1 Corinthians 7:32-34 "I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband."
It is tough sometimes, when most of the Biblical writers we spend our time reading, and most ancient and modern theologians we enjoy spending our time in....were not only without children, but remained single. If only Jesus would have married, and had three little girls so that I could have a more distinct pattern to follow.
It's helpful to realize that the "freedom to not get married" was a large pill to swallow for most ancient Jews. The fact that Jesus grew older without getting married would have seemed rather odd for most in that culture that strongly emphasized leaving generations behind you. The people receiving words like the ones above, needed encouragement that it could actually be a "good" thing to not get married. That freedom in Christ could actually mean freedom even from cultural norms and expected patterns of life.
I would agree...I probably divide my attention/love/energies/etc. in ways that someone without a wife and kids would not have to worry about. But I would also say that I have an understanding of God's Love for the Bride of Christ, and God's Love for us as children....in a way quite unlike anything I would've had, if I'd remained single.
We understand that Paul was not saying it's better for all people to remain single. Nor would the Bible say that it's better for everyone to experience marriage and children. But that God would be the focus, honored, experienced, and proclaimed by the life we live. Devotion to a life of celibacy and devotion to a spouse/kids can both become idols. Or they can become paths of being wholly devoted to God.
I pray that as years roll into decades...my life will be a living testimony of a husband and father who loves God faithfully and wholly. I love the praxis of it, that's for sure...
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