to speak, but it’s not easy to accept but neither would a marriage be. They are products of a fallen world and don’t fit neatly in the called to marriage or called to singleness camp. Their’s is the hardest path as no path is natural for them.
It seems to me this scripturally speaking the only people who should be content being single are those who have been called to that lifestyle. If this is the person you are describing, then I think it is completely reasonable. But if someone is not called to singleness, and is instead called to marriage, which seems to be the healthy, natural path for most of us, then they should pursue that path because it is God’s path for their life. Marriage and family can be difficult for everyone, even the most extreme extrovert to always crave fellowship and interaction. My encouragement would be to consider God’s desire for a person’s life and strive to live that way as obediently as possible, whether it is attractive or not.
I agree. It is a very small percentage of those who want to be single but most of us are wired for marriage.
Yes marriage can be a tremendous blessing to a Christian, and I agree it’s definitely not good for man to be alone. This brings me to ask a very important question regarding this matter. Why did God make some men physically unattractive? Due to the nature of human beings concerning physical attraction we know that being physically unattractive makes it almost impossible to find a companion. I’ve also learned this by personal experience. I can’t even begin to express just how lonely it is among other things. It’s much worse for men. If the lord says it’s not good for us to be alone then why would he place this misfortune on us?
I have a few thoughts. First, if someone is disfigured, I would attribute this more to the fall.
But if you mean someone is naturally unattractive, I would say the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” comes to mind. There are plenty of people found unattractive by some and attracted by others, and people found attractive by some and unattractive by others.
If attractiveness and unattractiveness were factors in ability to marry, then we would see all the attractive people married and unattractive people unmarried, but I don’t see much difference. There seem to be a similar number of attractive and unattractive people marrying and being single.
Great post, Pastor. I like what you said, “We husbands should never complain about our wives, but rather make a point to praise them to others.” All their efforts and contributions must be appreciated.
Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad the post encouraged you!
Thanks for sharing this post. I enjoyed reading it and I was really blessed. The post is about,”How can wives help their husbands?” Since the statement is about wives there is no need to focus on men. You have addressed the subject thoroughly in my own opinion. I like the whole idea of couples being helpers to each others area of weaknesses. God bless you Pastor !
Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
The post is truly powerful inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself.
Thanks so much great servant of God.
Thank you for letting me know it ministered to you. That blesses me.
It seems to me that you are REALLY focused on wives and how they have to keep the relationship going, they have to keep the husband happy, they have mandates to follow. It seems to me, that as a man, you’d maybe be more interested in helping MEN become better husbands then telling women what to do!! Aren’t men instructed regarding marriage? Why, then aren’t you focusing on that, since in your theology, men are the “leader” of the home? If that is the case, then important instruction should be to them, not the women!
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Since the topic of this post is wives helping their husbands, then yes, that’s what I “focused on.” If the post was about husbands loving their wives, then there would be a greater focus on husbands. For example, here’s a post on that subject, “Husbands Love Your Wives as Christ Loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25),” and you could easily look at this post and say, “It seems to me that you are REALLY focused on husbands and how they have to…” If you keep checking my blog in the future, you’ll see a number of posts coming up for husbands.
It’s hard to address husbands and wives in the same post. Have you ever heard, “When you try to reach everyone, you don’t reach anyone”? Still, if you look at the end of the post, even though wives are called their husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) and 1 Corinthians 11:9 says, “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man,” I still had instruction for husbands to help their wives. And I gave an example from my own marriage.
If I’m understanding your main question/criticism though, you seem to be saying since I’m a man I shouldn’t write to women. That’s a tough position to argue since all the instruction in Scripture for women is written by men.
I’m so blessed to have a husband who is so patient, understanding, and communicative. I feel like he’s made me a better wife with every year. I do whatever I can to keep our home in order so that he doesn’t need to be concerned with it after work.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
That’s great to hear. I’m glad you have a godly husband, and I’m sure he’s blessed by the efforts you make toward him and your home.
Communicating clearly with each other is so important. Neither husband or wife should assume the others knows what they need or if s/he loves me then s/he would know.
Communicating clearly with each other is so important. Neither husband or wife should assume the others knows what they need or if s/he loves me then s/he would know.
I found this part of your book very inspiring. The role of women as helpers is frequently underestimated by the society and some women alike. But revealing that the Holy Spirit and God is also referred to as our helper throws a completely new light on that role. I think women can be proud of their role in the institution of marriage. Thanks.
Thanks for reading, commenting, and for previously providing a review of Marriage God’s Way. Hopefully anyone who sees your comment will check out what you wrote about the book!
This has been on my heart lately. I love how you compare female helpers to the Holy Spirit as a helper. Our husbands do need help…we all do! When we help our husbands, we are really helping ourselves.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Regarding wives helping themselves while helping their husbands, Paul says something similar in Ephesians 5 that when husbands are loving their wives, they’re really loving themselves.
I love word studies. This one was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad the post blessed you.
This is a major point in Emerson Eggerich’s book, Love and Respect. The idea that men love their women, while women respect their men and that our different brains will respond to those forms of love in each other as complimentary. He points out that God made Eve to compliment Adam and that is what makes marriage such a uniquely God-ordained partnership.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, I have the same view as Dr. Eggerich. I actually asked him to endorse my book, Your Marriage God’s Way. I told him that I quote him in it and have appreciated his work. He sent back a nice response, but told me he doesn’t even have time to endorse his own pastor’s books!
My favorite reason to be called helpmeet is that my title is the same as the Holy Spirit and that my role is a privilege. I also think my role as my husband’s helper is a blessing. I love this role that God has put me in.
I don’t let what society says make me think falsely about my role. I only pay attention to what God says. I’ve learned to not listen to what society says.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I also appreciate hearing your favorite reason, as I wondered what women might say. Good for you regarding listening to God’s Word versus the world!
It is the very big change in the women nowadays, why so many of us single men really can’t find love at all even when we really try. Women today in fact are a lot nastier now more than ever before, and they have no manners and personality at all when it comes to many of us men very seriously looking for love today. You can’t even say good morning or hello to a woman anymore these days since there will times when they will Curse many of us men out for no reason at all, and i know other single friends that had the very same thing happened to them as well. We now have to be very careful since most of these women will be looking to nail many of us for sexual harassment too. Most women indeed these days are very severely mentally disturbed, now that feminism is everywhere today unfortunately. So much for God saying that man shouldn’t be alone. And if only God had been smart enough like the old days when he created certainly much better women that were certainly very much the opposite of today, and real ladies too which was a real plus at that time since it really made all the difference in the world. As you can see yourself in case you hadn’t noticed how much different women are today compared to those good old days, and that really explains why our family members really lucked out back then when they met one another. Even at church when the mass is over when many of us men are leaving, trying to start a conversation with a woman that we would really like to meet really aren’t that friendly at all either. A lot of us men were just born unfortunately in the wrong Era, and had we been born back in the past which most of us that are still single today would had very easily met a good woman to settle down with as well. What in the world happened to these very pathetic women today?
I believe you have left numerous comments on my post. No, women are not nastier than ever before. No, this is not an issue of God needing to be smarter. Until your attitude changes, I don’t think any woman would read something like this and want to be with the author.
There are good and bad women, as they have always been, it is just the good can be hard to find. Into today’s world you also have the media poisoning the minds of women against men, you see it everywhere. Branding men as all alike. Just as they are wrong, so are you. There has always been nasty women, as you say, or hateful, is (nicer word to describe them) since the time of Noah, just as there has always been nasty men, but there is more nice then nasty, so to speak, it is just you are looking in all the wrong places. One thing I see clearly now, that I was blinded to before is, we rush into things, we take the first, because they are at hand, instead of waiting for God! to reveal the one you should have waited for. In doing so, you lose out on the one that could have been a blessed union , again because people want it on their time period, and rush right in , not putting their trust in God, and waiting or Him to bring them to us. I truly believe that is why, there is so many people alone in the world today, because they’re not enough faith in the One that created us. Just like when Moses, was leading his people, if they had trusted in God, and waited for His time of deliverance, they would have had their land full of milk and honey, within days, instead of 40 years. I believe finding ones soul mate to be the same, it can take years without enough faith in God that He will and can deliver. Just saying, be patient, and put your trust in God!
Hello R Park,
It is interesting to see the discussions about it being hard to find good women. In my church we have many godly single women who need husbands. I have talked to other pastors who say they experience the same thing in their churches.
Perhaps these women you complain about have seen your atrocious grammar. Why don’t you study correct English structure rather than whining about how modern women aren’t good enough for you? If you won’t even make an effort to learn to write correct English, why would a woman want to tie herself down to you? If you are so slovenly in one area, there is no doubt that is your general demeanor in all things. Modern women are discerning, which is why you are single.
Thank you for reaching out to him. My suspicion is his attitude toward women is the bigger problem than his grammar
56 years old male who wonders what is wrong with myself that not only the good thing of marriage of a good woman of God is denied me, but also many other good things. Twice within the last year had great jobs to just lose then because of at home foot injuries, because of this medical emergency could not work, am in this state currently. This has also help to make me very poor. As much as I like your article I feel that there is “a gift of singleness” only I consider it the greatest curse and condemnation ever. Supposedly the Blood of Christ washes all my sins away, I just don’t know anymore because this same blood leaves me alone.
I’m very sorry about everything you’ve been through. Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers for you that wouldn’t sound like I was preaching to you. If you desire to marry you probably do not have the gift of singleness. It is my understanding that people with this gift do not desire a spouse. I will pray for you including the God helps you find the right wife.
James, I know where you are coming from, in same boat, only 57. If only we could ask God the why of things, and He would speak the answer to us, as He once did, to His children, just as He did, as Christ, so long ago, so we would know how to overcome the misery at hand or why for the misery at hand? , but sadly, that is not an option. God doesn’t speak to us voice to ear anymore. Just because bad has happened to us in life, doesn’t mean, we did anything wrong, . Take poor ole Job, an in remembrance and how all the bad that befell him. It is just sometimes, bad things happen, to good people, one can look at Job, who being a righteous man, can show us that. But God delivered him, and poured out a blessing from heaven upon him. But as I posted above in another post, I believe, the problem, is a time thing, we want things in our own time frame instead of waiting for God to deliver. That is what I’m doing. 8 years and counting, and I know that whomever God gives me, will be what is right for me, and I will be all the more blessed for it, because, I put my trust, in Him, that can do! Put your trust in God! and have faith He will and can deliver, and that trust will show you Love! In God’s time. My prayers and love, go with you my Brother! God Bless!
Hello R Park,
Good points. I’m glad you shared that trials are not the same as discipline. In other words when we suffer, it is not always a result of sin.
I appreciate how you have walked by faith and continue to trust God even when it has been difficult, such as in the area of not having a wife.
I feel God is punishing me because the reason I posted the last time. It’s not good for a man to be alone because all the people in my life over 30 are married co workers siblings people in my church I wm not allowed to participate in ministry ushering drumming or cooking
I responded to your comment. So your church will not let you serve, because you are single?
I wrote a response to to your article why it’s not good for a man to be alone you wrote 5 yrs ago as I’ve said that I went trough and grew up in a bible believing church since 19 in 1984 I went through college an careers there was about 60 of us living in windsor ontario Canada. Everyone married I went to 25 weddings in 8 yrs. I remember God telling me I want you to build a relationship with a lady get to know her and marry her many of male friends say God gave them a vision on who to marry there married and are lead pastors many yrs have passed and now are grand parents those ladies I dated have passed after build a relationship before marriage . I know people who don’t want anything to do with God yet he allows them to marry that why I feel I’m being punished co workers pastors siblings church I attend of 40 people are married except me.. there are no single groups anymore whether church or Christian and most positions or ministries are filled by married.
Nice to hear from you again. I did not receive a vision about whom to marry, and I don’t know anyone else who would say that.
If I understand you, are you saying you feel like God is punishing you, because you are unmarried?
If that is what you are saying, I think I would discourage you from that belief, unless you are that convinced that God wanted you to marry someone. God disciplines us for sin, and not getting married is not of sin, unless it was overwhelmingly clear you were supposed to marry someone, but didn’t. And I’m not sure how it could be that clear you were supposed to marry someone.
While I agree in principle with this article, I would offer a different perspective on a few things.
While God did say to be fruitful and multiply, that was a command to mankind as a whole and not necessarily to each and every individual person or married couple. We know this to be true because some couples cannot conceive children. No one would say they were in sin for not having children. While Scripture calls children a blessing, that’s not the same thing as saying having children is a command. It is not a sin to be married and remain childless. The first reason given in this article assumes the man will need help leading and providing for a family. What if he elects to stay single? I am single and do quite well managing on my own.
We also tend to assume everyone falls into one of two buckets. Either the marriage bucket or the “gift of singleness” bucket. I would suggest a third. We live in a fallen world. That is why some couples cannot conceive children or why children are born with birth defects. It wasn’t God’s desire but He is allowing us to suffer the consequences of our collective sin. Some people have traumatic childhoods that may lead to them not being able to form close attachments or not being able to live comfortably in a house full of people. That’s another result of the fall. That’s not the same thing as having the “gift of singleness.” Such people might feel lonely or uncomfortable being surrounded by couples and families and yet knowing it wouldn’t be the same for them. God could heal them but sometimes God uses the trials and the pain to shape us. Like many things, what God desired and what we have after the fall are not always the same. I don’t think it’s that binary.
Some people assume the unmarried are selfish, afraid of responsibility, commitment, or accountability. Unless you can see into their heart, you can’t be sure of that. They might have a regular job, hobbies, etc, (so not seemingly with the “gift of singleness” which we usually assume they are called to some all-consuming ministry) yet be very unselfish, responsible, committed, and accountable. Just not in a marriage. Marriage is also not the only way God teaches us to be unselfish and sacrificial and there are lots of people who go into marriage selfish and remain that way. God can use marriage to mold us but we have to cooperate and God has many ways to mold us outside of marriage.
My point is to not judge and not assign everyone a bucket. I once asked Scott if I were 30+, never married, and attending his church would I feel comfortable. He was honest and said I might not. It’s not that people would necessarily judge me or be unfriendly but I would feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb. While everyone my age and older would be talking about their spouses and their children, I would feel left out. It can’t be helped although I think some churches go overboard in praising and holding up the family and children that they unintentionally make those who are single feel left out or like second-class citizens.
Marriage is a temporary state. There is no marriage in heaven. In heaven, we will all be in God’s family; the Bride of Christ. We will be perfectly complete and without marriage. The purpose of this life is to know God, become like Christ, and spread God’s love. Marriage is not the only way to accomplish those things. It is a good way, blessed by God, and right for most people but not everyone. I am not so concerned about someone’s marital status as I am about their spiritual status. I am not pro-marriage or anti-marriage. I am pro whatever path God is leading you down and if you never get married, that’s ok. That doesn’t mean your life is wasted, selfish, or missing something. You could be married and waste your life, be selfish, and miss out on a lot.
I appreciate Scott and his ministry. I think when God said “It is not good for man to be alone,” He did not just mean marriage. It’s about fellowship, community. Yes, He created Eve (a woman) right after that, and men and women, bonded in marriage, can be a marvelous thing. That doesn’t mean there are no exceptions, especially in a fallen world. Sadly, I hear from so many Christian singles how neglected they feel in church. I think at times we put the family and marriage on a pedestal that is unhealthy. We are all God’s children and whether we are married or single is not the most important thing. That is also why I am not a fan of “family-centric” churches. I don’t see them in Scripture. What I see in Scripture are people from every walk of life, broken, imperfect, diverse… People who might not otherwise cross paths or be friends. What brings them together is their Savior and their love for Him. I would expect a healthy church to potentially have a lot of diversity. Not all married couples with children and even if that is the case, it should be because that’s what the community mostly has not because we have made that a distinctive to gather around. The amazing thing about the Church is that it’s the one place you can go where everyone’s welcome. It doesn’t matter what your past, the color of your skin, how much money you have, how nice you dress, or anything like that. When we start churches around distinctives we are shutting some out. We are suggesting they find another church because they might not be comfortable at ours. Are we so insecure in our personal convictions that we will only surround ourselves with completely like-minded people? Are we that threatened by others who might think a little differently? The only distinctive I want in a church is that they are committed to teaching through the Word of God, verse-by-verse, book-by-book and loving each other. Anything else seems a reason to partition people not unite them.
I remember you, and I hope you are doing well. People can search for some of your other comments on my site. Sounds like you are saying much of what you have shared before. That’s fine with me. Even though we disagree in some respects, you have always been honest and charitable, and I appreciate and respect that.
This is late but thank you, Bob.
Even though Bob disagrees with me on a few things, I appreciate his attitude and I am glad that his comment ministered to you. God bless!
This doesn’t make sense.
Not good for “the” man to be alone.
1. In the beginning – why would Adam need help?… Help with what?… everything was PERFECT. He didn’t need to work the ground or anything at all.
2. Blessing of children… For what? Everything was PERFECT.
3. Can’t satisfy sexual desires… Why would he have any? Furthermore, it’s not as though that assumed desire would be sinful in nature at all so why would it be a problem is his heart or flesh?… how could it be? Makes not sense since everything was perfect. You would have to say that the fall of man could have been because Adam masturbated or did it with a pig… But he wouldn’t have done it since man wasn’t made with the sin nature.
4. What’s the point of a perfect man Adam having the influence of a woman? Makes no sense, dude.
5. Perfect man Adam has no need for marriage sanctification cause he’s already sanctified from the perfect beginning.
What did God mean by it’s not, “good” for the man to be alone? Had to be for some other reason.
Hello No need for Woman in the beginning,
I copied your comment to respond to each of your points…
Part of walking by faith is trusting God when he says things that don’t make sense to us. God doesn’t expect us to understand everything, but he does expect us to obey him and believe what he says.
To answer this, I feel like I would simply repeat what I wrote in the post. Essentially, the post lists why Adam needed help.
Yes, he did need to work the ground. He was assigned that prior to the fall.
How would the human race continue if there were no children?
Also, we would say that Adam was innocent, but we would not say that everything was perfect. There was still the devil, temptation, the potential for sin, etc. this is not perfection. Perfection will not be until the future when Christ returns.
He would have sexual desires, because God created him with them. The desires wouldn’t be a problem if Adam satisfy them the right way, with the women that God gave him. But he would have to be given that woman to satisfy his desires the right way.
I don’t know why you say it doesn’t make any sense. Women can exhibit a very positive influence on men. I have grown considerably because of my wife’s help and sanctification (1 Corinthians 7).
Noticing the number of times that you say Adam and everything else was perfect reveals the issue. If you think everything was perfect then you would think nothing, such as Eve, needed to be added. But that’s the issue, as I said earlier, everything wasn’t perfect, or we could say, as God said, everything was “Not good” yet.
If I answer this I would be simply repeating what I wrote in my post. If you disagree with all of my reasons, what do you think is the other reason God said things were not good without Eve?
Today it is very dangerous for many of us single guys to even approach a woman that we would really like to meet, which now they are very nasty and very stuck up as it is unfortunately.
There are plenty of wonderful, godly women out there. I would say it’s only dangerous if you approach the wrong women in the wrong place. For example, if you’re looking for women in bars you’re going to get in trouble, but if you’re looking for women in a godly conservative church thaen you will find them.
Meh. Enjoy your life without the problems.
If you’re referring to marriage as the problem, why do you think God said it is not good for man to be alone?
Tim, I can echo your sentiments. I can say the same thing about men and have been hurt by numerous men. But that won’t stop me from meeting a Godly man. Keep praying and keep hoping. There are good women, Godly women, virtuous women out there. Blessings.
There are wonderful godly men out there, so I’m glad you’re continuing to pray and wait.
If only God had a real brain like he did in the old days when he created women, since most women back then were the very complete opposite of today. And the great majority of women in those early days were real ladies, and very easy to meet as well. What in the world happened to these women today?
Very Sad Truth,
You are saying God doesn’t have a brain…but He used to?
in my opinion
she turned women’s role upside down when she ate the forbidden fruit.
i don’t blame her.
She was deceived by Satan who still deceives the world today.
Interestingly, even though Eve ate 1st and gave the fruit to Adam, Adam, or man, is held responsible for the fall. When you read Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, he repeatedly says that sin came into the world through man. Why is it written this way? As you said, Eve was deceived, but Adam ate willingly. His accountability was higher as the head of the relationship.
Amen, Amen, which gives reason for women as helper of man to step up in ministering God’s Word when man loses his way. Women must pick up where man left off to keep the path light for men to return to their ministry of the message of Christ Jesus. Together living in MINDFUL EXPRESSION, Selah SHALOM. Helper to the willingly sinner, not the innocently deceived. God bless you.
James in Jesus Name
Kathleen or James,
I’m sorry, but I saw both names. If I am understanding you correctly, you are encouraging women to minister God’s word to their husbands when the husband loses his way? If you are referring to a wife encouraging her husband with God’s Word, I definitely see how that is a valuable approach for women as helpers.
I don’t know what you mean about living in mindful expression if you want to elaborate on that.
Then again , God really punished many of us good men with singleness even though we never wanted to be. Very sad that he gave other men a wife and family that many others really never deserved it.
Jim, are you plugged into a bible-teaching church?
Don’t consider it a punishment; consider it a gift. My marriage is the single worst mistake of my life, and all other problems flow from it.
This is a very unfortunate view. A commitment to Christ can turn around even the worst marriage.
I’ve been attending a bible believing conservative church for 40 yrs I attended youth groups college and careers single group at the age of 32 I attended over 36 weddings looking back . They all have children not one is divorced many now have grand children I never chose to be single so why is God punishing me
I mo longer attend church because of discrimination against the never married mother allowed to be a main drummer ,deacon I was tired of sitting alone . So why is God always displeased or angry at me
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure how to respond with the information you provided. Can you let me know why you believe God is punishing you?
Also, I’m sorry you had a bad experience at one church, but there are plenty of other churches would not discriminate against someone for the reasons you mentioned.
This isn’t good and I disagree with a lot of it. You totally avoided 1 Corinthians 7:8. A man must wait on the Lord for a wife. Some guys may choose not to be married (I.E. Paul) and some guys may never find a woman to marry. A man cannot create a woman that he is compatible with and is equally God-fearing. Your numbered reasons are contorted to make marriage (and having children) more important than they actually are. To my knowledge, none of Jesus’ disciples had children and not all of them were not married either (I.E. Paul was not married).
“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.
Genesis 1:28 (not 2:18)
This verse is directed towards Adam and Eve as they were the first humans. They were to multiply. I personally believe that couples who have many children are committing a selfish act. Generally, that couple will be spending most of their time, money, energy, etc. on raising THEIR children. It’s highly unlikely that the couple would be missionaries, giving to the poor, etc. as they won’t have the money, time, or energy to do so. What if every couple did that?
I don’t have time to elaborate on everything else in this article, but I hope everyone who is single and childless ignores this article and remains content with the things that God has given them. God’s will be done. God Bless.
Something I’ve noticed with blogging is people will be upset with posts that don’t cover what they want covered, even if the post sticks to the topic. In this situation, if you look at the title of the post it’s obviously about reasons it’s not good for man to be alone. It’s not about reasons man can or should be alone. If that was the topic of the post, then it would make sense to deal with 1 Corinthians 7:8.
I do agree with you that a man should wait on the Lord for a wife.
You mentioned the Apostle Paul, and stated that he was not married. He wasn’t married when he wrote First Corinthians, but he was married or he couldn’t have been part of the Sanhedrin. More than likely she was widowed.
Also, here’s a good article explaining how we know that Paul was married.
You mentioned the disciples, or I’ll say apostles. These were some of the most unique men in history and they fit the reasons in 1 Corinthians 7:8for not marrying; however, their example is descriptive vs. prescriptive. They aren’t the pattern for people to follow.
You said the verse doesn’t apply because it’s about Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:24 is also about Adam and Eve, and Jesus and Paul both quoted this verse in the New Testament for all believers. In other words, what took place with Adam and eve is an example for all of us. Citing them when discussing marriage makes perfect sense.
You said that couples who have many children are committing a selfish act. How can you say that based on Psalms 127 and 128? God tells those with multiple children to see themselves blessed…not selfish. You said it’s highly unlikely that couples with many children would be missionaries, or give to the poor? I know missionaries with multiple children, and I can’t think of much better people to have multiple children than them. I also know many families with lots of children, and they’re very generous.
Brian, when I read your comments, I’m forced to wonder what your situation is in life? Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Scott LaPierre God’s Word say’s this one thing, that should tell all that have children few or multitudes! and to those that slam others for having abundantly! that one should never be ashamed of many, because a (child) is a (gift) from God! and those God has given so many (gifts) is truly blessed of, God. Lastly, when God said, be fruitful, and multiply, he did not say to what year or century, he gave us all that commandment, till the end be fulfilled, right Bro.Scott? God Bless!
Hello R Park,
Well said. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You might check out this post from me about children being a gift and blessing as you said.
If God really said that man should not be alone, then why are so many of us good single men still alone today with no love life at all. And since most women these days have their careers which made them now so very high maintenance, independent, since they really don’t need us men anymore, very very selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, gold diggers, that is the ones that will go after men that are much older then they really are for the money, narcissists, think they really are so high and mighty, and very money hungry these days more than ever before. Well even God doesn’t really have no control over these type of women today unfortunately at all, and that is why they sleep around with so many different men all the time every single chance they get. Very obvious why many of us good single men will be single and all alone today, even when God said that man should not really be alone since these type of women unfortunately are way out of control today making it very difficult for many of us men that really do want to find love. Too bad that God never created women like the old days when most women back then were very old fashioned, very easy to meet, real ladies, and the very complete opposite of today altogether. Today unfortunately, they really are so very horrible and evil with no manners and personality at all when it comes to many of us men just trying to start a normal conversation with these women by just saying good morning or hello to them. And now many of us men have to be very careful of sexual harassment too, and they will even Curse at many of us men for no reason at all since i know friends that had it happened to them as well. Like i just mentioned already that even God unfortunately has no control at all over these type of very pathetic women nowadays which makes it very sad.
Ironically I see the opposite of what you’re describing. I pastor a conservative church, and I attend conferences with conservative families. I’m surprised by the number of godly, single ladies. I actually pray that God will provide godly men for the women in our church. Are you plugged into a biblically-ordered, Gospel-preaching church? If not, I would encourage you to do so. This is how I’ve often seen God bring people together.
Your (negative) words/thinking is why you’re alone James. I hear women say all the time, “all men are dogs” well, that’s exactly what they attract too. Yes, he might be great in the beginning but sooner (rather than) later his true colors come out. Like a wolf (the dog that that claim all men are) in sheep’s clothing. If only they would change their mindset and confess, “all men are loving, kind, gentle, respectful” etc. Then they will show up. And you should try that too. Pray and ask God to put you with your wife just like He did for Adam. Then believe she’s out there waiting for you. All you have to do is sleep peacefully knowing she’s on her way. Isn’t that what Adam did? God caused him to fall into a deep sleep…
Thanks for counseling James.
Hi James. I saw this comment and let me just say, it tore at my heart. I’m so sorry that you have experienced this. You are right though. Unfortunately. But there are one or two of us Christian women around who love the Lord and want to please a man the way God has commanded but perhaps we (speaking for myself) cannot seem to find a man who has truly been born again and knows what it means to be a godly husband and can recognize a godly wife. It is so sad, isn’t it? Have faith in Christ. I’m struggling with the same thing but the opposite side of the coin.
Hi Sister Christian,
I’m glad you shared a woman’s side of this, as I’ve met more single godly women looking for single godly men than single godly men looking for single godly women.
I’ll pray for you and James to find godly spouses.
Me too James. All of the men I have met have treated me so badly. I too am on the other side of the coin.
I am sorry to hear that. I have known many godly men. Where have you met all of these men who have treated you so badly?
Gee Wiz, If God really said that man should not be alone, then where is my wife and family today since i am still waiting and hoping?
I remember being single and how difficult it was waiting. I will pray God brings you the right woman at the right time. Hopefully during your season of singleness you can serve the Lord faithfully as 1 Corinthians 7 describes.
Hey. My name is Chloe. I have a friend who is working towards being a Christian, but refuses to open up. I told him that he needed to open to people eventually, but refuses to listen to me. I tried to reason with him by telling him that he needs people as much as he needs God, but he says when I find scriptures that prove it, he will believe me. Do you know any good scriptures that prove that? I tried showing some from Genesis about Adam and Eve but he insisted that he is open to that idea when he gets married. And since he has about 10 more years till that happens, he said that doesn’t apply to him. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do?
Why should we have friends to be there for us?
Friends serve many important purposes in our lives. Assuming they’re Christian friends, then they:
• Strengthen us in our relationships with the Lord
• Encourage us when we’re discouraged
• Rebuke us when we’re in sin
• Provide us with wisdom when we’re facing difficult situations and choices
• Allow us to use our gifts; the gifts God gives us are used in the lives of others.
• Serve, help, and bless us, and allow us to serve, help, and bless them
Is this what you meant?
I found the above a good read. I do think there is a danger in overemphasizing marriage or making an idol of it. It’s not that marriage isn’t Biblical or good, but it’s not the most important thing in Christianity and a failure to marry, or marry by a certain age, is not a sin or a sure sign of a sinful life. I am not suggesting you endorse such ideas Scott, but I have seen them in churches.
One reason I absolutely prefer book-by-book, verse-by-verse expository teaching/preaching, is that it forces you to teach the whole counsel of God. You don’t get to pick and choose which topics you think are “most relevant to today.” The Bible says “all scripture” is valuable.Topical teaching tends to be like a smorgasbord. A complete and health meal can be found there, but so too can one just pick and choose their favorites and not end up with a well balanced meal. This is also why I am not a fan of churches that rally around a particular distinctive. I’ve seen it be the family, a style of music, a certain flavor of theology, or a slew of other things. In trying to combat something we feel is missing or under-emphasized, we tend to overemphasize it. It’s like that smorgasbord where you just pick the foods you most want. When you teach the whole counsel of God, you have to deal with all subjects, in context, and to the extent that passage presents them.
The church is made up of all kinds of people, Young, old, married, divorced, single. Rich, poor, blue collar, white collar. That’s a good thing. We are forced to rub elbows with people from all walks of life and learn from them. If we only go to church with people just like us, there is the danger of spiritual pride. “We do it the Biblical way.” I’ve been to churches that only allow Hymns and Psalms to be sung and only with a piano or organ accompanying. That’s a valid choice, but “other” churches who used contemporary worship songs were treated like they were misguided Christians at best or outright heathens at worst. In the same church, singing in parts was highly emphasized. When I resisted attempts to get me to go sit with the bases or the tenors during a singing portion of a Bible study, I was looked at like an incomprehensible enemy. The same church also felt that Christian balls were THE way for young Christians to learn about manners and how to treat the opposite sex. They held dances and when I expressed I did not care to dance, once again the look of death.
So why do we have family centered churches? Why not churches that have families? All churches have to decide if they are going to offer separate activities for children. If your choice is to keep the family together, then do it but I see no need to label yourself as a family centered church. I’d much rather be known as a Bible centered church. Scripture gives us a high view of marriage and family yet Jesus was single, Paul was single, and many others. Trying to find a single pastor or single elder in most churches is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Paul would probably be excluded from pastoring or being an elder because he “wasn’t married and could never relate to all the married couples and families.” Most churches have staff who married during or shortly after seminary or Bible school. Can they relate to what it’s like to be single for a long period of time?
Yes the family is under attack in our society. So is the church, homeschooling, heterosexual marriage, and many other things. Paul lived under one of the most oppressive and heathen governments ever yet he new talked about taking back control of the government or civil battles. He preached Christ crucified. He focus was very singular. Today we have more flavors of churches than Baskin & Robbins has ice cream flavors. Rather than uniting Christians we are dividing the body over non-essential distinctives. If I only go to church with like minded people, I will never stretch and grow as much. If I only go to church with like minded people, how can I be a witness? If the church centers itself around family, what is the message for those who are single or without children? What about the divorced or those whose children won’t talk to them?
The only distinctive I’m interested in, is being a follow of Jesus.
It is a very good thing that God made most women years ago that turned out to be Real Ladies, which is why the world has really grown over the years in population. Today the women will never ever be like the old days, that is for sure.
I pastor a conservative church, and I attend many conferences with conservative families. I can tell you that I am surprised by the sheer number of young, single, godly ladies. I wish there were more young, single, godly young men for them.
If a man approached me about finding a godly wife, I would ask him a few questions: are you plugged into a local church? Are you not only attending regularly, but serving regularly? Are you praying regularly that God provides you with a godly wife. We make it hard for God to answer our prayers when we’re outside His will. If you ensure the above is in place, then I would encourage you to keep praying, but also pray for contentment while waiting.
God said that man should never be alone, which i totally agree. But unfortunately even God has no control at all over these women nowadays since they are so very high maintenance, independent, since they really don’t need men at all to survive, very greedy, selfish, spoiled, picky, narcissists, think they really are so high and very mighty, gold diggers, and so very very money hungry as well. God gave these women the free will to do whatever they really want which makes love very hard for many of us single men to meet a good woman that isn’t like that at all. Now that so many women have their careers today which most of these women just sleep around, and can’t even commit to only one man anymore today unfortunately. So as you can see that these are very excellent reasons that i just mentioned why many of us men are still alone today, and it is these type of women that are really to blame as well since God can’t really do anything about it either unfortunately. The women today are quite different from the old days, and that is why it was very easy finding love years ago the way that our family members had it. But i will never give up looking for love, since there are many of us men that really hate being single and alone all the time. Peace.
What you’re describing isn’t the case with all women. There are lots of wonderful, godly women looking for wonderful, godly husbands. In our church, we have more single young ladies than single young men, and they love the Lord and want little more than to be biblical wives. I wish we had more spiritually mature young men for them.
Currently, there are nearly 2% more women than men in the US. According to surveys I’ve seen, the percentage of Christian women (compared to Christian men) is about 55%. So straight up statistics make it likely there will be more available women than men in US churches. That should make it easier, not harder, for godly men to find a godly woman. I suspect it’s more a matter of the church you go to than anything else. Likely some of those 10% more women in US churches are married to unsaved husbands so not truly available.
We live in a fallen world. People like Scott are doing their best to educate and encourage the current generation on marriage but things will never be perfect. My perspective is to not put life on hold while you wait to find love. You may not be called to remain single, but as long as you find yourself in this season of life, use the time profitably. You have time and freedom to serve in ways now you may not have for years once you marry. See this time as an opportunity not a time to be hated. Trust God has someone for you who will arrive in your life at the right time. I sometimes look at it like being a soldier in God’s army. We carry out our orders until new ones come. Recall you have everything you *need* in Christ. A godly wife (or husband) can be a tremendous blessing but if we have Christ, we have everything we need. Happiness is a byproduct of a right relationship with God and is not dependent on marital status, health, wealth, or any other thing. If God has given you that desire, then He will fulfill it. Just wait on Him.
If you focus on being single, it will be hard. If you focus on the opportunity God has given you, you may find you meet your spouse while busy doing God’s work.
Good thoughts, thank you for sharing this with Joseph. Well said! I especially appreciate what you wrote about using your season of singleness well (as Paul commanded in 1 Corinthians 7), and being satisfied/content in our relationships with Christ.
Feminism has really destroyed the dating scene now for many of us single men that really aren’t single by choice. Most women in the past were the best of all, and Real Ladies as well.
Yesterday I was a church leaders’ meeting, and I spoke with a few other pastors who said the same thing: “We have so many great, godly young ladies, but we don’t have the men for them.”
While feminism definitely has caused problems as you said, there are still lots of wonderful single ladies out there. Are you part of a Bible-teaching church?
Hello Pastor Scott, I just wanted to share that what you have shared is very powerful to me, I have a very strong desire to be married, I’ve been divorce for sometime now, and now I have this strong desire to be married, and I know who I desire to married, just have to be a little patient
Thank you for reading and commenting. Have you considered reconciling with your wife? I hate to say this, but God’s Word has strong things to say about remarriage while a spouse is still alive. Would you consider pursuing your wife, versus someone else?
oh really? 1 Cor 11:9 huh? what if I said I want a 13 year old girl as my wife? oh wait… I’m a predator right?
MGTOW SAVES LIVES!!! THIS IS BULLSHIT ARTICLE! GO AHEAD AND GET MARRIED IF YOU WANT TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONEY FOR LIFE! HAHAHAHAHA!
Yes, that would make you a predator.
If you have any reasonable questions I’d be happy to answer them!
Feminism is much worse than cancer today as it is, that is really caused by these very brainless women in the first place for which there is no really cure at all. Not to mention the women today that are real narcissists as well.
There are plenty of wonderful godly women today.
If someone was not a Christian when they divorced and their ex-wife remarried, are they free to marry?
Scripture doesn’t discuss divorce and remarriage differently for people who are Christians or non-Christians. People are not free to remarry as long as they have a living spouse.
• Mark 10:11-12 Jesus said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Very clearly Jesus said if someone divorces his/her spouse and marries another it is adultery. Also notice the word adultery is used because this is referring to married individuals. This is opposed to the verses in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 where the words “sexual immorality” are used. We’ll discuss this distinction later, but please keep in mind Jesus mentioned adultery here.
• Luke 16:18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery. Jesus says the same thing He said in Mark 10:11-12, but He adds that marrying a divorced person is also committing adultery. Again, the word adultery is used, not sexual immorality because these are married individuals.
I have a lengthier answer I can give you that discusses verses in Matthew, Romans, and 1 Corinthians, but I didn’t want to make this response too long.
To offer a different perspective, I here quote John MacArthur:
According to 1 Corinthians 7:20-27, there is nothing in salvation that demands a particular social or marital status. The Apostle Paul, therefore, instructs believers to recognize that God providentially allows the circumstances they find themselves in when they come to Christ. If they were called while married, then they are not required to seek a divorce (even though divorce may be permitted on biblical grounds). If they were called while divorced, and cannot be reconciled to their former spouse because that spouse is an unbeliever or is remarried, then they are free to either remain single or be remarried to another believer (1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14).
I think as a believer, we are a “new creation in Christ.” The old has passed away. Since the possibility of reconciliation to the ex-spouse is not possible, I think the new Christian could remarry but only to a fellow believer. I think the key here is that the one party is now a Christian and the other party is a non-Christian and remarried. I understand and respect your perspective. I think in a situation like this, God’s grace allows remarriage.
Yes, that is biblical and I also believe that if two people man and woman are not save that scripture does not apply to them. Because God has to bring marriages together. And we have to be His children,that scripture is for the child of God so if you Accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour than yes that’s for us.
I don’t know what you mean by “Scripture does not apply to them [if they aren’t saved].” If you mean the Bible is written for Christians, I would agree with that, but Scripture also commands unbelievers to repent and be saved; therefore, it also applies to unbelievers. Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” People can only to faith in Chrirst and be saved by the truth of Scripture (the Gospel).
If you mean something else, can you elaborate?
Quick follow-up to your reply. In my case, both my ex-wife and I were very educated on marriage. It was not a lack of teaching on marriage that was at fault. I think the number one reason marriages fail, is because we are selfish. We have never “died to self” to live for Christ. We expect our marriages to make us happy. As an old pastor of mine once said, happiness is by-product of a right relationship with God. The Bible teaches happiness *despite* our circumstances. It comes from our relationship with God.God did not create marriage to make us happier. Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. If our happiness was dependent on our circumstances then how could the Apostle Paul have ever been happy? How could anyone going through life’s trials? Once we learn that we are only complete in Christ and that to die to self is the key to walking with Christ, then perhaps we will be less selfish and have more loving hearts. Yes, there is a lot of good practical advise on marriage we should avail ourselves of. Marriage only works when two people are looking to Christ and making him Lord of themselves first, and Lord of their marriage second. As soon as it becomes about “me” and what’s in it for me, we are on a slippery slope downward.
The right heart attitude in marriage is not unique to marriage. As a single man I still need to die to self and look to Christ alone for my happiness. Like Christ I need to be a servant and put others before myself. Like Paul wrote, I must practice that it is “better to give than to receive.” Marriage provides an opportunity to practice all of that in a very intimate way with a life partner but if we don’t cultivate that kind of a heart in ourselves, we will never be the kind of husband or wife God calls us to be and neither would we be the kind of single man or woman God calls us to be. We need solid Biblical teaching on marriage but more than anything we need to learn to be have the heart of Christ. Only when we have a heart like his can we be the men, women, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers God has called us to be.
You can listen to hours of sermons on marriage, attend men’s or women’s groups, go to marriage seminars, etc, but if your heart is not cultivated and Christ-like, the teaching will be like the seed in the parable that does not fall into good soil. If we have that kind of a heart, we can be successful in marriage regardless of how much teaching we’ve received. Without it, no amount of teaching will save our marriages. If we are single, we need to be seeking that kind of heart and if it’s God’s will for us to marry, it is the best possible preparation for marriage. If we are already married, we need to keep cultivating that kind of heart daily. If we never marry, we need to be cultivating that kind of heart. Love is not restricted to marriage. We love friends, neighbors, family, even strangers. If we want to love like Christ, we need a heart like Christ. Love is found on every page in Scripture and in ever story. By studying all of Scripture we see all facets of love. Were I a pastor, my mission would be to see the heart of Christ in every one in my flock. I wouldn’t focus on marriage, being single, having kids, not having kids, etc. I would preach the whole Word of God and exhort everyone to personal holiness and having a Christ-like heart.If I succeeded at that, my church would have wonderful marriages and families, and joyful singles.
I know you know this Scott! I am not preaching to you or anyone just expressing my thoughts and why for me it’s not about more teaching on marriage. Sometimes I think we go overboard when it comes to church. We feel we have to offer all kinds of classes, have fancy facilities, have professional music, coffee bars, and on and on.The early church had none of that yet was more alive than any church today. The sold all they had to give to others. Really, the Christian life is pretty simple. Believe in Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor (or husband, or wife, or friend, or co-worker, …) as you love yourself. Do those things and it’s amazing how everything falls into place.
Thanks for your thoughtful response Scott. You mentioned how you’ve not heard from any young singles in your church that they feel left out. I think the key word there is “young” which you used in every case.I wonder how someone 30+ and single would feel? Or older still? Obviously your church does not expect everyone to be married by the time they are 22 or some arbitrary age. It is more often the older singles that feel they don’t fit in. As for age of marriage and causes of divorce, there is no magic age nor single cause of divorce. I think Stott’s advice had more to do with being mature and realizing people change over time and making sure you are ready for marriage. I agree too many years alone can make adjusting to married life more difficult. I’ve been divorced for 10 years now and can attest that going back to a shared life would be challenging.
Personally, the biggest problem I feel the church faces today is a lack of Biblical knowledge. Too many churches feed them milk with pop topical teaching. They try to be “relevant” and “uplifting.” That is why I strongly believe in verse-by-verse, expository teaching through whole books of the Bible. It is the only way to insure you teach the whole Word of God and not just focus on those things you think are relevant. I’ve seen family centric churches spend too much time teaching on marriage and family while neglecting essential doctrine.We have men’s groups that spend all their time on teaching what a man’s role in the family is and how to love his wife (important topics) but many of those same men are doctrinally children. I think sometimes our focus is too inward. I’m also not a fan of special interest churches that pick one area and build the church around it. Be that style of music, type of liturgy, family centric vs age segregated, etc. My kids were home schooled and always stayed with my ex-wife and I in church. They never attended any age segregated classes or ministries. I still support that decision but it was a great opportunity to be an example and evangelize why we made those choices in a church that had age segregated offerings. Those who believed children were a distraction in a service could see well behaved children. Those who believed we were missing out on all our kids could learn in the classes got to hear how we did daily family devotions and how we taught our kids the Bible. In my experience, the more churches rally around a distinctive, the more inward focused they became.I’m sure there are exceptions though.
That’s why I don’t advocate any one solution. It’s not the increasing age at which people marry, age segregation, lack of focus on marriage, etc. It’s people not being grounded in their faith and knowing the Word of God. The rest flows from that.I know you would argue that the family is part of the foundation on which we build and I won’t argue that point, but I am for strong believers be they single or married. If you choose to stay single but walk strongly in the Lord, Amen! I don’t care if you are married or single, young or old, just love and obey the Lord. I think we also need to acknowledge that we live in a fallen world. Not everyone has a good childhood. Some grow up with issues that would make marriage ill-advised unless they can overcome those issues. They don’t have the “gift of singleness.” They are broken and might not heal this side of heaven. Marriage will not heal them. They have to heal before they can be married.While God can and does heal, it doesn’t always happen for a variety of reasons. So if they put off marriage or never marry, that’s ok. Since I fall in that camp I admit my view of marriage is weakened. For me the blessings of marriage are things I take on faith but have never experienced nor could imagine experiencing though I believe God could heal me. The thought of sharing my life intimately with one other person is foreign to me. Right now I would find that suffocating. I don’t believe I have the gift of singleness nor do I believe I am in sin for not being married. I am a wounded saint just doing my best. My plea is for the church to not neglect the wounded or make them feel second class because they are not married like the vast majority. Don’t assume in your teaching or comments that everyone is either young and heading to marriage or married. Choose your words careful and some group you are exhorting toward marriage might contain someone who feels like marriage is the last thing they could imagine themselves in and it might be painful to hear it mentioned so much. Those are my thoughts.
Hi again Bob,
Yes, you’re right that some single people in their thirties could feel left out.
I appreciate your humility in acknowledging certain things, such as your divorce and the difficulty associated with going back to married life.
I feel like you moved on to a different topic: preaching. I agree with what you said about “pop” teaching and the need for expositional preaching. You can listen to plenty of my sermons on our church website. Here’s last week’s sermon. If you’d rather watch one of my sermons instead, here’s one on YouTube.
Since you’re divorced, I’m surprised you wrote this: “I’ve seen family centric churches spend too much time teaching on marriage.” Also, in your last comment you mentioned the high divorce rate. In other words, I would expect you to say that churches should offer more teaching on marriage to help prevent divorces and to strengthen marriages.
Maybe your experience is different, but while I’ve seen many men work hard to take care of their families physically and financially, we typically fail regarding spiritual leadership. Men expect the church to be to their family what God has called them to be: pastor and shepherd.
I appreciate you sharing that you kept your children with you for service. We’re also a largely family-integrated church; however, yes, like you said, it could be overly emphasized.
Regarding your last paragraph, I appreciated it. Versus repeating it back to you and saying, “This was good…I agree with this…and this…” I’ll simply say that I thought it was well-written and I appreciate the admonition from a single saint. God bless and I’ve appreciated the conversation!
I couldn’t agree any more. The Christian walk is all about getting to know Christ himself not what he does for us but continually desiring to know him in a deep intimate way. Out of that relationship he will be able to live his life through us as we seek to be pleasing to him in all that we do. No other Person whether it’s a mother a father family member a wife a husband a child a friend nobody can for fulfill us like Christ can. He alone can make us whole. To expect another person to fulfill all of your needs will be one of the greatest disappointments in your life because they’re not able to…none of us, in and of ourselves, have that capacity. None Other but the living Christ wIthin us…I can vouch for his amazing grace having gone through many many trials in my life and divorced after 36 years. He is my everything. He’s a wonderful father, a husband, all my needs are met in Him. That’s all we will ever need. He’s a Father that is Faithful even when we’re not… and for that matter neither can we be. We need his grace all the time. The realization of our frailness, our weaknesses, our humanness is one of the biggest revelations in our lives. Accepting that is another. Getting to know Christ himself the way he knows us is the greatest journey to peace and security…
You’re right that “the Christian walk is about getting to know Christ,” and marriage is one of the ways we come to know Christ, learn to rely on Him, become more like Him. Marriage is one of the most sanctifying things on this side of heaven as it teaches us to love, forgive, be patient, etc. Through marriage husbands learn to become like Christ as they strive to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and wives hopefully are able to see Christ through their husbands.
Yes, you’re right that nobody can fulfill us like Christ can, and it is unfortunate when people look to others what they can only find in Christ. At the same time, God has given marriage to us as a gift. I know you could argue that singleness is also a gift, but I would argue that it’s only a gift for those given the gift of singleness. For the person called to marriage who remains single, it is problematic. Since marriage is a gift, for those who remain single (when they should marry) they’re missing out on what God has for them.
I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I have to wonder how much your divorce has influenced your view of marriage?
One thing I keep hearing from single Christians, is the feeling that many churches almost make an idol of marriage and make singles feel left out. While none of them think they are intentionally making singles feel this way, it seems to be a byproduct of all the emphasis on marriage and family. I’ve also heard from singles who felt judged when relationships they were in did not work out with some suggesting they were blowing all their chances to get married. There is definitely a strong feeling that single Christians in the church have of not fitting in. Both the men’s and women’s ministries are very marriage focused in most churches. While it is no doubt God’s intention that most marry, statistics show that between the ages of 18 and 49, 23% of Christians are single. In the U.S., the percentage of singles over 18 who have never married is 63%. To my mind, this creates an interesting dilemma for the church. One one hand we should promote and support marriage. God’s design for marriage has not changed no matter how much society has. On the other hand, churches are facing an increasing single population not just limited to young adults who have not married yet. If the church makes that population feel alienated they will perhaps lose the fastest growing segment in the church.
As to being called to be single, I am reminded of the John Stott, the famous English preacher, who remained single for life. He writes that he came close to marriage twice but both times did not feel the Lord’s peace in proceeding and backed out. It was only decades later that he concluded God had called him to remain single. For many years he would not have concluded that as he was open to marriage. My point is that its not always easy to know if God has called you to remain single. To expect a young man or woman to make that decision and then proceed accordingly is perhaps putting too much pressure on them. I’ve heard of young adults ministries teaching that unless they have the gift of singleness, they should be looking for their spouse. We don’t always know early on and only time will tell. What isn’t helpful, is being told that unless you are part of a very small group of Christians (those called to singleness), then you should be considering marriage. I think it best to allow one to come to that conclusion himself/herself. In Genesis 2, God did not create Eve until after Adam had named all the animals and saw there was “no suitable helper” for himself. God showed Adam his need before supplying the solution. In face of his need, the creation of Eve was a great blessing to Adam. I think though we often lecture to youth that they have a responsibility and expectation toward marriage and we don’t let them feel the need first. We seem happiest when a young Christian couple find each other and marry young thinking they are being spared years of temptation and possibly selfish single living. Yet with the divorce rate among Christians nearly 50% I would think it wise to let young Christians find marriage in their own time and not feel pressured or left out because they are single. John Stott advised against marriage younger than 25 saying that people change a lot in those early years and you might marry someone at 20 and find them to be a very different person at 25. While I believe younger marriages can work, pressuring anyone into even a good thing might not produce the best results.
Final comment and this from John Stott as well. He wrote:
“God created us as social beings. Love is the greatest thing in the world. For God is love, and when he made us in his own image, he gave us the capacity to love and to be loved. So we need each other. Yet marriage and family are not the only antidotes to loneliness.”
I would agree. While God did create Eve in response to Adam’s need, marriage is not the only cure to loneliness
How does your church accept and support singles even those who remain single yet without being in an all-consuming ministry? Would a 30-something single man or woman who had never married feel comfortable in your church or would they feel like they had a scarlet “S” on their forehead? I ask not expecting you to say they would feel judged or like an outcast, but from comments I read regularly, that is how many single Christians feel today. I think the church somehow needs to find a better balance between promoting marriage and accepting those who don’t marry even when they are not serving the Lord with most of their free time. Marriage is a wonderful thing but I’ve seen marriage become an idol in some churches and I see many single Christians feeling like outcasts at church because they have not jumped into the marriage pool like everyone else.
I understand what you’re saying and I’ve heard this before. While I’m sure churches can err by making marriage an idol and emphasizing it too much, considering the average age people marry is increasing, I tend to think churches are erring the other way: not making marriage important enough.
Regarding the outcast feeling and scarlet letter you discussed, we have a lot of young single people in our church, and I’ve never heard them say they don’t fit in. I could see if a single person was in a church and most others his/her age were married, then he/she might feel like he/she doesn’t fit in; however, we have enough single young people in our church that I don’t think this is the case.
You’re talking about the attention certain ages/groups receive in the church. I’m not a big fan of segregating families/churches. If the church largely worships together and engages in activities together then you don’t have to worry about who’s getting more or less attention than others.
We know some people are given the gift of singleness, and the fact that it’s called a gift means it shouldn’t be frowned on; however, this seems to be the exception versus the norm. You mentioned John Stott, but if I asked for the names of people with the gift of singleness it’s hard to come up with many names.
As far as “looking for their spouse” as you said, my recommendation is to be faithful. I tell young people they should serve the Lord, and see who God brings into their lives. This is better than “looking,” because if you find someone in your own effort you have to wonder if it’s who God brought for you/God’s best, or who you found on your own.
The divorce rate among Christians is too high, but it sounds like you’re saying it’s because they get married young? I doubt that’s the case. People typically have harder times when they get married later in life, because they’re used to being single and not thinking of someone else. When they get married young, they don’t have the time to build that selfishness.
I didn’t know John Stott advised against marrying younger than 25, but the question isn’t what John says. The question is: what does the Bible say? I don’t see any biblical support for his position.
If God said that man shouldn’t be alone, then why are so many of us good single men still single and all alone today?
First, can you tell me what you mean by “good single men”? Do you mean Christian men?
Second, I know lots of wonderful, single, godly women. Actually, our church seems to have more single women than men.
Third, I wanted to get married for about five years before I finally got married. At times I wondered if I’d ever get married. In other words, just because you’re single now doesn’t mean you won’t get married.
Fourth, what steps are you taking to be in a position to meet a godly wife? Are you plugged into a local church, active, and serving?
Scott I was doing some googling about “it not being good for the man to be alone” and came across your blog. My wife of 27 1/2 yrs died at the end of July 2018. When I was looking for a Christian woman for a wife, and felt very keenly that it was not good for me to be without a wife, God brought us together. As I wait for the Lord to heal me of this horrible loss (I’m doing GriefShare classes), I wonder, is it still not good for this man to be alone? I’m 62 now rather than my early 30’s, so am in a very different place in life. Of course I feel a huge hole in my life without Liz. I look back and its obvious that God used Liz to shape me into a better husband, man and Christian. I dont figure I will seriously consider dating for another year or more, but still wonder about the future… When does it ever stop “not being good that the man is alone”?
I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s passing. I’m also sorry that I don’t have a straight answer for you. Two thoughts come to mind:
• If you’re still heavily grieving over your wife, it might be unfair to marry another women. Perhaps you should wait until your grieving has eased. By the way, I say “heavily grieving” versus simply “grieving,” and “eased,” versus “ceased,” because you’ll probably never stop grieving for her, and that is completely appropriate.
• Perhaps God would bring a woman into your life and your relationship with her would help ease the pain from your loss. If this took place, you shouldn’t feel any guilt. You were faithful to your wife, and just because you’re now married to a different woman doesn’t mean you were any less faithful to your wife when she was alive.
Also, typically people marry for different reasons in different seasons of life. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul says it’s “not good for people to be alone” when they “burn with lust.” In other words, they marry to satisfy their sexual desires. But often when people are older they marry for reasons associated with companionship.
I would say you have the liberty to marry or remain single. My encouragement would be to serve the Lord, be faithful to Him, and see if He brings a woman into your life.
Hi, Scott. I truly appreciate the article and discussion. Regrettably, my marriage of 24 years ended in divorce. My former spouse committed adultery and has since married the other party. After five years of losing my marriage and failures in subsequent dating relationships, I am finally through with the desire to remarry and determined to walk alone the rest of my earthly journey. My heart’s desire to serve God with all my being and fulfill His plan for my life. I believe a mate for my life wouldn’t add value and be more of a hindrance or distraction. My counsel to any man with a call from God on his life that he chose his helpmate wisely and prayerfully.
I’m very sorry to hear about your divorce, and your spouse’s remarriage, obviously making reconciliation an impossibility.
I am glad to hear that God has given you a wonderful desire to serve Him, and remain single. That would be my recommendation too, since God speaks so strongly about remarriage following divorce:
• Mark 10:11-12 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Very clearly Jesus said if someone divorces his/her spouse and marries another it is adultery. Also notice the word adultery is used because this is referring to married individuals. This is opposed to the verses in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 where the words “sexual immorality” are used. We’ll discuss this distinction later, but please keep in mind Jesus mentioned adultery here.
• Luke 16:18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery. Jesus says the same thing He said in Mark 10:11-12, but He adds that marrying a divorced person is also committing adultery. Again, the word adultery is used, not sexual immorality because these are married individuals.
Yes, good counsel. Few – if any – decisions in life as consequential as the person we marry.
This is really a great article. I like the fact that you used scripture as well as life experience.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad the article blessed you!
I don’t get your first point Scott. Presumably a man would not have a family to lead and provide for unless he were married (at least Christian men) in which case he would have a wife/helper. You would not get married to have a helper if you weren’t planning on having children. So that point seems a bit odd as I don’t see Christian men having a family without a wife.
I find it odd you call “being fruitful and filling the earth” as the second command. What do you consider the first? While I agree God commanded mankind to be fruitful and fill the earth I believe God leaves it up to us if we want to have children or how many. I see that as a general command and not specific to every married couple. Obviously some couples cannot have children of their own thus are unable to fulfill that command. Adopting children, while wonderful, still doesn’t fulfill that command. I would not say that is a command that applies to all couples.
That all said, clearly marriage is a blessing for those who are called to it as are having children. Not being married or not having children is also a blessing if that is God’s will. I am curious what motivated you to write this? Do you feel too many young men are failing to see the benefits of marriage and are staying single? I think I would focus on saying if you want a life partner then you should get married and not live together or date forever. If you are content alone then that’s fine too. I think someone will know if they are not happy being alone.
Agreed Scott – the Holy Spirit is the giver of all good gifts. I should have said that God may have used the circumstances in my life to prepare me (as you said) to walk in that gift. As we like to say, God works in mysterious ways.
I appreciate your acknowledgement about the challenges for introverts. Sometimes us introverts can feel like we are inferior Christians or in sin because we don’t gravitate as naturally to be around fellow believers and participate in the more social ministries of the church. I used to get an upset stomach prior to a Friday night Bible study at a families home and couldn’t hang around more than 10 minutes after it ended. I used to put my bike in the back of the family van so I could ride home (30 miles) from church and not have to hang around for an hour like the rest of the family wanted to. I’m a cyclist so the mileage was not a problem. 🙂
Sometimes the understandable focus on the family in church can leave someone like me feel left out. I recall at Mother’s Day 2 years ago the pastor dismissed us wishing us a wonderful afternoon of family time. He made the natural assumption that being mother’s day we’d all be celebrating in some way. Of course I remembered and celebrated my Mom (who had died) but not with anyone. Being divorced I was not celebrating with my ex-wife. It was not a family day for me. It would have been better had he said “For those of you celebrating Mother’s Day with family this afternoon I wish you a blessed time, and even if you aren’t I pray you have a blessed rest of the day.” I think at times in emphasizing the family we leave out those who are not part of a family in a meaningful way.
That makes sense (about introverts). I’ve heard a few introverted friends of mine share about their struggles along those lines. I’ve also noticed that sometimes introverts can be considered unfriendly and snobby, when that’s not intended at all.
I appreciate the story about the Mother’s Day celebration. As the pastor of a church with lots of families and children, I need to remember to be sensitive to people who don’t fit that demographic. I know I have made people feel excluded before, so your comment serves as a good reminder.
I don’t disagree with anything you wrote except that some of it would seemingly be different for someone with the gift of singleness. If God has given you that gift then having a wife would not be a greater blessing. It would be for those called to marriage but if called to singleness then staying single would be the best state.Children are a blessing but if called to singleness that blessing might distract you from other things the Lord has for you. In other words, I think everything you wrote applies to men who are called to marriage as opposed to men called to singleness. Since that is the norm then it applies to most.
As for me, hard to say. It’s kind of a chicken and egg question. On one hand I can look back and see how my upbringing might have made me the way I am and if I had a different upbringing I might love the idea of marriage. On the other hand God is sovereign and perhaps my upbringing is God’s means for preparing me for a life of singleness. Romans 8:28 promises us that God “causes all things to work together for good” so even a dysfunctional family life can be used by God to bring about something good.
Of course not all aspects of my upbringing led to good things. I have some things I am still working to overcome. Being anti-social is not ideal. Being celibate was not always easy. I don’t enjoy people as much as most. Spending time with family and friends is not a big part of my life. So did God give me the gift of singleness or has He given me grace to deal with a broken life that has resulted in a state of singleness but perhaps without the gift? Impossible for me to say.
My job is simple. Follow Jesus, share my faith, obey, and serve. I’m not going to dwell on marriage, singleness, finding someone, etc. I’ve always tried to live life believing that Jesus is all I truly need. Marriage is a great blessing as are children but at the core all I *need* is Jesus. If I don’t experience those other blessings that’s okay. My trials have made me who I am. I’d hesitate to change a thing were that possible.
Yes, you’re right that the post would definitely be different for someone with the gift of singleness :). I think I took that for granted, but in hindsight it probably would’ve been a good addition. I could tell you that I agree with what you wrote, but I think the better statement would be 1 Corinthians 7 agrees with what you wrote.
The only part of the post I question is your discussion of your childhood determining your situation. Then it seems like, assuming you have the gift of singleness, that you received it from your upbringing…versus the Holy Spirit, who scripture teaches is the bestower of all gifts. Does that make sense? I don’t think people can receive gifts through experiencing, training, trauma, circumstances, etc. I do see that your upbringing – as you said – could be God’s way of preparing you to walk in that gifting. I could say something similar with my military training: gave me leadership skills to use as a pastor.
Yes, I agree with your job description in the closing paragraph. Very good. I know social interaction is a stretch for all introverts, but just like listening (versus talking) is a stretch for all extroverts, we must all work to obey God regardless of our weaknesses. I’ve appreciated the conversation, and your testimony – especially your commitment to Christ – has encouraged me!
No I should not have married. Yes my children are a great blessing but that aside I should not have married. While it may not be true of others with the gift of singleness, my upbringing also left me very uncomfortable in social settings. My main ministry has been teaching. I am not shy about public speaking or leading a Bible study but I am not good at the social end of things. In secular terms you might say I have social phobia. I am not one to hang around after church or attend a men’s group. I find social interaction very taxing. That is one reason I no longer wish to marry. Having someone around that much would exhaust me. I work as a software engineer and am alone most of the day then most evenings and weekends. I do have some people interaction but not nearly as much as most. I crave time alone. To meet me you would not think that of me as I can be very outgoing but it taxes me. It has taken me many years to figure this all out.
Ah, okay, thank you for the explanation and for explaining so honestly and humbly. Do you think you have the gift of singleness then?
For my own information, and especially because of the perspective you offer as someone who doesn’t desire marriage, can you let me know what (if any) of my post you disagree with?
Thank you again!
I agree with everything you wrote Scott but also realize we live in a fallen world and not all wounds heal quickly. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family leaving me very introverted and comfortable being alone. I was married but my wife turned out to not be a Christian and unwilling to live in peace. Now I am divorced but we had three children who are a blessing. Still I have no desire to go back to marriage. I never enjoyed living with a wife and having that much company.I am more at peace living alone. I don’t desire much company or affection. I prefer to do most things alone. It gives me more time for study, thought, etc. I know my life is not ideal but I’d go crazy having someone else around all the time!
Hello Our God Is Too Big,
Thank you for reading and commenting. First, I’m sorry your marriage ended in a divorce. Second, after reading what you wrote, do you think you should have gotten married in the first place? Or another way to ask the same question: do you think you have (and had prior to marriage) the gift of singleness? I know you have these three children, which I’m sure will influence your answer, because perhaps to say you have the gift of singleness is to say you wish you hadn’t had these children. That’s not what I’m implying just to be clear. God can bring good from any situation, and all children are a blessing, regardless of the way they come into the world. With that said, understanding I’m not asking you to wish your kids hadn’t been born, do you think you’d have been better off single throughout your life?
Does God mean this literally, cuz I’m single women for most my life and it makes me feel unworthy or not “good” for anyone ??
It seems that the normal, healthy pattern for most people involves marriage. There are detriments to singleness, which I outlined in the post. With that said, the Apostle Paul spent much of his life and ministry single, and Jesus Himself was single; therefore, there definitely seems to be room for it. Additionally, in 1 Corinthians 7, beginning at verse 25, Paul addresses single people. Here’s part of what he says:
It seems clear from these verses that not only is there a place for singleness, there’s also one important advantage: being able to commit more time and energy to the Lord’s service. So while I would say singleness is permitted by Scripture, I would also say that if God allows you to be single, you’re expected to be a good steward of your greater freedom, time, and energy.
I like the fourth reason because he won’t have the influence of a woman. I might add that there are many more reasons, one is happiness it’s a fact that married people are happier and live longer than single people.
My wife obtained and unscriptural divorce and because it wasn’t based on adultery I’m left alone and cannot remarry otherwise in my religion I would be committing adultery if I remarried because scripturally the marriage has not been severed in God’s eyes only in a legal court of law. I welcome any and all Scriptual viewpoints on this matter ?
Yes, there are more reasons. Thanks for sharing another one. Yes, marriage definitely provides us with some of the greatest happiness we can experience on this side of heaven.
I am sorry to say, but I would also discourage you from remarrying. I know singleness is a difficult cross to bear when you want to be married, but I agree with the counsel you’ve received that you’d be committing adultery if you remarried as long as your wife is still alive.
I have a fairly brief paper I prepared discussing the verses associated with divorce and remarriage. I would be happy to email it to you if you contact me through my contact page and provide your address.
I will pray for the endurance and contentment you need to remain single. I hesitate to say this, because I’m not in your situation, but I know God’s grace will be sufficient for you to do what’s right. You could easily tell me it’s easier for me to say that then live it and you’re right.
I received your email and responded to it, but then I received an undeliverable message. Can you please message me again and put your email in the message so I can see if I have it wrong? Thanks!
This is incredibly sexist
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Can you let me know what specifically you found to be sexist?
Yes, this stuff can seem very sexist at casual glance, and in this fallen world (with sin in it), men absolutely have used these scriptures to oppress, suppress, and dominate women rather than uplift them.
Early in my marriage (lasted 31 years till his untimely death) my husband once said to me, “CAN’T YOU JUST AGREE WITH EVERYTHING I SAY?! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN IDEAS?!” Granted he was only 23 when he said this, but I did burst out laughing, and replied, “Get used to it, dude. I actually DO have my own thoughts and my own ability to be discerning! Furthermore, if you think that being my husband automatically authorizes you to shut my mind down, you can’t just forget that right this minute.”
And so, he did figure it out. He was a fine husband.
Thank you for responding to Grace.
Whether something seems sexist (like headship and submission), harsh (the doctrine of eternal punishment), or untrue (miracles in Scripture), the questions are not, “What do we think? What makes the most sense to us? Is this what we want to believe?” The question is, “What does the Bible teach?”
I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. Thanks for your 31 years of marriage; wonderful testimony. Regarding his comment, I’m sorry he said that, and I’m glad he learned to value your thoughts and counsel. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make Him a helper comparable to him.” At least part of the reason for that helper (as I wrote in this post), is man needs his to hear his wife’s advice when making decisions.
Scott thank you. How do you respond to Paul’s writings 1 Corinthians 7: 1-16 , 25-40 . As a teacher of the bible I have learned not to seek common ground but to teach what the book says.I believe the only way to be fruitful was to create women. This is why God said its not good for man ( not Adam).The bible is not incredibly sexist and neither is Jesus. Eve ate first of the fruit , the curse .. your desire shall be for your husband ( women’s desire shall be to rule her husband) but he shall rule over you.. battle of the sexes ..God Bless
Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the approach you said you take to teaching.
Regarding your question, it’s definitely a good (and obvious one) considering the topic. What are we to think about Paul’s words about singleness in light of God’s statement in Genesis 2:18 about man being alone? There are only two possibilities: there’s a contradiction in Scripture, or there’s some way to harmonize these verses. I definitely lean toward the latter.
Much of the harmonizing can take place when looking at 1 Corinthians 7:26:
Paul wrote this when the church was experiencing heavy persecution. Not the best time to get married and start a family! The typical pattern for most people though is marriage and children. There are a few exceptions, take for instance those with the gift of singleness, but for most, getting married and having children is God’s will.
Additionally, we can look at Scripture to see these verses harmonized. There are a few single men, such as Paul and Jesus, but the majority of men were married and they had children. So we can say that while singleness is the acceptable path for a few, it’s only a few. For the majority it would “not be good if they were alone.”
What did Jesus say about, “Mann being alone is not gut”? Are there any Bible verses that you could suggest? Danke.
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you’re asking. Jesus never quoted Genesis 2:18, which is where God said, “It is not good for man to be lone.” The closest would be the two times (Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7) He said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?
That’s true. It isn’t good for the man to be alone… I’m really sorry when a divorce happens. It’s happens with me. I’m terrified with the consequence.
I would to be close to my family and be a support to my son and help him with his homework…
I’m very sorry that you’ve been through a divorce! Is there any chance of you being able to reconcile with your wife? I will pray for that to take place!
I’m glad you want to be close to your family and continue to invest in their (especially your children’s) lives. Hopefully if your wife sees that it will soften her heart toward you.
I just don’t want to be married and have bratty little children, just my opinion.
Yes, there are definitely some difficulties associated with raising children. We’re about to have our seventh, and we hope the Lord will bless us with even more. The reason is that the difficulties pale in comparison to the blessings. Children are one of God’s greatest gifts on this side of heaven. I hope you don’t miss out!
I am praying for a godly husband who will love me and be very loving. I am so tired of being alone am having a very difficult time. I am trying to stand on God’s Word for believing God for the husband He has for me.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Singleness is difficult. I will pray God brings you a godly husband, and that His grace is sufficient for you during your singleness. If I might encourage you, while you stand on God’s Word regarding a husband, make sure you stand on His Word regarding contentment. I don’t mean that as a discouragement, but as an encouragement. I hope you believe God can help you be settled during season of waiting.
Don’t waste your time ! I have been praying for years for a good wife and I am great loving man myself and I keep getting disrespected and treated badly ..
I’m glad you’re praying for a “good” wife. I’m hoping that means “a godly” wife? Also, you said:
If you don’t mind me asking, do you think this sounds prideful? If you work to be the godly husband God wants you to be, you can trust Him to provide a godly wife. If you’re being disrespected and treated badly, then are you pursuing Christian or non-Christian women?
I was married for 16 yrs to my wife. She because pregnant and we had the baby . It was one of Beautiful experiences of my life. I loved that little boy . I help her with the baby but I had to go back to work. In the meantime she had her mother come to help her while I was at work. Her mother was very controlling and wanted to do things her way which I did not like. So there was a little conflict between myself and her mother . We were happy by ourselves without her mothers influence. Then one day I came home from work and she was gone with the baby. She moved into her mothers house. 2 weeks later I get a letter from her lawyer that she wants the divorce. It’s been 11 months since then and she still wants a divorce. Have not talk to her all this time because everything is working through the lawyers. She don’t want to talk when I asked her what happened she doesn’t say anything to talk aboutt You talk about being alone I’ve been alone now for almost a year it’s terrible I have no friends family but they’re busy all the time I really don’t have anybody in my life . in is quite depressing and very lonely
Thanks for sharing your story. Since the Bible forbids accepting one person’s story until the other side is heard, I can’t comment much on the situation with your wife: Proverbs 18:17 – The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
I will say that if the divorce isn’t final, keep praying for an opportunity to speak to your wife. If she shares with you the reasons she wants to divorce, try to humbly listen and ask for forgiveness. I say “try,” because it’s never easy to listen to someone else criticize us without defending ourselves. Plus, I’m sure you have your frustrations with your wife too; there’s always fault on both sides.
I am sorry about the loneliness you’re experiencing, and I’m sure it’s very difficult. Have you been attending church? God wants to meet many of the desires we have through the body of Christ. Perhaps if you’re wife learns you’re going to church that might give her some encouragement regarding staying with you? Even if that doesn’t happen God’s desire is still for you to be in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, marriage is a gift from God, and one of His most wonderful blessings on this side of heaven!
The real problem though is that there are so many women that are real feminists nowadays unfortunately, and real men haters altogether as well. Makes it very difficult for many of us good single men trying to find love now, especially when these women today Aren’t like the good old days anymore like most of them were. Real ladies back then, that is for sure. Quite a change today. Wouldn’t you say?
I understand what you’re saying. I remember feeling the same way prior to marriage. I now realize I wasn’t looking in the right places. Godly, conservative women are part of godly, conservative churches and organizations. Do you attend a conservative, biblically-ordered church? I’m associated with NCFIC and Christian Heritage, and both of these organizations are filled with single, conservative women looking for godly, spiritual leaders.
Well unfortunately this is a very completely different time that we live in now since the real good old fashioned ladies years ago made real love really happened back then, and today it is very difficult for many of us good men to still be alone since many of us really wanted to meet the right good woman to settle down with to have a family. Today the women are nothing at all like the old days since most of these women just want to sleep around with all different kinds of men now instead of committing themselves to just only one man. So as you can see that this is a real problem for many of us very serious innocent good men really looking for a relationship now. And with so many women that like to party and get wasted all the time which as you can see that even God unfortunately has no control at all over these type of women that are like this nowadays which makes it very sad. And i do agree with you one hundred percent that man shouldn’t be alone at all since many of us are still single today because of these type of women since they’re very much to blame anyway. It really does take two to tango, but unfortunately these women just don’t care at all. Quite a change in the women of today compared to the old days. Wouldn’t you say?
I know plenty of godly women in our church and in other churches. Generally the women we end up interacting with are more a product of the way our lives our lived. Go to bars and meet women who attend bars. Go to church and meet women who attend church. If you’re genuinely looking for a godly woman, pray for one and God will have no trouble bring the right one into your life.
Great post 🙂 what I love about the story of God creating man and woman is that God realized that man was alone while He God enjoyed the fellowship of Trinity. Man needed another in order to more fully represent the image of God (3 in 1).
I loved how you added your view of wife as taking good to very good. I found that very encouraging so thank you for that.
Now for your discussion questions 🙂
1) I think I’ve answered this question
2) I think one of the best ways a wife can encourage her husband is to really see him. By this I mean taking the time to notice what he does for her and the family; appreciating him and not trying to fit him in her views or ideals. To value him for who he is today.
3) This applies to my marriage in my submitting to my husband and ensuring that we maintain a united front especially when it comes to our boys. Our older two boys are at the stage of hearing mom say no and then asking dad the same question or vice versa. For me and my hubby we make sure that the boys here the same answer. I also try to emphasize to the boys that they must respect their daddy and listen to him. I will also sometimes gather the boys aside to provide space for my hubby when he is working or I feel he is needing some space to watch his sport and relax.
4) ha ha ha this one needs a phone conversation to answer ha ha ha. I will give it my best. Although we’ve been married almost 11 yrs (I got married at 20 so yes still a young 31), God really deepened my understanding of unconditional and sacrificial love these past 3-4 years. Ive learned to love my husband regardless of his actions or views. I choose to be with him everyday of my life because I love him so dearly. I’ve learned to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit about when to speak and when to be silent (don’t always get it right) or when to reach out and love instead of jumping on the fighting train. This often takes patience and trust. Patience with life and my hubby. Trust that God will meet the needs of us all. These are lessons that couples should learn in their marriage irrespective of sharing Christian beliefs and my reason is because this is a small reflection of how Jesus loves us. Marriage is not about the individual its all about your spouse. You lay aside yourself to love your spouse with everything you’ve got. I hope I’ve answered your question justly.
5) A husband sees his wife as very good when he feels seen, appreciated and understood by her. For me this has meant, flirting and being playful with my husband, laughing with him and teasing him back or in other words keep things fun and light. It has meant accepting him for who he is and embracing our differences (we are more different than alike lol). It’s extending trust and allowing him the freedom he needs to be a man so I mustn’t be controlling. It also means sharing my heart with him and listening to his heart without getting defensive (where possible).
Great post again 🙂
Wow, thanks for the wonderfully thorough thoughts! I hope others who read the post take the time to read your comment too. You’re welcome; I’m glad the post encouraged you.
I also just wanted to say thanks so much for your commitment to marriage. You’ve shared before that your husband isn’t a believer, so while many people might be tempted to leave their unbelieving spouse (even though Scripture forbids it in 1 Corinthians 7 and in a subtler way in 1 Peter 3), I appreciate your faithfulness to your husband. I will pray that the Lord will use your commitment to your husband (which is really a commitment to Christ), to win over your husband as 1 Peter 3:1-2 describes. Thanks for your testimony Ailie. I truly mean it.
These are great reasons. Most of them I have thought about before, but not number “A wife takes ‘not good’ and makes it ‘very good.’” I love that!
Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing your favorite :).
These are all wonderful points on why marriage is so important. How do you feel about those who are called to live a single life? As many people do not get married and yet they still follow God’s will and participate in His plans.
Fellowship with fellow Christians allows for many singles to still be included in God’s work – and those same single people often help in ways married couples cannot as married couples with young kids spend their time raising their kids… Thanks for your thoughts again Scott
You said, “many people do not get married.” I would disagree with the word “many.” Yes, there are some people called to singleness, but the normal, expected pattern for most (if not almost all) people is marriage. Regarding singleness, here’s part of 1 Corinthians 7:32-34:
According to Paul, one of the advantages of singleness is it allows service to the Lord with a wholehearted devotedness that married people can’t exhibit. The reason is married people have to take care of their spouse (and often children), while single people can focus entirely on the Lord. Anna and Paul are good examples. They wouldn’t have been able to commit themselves to the Lord’s service in the way they did if they were married. But Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7, and the examples he and Anna set, are not meant condemn or minimize marriage or the expectation for most people to get married.
I brought up the same point. 1 Corinthians 7:8 was completely ignored. This incomplete and article is a perfect example of why everyone should read the Bible on their own and not believe everything you hear or read (especially on the internet). I personally don’t agree with many parts of this article.
Please see my response to Bryan’s other comment.
If you have any questions, please let me know. God bless!