Page 2 of 3

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:43 am
by Singalphile
dwight92070 wrote:Singalphile,
Had I the chance to do it over again, I would have married in my early twenties. Personally, I believe it was a mistake to wait that long. ... Basically, I set aside almost 15 years of my life, which could have been spent in rich service to God and my wife and children, had I gotten married. Instead, those years were largely spent in recreational activities with other singles with little or no dating, and I'm afraid little or no spiritual fruit to show for it.

Today, the trend of the world is to not marry, and of course, to sleep around. So the message to remain single comes from both in the church and outside the church. But God said that it is not good for man to be alone. So, generally, most people should get married. Remaining single should be the exception, not the rule. I truly believe God's will for you is whatever desire he has put in you. If you desire a wife and children, then you should marry. If not, then He has another work for you to do. As a practical matter, if you do get married, you probably would have fewer issues if you marry a woman who has not been married before, but, obviously that is between you, her, and God. If you haven't already done so, Steve's teaching on divorce and marriage is well worth listening to. I wish I had heard that back when I was a new Christian.

Again, don't get me wrong. I love my wife and children. I do not believe they are God's "second best", just because I waited so long to marry. But I do believe the church sends out wrong messages, unintentionally, that don't always line up with what the Bible says, which greatly changed my life.
Hi, dwight92070. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate it very much.

Marriage is still pretty much the norm among people I know, I think. I haven't felt any pressure from any Christians one way or the other. (It was a non-Christian who first kind of embarrassed me about not being married.)

I noticed the other day that although Paul advised the unmarried Corinthians to stay unmarried if possible (1 Cor 7:8), he also wrote in 1 Cor 9 that, unlike himself, "the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas" were married.

I think TruthInLove pointed me in the right direction. I have not been using my time and abilities fruitfully. I don't see how I could attribute that to my singleness, though. I just got too busy with work. I've always figured that since I'm not getting married (b/c I never had interest in dating/marriage), I'd be able to retire early and then do my service/ministry "later". That was/is not very wise of me, I think, and I'm now taking steps to see what I can start doing as soon as possible. For various reasons, I mistakenly substituted marriage in for that lack of Church ministry/service, I think. My sudden, unexpected, and unwelcome impulse to seek marriage is subsiding, thankfully.

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:15 pm
by Paidion
I noticed the other day that although Paul advised the unmarried Corinthians to stay unmarried if possible (1 Cor 7:8), he also wrote in 1 Cor 9 that, unlike himself, "the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas" were married.
Yes, Paul stated that he was unmarried. However, he never stated that he had never been married.

Here is some possible evidence that Paul had been married at some point in his life:

1. Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin. It was required that members of the Sanhedrin be married.
2. Though Paul stated that he was unmarried, he never referred to himself as a παρθενος (virgin).
3. In none of his letters did Paul state that he had never been married at any time.
4. Some think that Paul was addressing his wife in Philippians 4:3, when he addressed someone as his "true companion."

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:35 pm
by steve
The belief that Paul was once a member of the Sanhedrin seems very questionable. At the time of his association with the Sanhedrin, he was "a young man"(Acts 7:58). It is my understanding that the Sanhedrin consisted of elders in Israel. Saul's mentor Gamaliel was a ranking Sanhedrist, and Saul was probably his protege being trained for possible membership. I am of the opinion that Saul left Judaism before he would have become a member. It is notable that he did not personally take an active part in the Sanhedrin's stoning of Stephen. He was relegated to the role of "coat monitor."

The only suggestion that Saul might have been a member of the Sanhedrin comes from Paul's telling of his testimony that he "cast [his] vote" (Acts 26:10) against the Christians. This suggests to some that he was a member of the Sanhedrin, though it might have been in other settings—as something like a witness or a "jury" member—that he had occasion to do this. He might even be speaking of casting a mental "vote" since the scripture said that Saul "was consenting" to Stephen's death (Acts 8:1).

On several occasions, Paul gave a summary of his faithful and prestigious life in Judaism prior to his conversion (e.g., Acts 22:3-5; 26:4-11; Gal.1:13-14; Phil.3:4-6). He does not ever mention being on the Sanhedrin. This, it seems, would have been one of the top credits on his resumé, had he once sat on that Supreme Court and ruled Israel.

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:17 pm
by Paidion
Yes, it is not certain that Paul was a member of the Sandhedrin; it is a wide-spread opinion that possibly has some basis.

Also by writing the sentence, "1. Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin. It was required that members of the Sanhedrin be married," I didn't mean to imply that this is true information or that it is a personal belief of mine. I was merely using it as one of four sentences that I offered as possible evidence that Paul had been married at one time, one that several times I have heard others express .

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:19 pm
by Singalphile
Staying unmarried is definitely great, for those considering it. The unmarried have much more free time and money, no stress/worries, and more friends of all kinds. It's like having no need for sleep or food!

But I am having trouble figuring out what to do with this "super power". If you could just drop everything and go anywhere and do anything, what would you do? What ministry is most needed in the global Church?

I wish is was like the military, and I could just show up at the recruitment center and say, "I'm ready to serve; evaluate me, train me, and send me wherever you need the most help!" Alas, we have no such organization.

(Of course, everyone has different skills, gifts, and interests, but leave that aside for now.)

I attended a week-long Bible translation conference (with Wycliffe) two months ago, I hope to go to India (for a wedding) in the next few months to check things out over there, and of course I'm always keeping an eye out for ministry openings/partners at church groups.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:58 am
by TruthInLove
Hi Singalphile,

Glad to hear you're comfortable with your current marital status. It's also exciting to hear of your interest in expanding your outreach.

I personally cannot advocate for any specific organization or cause. Your personal call to ministry is between you and God.

However, as you prayerfully search for a ministry to which to contribute or even build, one idea you might consider in answering these questions is that we are called to be good stewards. Lack of godly stewardship plagues our world and is arguably one of the most fundamental problems we face. Our practices of faith, zeal, patience, endurance, compassion, love, generosity, etc. all relate to our understanding of the principles of stewardship.

Coincidentally, one of the primary roles that leading a biological family serves is to shape our understanding and faith in these principles. In the absense of biological offspring, where would you consider that your sense of stewardship is being tested and proved? You may find that it's in your friendships and business relationships.

If that is true, a window into where you could be of most use in broader service to God may be in analzying ways you could be a guiding influence in these areas. Where has the development of your friendships and business relationships excelled? Where could they be improved? In what ways are your friends and employer(s) excelling at stewarding the resources they have at their disposal? Where are they struggling? What are the consequences? What could be done to improve on those situations? More importantly, how would you gauge these same areas in the business of your own life? In the areas that can be improved, what are some effective ways you could go about bringing about that change?

As long as you remain single, your offspring consist of the people with whom you work, conduct business and fellowship. It can be easy to underestimate the possibility that you may be called to a ministry that nurtures change in those areas.

- Carmine

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:58 pm
by Singalphile
Thank you for the continued advice, TruthInLove (Carmine). Blooming where you're planted is great. The thing is, I'm not "planted" anywhere. I'm hoping that there's some reason for that, other than just me being an apparently low libido loner :). I hope and pray that God's got something special in mind, something that most people cannot do (I should be careful what I wish for!). We'll see.

By the way ... The eharmony website was good, even for a completely average guy like myself. I corresponded a lot with a really excellent young lady (a few years my junior) - eager to be a missionary, multilingual, no divorce/kids, does all kinds of service in her community, smart (a PhD) and fun. Perfect (aside for her lack of musical ability), and yet ... shrug.

I've made it clear that I don't want to marry, but she remains a good "email pal". I hope we'll someday meet. I limited my match range to just a few miles, but she contacted me (she was not looking afar either, but I was in one of those, "Here's someone just outside of your search range," popups), and I was admittedly swayed by her looks. So you might as well use a wide search range if you're serious about it. Some parts of the country apparently have very few serious believers :(.

I had several other nice exchanges. Before my account closed, I figured that I should actually go on a date, just for the experience. One young lady (definitely too young, actually) was kind enough to respond. We just went and had coffee. She was very nice, smart, accomplished (a doctor/pediatrician), and a seemingly excellent, mature believer. Again, I made it clear (before the "date") that I was not interested in marriage or in anything romantic. It was very enjoyable (at least for me; I think I bored her, though she was very nice). But it's good to just have another contact.

So if anyone's considering that, as long as you know what you're looking for - a godly-minded person! - it's a solid option, imo. If you really try, you can meet a bunch of people, I'm sure.

Anyway, have a great week, everyone!

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:56 pm
by Paidion
Just out of curiosity. Why is your name on this forum "Singalphile" instead of "Singlephile"?

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:49 pm
by Singalphile
Paidion wrote:Just out of curiosity. Why is your name on this forum "Singalphile" instead of "Singlephile"?
I think I explained it once or twice before somewhere, though I wouldn't expect anyone to remember. I can hardly remember. I think it was only to make it more unique. It certainly had nothing at all to do with anything in any way related to marriage or anything associated with marriage.

Re: To Marry or not to Marry?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:44 pm
by Paidion
Okay. Pardon me. I thought it was because you loved being single.