Our pastor didn’t preach on Sunday; we had a guest. But the week prior, He spoke on being wholly devoted to the Lord. Paul, at first blush, sounds anti-marriage, anti-sex, anti-woman. At least, read through our present day eyes.
But, as Alfred pointed out, Paul was basically giving his opinion from his perspective. The truth within his opinion is that singles have a much less difficult time doing what they want, being independent and self-sufficient. A married woman has many more things that divert her attention than a single woman.
Our world doesn’t preach Paul’s opinion. Generally, It preaches that without a “partner*” you are either pursuing your career, have something seriously wrong with you, gay, or at the very least you’re doing a good job of hiding your unhappiness. And, the world is LOUD. Sometimes deafeningly so. And its not always unbelievers that preach the “World’s” opinion.
I cried for most of the end of Alfred’s sermon – he touched a nerve. I’ve wanted to be married to “Mr. Right” for a long time (see my joking list of “I hope he’s like this” that was started here) – I, along with the confidence of my friends, thought I would be the first one married out of just about everyone.
Interestingly, I’m one of the last. I can think of one college friend who isn’t married or concretely moving toward that place.
The non-coincidence of all of this is that, prior to Sunday, I had recently re-picked up a book (the title has started to bug me, actually). The title not withstanding, it is the single most encouraging book I own for this point in my life, and likely the best book I’ve read within its genre and length.
It reminds me repeatedly that it is not a mistake, the place that I am at right now. If I believe what I teach my Sunday school kids (God is all knowing, and controls all), I must preach, along with Paul, that the place I’m at is precisely where God wants me.
And the minute that I’ll need marriage to bring me to a higher place of sanctification (to be like Jesus), God will not hesitate.
This is what I trust, and cling to.
* this is the latest term that wigs me out. Spouse or Husband or Wife is far more concrete, which is exactly why those terms are on the way out.