Friday, October 23, 2020

Marriage and Discipleship

 Recently I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that one of the people I follow retweeted the following:

Is this good advice for single people?

I don't think so:

Marriage is wonderful. 

I can't imagine my life without my wife and children. They are a wonderful addition to my life.

The reality is that I have lived the majority of my life not married. For most of my adult life I was a single pastor who sought to follow Jesus. 

One of my regrets is that I wasted much of my time of singleness, because I continually believed that marriage and family was the missing part of my life. Rather than seeking God and His Kingdom, I sought after marriage. 

My discipleship was stunted as a result.

Consider what Jesus said about marriage:
Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!” 
“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:10-12; NLT)

 This does not sound like Jesus endorsed the advice to "get married soon" and "find a career." Rather, it seems like Jesus wants us to evaluate our lives and commit to a path that allows us to follow him. 

The path of singleness is a good but difficult life. Being single frees us from responsibilities that keep us from focusing solely on God's Kingdom and growing in holiness. It also creates the difficulty of being single in a world where couples and romance are celebrated and idolized. 

Being single is not easy, but it opens up the possibility of following Jesus at a deeper level than being married offers.

It is crucial that we do not offer up marriage as the perfect ideal for following Jesus. When we do we are in danger of turning marriage into an idol and making those who are single into second class citizens. 

Our marital status is not an indication of our discipleship. 

Our discipleship depends on our faithfulness to Jesus. May we continue to encourage one another, married and single, to remain faithful to him.


  1. This is so good! We need to follow Jesus just as he has called us!

  2. I appreciate your words of encouragement, Paul. Thank you for sharing!


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